Frequently Asked Commencement Questions

  • When is Commencement?
    The Commencement Exercises will take place on Friday, December 13, 2019 in the Performing Arts Center. You should plan to arrive early (7:30 a.m.) to robe at 8:00 a.m.  Participants are to arrive for robing in the Ballroom of the Student Services Center (SSC). The doors of the facility will close at 9:45 a.m. and no one will be admitted into the building after 9:45 a.m.

    Will there be a rehearsal?
    All candidates who are graduating are expected to attend Commencement rehearsal Thursday afternoon December 12th at 3:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. You do NOT have to bring your cap/gown to the rehearsal.

    Do I need tickets?

    See the Commencement tickets page for information regarding tickets.

    What about ordering academic regalia and commencement announcements?
    The Graduate Fair is the place to get all your commencement needs. All graduating students undergraduate, masters and doctoral candidates should attend the fair. Contact the Bookstore for dates and times at (410) 651-6437.   

    What do I need to wear for graduation?
    Candidates may purchase a graduation package (cap, gown, hood & tassel) regalia at the University Book Store. Please call (410) 651-6437 for more information.

    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. 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 your 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 two hours. If at any time you elect to exit the building during the ceremony, graduating students will not be allowed back in the arena.  This is with the exception of restroom use or emergencies.

    Can I purchase a Senior Portrait?
    YES! During the commencement ceremony, GRAD IMAGES will be taking individual photos of each graduate prior to and during the ceremony 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 at (410) 651-6434.

    What if my guests arrive late, can they get in?
    The doors to the William P. Hytche Athletic Center will close at 9:45 a.m. Once this happens, guests will be directed to the Student Services Center Theater 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 (e.g., coats, 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.


    What if I or my family wants to stay overnight?
    Check the listing on our website for listing of 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 ceremony.

    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!


    Parking Information
    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.