Frequently Asked Commencement Questions

  • When is Commencement?
    The Fall Commencement Exercises will take place on Friday, December 15, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. You should plan to arrive early (7:30 a.m.) to robe at 8:00 a.m., doors will close and no one will be admitted into the building at 9:45a.m.

    Will there be a rehearsal?
    All candidates who are graduating are expected to attend Commencement rehearsal Thursday afternoon December 14th at 3:00 p.m. in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. You do NOT have to bring your cap/gown to the rehearsal.

    Who is the Commencement Speaker?
    The speaker will be announced.  

    Do I need tickets?
    Tickets are required for the Fall Commencement Exercises, and are needed by every person entering the building, including children. For tickets information, contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (410) 651-6687.

    What about ordering commencement announcements?
    All information regarding Commencement purchases can be ordered on the following website  

    What do I need to wear for graduation?
    Candidates may purchase a graduation package (cap, gown, hood & tassel) regalia at the following website:

    How do I know what color hood I should get?
    The Bachelor of Arts (BA) hood has a white collar and the Bachelor of Sciences (BS) hood has a gold collar. Contact your individual school for specific information about your hood and academic honors, also personnel in the University Bookstore will assist you, when making your purchase. 

    How do I know if I am graduating with honors?
    Your individual school should contact you about whether you will be graduating with academic honors. Please direct questions to the Dean of your school.

    What if I want to leave before the ceremony is over?
    Graduates should plan to remain in the arena for the entire ceremony, which will last approximately 2 hours.

    Can I purchase a Senior Portrait?
    YES! During the exercises a professional photography company will take individual photos of each graduate prior to and during the exercises as they receive their diploma from the President. Each graduate will be contacted by the photographer, however you are not obligated to purchase photograph packages. Contact the Office of Campus Life, about yearbook photos (410) 651-6434.

    What if my guests arrive late, can they get in?
    The side door will open at 9:45 a.m. for approximately 15 minutes to allow guests to enter the William P. Hytche Center. The doors will close at 10:00 a.m. and all guests will be directed to the Student Services Center, where they will be able to watch the ceremony via closed circuit.

    Where can graduates put their coat, purse, etc. during the ceremony?
    Please leave valuables, such as coats and purses, and electronic equipment with family members during the ceremony. Please DO NOT leave items unattended in the Hytche Center. UMES and/or its employees will not assume responsibility for lost, damaged, or stolen property.


    Where do I get my academic regalia?
    All graduating students – undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidates should attend the Grad Fair. Order your cap & gown at


    What if I or my family wants to stay overnight?
    Persons who would like to stay in the area overnight, should visit our website for information on local accommodations.

    Where will my degree be mailed?
    Check with the Office of the Registrar and make sure you have on file the address where you would like your degree mailed. Degrees will be mailed approximately four to six weeks following the commencement exercise.

    Security and Safety Advisory
    All bags may be subject to search at all entrances to the commencement exercises, including the overflow site. Large items, such as banners or post­ers, or amplification equipment, bullhorns or mega­phones, will not be allowed; alcohol is not permitted!


    Is there Parking?
    General parking is available throughout campus and it is free. Shuttle transportation will be provided to and from parking lots: S-College Backbone Road; B-Student Development Center; C-West of the Tennis Courts; and D-Wicomico Hall. Commencement visitors may park in any of the University parking lots and spaces, except for those designated as disabled or loading zones. Parking along College Backbone Road is not permitted.