Commencement Policies and Procedures

Commencement ceremonies for graduate students are held on the UMBC campus twice a year, in late December and late May (separate ceremonies for graduate students). August and December graduates are welcome to participate in either ceremony.

Please review the requirements and deadlines for degree completion early in the semester that you plan to graduate.

Once you have submitted the Application for Diploma forms to the Graduate School, you will receive information about commencement and how to order academic regalia.

While we celebrate the completion of all of our students' accomplishments, due to space consideration, we are able to accommodate only graduating degree-seeking students at commencement ceremonies. However, some departments provide a separate ceremony for certificate candidates.

The hooding of PhD and MFA graduates in the UMBC commencement ceremonies shall be performed by the student's mentor (or a substitute from the student's graduate program if the mentor is unavailable), assisted by the Provost or the Dean of the Graduate School. Only mentors and co-mentors who have official appointments in the University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore, may assist with the hooding. This hooding ceremony not only recognizes the achievements of the graduate, but it also provides an opportunity for the university to honor and thank the mentor for the success. Requests for other individuals (e.g., student's family or friend) to participate in the hooding ceremony will not be honored.

Students who have submitted the required graduation forms and have met the degree-completion requirements by the stated deadlines will be able to participate in commencement ceremonies in December or May.

Master's thesis students who have successfully completed the thesis defense but do not have the final thesis turned in by the deadline may participate in the commencement ceremony but will not graduate until the next term.

Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Fine Arts students are hooded and receive their diploma during the commencement ceremony. Because of the high level of accomplishment and respect these terminal degrees confer, the Graduate School only allows these students to participate in the commencement ceremony after all graduation requirements have been completed, including all revisions to the thesis or dissertation.

NOTE: all graduating doctoral students along with doctoral students who are withdrawing from their program are being asked to complete the Ph.D. exit survey. Participation in this is completely voluntary and the questionnaire covers topics that we hope will greatly assist us in our efforts to help doctoral students complete their degrees.