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Graduation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


When is graduation?

Graduation will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021. Due to social distancing requirements and to ensure the safety of all in attendance, only the graduating students, faculty, staff and speakers will be permitted in the stadium during each commencement ceremony. As an added safety precaution, we will hold two ceremonies grouped by program, the first at 10:00 a.m. and the second at 2:00 p.m. Both ceremonies will be livestreamed for family and friends. 

10 a.m.: For students in the following programs: Accounting; Architectural Technology; Aviation Commercial – Pilot; Aviation Management; Business Administration – Transfer; Bookkeeping; Business Management; Computer Information Systems; Computer Networking; Construction Technology; Communications and Media Arts; Computer Science; Criminal Justice – Security; Criminal Justice – Transfer; Early Childhood; Adolescent Ed Biology; Adolescent Ed Social Studies; Adolescent Ed English; Adolescent Ed Mathematics; Adolescent Ed Spanish; Adolescent Ed Chemistry; Elementary Ed. (B-6); Electrical Technology; Engineering Science; Exercise Science & Wellness; Fire Protection Technology; and General Studies (AS).

2 p.m.: For students in the following programs: Chemical Dependency; Child Care: Direct Care; Counseling; Human Services; Information Management; Liberal Arts & Sci-Humanities; Liberal Arts & Sci-Mathematics; Liberal Arts & Sci-Science; Medical Laboratory Technology; Mental Health Assistant; Music Performance; Nursing; Paralegal; Emergency Med Tech/Paramedic; Public Health; Phlebotomist; Performing Arts; Paralegal Certificate; and Visual Arts.

Where is the graduation ceremony?

This year’s graduation will be held at Dutchess Stadium, located on Rt. 9D in Fishkill. The ceremonies will take place rain or shine.

How do I order my cap and gown?

Complete the Fillable Stamped Gown Order form, which also includes cap and gown details. Return the completed form to the bookstore at DCCgraduation@sunydutchess.edu by May 14. 

When do I pick up my cap and gown?

Any time on Tuesday, May 18 in Drumlin Hall between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Please note that this is the only time you can pick up your cap and gown. 

Do I have to get tested for COVID-19?

When you pick up your cap and gown and graduation packet, you will also need to show proof of vaccination or get tested on campus. If you have not been vaccinated, you must be tested on May 18. See our testing procedures here. PLEASE NOTE THAT ON THE DAY OF TESTING:

  • 3 hours prior: Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash for at least three hours before your testing time.
  • 30 minutes prior: Do not eat or drink anything, including chewing gum, mints or lozenges, within 30 minutes of testing. Abstain from smoking, vaping, or using smokeless tobacco products for 30 minutes prior to the test.
  • You must bring your Dutchess Community College ID and personal mobile device. If you do not have a smart phone or tablet, one will be provided at the testing site but you must have created your account and completed your profile in advance.

If you have been vaccinated, you will not need to be tested if the following applies:     

  • You have received a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccination, prior to April 23, 2021.
  • You have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, prior to May 7, 2021. 

Do I have to return my cap and gown?

No. They are yours to keep.

Can guests attend graduation?

Due to social distancing requirements and to ensure the safety of all in attendance, only the graduating students, faculty, staff and speakers will be permitted in the stadium during each commencement ceremony.The graduation ceremony will be streaming live at https://www.sunydutchess.edu/live/.

What is the Line of March?

This card will be included in the graduation packet you'll get when you pick up your cap and gown. You must bring this card with you to graduation; it will be used to announce your name during the ceremony. You will give the card to the announcer as you go on stage. After your name is announced, proceed across the stage to receive your diploma jacket. You will then continue across the stage, descend the stairs (opposite the stairs you came up), have your picture taken and return to your original seat. Staying for the entire ceremony is required. If your name is often mispronounced, please write it phonetically above your name on your Line of March card. They keep the card and give them all to the photographer after the ceremony. Please complete the email and mailing address on the back of the card to ensure you receive a copy of the picture proof from the photographer.

Is there a rehearsal?

No. The processional is quite simple. Graduates will be directed to their seats by the student marshals. Please remain standing until you are asked to take your seat.

When do I receive my diploma?

Your actual degree or certificate will be mailed to you several weeks after the ceremony.

What do the different colored tassels mean?

The colored tassels are indicative of the academic area or degree for which you are graduating. A.A. – white, A.A.S. – yellow, A.S. – gold, and Certificate programs – blue. This tassel is also a keepsake of the ceremony. They should be worn on the right side of the cap.

What should I wear?

As your gown will be covering your attire, there is no formal dress code.

Do you have more questions? Please contact Matt Hanlon at matt.hanlon@sunydutchess.edu