UMUC Graduate and Guest

General

Which ceremony will I attend?

We expect about 1,600 graduates at each ceremony, but due to fire code restrictions, each ceremony will have a limit on how many graduates may attend. You will be able to choose your preferred ceremony from the available options.

The RSVP process opened March 7—eligible students should have received an email containing the RSVP link. Please access the commencement system in a timely manner to avoid having your preferred ceremony fill up.

If you did not receive the invitation to RSVP, but believe that you should have, please confirm your preferred e-mail address at MyUMUC and contact Commencement Services at commencement@umuc.edu.

How long is Commencement?

The 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.

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, please e-mail Commencement Services at commencement@umuc.edu.

Are graduation and commencement the same thing?

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 summer, fall, and spring, respectively. 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 in order to graduate.

Once you're cleared to graduate, we'll invite you to attend Commencement in May. Commencement is the formal ceremony that enables us to celebrate you and your accomplishments.

Why does UMUC hold only one Commencement a year?

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.

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 or Social Security 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)

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 all graduates are allotted 10 guest tickets. Plan accordingly. (There is the potential to claim up to three additional tickets. Further information about requesting additional tickets will be published in April.)

Eligibility and Apply for Graduation

Am I eligible to walk at the 2014 Adelphi Commencement?

Graduates who completed their degree requirements in August and December 2013, as well as candidates for graduation who expect to complete their requirements in May 2014, will be invited to participate in the 2014 Adelphi Commencement.

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

After verifying your graduation status, if you're still unsure about your eligibility to walk at Commencement 2014, 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.

Once Graduation Services confirms your eligibility, 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 2014.

Next, 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.

Is there a fee to participate in Commencement?

No, but you should be aware that you'll need to buy or rent a cap and gown. This academic regalia is required.

RSVP or Registration

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

You'll receive an e-mail once our online RSVP system opens in March. That message will contain a link to RSVP for Commencement.

When can I RSVP or register for Commencement?

First you must apply for graduation at MyUMUC by the appropriate deadline.

Next, you will need to log on to the online commencement registration system to submit your RSVP. We opened our RSVP system on March 7. You should have received an e-mail with details; if you did not, contact Commencement Services at commencement@umuc.edu.

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

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 Services at graduationserv@umuc.edu or 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2299.

Once you verify your graduation eligibility, you'll enter your EMPLID number into the online Commencement RSVP form. Your seven-digit EMPLID number is the same as your student identification number. 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 301-985-7888.

Registration: Change or Cancel

Can I participate in Commencement 2015 if I'm unable to participate in Commencement 2014?

We may be able to accommodate a limited number of this year's graduates who cannot participate in Commencement 2014 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 2015 Adelphi Commencement, contact Commencement Services this December by e-mailing commencement@umuc.edu.

Please note that 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 2015 Commencement Program Book if you were originally slated to participate in the May 2014 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 Graduation Services of the overseas ceremony you'd like to attend at graduationserv@umuc.edu or call 800-888-UMUC (8682) ext. 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 (undergraduate students) or Graduate Programs (graduate students) in UMUC Asia or UMUC Europe. Student Services or Graduate Programs will coordinate with Graduation Services in Adelphi, Maryland.

Graduation Services will confirm your graduation status. Once your graduation status has been confirmed, Commencement Services will send you detailed information about 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 10 guest tickets.

Also, alumni who wish to help at Commencement as a volunteer should contact Alumni Relations at 800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 7140 or alumnirelations@umuc.edu.

Prepare for Commencement

What's a Commencement Fair?

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 Oak Hall, our regalia vendor. (Regalia will not be available for pick up at the fairs. Instead, it will be shipped to your home.)

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 at the following times and dates:

  • 11 a.m.-7 p.m. March 27-28

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 29

  • 11 a.m.-7 p.m. May 14-15

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.

Will my name appear in the Commencement Program?

The 2014 Commencement Program will include August and December 2013 graduates who have applied and been cleared for graduation. Spring 2014 graduation candidates who apply before the spring diploma application deadline will also be included in the 2014 Commencement Program.

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 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. 2222 or registrar@umuc.edu.

When will I receive details like which ceremony to attend and where to park?

When you RSVP online to indicate that you will attend Commencement 2014, 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 16 at the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

What should I wear to Commencement activities?

Business casual is appropriate for the New Graduate Reception.

All graduates are required to wear a cap and gown to the 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.

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?

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. Oak Hall, our regalia vendor, will be onsite to help you.

How much do a cap and gown cost?

Full pricing information for purchase or rental of regalia is available on the Oak Hall ordering page.

(If you have already RSVP'd for Commencement, your registration confirmation email also contains the above link to order your regalia.)

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

Caps and gowns are black for all degree candidates and ceremony times. Master's degree candidates have colored hoods associated with their academic discipline.

The tassel does not contain the year because we have students who graduated in 2013, along with candidates finishing in May 2014. If you'd like a tassel with your graduation year on it, you may purchase a souvenir tassel when you order your regalia from Oak Hall. Oak Hall will also have souvenir tassels available for purchase at Commencement.

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

Please order your regalia by May 1 to ensure direct delivery before Commencement.

Orders submitted after May 1 may not arrive on time. You'll need to contact Oak Hall to arrange pickup on Commencement Day. Details will be provided when commencement registration and online regalia ordering begin in late February.

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. Visit Get Social for more info.

When is the New Graduate Reception and where is it held?

The New Graduate Reception will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 16 at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Adelphi, Maryland.

Can I bring guests to the New Graduate Reception?

Graduates may bring one guest to the reception.

After Commencement

Do I receive my diploma at Commencement?

Diplomas are not distributed at Commencement. 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 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.

How can I join the UMUC Alumni Association?

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

Honors

Does the Graduate School award academic honors?

No, the Graduate School does not award academic honors.

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

Graduation Services 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, your cord will be mailed to you from the Graduation Services Department.

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. 2299 or graduationserv@umuc.edu.

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 honors be read at the ceremony?

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. Ensure you bring this card with you. If you don't, your honors will not be read.

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.

RSVP

Commencement Questions:

Commencement Services
commencement@umuc.edu
301-985-7888

Academic Matters or Questions About Graduating:

Graduation Services
graduationserv@umuc.edu
800-888-UMUC (8682), ext. 2299

Inquiries from News Media:

Global Media Center
robert.ludwig@umuc.edu
301-985-7253