We look forward to safely welcoming you back to Bloomington.

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Congratulations to all 2021 Indiana University graduates! For family & friends coming into town, use this guide to help plan your stay, navigate details of the day, and make the special occasion as memorable as possible.

Commencement Details

Updated February 22, 2021:
Indiana University has determined the format for the May 7-8 Commencement ceremonies. In order to comply with CDC, Indiana, and local guidance, as well as continuing efforts to mitigate COVID-19 infection, only the graduates and university leaders will participate in the in-person ceremonies. Family and friends will be invited to participate virtually through Indiana University's online broadcast. For additional information, please visit Indiana University's Commencement FAQ page.

The Spring 2021 Commencement will take place in two sessions:

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 7 at 10:00 am at Memorial Stadium.

The Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 8 at 10:00 am at Memorial Stadium.

The Winter Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 18 at 10:00 am at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. This is a single ceremony for undergraduate & graduate students.

Many schools and clubs host their own celebrations, which you can read about here. Your go-to resource for all graduation information is commencement.iu.edu.


Click here to browse all the hotels, bed & breakfasts, and cabins in & around Bloomington. Most accommodation providers start booking reservations a year in advance, so plan ahead! We advise all visitors to thoroughly review reservation details, including cancellation policies, prior to booking. Doing so will help avoid confusion and ensure a great experience for all visitors at this once-in-a-lifetime event.  

The first thing you might see when you try to book a hotel room online is that they all seem to be sold out for graduation weekend. Never fear! Many hotels could still have rooms left, and we keep track of that, so give us a call at (812) 334-8900 or (800) 800-0037. Also, know that the rates will be much higher than normal because it's such a popular weekend to come to town. Most hotels will offer some added amenities for that weekend, though, so be sure to ask!


Your trip to Bloomington will go a lot smoother if you heed these words of wisdom:

  • Make restaurant reservations way in advance — many of them fill up months ahead! Click here to see all Bloomington restaurants, or read our page about group-friendly restaurants.
  • Parking can be tricky with so many people coming to town, so make sure you know all the options. See our pages on IU campus parking and downtown parking to help navigate this.
  • Plan your photos in advance so you're less stressed about where to go on the big day. We put together a guide on the best spots around campus to take grad photos — one less thing you have to try to figure out!

Things To Do

While you're in Bloomington, make a vacation out of your stay! See our Events Calendar for exciting activities happening during your stay, and browse our Backstage Blog for posts about everything that makes Bloomington unique. Really embrace the Cream & Crimson culture by crossing off some IU bucket list adventures with your graduate before they leave our beloved B-Town. We also have a whole set of trip ideas for every tourist, from arts & culture to the great outdoors. Make the most of your stay in one of the best destinations in the Midwest — Go Hoosiers!