FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We will hold two ceremonies for associate, bachelor's, and master's graduates:
- Saturday, December 14 (9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)
The ceremonies for associate, bachelor's, and master's graduates will be held at the Xfinity Center on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. The Xfinity Center is located at 8500 Paint Branch Drive, College Park, MD 20742, on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. View a Google map and get directions.
You may choose your preferred ceremony, space permitting. (We cap attendance at each ceremony to comply with the fire code.) We can accommodate 1,000 graduates at each Saturday ceremony.
The RSVP system will open in late October 2019. Eligible students will receive an e-mail containing the RSVP link. Please RSVP promptly to lock in your preferred ceremony, as reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please confirm your preferred e-mail address via MyUMGC.
Each Saturday ceremony is expected to last two hours. Keep in mind that this time is approximate and may vary. Please plan to remain until the conclusion of the ceremony to show respect for your fellow graduates and to avoid disrupting the ceremony.
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, e-mail Commencement Services at email@example.com.
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 does not automatically register you to attend commencement.
Commencement is the formal ceremony that celebrates you and your accomplishments. If you have applied to graduate by the appropriate deadline, we'll invite you by e-mail to attend commencement.
We proudly serve more than 80,000 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. Large-scale commencements at our Adelphi, Maryland, headquarters are currently the best format to include the largest group of stateside students, faculty, and staff.
UMGC 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and include
- Your name
- Your student identification 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)
You may also request your embassy letter via MyUMGC.
Please note that graduates are allotted seven tickets. Plan accordingly. (You may be able to claim up to four additional tickets if any are available. Details about claiming additional tickets are provided in the commencement registration process.)
You may view the December ceremonies (for associate, bachelor's, and master's degree graduates) via live webcast. To access the webcasts visit umgc.edu/commencement on December 14 starting at 9 a.m.
ELIGIBILITY AND APPLYING FOR GRADUATION
Graduates who completed their degree requirements in August and September 2019, and candidates for graduation who expect to complete their requirements in December 2019 will be invited to participate in 2019 Adelphi Winter Commencement.
If you're still unsure about your eligibility to walk at 2019 Winter Commencement after verifying your graduation status, e-mail Commencement Services at email@example.com.
Remember: At UMGC, graduation and commencement are different. (Commencement is the actual ceremony.)
But applying for your diploma and applying for graduation are the same thing; both terms refer to the same administrative process.
You must apply for your diploma via MyUMGC by the appropriate deadline. Check the Graduation To-Do List for a list of deadlines. Meeting the diploma application deadline automatically puts you on the list to be invited to 2019 Winter Commencement.
Apply through the Graduation page in MyUMGC. Submit the form and pay the $50 graduation fee.
The $50 application fee covers the administrative process of determining whether you have met all of your degree requirements. You must apply and pay this fee to have your degree conferred and receive a diploma. It is not related to commencement.
No, but you should be aware that you'll need to buy a cap and gown. This academic regalia is required unless you are an active-duty servicemember planning to wear your service dress uniform.
RSVP AND REGISTRATION
Associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree candidates will receive an e-mail invitation to RSVP online in late October.
The e-mail invitations will contain a link to our online commencement registration system. Follow the instructions in your RSVP e-mail.
Registration for associate, bachelor's, and master's degree candidates starts in late October.
If you are eligible to attend commencement, you will receive an e-mail with instructions.
To be eligible, you must have already applied for graduation via the Graduation page in MyUMGC by the appropriate deadline. If you are unsure whether you're eligible or what the deadlines are, contact the Graduation Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-888-8682, ext. 2-2299.
You must also ensure that your preferred e-mail address is updated in your Profile in MyUMGC to receive communications about commencement.
The most common problems are issues with graduation eligibility or incorrect EMPLID (student identification) numbers.
First, be sure you are eligible to graduate and have applied for graduation. If you are unsure whether you're eligible, contact Graduation Services at email@example.com or 800-888-8682, ext. 2-2299.
If eligibility is not the issue, make sure that you have entered your seven-digit EMPLID (student identification) number correctly. To find it, log into your profile within the student portal. Your UMGC ID card, which contains your student ID, is on the far-right side of your profile.
REGISTRATION: CHANGE OR CANCEL
Can I change my status to "not attending" if I already registered to attend commencement but cannot participate?
Once the RSVP system opens, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to change your initial registration.
Can I participate in Spring Commencement 2020 if I'm unable to participate in Winter Commencement 2019?
Yes. We will accommodate graduates who cannot participate in 2019 Winter Commencement if the ceremonies reach capacity. (Please note that each December ceremony can accommodate 1,000 students.)
If the winter ceremonies reach capacity, the RSVP process will explain how to participate in the May 2020 commencement. Questions? Contact Commencement Services by e-mailing email@example.com.
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. But please note that the overseas ceremonies are only held during the spring.
Inform the Graduation Services Team of the overseas ceremony you'd like to attend by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-888-8682 ext. 2-2299. They'll confirm your eligibility and help you coordinate with the appropriate overseas team.
May I attend the Adelphi commencement if I'm a graduate of UMGC Asia or UMGC Europe but cannot attend an overseas ceremony?
We will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis. There should be evidence of a hardship or other unique situation (e.g., military PCS move back stateside by December). This is because our stateside ceremonies can only accommodate 1,000 students each.
Please inform the UMGC Asia Commencement Team or the UMGC Europe Commencement Team that you have a hardship and would like to walk stateside. They will confirm your graduation status to ensure you are eligible to attend commencement.
Once your graduation status has been confirmed, Graduation Services will send your degree status and contact information to the Commencement Services Office. If there is space available, Commencement Services will then e-mail you detailed information about the Adelphi commencement, along with a link to RSVP online.
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 seven guest tickets.
Yes. Tickets are required for guests at the Xfinity Center, including infants. Graduates do not need a ticket to participate.
You may claim up to seven.
Graduates may donate their unwanted tickets into a pool. (Note that you cannot get your donated tickets back if you change your mind.)
The donated ticket pool will open at 9:30 a.m. (eastern time) on November 26. Log on to the e-ticketing portal just as you did to claim your initial allotment of tickets. If any tickets are available, you'll be able to claim up to four additional tickets online.
After the donated ticket pool opens, you may check it at any time, up until commencement day, to see if any additional tickets are available. Again, you may claim up to four additional tickets from this pool.
Donated tickets will be made available on a first come, first-served basis.
There is no guarantee that any additional tickets will be available.
To meet fire codes, each guest—including infants—must have a ticket to attend.
E-tickets will be scanned upon entry. You may bring a printed copy or let us scan the ticket from your mobile device.
Each ticket is unique and will only work once. Tickets cannot be duplicated or sold.
To meet fire codes, each guest—including infants—must have a ticket to attend.
PREPARE FOR COMMENCEMENT
A commencement fair is a convenient way for students who live in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to prepare for commencement. There, they can confirm their measurements and order caps and gowns from our regalia vendor.
Regalia will not be available for pickup at the November fair. Orders placed at the November fair will be shipped to students' homes.
Regalia ordered at the commencement-week fair in December will be available for immediate pickup.
Class rings and other commencement gear, such as diploma frames, announcements, and thank-you notes, can also be ordered. The UMGC Alumni Association will also be on hand to discuss joining the association and the benefits of your complimentary membership.
All fairs will be held at the Academic Center at Largo. Here are the times and dates:
- Saturday, November 2, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (Family Day!)
and in December
- Thursday, December 12, Noon–6 p.m.
- Friday, December 13, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
If you are a graduate and can't attend a fair, don't worry. Details on how to access the same merchandise and services online will be provided when you RSVP for commencement.
The official 2019 Winter Commencement program book will be published online during commencement week. This digital program will include the names of summer 2019 graduates and fall 2019 graduation candidates who apply before the diploma application deadline.
Graduates and their guests will be able to share and view the official program online as a digital flipbook; a downloadable PDF will also be provided.
Graduates and guests who attend a ceremony will receive a printed commemorative program containing the order of exercises, speaker biographies, history of the university, and other information to help guide everyone through the celebration. Graduates' names will not be printed in this program.
After commencement, the digital program will be permanently archived on this website for viewing at any time.
Please note: If you experience hardship and are approved to attend a future commencement instead of "your" scheduled ceremony, your name will not be republished. Graduates' names are published according to degree conferral date, so your name only appears in the online digital program for the year in which your degree was conferred. The digital programs are permanently archived on this website for viewing at any time.
Update your postal or e-mail address in your Profile in MyUMGC.
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 800-888-8682, ext. 2-2222, or email@example.com.
When you RSVP online to indicate that you will attend a ceremony, you will immediately receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for ordering your regalia, claiming guest tickets, and other information.
In November, we will e-mail a link so that you can record the correct pronunciation of your name (if desired) using our NameCoach service. We aim to say every name correctly; this recording will help our name readers do just that.
We will also mail a card for you to hand to the name reader as you cross the stage. This card will contain your contact information so that our photographer may follow up with you about ordering official commencement photos.
You will receive a "what to know before you go" e-mail during commencement week with any last-minute updates, along with a helpful guide to commencement that is packed with important information for you and your guests.
We may also send periodic e-mails that contain specific announcements or updates about commencement.
All graduates are required to wear a cap and gown to commencement. (Active-duty servicemembers may wear their service dress uniform in lieu of regalia.) 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 day.
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?
Limited quantities will be available for sale on commencement day in your robing/line-up area. Our regalia vendor will be on-site to help you.
The confirmation e-mail you receive after you RSVP for commencement will contain the link to order your regalia.
Pricing will be posted on the vendor’s website; however, for planning, you should budget
- Master's—About $67
- Bachelor's or associate—About $39
Prices above include home shipping.
Other items, such as the stole of gratitude, are extra. The vendor’s website will have pictures and pricing for everything when commencement registration opens in October. Your RSVP confirmation e-mail will include the ordering link.
Active-duty servicemembers are encouraged to wear their service dress uniforms at commencement!
Only the U.S. Army specifically prohibits wearing gowns over the uniform; however, UMGC asks graduates belonging to the other branches of the armed forces to follow this practice too. If you choose to wear your uniform, you are welcome to purchase a cap and gown as a souvenir, but please do not wear it over your uniform.
Doctoral candidates have a separate commencement, held each May. They wear customized red regalia with black velvet facing and sleeve bars piped in gold, and a gold tassel on the tam. They also wear the traditional hoods to denote their academic discipline and UMGC's school colors.
Associate degree candidates wear gray regalia with a black tassel. Bachelor's and master's degree candidates wear black gowns and caps with a black tassel, regardless of degree. But master's degree candidates also have hoods lined with UMGC's school colors and edged in velvet colors matching their academic discipline.
You may have seen some university commencements where the graduates' tassels contain charms denoting the year. The tassel worn at UMGC's commencement does not contain the year. We prefer a more traditional look where the tassels are uniform (i.e., no charms).
If you'd like a tassel with your graduation year on it, you may purchase a souvenir tassel (which comes in our official school colors) in your robing area at commencement or when you order your regalia online. Souvenir keychains are also available.
Remember: Ordering details will be provided when commencement registration and online regalia ordering begin in October.
Online regalia ordering closes on November 29. We cannot make exceptions to this deadline.
If you miss the November 29 deadline, you'll need to order (and pick up) at the December commencement fair, or talk with the regalia vendor at the fair to arrange pick up on commencement day.
If you order on time but do not receive your regalia before the start of commencement week, contact Oak Hall Customer Service at 800-456-7623, or visit the Oak Hall reps at the commencement fair to get regalia there. A limited amount of regalia will also be available for sale in the robing area where you line up before your ceremony starts.
CONNECT WITH OTHER GRADUATES
Use the hashtag #UMGCGrad to join the conversation on Twitter and see what's trending among your fellow graduates and alumni.
No. You will receive a congratulatory letter from UMGC President Javier Miyares inside a diploma folder when you cross the stage.
Diplomas are mailed six to eight weeks after each conferral date; for example, if your MBA was awarded in September, your diploma should have arrived by Thanksgiving. Please update your mailing address in your Profile in MyUMGC to ensure smooth delivery of your diploma.
For more information and to activate your free membership, visit the UMGC Alumni Association.
UMGC provides honor cords for bachelor's degree recipients who qualify for the following academic honors: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. If you are eligible, Commencement Services will mail your cord to you about one month before your ceremony.
You must have at least a 3.8 grade point average and have completed at least 30 credits of graded UMGC coursework to be eligible for one of the above academic honors. For honors to be conferred with a second bachelor's degree, you must have earned at least 30 new UMGC credits and the requisite GPA. Refer to your academic catalog for official policy governing your eligibility for academic honors.
Academic honors are based on cumulative GPA for coursework completed at UMGC.
- Cum laude = 3.800 to 3.900
- Magna cum laude = 3.901 to 3.999
- Summa cum laude = 4.000
White cords represent cum laude. Blue cords represent magna cum laude, and gold cords represent summa cum laude.
Yes. You will be mailed a preprinted card in late November with your name and honors designation. Be sure to bring this card with you so that your name and honors can be read as you cross the stage. If you don't, your honors may not be announced at the ceremony.
Undergraduate honors for the winter ceremony are initially determined in October; however, sometimes there is pending coursework that changes your GPA after your card is printed.
Do not make any changes to your card. Instead, bring the card to commencement and speak with our Graduation Services Team members in your robing area. They will verify your honors, provide a new honor cord, and change your card if appropriate.
Handwritten honors will not be read, so remember, do not change the card yourself.
We do not provide honor cords or other accessories for honor societies. Graduates who believe they should receive an honor cord from a specific honor society should contact the organization directly.
Contact your honor society at least one month prior to your ceremony to ensure timely delivery of any cords or other accessories you are entitled to wear.