Mask Wearing Requirement; COVID-19 Safety Protocols Continue Through Spring Semester

Students attend a socially distanced class in the Chi Omega Greek Theatre during the fall semester.
Whit Pruitt, University Relations

Students attend a socially distanced class in the Chi Omega Greek Theatre during the fall semester.

The U of A plans to follow the safety protocols outlined in the Spring 2021 COVID-19 Response Guide through at least the end of the spring semester. The guide includes appropriate social distancing and mask wearing protocols as well as other safety guidelines.

"Wearing a mask, washing your hands and watching your distance is working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and we'll continue practice these safety protocols throughout the spring semester," Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said. "We will be discussing distancing guidelines in the coming weeks, especially regarding outdoor venues. We're considering opening that a up a bit over the course of the semester in a way that promotes the safety of all involved with an eye toward a more typical summer and fall semester."

The university will remain flexible and ready to adjust to the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic. As the university continues to assess the situation, any needed adjustments will be made in an informed way, guided by factors such as the progress of the vaccine rollout and number of active cases in the community. The guide will continue to be updated as needed when adjustments are made.

Plans for the summer and fall will be announced when they are finalized.


The U of A will host in-person spring commencement ceremonies May 6-8 that adhere to health and safety policies and protocols.

Similar to the fall commencement ceremonies, spring commencement ceremonies will be limited in attendance with a condensed program. Social distancing and mask wearing will be required.

The number of ceremonies for each college could change depending on the number of students attending. After applying for graduation, students will receive an email by April 5 with instructions on how to register for commencement attendance on the Marching Order website. Following registration for attendance, students will be assigned a ceremony time and will have six tickets allotted to give to friends and family. On April 16, students will be able to print those tickets on the Marching Order website.  

Students may request one additional set of 6 guest tickets by emailing These additional sets of tickets will be distributed as available.


The dates and times for spring ceremonies are listed below. The number of ceremonies may be adjusted after the registration deadline and attendance numbers are known. The college will assign each student to one of the ceremony times.

Thurs., May 6, 2021

  • University (only graduate students recognized)
    2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Fri., May 7, 2021

  • Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Bud Walton Arena
    1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • College of Engineering, Barnhill Arena
    1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Sat., May 8, 2021

  • College of Education and Health Professions, Bud Walton Arena
    9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, Faulkner Performing Arts Center
    10 a.m.
  • School of Law, Barnhill Arena
    10 a.m.
  • Walton College of Business, Bud Walton Arena
    1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; Barnhill Arena
    2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

All ceremonies will also be streamed live on the U of A's YouTube channel.

Students who graduated in 2020 are also invited to attend the spring ceremonies and should contact the Office of the Registrar at for instructions.

More information on the spring commencement ceremonies are available on the Registrar website.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


John F. Thomas, manager of university communications
University Relations


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