Important information for Commencement 2021

Harvard University will again hold our Commencement celebrations virtually in 2021. The university, and the GSD, remain committed to holding in-person events for our 2020 and 2021 graduates in the future.

We will join together virtually to honor the class of 2021 and confer their hard-earned degrees on Thursday, May 27, 2021. The day will begin with a university-wide virtual ceremony in the morning, followed mid-day and into the afternoon by the GSD's Award Ceremony, Class Day Address, and Diploma Ceremony. After those official activities, the GSD will hold online social gatherings for graduates and guests.

In addition to ceremonies and social events, the Commencement Exhibition is another important part of our graduation celebrations, showcasing work by our graduating students. The exhibit for 2021 graduates will open online on the morning of Commencement Day, May 27.

This page will update with more detailed information, including schedule specifics and links to access live-streamed events, later in the spring. Graduates will also receive regular communications from Student Services about Commencement, including information about topics such as purchasing optional regalia.


If you have a question about Commencement 2021, please contact

You may also wish to view the university-wide Commencement site.

What's Next?

Alumni engagement

After Commencement, graduates become part of the worldwide Harvard community of alumni. Alumni are encouraged to register to maintain their connections with classmates and professional contacts. To learn more, see the GSD Alumni Resources page, and the Harvard Alumni Association website.

Alumni can also continue to access some aspects of Harvard's libraries. The Frances Loeb Library has a page with information on library use for GSD alumni. Note that there are some exceptions to library return deadlines for 2021 graduates involved in ongoing research – check the page for the most up to date information.

Your Harvard email account will have a grace period before it is deactivated, but be aware that some Harvard services will be unavailable or limited after your official date of graduation and separation from the university. Ensure you have materials you may need from Canvas or my.Harvard in advance of graduating.

Future Years

If you are planning ahead for a future Harvard Commencement, these are the dates for the next several years. All Thursday dates are for Commencement Day itself, including the GSD's Diploma Ceremony. All Wednesday dates are for the GSD's Class Day activities.

2022: Wednesday, May 25 & Thursday, May 26
2023: Wednesday, May 24 & Thursday, May 25
2024: Wednesday, May 22 & Thursday, May 23
2025: Wednesday, May 28 & Thursday, May 29
2026: Wednesday, May 27 & Thursday, May 28

Note that in 2025 and 2026, Commencement occurs during the same week as the Memorial Day holiday.