Commencement Ceremony at the Xfinity Center

Arrive Early

We'll hold two ceremonies for associate, bachelor's, and master's degree graduates on Saturday, December 14:

  • 9 a.m.
  • 3:30 p.m.

Graduates should arrive at the Xfinity Center about 90 minutes before the ceremony begins and report for cap-and-gown preparation and lineups.

Doors also open to guests about 90 minutes before the ceremony begins. Guests should have their tickets ready for scanning when the doors open. We anticipate nearly 7,000 guests will attend each ceremony, so traffic around the Xfinity Center will be heavy, especially between the morning and afternoon ceremonies on Saturday.

The lower-level entrances (Gates C and D) will close to guests approximately 15 minutes before the start of each ceremony; this is so that we can move the graduates into the hallway for the academic procession. We will provide covered outdoor seating for guests with special needs during this brief closure; other guests should plan to use Gates A, B, or E or wait until the lower level reopens.


Graduates, faculty members, and speakers participating in the procession and ceremony will wear academic regalia (although active-duty servicemembers are encouraged to wear their service dress uniforms in lieu of regalia). Business casual attire and comfortable shoes should be worn under the gown.

Business casual attire is also recommended for guests, who will be seated in stadium-style seats and may need to climb stairs to reach them.


Commencement is an academic ceremony that is dignified and joyful. We will call graduates to the stage to be individually congratulated by UMGC President Javier Miyares. For many graduates and guests, the name announcement is the highlight of the ceremony. For others, enjoying the singers and speakers is important.

So we ask everyone to express excitement in positive ways that respect others’ enjoyment. Noisemakers are prohibited. Electronic devices should be silenced, and graduates must remain on the floor of the Xfinity Center until the ceremony ends.


Please do not bring balloons to commencement. We do not sell balloons at the event, and they are not allowed inside the Xfinity Center. Balloons can contain dangerous gases, and they may block the view of other guests during the ceremony.


All bags are subject to search.

Only the following types of bags will be allowed into the Xfinity Center:

  • Bags made of clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC that do not exceed 12 inches high x 6 inches deep x 12 inches wide
  • One-gallon clear plastic storage bags (e.g., Ziploc brand or similar bag)
  • Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5 inches high x 6.5 inches wide

No other bags may be brought into the Xfinity Center. The list of unauthorized items includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Diaper bags
  • Purses
  • Fanny packs
  • Backpacks
  • Camera bags
  • Computer bags
  • Binocular cases
  • Drawstring bags that are not clear
  • Briefcases
  • Luggage
  • Coolers

Please leave unauthorized bags in your vehicle; UMGC cannot store or safeguard items that are not permitted into the Xfinity Center.

Find out more about event security.