FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The doctoral commencement will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 15, 2015. All candidates for the Doctor of Management degree will participate in a combined hooding and conferral at this ceremony, followed by a cocktail-style reception with their guests.
We will hold three weekend ceremonies for bachelor's and master's graduates, spread over two days:
- Saturday, May 16 (9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
- Sunday, May 17 (4 p.m.)
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 weekend ceremonies for bachelor's and master's students will be held at the Xfinity Center on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. Xfinity Center is located at 1 Terrapin Trail, College Park, MD 20742, on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. View a map of the College Park campus.
The doctoral commencement will be held the morning of Friday, May 15, 2015. All candidates for the Doctor of Management degree will participate in a combined hooding and conferral at this ceremony, followed by a cocktail-style reception with their guests.
Master's and bachelor's students may choose their 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.
Registration for the weekend ceremonies is open. RSVP here.
RSVP early to have a better chance of getting your preferred ceremony, as seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please remember to confirm your preferred e-mail address within the commencement registration system and via MyUMUC.
The doctoral commencement (and reception) will last from 9:30 a.m. until approximately noon.
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 avoid disrespecting your fellow graduates and disrupting the ceremony.
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, please e-mail Commencement Services at email@example.com.
At UMUC, graduation and commencement are different.
Applying for graduation is how you let us know that you expect to finish your degree requirements and want to receive a diploma. We award diplomas three times a year: August, December, and May. These conferral dates are referred to as summer, fall, and spring, respectively. (Certain MBA students have a four-term schedule, with degrees awarded in summer, fall, winter, and spring.)
So graduation is simply the act of completing all of your requirements and earning your degree. Remember, you have to apply and pay a fee to graduate.
If you have applied to graduate by the appropriate deadline, we'll invite you to attend commencement in May. Commencement is the formal ceremony that enables us to celebrate you and your accomplishments.
We proudly serve more than 90,000 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and include
Your student identification number or Social Security Number
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)
If a letter is to be sent to the embassy directly, a hard copy of the letter, with your signature, will be required. This can be faxed to Graduation Services at 240-684-2008.
Please note that bachelor's and master's graduates are allotted 10 guest tickets. Plan accordingly. (There is the potential to claim up to three additional tickets. Further information about claiming additional tickets will be published when the commencement RSVP system opens in late February.)
Eligibility and Applying for Graduation
Graduates who completed their degree requirements in August and December 2014, winter 2015 MBA graduates, as well as candidates for graduation who expect to complete their requirements in spring 2015, will be invited to participate in Commencement 2015.
Check your eligibility status by contacting the Graduation Certification Team at email@example.com or 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2-2299.
After verifying your graduation status, if you're still unsure about your eligibility to walk at Commencement 2015, e-mail Commencement Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying for your diploma and applying for graduation are the same thing.
You must apply for your diploma at MyUMUC by the appropriate deadline. Check 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 2015.
Log in to MyUMUC and select "My Academics > Apply for Graduation." Submit the form and pay the $50 graduation fee.
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.
No, but you should be aware that you'll need to buy a cap and gown. This academic regalia is required.
RSVP or Registration
Doctoral candidates will receive an invitation from The Graduate School to RSVP for the doctoral commencement.
Bachelor's and master's degree candidates who have met all eligibility requirements may register for the weekend commencements now.
First you must apply for graduation at MyUMUC by the appropriate deadline. If you are unsure whether you're eligible or what the deadlines are, contact the Graduation Certification Team at email@example.com or 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2-2299.
Next, you will need to log on to the online commencement registration system to submit your RSVP. You will receive an e-mail invitation.
Yes. In late March, you should have received a separate invitation to RSVP online for the New Graduate Reception. Don't forget to indicate whether you will bring a guest.
Registration: Change or Cancel
Can I change my status to "not attending" if I already registered to attend commencement but cannot participate?
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to change your initial registration.
We may be able to accommodate a limited number of graduates who cannot participate in Commencement 2015 due to 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 2016 commencement, contact Commencement Services by e-mailing email@example.com.
Please note that if an exception is granted, your name will appear in the commencement program book for the year that your degree was conferred. Due to space limitations, it will not be published again in the 2016 commencement program book if you were originally slated to participate in the May 2015 ceremony.
Can I participate in one of the overseas ceremonies if I'm a stateside graduate but I can't attend the stateside 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-888-UMUC (8682) ext. 2-2299. They'll confirm your eligibility and help you coordinate with the appropriate overseas division.
Please contact Student Services (undergraduate students) or Graduate Programs (graduate students) 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, have Student Services or Graduate Programs inform stateside Commencement Services. Stateside Commencement Services will send you detailed information about the stateside commencement, along with a link to RSVP online.
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 10 guest tickets.
Also, alumni who wish to help at commencement as a volunteer should contact Alumni Relations at 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 1-7140 or email@example.com.
Prepare for Commencement
A commencement fair is a convenient way for students who live in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to prepare for commencement. You can confirm your measurements and order caps and gowns from our regalia vendor.
Regalia will not be available for pick up at the March fair—measurements and orders only. Orders placed at the March fair will be shipped to your home.
Regalia will be available to order and immediately pick up at the commencement-week fair in May.
You can also order your class ring and other commencement gear such as your diploma frame, announcements, and thank-you notes. The UMUC Alumni Association will also be on hand to discuss joining the association for free and the benefits of membership.
Fairs will be held at the Academic Center at Largo in March and again in May. Here are the times and dates:
- Thursday, March 26, 4–8 p.m.
- Friday, March 27, Noon–7 p.m.
- Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
and in May
- Wednesday, May 13, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
- Thursday, May 14, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
- Friday, May 15, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
If you can't attend a fair, don't worry. Our RSVP process will provide details on how to access the same merchandise and services online.
The official 2015 commencement program book will be published online prior to commencement weekend. This state-of-the-art digital program will include the names of August and December 2014 graduates, along with MBA graduates of the Winter 2015 term. Spring 2015 graduation candidates who apply before the spring diploma application deadline will also be included in the official 2015 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.
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 Services 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you RSVP online to indicate that you will attend Commencement 2015, you'll be able to choose your preferred ceremony, subject to seating availability. 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 mid-April to all students participating in commencement. 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, such as the New Graduate Reception to be held Friday, May 15, at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.
Business casual is appropriate for the New Graduate Reception.
All graduates are required to wear a cap and gown to commencement. 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.
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?
If you are not able to order your regalia before commencement, 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.
Order your regalia and view pricing here.
(Your RSVP confirmation also contains the same link.)
Active-duty servicemembers may wear their 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 dress uniform, you are welcome to purchase a cap and gown as a souvenir, but please do not wear it over your dress uniform on commencement day.
Are colors different at the morning and afternoon ceremonies and for bachelor's and master's degree candidates?
Doctoral candidates wear customized royal blue regalia, with a gold tassel on the tam.
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 2014, along with candidates finishing in May 2015. So we prefer a more traditional look where the tassels are uniform.
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.
Connect with Other Graduates
Use the hashtag #UMUCGrad to join the conversation on Twitter and see what's trending among your fellow graduates and alumni. Visit Get Social for more info.
The New Graduate Reception will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 15, at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Adelphi, Maryland.
Graduates may bring one guest to the reception.
Yes. In late March, you will receive a separate invitation to RSVP online for the New Graduate Reception. Don't forget to indicate whether you will bring a guest.
No. You will receive a congratulatory letter from UMUC President Javier Miyares inside of your diploma cover when you cross the stage.
Diplomas for August, December, March, and May graduates are mailed about six to eight weeks after each conferral date. Please update your mailing address at MyUMUC to ensure a smooth delivery of your diploma.
For more information and to activate your free membership, visit the UMUC Alumni Association.
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 semester hours 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 Services at 800-888-UMUC (8682) ext. 2-2299 or email@example.com.
Academic honors are based on cumulative GPA.
- Cum Laude=3.800 to 3.900
- Magna Cum Laude=3.901 to 3.999
- Summa Cum Laude=4.0
White cords represent Cum Laude. Blue cords represent Magna Cum Laude, and gold cords represent Summa Cum Laude.
You will be mailed a preprinted name card in late April. The card has your name and honors designation so 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 will not be read.
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.
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.
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