Graduate and family pose outside the Xfinity Center

General

When is Commencement 2017?

The doctoral commencement will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Candidates for the Doctor of Management degree will participate in a combined hooding and degree conferral at this ceremony, followed by a cocktail-style reception with their guests.

We will hold three ceremonies for associate, bachelor's, and master's graduates, spread over two days:

  • Saturday, May 13 (9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, May 14 (3:30 p.m.)

Where is Commencement 2017?

The doctoral commencement will be held at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center at University of Maryland University College. Get directions and all the details on the doctoral commencement information page.

The ceremonies for associate, bachelor's, and master's graduates will be held at the Xfinity Center on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. The Xfinity Center is located at 8500 Paint Branch Drive, College Park, MD 20742, on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. View a Google map and get directions.

Which ceremony will I attend?

If you are a candidate for the doctoral degree, you will attend the doctoral commencement ceremony held the evening of Thursday, May 11, 2017.

If you are a candidate for the associate, bachelor's, or master's degree, you may choose your preferred weekend ceremony, space permitting. (We cap attendance at each ceremony to comply with the fire code.) We are planning for 1,200 graduates at each weekend ceremony.

The RSVP system will open at the end of February 2017. Eligible students will receive an e-mail containing the RSVP link. Please RSVP promptly to lock in your preferred ceremony, as reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please confirm your preferred e-mail address via MyUMUC.

How long is commencement?

The doctoral commencement (and reception) will last from 7:30 a.m. until approximately 10:30 p.m.

Each weekend ceremony is expected to last two-and-one-half hours. Keep in mind that this time is approximate and may vary. Please plan to remain until the conclusion of the ceremony to show respect for your fellow graduates and to avoid disrupting the ceremony.

Can I walk early?

Generally, no one is allowed to walk early. While we do consider cases of extreme hardship, exceptions are rare and usually involve unfortunate circumstances. If you feel your situation justifies a hardship exception, e-mail Commencement Services at commencement@umuc.edu.

Are graduation and commencement the same thing?

At UMUC, graduation and commencement are different.

Graduation is the act of completing all of your requirements and earning your diploma. Diplomas are generally awarded three times a year (August, December, and May) at the end of the summer, fall, and spring terms. Certain MBA students have a four-term schedule, with degrees awarded at the end of the summer, fall, winter, and spring terms. (Remember, you have to apply and pay a fee to graduate.)

Commencement is the formal ceremony that enables us to celebrate you and your accomplishments. If you have applied to graduate by the appropriate deadline, we'll invite you to attend commencement in May.

Why does UMUC hold only one commencement a year?

We proudly serve more than 80,000 students worldwide, both on-site and online. Commencement is the highlight of the academic year. It's the premier opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to meet and, most importantly, celebrate our graduates' accomplishments. A large-scale annual commencement is currently the best format to include the largest group of students, faculty, and staff.

How do I get permission for overseas relatives to attend commencement?

UMUC will draft a letter to the embassy of the country in which the person lives to serve as documentation for getting the necessary travel approvals.

To request this letter, e-mail graduationserv@umuc.edu and include

  • Your name
  • Your student identification number
  • Your address
  • Your telephone number
  • Name of guest(s) and relationship to you
  • Address of guest(s)
  • Whether you wish for the letter to be sent to you or the embassy
  • Name and address of the embassy (if the letter is to be sent to the embassy)

You may also request your embassy letter via MyUMUC. Log in to MyUMUC and select "My Academics > Request Embassy Letter."

Please note that associate, bachelor's, and master's degree graduates are allotted 14 guest tickets. Plan accordingly. (You may be able to claim up to four additional tickets if any are available. Details about claiming additional tickets are provided in the commencement registration process.)

Will commencement be webcast?

The doctoral commencement on May 11 will not be webcast live. Instead, it will be recorded and archived for viewing here.

You may view the three weekend ceremonies (for associate, bachelor's, and master's degree graduates) via live webcast. To access the webcasts visit www.umuc.edu/commencement on May 13 starting at 8:45 a.m.

Eligibility and Applying for Graduation

Am I eligible to walk at the 2017 Adelphi Commencement?

Graduates who completed their degree requirements in summer and fall 2016, winter 2017 MBA graduates, and candidates for graduation who expect to complete their requirements in spring 2017 will be invited to participate in 2017 Adelphi Commencement.

Check your eligibility status by contacting the Graduation Certification Team at graduationserv@umuc.edu or 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2-2299.

If you're still unsure about your eligibility to walk at Commencement 2017 after verifying your graduation status, e-mail Commencement Services at commencement@umuc.edu.

How do I apply for my diploma and graduation?

Applying for your diploma and applying for graduation are the same thing.

You must apply for your diploma via MyUMUC by the appropriate deadline. Check the Graduation To-Do List for a list of deadlines. Meeting the diploma application deadline automatically puts you on the list to be invited to Commencement 2017.

Log in to MyUMUC and select "My Academics > Apply for Graduation." Submit the form and pay the $50 graduation fee.

Why do I have to pay a fee to graduate?

The $50 application fee covers the administrative process of determining whether you have met all of your degree requirements. You must apply and pay this fee to have your degree conferred and receive a diploma. It is not related to commencement.

Is there a fee to participate in commencement?

No, but you should be aware that you'll need to buy a cap and gown. This academic regalia is required unless you are an active-duty servicemember planning to wear your service dress uniform.

RSVP or Registration

Once I've applied for graduation at MyUMUC, how do I RSVP for commencement?

Doctoral candidates will receive an e-mail invitation to RSVP online in March.

Associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree candidates will receive an e-mail invitation to RSVP online beginning in late February.

Both e-mail invitations will contain a link to our online commencement registration system. Follow the instructions in your RSVP e-mail.

When can I RSVP or register for commencement?

Registration for associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree candidates starts at the end of February. Doctoral students may RSVP starting in March.

If you are eligible to attend commencement, you will receive an e-mail with instructions.

To be eligible, you must have already applied for graduation via MyUMUC by the appropriate deadline. If you are unsure whether you're eligible or what the deadlines are, contact the Graduation Certification Team at graduationserv@umuc.edu or 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2-2299.

You must also ensure that your preferred e-mail address is updated in MyUMUC to receive communications about commencement.

What should I do if I receive an error message when registering for commencement?

The most common problems are issues with graduation eligibility or incorrect EMPLID (student identification) numbers.

First, be sure you are eligible to graduate and have applied for graduation at MyUMUC. If you are unsure whether you're eligible, contact Graduation Certification at graduationserv@umuc.edu or 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2-2299.

If eligibility is not the issue, make sure that you have entered your seven-digit EMPLID (student identification) number correctly. To find it, log into MyUMUC and select Student Center. At the bottom of the Student Center page, select Print/View My Library Barcode and ID Card.

If you continue to have trouble registering, contact Commencement Services at commencement@umuc.edu or 240-684-2225.

Registration: Change or Cancel

Can I change my status to "not attending" if I already registered to attend commencement but cannot participate?

Once the RSVP system opens, please e-mail commencement@umuc.edu if you want to change your initial registration.

Can I participate in Commencement 2018 if I'm unable to participate in Commencement 2017?

We may be able to accommodate a limited number of graduates who cannot participate in Commencement 2017 because of hardship. (Please note that exceptions will be rare and only made in cases of extreme hardship.)

To request an exception to participate in the May 2018 commencement, contact Commencement Services by e-mailing commencement@umuc.edu.

Please note that if an exception is granted, your name will appear in the online commencement program book for the year in which your degree was conferred. Because of space limitations, your name will not be published again in the 2018 commencement program book if you were originally slated to participate in the May 2017 ceremony.

Can I participate in one of the overseas ceremonies if I'm a stateside graduate but I can't attend the Adelphi commencement?

We're happy to include you in an overseas ceremony. Inform the Graduation Certification Team of the overseas ceremony you'd like to attend by e-mailing graduationserv@umuc.edu or call 800-888-UMUC (8682) ext. 2-2299. They'll confirm your eligibility and help you coordinate with the appropriate overseas division.

How do I attend the Adelphi commencement if I'm a graduate of UMUC Asia or UMUC Europe?

Please contact Student Services (if you're an undergraduate student) or Graduate Programs (if you're a graduate student) in UMUC Asia or UMUC Europe. Student Services or Graduate Programs will confirm your graduation status with the Graduation Certification Team.

Once your graduation status has been confirmed, Commencement Services will send you detailed information about the Adelphi commencement, along with a link to RSVP online.

Can I attend commencement if I'm a UMUC alumnus or alumna?

UMUC alumni may attend commencement as guests of current graduates, but tickets are required. Your graduate will provide your ticket(s) out of his or her allocation of 14 guest tickets for ceremonies at the Xfinity Center.

If you wish to help at commencement as a volunteer, contact Alumni Relations at 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 1-7140 or alumnirelations@umuc.edu.

Prepare for Commencement

What's a commencement fair?

A commencement fair is a convenient way for students who live in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to prepare for commencement. There, they can confirm their measurements and order caps and gowns from our regalia vendor.

Regalia will not be available for pickup at the March fair. Orders placed at the March fair will be shipped to students' homes.

Regalia ordered at any of the commencement-week fairs in May will be available for immediate pickup.

Class rings and other commencement gear, such as diploma frames, announcements, and thank-you notes, can also be ordered. The UMUC Alumni Association will also be on hand to discuss joining the association for free and the benefits of membership.

There will be commencement fairs in March and May at the Academic Center at Largo. Here are the times and dates:

in March

  • Thursday, March 23, 4–8 p.m.
  • Friday, March 24, Noon–7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

and in May

  • Wednesday, May 10, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 11, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Friday, May 12, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

If you are a graduate and can't attend a fair, don't worry. Details on how to access the same merchandise and services online will be provided when you RSVP for commencement.

Will my name appear in the commencement program?

The official 2017 commencement program book will be published online before commencement weekend. This state-of-the-art digital program will include the names of summer and fall 2016 graduates, along with MBA graduates of the winter 2017 term. Spring 2017 graduation candidates who apply before the spring diploma application deadline will also be included in the official 2017 commencement program.

Graduates and their guests will be able to share and view the official program online as a digital flipbook; a downloadable PDF will also be provided.

On commencement day, graduates and guests will receive a commemorative program containing the order of exercises, speaker biographies, history of the university, and other information to help guide everyone through their big day. The graduates' names will not be printed in this program.

After commencement, the digital program will be permanently archived on this website for viewing at any time.

How can I update my name, postal address, or e-mail address?

Update your postal or e-mail address at MyUMUC.

If your name has been legally changed, please fax a copy of your driver's license and a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or divorce decree (as appropriate) to Graduation Certification at 240-684-2008. You must include your student ID number on the request.

After taking the above steps, if you have any remaining questions about how your name will appear on your diploma and in the commencement program book, please contact the Registrar's Office at 800-888-UMUC (8682) ext. 2-2222 or registrar@umuc.edu.

When will I receive details on commencement, such as which ceremony to attend and where to park?

When you RSVP online to indicate that you will attend a ceremony, you will immediately receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for ordering your regalia, claiming guest tickets, and other information.

A follow-up packet will be sent out in late April. This mailing includes ceremony and parking information, along with a card that you will provide to the name reader as you cross the stage. This card will also contain your contact information so that our photographer may follow up with you about ordering official commencement photos.

We may also send periodic e-mails that contain specific announcements or updates about commencement-related events.

What should I wear to commencement activities?

All graduates are required to wear a cap and gown to commencement. (Active-duty servicemembers may wear their service dress uniform in lieu of regalia.) We encourage you to wear appropriate business casual attire under your gown. We recommend comfortable shoes, because there will be prolonged periods of standing and walking throughout the ceremony.

Where can I leave my belongings during the ceremony?

We are unable to provide any storage space to hold personal belongings at commencement. Please plan accordingly.

Cap and Gown

How can I get my cap and gown before the ceremony if I missed the deadline to order and can't pick up my regalia at a commencement fair?

Limited quantities will be available on commencement day in the undergraduate and graduate robing areas. Our regalia vendor will be on-site to help you.

How do I get a cap and gown, and how much do a cap and gown cost?

The confirmation e-mail you receive after you RSVP for commencement will contain the link to order your regalia.

Pricing will be posted on the vendor’s website; however, for planning, you should budget

  • Doctoral—$667 (purchase) or $70 (rental)
  • Master's—Up to $55.50, depending on fabric
  • Bachelor's and associate—Up to $27.50, depending on fabric

Prices above do not include home shipping, which is typically about $15.

Other items, such as the stole of gratitude, are extra. The vendor’s website will have pictures and pricing for everything starting in late February. You will be provided the link during the RSVP process.

Can I wear my military uniform?

Active-duty servicemembers are encouraged to wear their service dress uniforms at commencement!

Only the U.S. Army specifically prohibits wearing gowns over the uniform; however, UMUC asks graduates belonging to the other branches of the armed forces to follow this practice too. If you choose to wear your uniform, you are welcome to purchase a cap and gown as a souvenir, but please do not wear it over your uniform.

Are colors different at the morning and afternoon ceremonies and for associate, bachelor's, and master's degree candidates?

Doctoral candidates wear customized royal blue regalia, with a gold tassel on the tam.

Associate degree candidates wear light gray regalia. Bachelor's and master's degree candidates wear black caps and gowns regardless of ceremony. Master's degree candidates have colored hoods associated with their academic discipline.

You may have seen some university commencements where the graduates' tassels contain charms denoting the year. The tassel worn at UMUC's commencement does not contain the year, because we have students who graduated in 2016 along with candidates finishing in May 2017. So we prefer a more traditional look where the tassels are uniform (i.e., no charms).

If you'd like a tassel with your graduation year on it, you may purchase a souvenir tassel when you order your regalia. The regalia vendor will also have souvenir tassels available for purchase at commencement.

What if my cap and gown do not arrive on time?

Remember: Ordering details will be provided when commencement registration and online regalia ordering begin in late February.

Online regalia ordering closes on May 1. No exceptions to this deadline will be allowed.

If you miss the May 1 deadline, you'll need to order (and pick up) at the May commencement fair, or talk with the regalia vendor at the fair to arrange pick up on commencement day.

If you order on time but do not receive your regalia before the start of commencement week, contact Oak Hall Customer Service at 800-456-7623, or visit the Oak Hall reps at the commencement fair to get regalia there. A limited amount of regalia will also be available in the robing areas where you line up before your ceremony starts.

Connect with Other Graduates

How can I connect with other graduates on social media?

Use the hashtag #UMUCGrad to join the conversation on Twitter and see what's trending among your fellow graduates and alumni.

What is the Annual Alumni Reception and Awards event and where is it held?

The 27th Annual Alumni Reception and Awards will be held on Thursday, June 8, at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Adelphi, Maryland. Event information will be included when you RSVP for commencement, and all the details will be posted on the UMUC Alumni Association website later in the spring.

After Commencement

Do I receive my diploma at commencement?

No. You will receive a congratulatory letter from UMUC President Javier Miyares inside of your diploma cover when you cross the stage.

Diplomas are mailed about six to eight weeks after each conferral date; for example, if your MBA was awarded in September, your diploma should have arrived by Thanksgiving. Please update your mailing address at MyUMUC to ensure smooth delivery of your diploma.

How can I join the UMUC Alumni Association?

For more information and to activate your free membership, visit the UMUC Alumni Association.

Honors

As an undergraduate student, how do I determine if I am eligible for graduation honors?

UMUC provides honor cords for undergraduate students who qualify for the following academic honors: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. If you are eligible, the Graduation Certification Team will mail your cord to you in mid-April.

You must have at least a 3.8 grade-point average and have completed at least 45 credits of graded UMUC coursework to be eligible for one of the above academic honors. Please refer to your academic catalog for further details.

For honors eligibility questions, please contact Graduation Certification at 800-888-UMUC (8682) ext. 2-2299 or graduationserv@umuc.edu.

What GPA qualifies for academic honors?

Academic honors are based on your cumulative GPA at UMUC. You must have earned at least 30 credits at UMUC in courses for which a letter grade and quality points were assigned. For honors to be conferred with a second bachelor’s degree, you must have a total of 30 new UMUC credits and the requisite GPA.

  • Cum Laude = 3.800 to 3.900
  • Magna Cum Laude = 3.901 to 3.999
  • Summa Cum Laude = 4.0

What are the honor cord designations?

White cords represent Cum Laude. Blue cords represent Magna Cum Laude, and gold cords represent Summa Cum Laude.

Will my undergraduate academic honors be read at the ceremony?

Yes.

You will be mailed a preprinted name card in late April. The card has your name and honors designation so that your name and honors can be read as you cross the stage. Be sure to bring this card with you. If you don't, your honors may not be announced at the ceremony.

What if the honors on my preprinted card are wrong?

Undergraduate honors are confirmed in early April; however, sometimes there is pending coursework that changes your GPA after your card is printed.

Do not make any changes to your card. Instead, bring the card to commencement and speak with our Graduation Certification Team members in your robing area. They will verify your honors and change your card if appropriate.

Handwritten honors will not be read, so remember, do not change the card yourself.

How do I get an honor cord from the honor society to which I belong?

We do not provide honor cords for honor societies. Graduates who believe they should receive an honor cord from a specific honor society should contact the organization directly.

Contact your honor society by early April to ensure timely delivery of any cords or sashes you are entitled to wear.