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2020 Commencement FAQs

As the world continues to fight COVID-19, this year's Commencement exercises have been rescheduled as follows:

Graduate and PhD Ceremony
Friday, August 21
Academic Procession: 1:45 p.m.
Ceremony: 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Undergraduate Ceremony
Saturday, August 22
Academic Procession: 9:30 a.m.
Ceremony: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Frequently asked questions and answers about the ceremony for students and their families can be found below.

Will I have to wait until the rescheduled ceremony to get my diploma? 
While the ceremony itself will be moved to later in year, all degrees will officially be conferred in May and diplomas will be mailed shortly thereafter. This will allow students to start jobs or continue their academic journeys as planned. More details on the conferral process will be shared in the coming weeks.

What if I can't make the rescheduled date? 
If a student and their family are unable to attend the rescheduled ceremony, they will be able to live-stream it at

What if I made a hotel reservation for May through the Westin-Waltham?
If you made a hotel reservation through the group block, it will be cancelled at no expense to you.

What if I ordered regalia and now cannot attend?
The Commencement Office will be in touch with more information about regalia purchases and returns in the coming weeks.

I'm an international student. How can I return to the US for Commencement after my student visa status is expired?
Because the degree conferral date remains May 16, 2020, Bentley is unable to extend our students’ active F-1 student status beyond this date. If you have applied for (or plan to apply for) Optional Practical Training, your F-1 status would then be extended and you would be able to reenter the US later this summer with either an EAD card or an i797c receipt proving that your OPT application is in process. You can submit an OPT application now if you have not already done so in order to take advantage of this option. If you do not apply for OPT, you will need to obtain a tourist visa to enter the US for the Commencement ceremony. Many international students who complete their degree in December and wish to return for the May ceremony frequently use this process, and it is now the case for students completing a degree in May and attending the postponed ceremony.