Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

Will 2021 Stateside Spring Commencement be held in person or online?

UMGC will celebrate its winter and spring 2021 degree recipients and candidates with a virtual commencement that premieres on Saturday, May 15, 2021, with a special live program beginning at noon eastern time and running for approximately 25 minutes.

Other elements of virtual commencement may be viewed at your convenience, and the short program will be available for on-demand viewing if you miss the live broadcast.

How do my loved ones and I access the virtual spring commencement?

Commencement Services will email you the link to access the ceremony a few days in advance. Virtual Stateside Spring Commencement opens May 15, 2021. Start checking your email about 48 hours before the live program.

The access link will also be posted on our Adelphi Commencement homepage.

Do I have to buy regalia to participate in virtual commencement?

No. You don't have to buy anything, and there is no fee to participate.

That said, you are welcome to purchase regalia (or rent it, if you're a doctoral candidate) for picture taking or as a keepsake from the occasion.

And a class ring or diploma frame is always a nice gift from loved ones or to yourself.

Visit cbgrad.com to purchase these and other official UMGC items.

Will there be a "makeup" in-person stateside spring commencement?

While we have had to postpone our in-person stateside spring commencement because of the ongoing pandemic, we do plan to hold an in-person event sometime in the future (when federal, state, and local health guidelines allow) that will give you the opportunity to cross the stage and hear your name called. In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating with you virtually.

If I participate in the virtual commencement, will I be able to attend the in-person "makeup" commencement in the future?

Yes!

Participating in the virtual celebration does not prevent you from walking at the future in-person "makeup" commencement.

Who will be recognized at 2021 Virtual Stateside Spring Commencement?

More than 5,000 students will be recognized during virtual spring commencement. This group comprises doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and associate degree recipients and candidates from the winter and spring 2021 terms.

Each student will have a multimedia slide featuring his or her name, degree, academic honors (for bachelor's degree recipients only), and a personalized photo and message if desired. Clicking on the slide lets you and your loved ones hear your name read by a professional name reader.

Do I have to register for Virtual Stateside Spring Commencement?

No, but you will be asked to record your name to help our name readers with the correct pronunciation.

We will also offer you the opportunity to personalize your name slide by adding a photo and/or a short message to your loved ones.

Watch for an email from Commencement Services with instructions and the link to submit your info.

What about doctoral candidates?

Doctoral degree recipients from the winter and spring 2021 term will be included in Virtual Stateside Spring Commencement.

While we have had to postpone our in-person stateside spring commencement because of the ongoing pandemic, we do plan to hold an in-person event sometime in the future (when federal, state, and local health guidelines allow) that will give you the opportunity to cross the stage and hear your name called. In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating with you virtually.

Participating in this virtual celebration does not affect your future in-person commencement.

Will there be any commencement mailings?

Yes. We will mail you a Grad Pack in April that contains goodies to help get you in the commencement spirit!

Your pack will include a black mortarboard cap and souvenir Class of 2021 tassel. We encourage you to decorate that cap and submit your best design to our cap decorating challenge (and on social media using #UMGCGrad). Watch for more information about the cap decorating challenge by email.

You may also visit umgc.edu/capchallenge.

How long is virtual commencement?

Virtual commencement is a web page that goes live on May 15, 2021. You and your loved ones may visit that page at any time from May 15 through November 1, 2021.

On May 15 only, a special live program will start at noon eastern time and last approximately 25 minutes.

Are graduation and commencement the same thing?

At UMGC, graduation and commencement are different.

Graduation is the act of completing all of your requirements and earning your diploma. For students in most programs, diplomas are awarded three times a year (August, December, and May) at the end of the summer, fall, and spring terms. Certain graduate students have a four-term schedule, with degrees awarded at the end of the summer, fall, winter, and spring terms.

Remember, you have to apply and pay a fee to graduate (i.e., receive your diploma). Applying to graduate by the appropriate deadline is what makes you eligible to participate in commencement.

Commencement is the formal ceremony that celebrates you and your accomplishments.

Contact Graduation Services if you have questions about graduation (that is, applying for your diploma) by emailing graduationserv@umgc.edu.