Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the plan for May 2021 commencement?

    Western Michigan University will be hosting a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 1, to celebrate spring graduates. While we wish we could share this special day in person, we plan to honor the graduates in a meaningful way that will reflect our immense pride in everything they have achieved throughout their time at WMU. The virtual ceremony will be as close to a traditional commencement experience as possible. Viewing times are as follows:

    2 p.m.
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    College of Fine Arts
    College of Health and Human Services

    4 p.m.
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Haworth College of Business
    College of Aviation

    A letter from President Montgomery

    Dear graduates,
    With a little more than a month to go, we are poised to celebrate your graduation from Western Michigan University. The degree you will be formally earning on May 1 reflects years of study, application of your unique blend of talents and your drive to succeed. Well done, Broncos!
    I know many—including me—were hoping in-person ceremonies would be possible this spring. Unfortunately, we cannot fulfill that hope due to the public health restrictions and safety protocols still imposed by the pandemic. To give you and your friends and family an experience that is both safe and demonstrates the pride and importance that this rite of passage represents, we are hosting virtual commencement ceremonies.
    The final decision about this spring’s ceremonies emerged after careful consideration of all options. To weigh the possibilities and consider different options, a commencement committee was convened in January to solicit input and perspectives from the range of University stakeholders—student representatives from the Western Student Association, the Graduate Student Association as well as representatives from faculty, staff, administration and alumni.
    In addition to this feedback, we also took into account a number of other critical factors: gathering size restrictions imposed by the state of Michigan, increasing local incidence of the more infectious COVID-19 strain, prolonged vaccination timelines, unpredictable spring weather for outdoor gatherings and the positive feedback from graduates, parents, alumni and the University community following December’s virtual ceremonies.
    While, unfortunately, we are all continuing to navigate through the health and safety challenges brought on by the pandemic, the University remains committed to providing a graduation that best highlights your academic achievement and also captures the excitement and support of those who helped encourage your success.
    Be assured that the spring commencement ceremonies will carry the full weight of our pride in you. As a bonus, I’m sure that I am not alone in my appreciation for the opportunity for friends and family to leave personal messages as part of the festivities. Seeing the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes through in those accolades reminds the entire Western community of the power of what we do here and why your success and that of your fellow graduates is so important for our University, our state and society.
    Congratulations once again on your graduation. Your alma mater is proud of what you have achieved to get to this point, and looks forward to seeing the great things you’ll do in the future.

    Edward Montgomery

  • When will April and June 2020 commencement ceremonies be rescheduled?

    You are to be congratulated on completing your studies and graduating from Western Michigan University in spite of the incredible upheaval and turmoil that 2020 brought. While we did not get to celebrate your accomplishment in our usual manner, we remain committed to engaging with you at a future in-person event once it is safe to do so. 

    As the timing for when we may once again gather for an in-person graduation continues to be pushed out, I wanted to offer you an additional opportunity to commemorate your achievement. We would love to celebrate you during our next virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 1. This commencement will honor your degree completion, along with the Class of 2021 spring graduates. As much as we would like to plan for this to be an in-person event, it is not yet feasible to gather in large groups, and our priority is centered on protecting your health and safety, as well as that of your families, friends and our entire community.

  • Is regalia available for purchase?

    Bachelor's and master's regalia are in stock and may be purchased from the WMU Bookstore shops during regular business hours. Regalia may also be ordered online and shipped to a home address. GPA honor cords are available upon request. In addition to regalia, master’s candidates will receive a hood, with the color indicating field of study. Please direct questions to the WMU Bookstore at (269) 387-3930. 

    Please direct questions regarding doctoral regalia to the WMU Bookstore at (269) 387-3930.