May 2021 Commencement Ceremony
UNMC held de-densified, in-person commencement ceremonies for May 2021 graduates at each of its five campuses.
Use the hashtag #UNMCGrad to share the moment and record memories. We've also put together the below items so you're prepared to celebrate your big day.
May 2021 Graduation Frequently Asked Questions
Jump to question:
- When will May commencement occur?
- How long will the ceremony be?
- What if I don’t feel comfortable coming to the ceremony in-person?
- What if COVID-19 numbers increase?
- How many guests can I bring? Do they need tickets?
- How do I get tickets?
- Will masks be required?
- Will graduates and their guests be permitted to gather outside before and following the ceremonies?
- Will COVID-19 testing be required for anyone attending (graduates or guests) May Commencement?
- Is there an option for COVID testing prior to commencement for me and my guests?
- How will my family and friends who can't come to the ceremony be able to watch me graduate?
- How will I receive the academic attire that I ordered?
- How do I know if I have a HOLD on my student account?
- When will I receive my physical diploma?
- Can I pick up my diploma on campus?
- When will I receive my digital diploma?
- What do I do with my UNMC Badge Photo ID?
- How long will my UNMC email remain active?
- What if I have additional questions about receiving my degree?
UNMC will hold live commencement ceremonies in May for all five campuses. The Lincoln, Norfolk and Kearney ceremonies will be held on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Ceremonies in Omaha and Scottsbluff will take place on Saturday, May 8, 2021.
We estimate each ceremony will be under an hour and a half, with the exception of the Omaha ceremony lasting closer to two hours.
Students are not required to participate in the ceremony if they don’t feel comfortable. All ceremonies will be live-streamed so you are able to watch and see your fellow graduates walk across the stage.
UNMC has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation both locally and nationally. If at any point between now and the scheduled ceremonies COVID-19 trends present an increased risk for safety, we will modify our planning and update our graduates and campus community.
We remain committed to the health and safety of the campus and community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The number of guests permitted per location differs based on the venue size, local Directed Health Measures (DHMs) and good public health practice. Organizers have accounted for seating to accommodate guests at each location as follows:
Kearney: Up to 12 guests. Tickets are not required.
Lincoln: Up to 16 guests. Tickets are not required.
Norfolk: Up to 12 guests. Tickets are not required.
Omaha: Up to 4 guests. Tickets are required and will be emailed directly to the students from Baxter Arena. Emails should go out during the third week of April.
Scottsbluff: Up to 6 guests. Tickets are required and will be distributed to the students.
For Omaha and Scottsbluff, everyone must have a ticket to enter, unless on platform party, volunteer, or graduate. Anyone age 2+ will need a ticket in Omaha (Baxter policy).
For Omaha, Baxter Arena will be emailing tickets to each student participating in the commencement ceremony the week of April 19-23. The tickets will be sent to student's UNMC email accounts. NOT all tickets will be sent at once, Ticket Master will be staggering the release over the week. Don't worry if your tickets don't come right away. Each graduate will receive four (4) tickets for the ceremony. These tickets are pre-assigned and seated together in a pod. All guests must sit in their assigned seating. If guests need ADA seating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will work with you to secure the appropriate tickets. Instructions will be included with the tickets, make sure to follow them. STEP 1: Save, STEP 2: Print, STEP 3: Bring to Commencement.
Yes, masks will be required for everyone for the duration of the ceremony.
We strongly discourage gathering outside of the arena pre- and post-ceremony. During the processional, graduates will be directed to exit the arena after receiving their diploma. Guests should meet graduates outside and leave immediately.
At this time, there are no requirements by the Douglas County Health Department or UNMC to issue COVID-19 testing. We ask that everyone follow adequate physical distancing, face-covering usage, and practice good hygiene. Stay home if the day of the event you or a member of your household is sick.
While testing isn’t required, all guests 16 and older will be screened for COVID-19 prior to entering Baxter Arena.
- Option 1 (preferred option): Download the 1Check UNMC app (for students, staff, and faculty) or the CheckCOVID app (for guests). Perform a screening on the app on the day of commencement and show your green “low” status with date/time stamp. Alternatively, access the web-based version of the app, perform the screening, print the results, and bring those printed results to the Commencement venue.
- Option 2 (less desirable option): Those who do not utilize the above option will be subject to verbal screening at the Commencement venue, potentially delaying entrance into the ceremony. The venue entrance is not the time or place for new users to familiarize themselves with the app. Individuals subject to verbal screening will need to answer the following questions:
Do you have a fever or chills?
Do you have a new or worsening cough?
Are you experiencing new or worsening shortness of breath?
Have you recently lost your sense of taste or smell?
Are you aware of having contact with a COVID-positive individual in the past 14 days?
As you may know, UNMC offers no cost COVID testing to students, faculty and staff. While this testing has not been mandatory, it is available to those who desire it.
In advance of Commencement, we are making this no cost testing available to any of your guests attending the ceremony. Again, this testing is not mandatory and is not required to gain entrance into the Commencement venue. However, it is offered in order that your loved ones may obtain an extra measure of security and reassurance.
The testing is offered at two sites:
TVC - Commencement Testing
5710 S. 144th Street Omaha NE
DBS - Commencement Testing
South Doctors Building, 4239 Farnam St. Room 300 Omaha NE
Parents, grandparents, siblings, and other loved ones of graduates may schedule a test by accessing the link to the desired testing site.
In order to ensure that results are available in time to make an informed decision as to whether it is safe to attend Commencement, UNMC families are asked to choose a slot on Friday May 7 between 8:00 and 10:00 am.
The in-person ceremony will be live-streamed for any guests to view remotely. Access to the live-stream will be available through the UNMC Commencement website.
For Omaha students, academic attire will be available for pick-up in Williams Science Hall, Wednesday, May 5th from 1-4 pm and Thursday, May 6th from 8:30am-4pm.If you cannot pick up your attire during these times, you will need to make arrangements to have someone pick up for you.
Students attending ceremonies in Lincoln, Kearney, Norfolk and Scottsbluff will be notified of attire pick up dates on those campuses.
All HOLD information can be found in MyRecords. You must clear the HOLD with the appropriate department/person/college.
Diplomas will be available directly following the Omaha ceremony at Baxter Arena. Students at all other locations will receive their diploma during the ceremony. If you will not be participating in the ceremony, your diploma will be mailed to the address provided on the graduation application approximately 3-4 weeks after the end of the Spring semester.
Your digital diploma will be emailed to your UNMC email address approximately 3-4 weeks after the end of the Spring semester. All degree requirements must be completed and campus holds must be released in order to receive your digital diploma.
No. Due to current social distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 situation, diplomas not received during commencement will be mailed to the address you provided on your application for graduation. Diplomas are mailed Registered Return Receipt, so a signature is necessary for delivery. If you need to update your diploma mailing address, please e-mail Academic Records at email@example.com.
All graduating students will need to mail their photo id (no clip or additional card) to:
Photo ID Card Office
984290 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha NE 68198-4290
Students in Omaha will also have the option to turn in their UNMC badge during attire pick up.
Your UNMC student email will remain active until November 2021. ITS will notify you when your account is deactivated. You will be given approximately a two week notice to resolve any issues/concerns/notifications regarding your UNMC email account. The HELP DESK number is 402-559-7700.
The website will be updated daily so please check back frequently for the latest information. Students can contact the Academic Records office at firstname.lastname@example.org.