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2020 Commencement Updates

December Commencement Ceremonies

Due to the ongoing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to online instruction for the fall semester, the university made the difficult decision to postpone the make-up ceremonies for May 2020 graduates and Fall Commencement ceremony for August, September, and December 2020 graduates scheduled for this December. American University is determined to host in-person ceremonies to celebrate the achievements of all 2020 graduates when health and safety conditions permit. We are unfortunately unable to announce specific dates at this time.

Fall 2020 Commencement Celebration

The Fall 2020 Commencement Celebration for August, September, and December graduates will air on the AU commencement website on Sunday, December 13. Registration is not required for the online celebration. A digital program listing the names of graduates and degree candidates (as of mid-November) will be available on the commencement site in the days leading up to the celebration. Celebration information will be shared via email and the commencement website in the coming months. Graduates will be invited back to participate in special 2020 ceremonies where they will receive individual recognition as soon as we are able.

Class of 2020 School Celebrations with Individual Graduate Recognition

American University’s online school commencement celebrations will be held on December 13, 2020 following the university-wide celebration. All 2020 graduates (May, August, and December) will be individually recognized, as we were not able to offer this opportunity in the spring. All eligible graduates and candidates for degree will receive a unique Name Coach registration link from commencement@american.edu. The link allows each graduate to record their name and upload their photo.

Graduates are required to submit their photo and name recording by 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 13. Our partner, NameCoach, will create individual slides featuring the graduate’s diploma name, photo, degree awarded, and a professionally-recorded reading of the graduate’s name. Also note, November 13, 2020 is a firm deadline and will not be extended. If a graduate does not submit a recorded name and photo, NameCoach will use a standard AU-related photo. It will appear with the grad’s name and the name readers will pronounce the name as accurately as they can.

Spring 2020 Commencement Celebration

The achievements of our Spring 2020 graduates were celebrated during an online commencement celebration which aired on Saturday, May 9. Videos from the celebration are available in our archive.  Spring 2020 graduates will be invited back to participate in special 2020 ceremonies where they will receive individual recognition as soon as we are able.

Preparing to Graduate

  1. Apply to graduate on Eagle Service and go to Graduation Overview. Students who anticipate the completion of their degree requirements must submit an application to graduate.
  2. Check your AU email account for updates from commencement@american.edu.
  3. Register with Name Coach for School Celebrations with Individual Graduate Recognition. All eligible graduates and candidates for degree will receive a unique Name Coach registration link from commencement@american.edu. The link allows each graduate to record their name and upload their photo. Graduates are required to submit their photo and name recording by 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 13. 
  4. Purchase your regalia. Many graduates have expressed interest in obtaining regalia for photos. Bachelors and master’s students who are eligible may purchase keepsake regalia through our provider, Herff-Jones. Master’s graduates purchase a keepsake cap, hood, and gown. Bachelors graduates purchase a keepsake cap and gown. Keepsake items do not need to be returned.

    Doctoral graduates may rent their regalia (tam, gown, and hood) or purchase custom regalia through Herff-Jones. Rental orders will include a label to return the rented items to Herff-Jones. Doctoral graduates interested in purchasing custom regalia should contact graduation_services@american.edu.

    Eligible December graduates will receive an email with instructions and a link when the ordering site opens in mid-October. Regalia purchase is not required to view the online commencement celebration on December 13.

    Please note that all items must be shipped directly to the graduate; we are not able to provide a campus pick-up option due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Allow two to three weeks for shipping and receipt of regalia.
  5. View your transcript on myAU.american.edu. Undergraduates with Latin Honors (3.67 cumulative GPA and 60 of 120 credits at AU) will receive a gold cord; see Undergraduate Academic Regulations, section 5.5. Eligible graduates will receive updates via email this fall.
  6. Check this website for more updates on plans to celebrate our summer and fall graduates.
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Stay Informed

For more information on the status of commencement and other university events during the COVID-19 pandemic, see the COVID-19 FAQ page.

COVID-19 FAQ