Skip to main content

Info for Friends and Family

Family and Friends: 2021 Commencement Information 

South Dakota State University is committed to having in-person Commencement Ceremonies this May. Plans are fluid and dates, times and locations are subject to change as they will evolve with the ever-changing environment created by COVID-19. 

Following student RSVPs on April 23, a six-ticket seating pod will be sent directly to the student for dissemination. No tickets are available for purchase. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Colleges of:  

10a.m. Ceremony
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Natural Sciences

4:00p.m. Ceremony
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


Sunday, May 9, 2021 

Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Colleges of: 

10a.m. Ceremony
Education and Human Sciences

4p.m. Ceremony
Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions

A listing of colleges and departments can be found here.

Ceremony information

In respect to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the need to make changes to the 135th Commencement at South Dakota State University was evident. Ceremonies will take place over two days. All students receiving degrees -- associates, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral-- will walk in the ceremony for their respective colleges.

While alterations will be made to the program, SDSU is committed to providing traditional elements such as speakers from across campus representing the President’s Office, Academic Affairs, respective colleges, SDSU Alumni Association, South Dakota Board of Regents and more. Student speakers that were nominated and selected to speak at commencement will be featured as well. Ceremonies will vary in length depending on the number of graduates. It is anticipated that most ceremonies will last approximately 75-90 minutes.

Ceremonies are anticipated to take place outdoors. Families and friends should dress accordingly as every effort to maintain an outdoor in-person ceremony will be made.  Should weather limit the ability to move forward outdoors, contingency plans for an indoor ceremony are in place. If the indoor plan is enacted, there will be no guests allowed, and guests would be encouraged to watch by way of the various streaming services.

Further information will be updated on these pages, please check back frequently.


All ceremonies are posted on the Graduation main page. In the Brookings Area, the ceremonies will also be aired on cable channel 2.