long does the ceremony last?
I need to wear a cap and gown?
there a graduation rehearsal?
should my guests park?
special seating available for a guest in a wheelchair
or with other special needs?
do I receive my diploma?
do I join the Alumni Association?
there information for faculty and staff participating
in the ceremony?
DAY OF THE CEREMONY
The Commencement ceremony lasts approximately
90 minutes. Out of courtesy and respect for your
fellow graduates, do not leave early. Graduates
are expected to remain for the entire program. Smoking
is not permitted inside the Retriever Activities
There is no Commencement rehearsal. Instructions
for line-up, procession and the awarding of degrees
should be followed carefully. It is recommended
that you leave all valuables at home, or with a
friend or family member. There
will be no secured room for personal belongings.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUDENTS
Students receiving master’s
and Ph.D. degrees should come to the lower level
(basement) of Sondheim Hall by 9:15 a.m. Report
to the graduate student assembly area to check in
and receive your name card. If you have been certified
for graduation, the name card is pre-printed with
your name (and your mentor’s name for Ph.D.
The procession will begin promptly at 9:50
a.m., at which time the candidates and Ph.D. mentors
will lead the platform party and faculty and staff
processions into the arena. The order of
procession is: Ph.D. candidates with mentors, then
master’s degree candidates. Ph.D. candidates
and their mentors will be grouped by graduate program.
The Ph.D. candidates will march in with their mentors
and be seated with them. Master’s degree candidates
will be lined up alphabetically within each degree
category and program discipline.
When it is time to receive the degrees, a commencement
staff volunteer will escort each row of candidates
and the mentors of the Ph.D. graduates to the ramp
that will be used to walk onto the stage. Be
sure to bring your name card with you because you
will hand it to the reader before you walk across
the stage. (Please do not bring flags, signs or
other visible distractions on the stage. These items
will be confiscated.)
Ph.D. candidates and their mentors will walk center
stage where Provost Hirshman will be standing. To
be hooded, the Ph.D. candidates will continue along
the lower platform and the mentors will stand opposite
of Provost Hirshman. After receiving their hoods
and degrees, the Ph.D. candidates and their mentors
should walk towards President Hrabowski and other
guests on the stage to receive a congratulatory
Master's degree candidates will hand their name card to the commencement
volunteer, walk to the center of the stage where
President Hrabowski, Provost Hirshman and Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Education Rutledge
will be standing with other guests to congratulate
them with a handshake. After receiving their acknowledgement,
all candidates should proceed down the center stairs
and return to their seats on the arena floor.
RegaliA FOR STUDENTS
Everyone who participates in the
Commencement ceremony MUST wear
the academic regalia of the appropriate color and
style that must be obtained from the Bookstore Graduation
Center. The dates for ordering regalia at the Bookstore
Graduation Center are Monday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday,
March 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regalia can also
be ordered online through Friday, March 13. (The Web site will not
operate after this date.) Beginning March 14,
candidates who order regalia will be assessed
a $20 late fee. All forms of payment usually accepted
in the Bookstore are allowed.
Regalia must be picked up at the Graduation Center
from Monday, May 4 through Wednesday, May 6. In addition, a professional photographer from Graduation Images will be available for formal portraits of candidates in their regalia. There is no purchase obligation. The
Center also carries graduation announcements, diploma
frames and other accessories. Please visit the
UMBC Bookstore Web site at http://bookstore.umbc.edu/.
You must return caps and gowns to the Bookstore
immediately following Commencement. If regalia is not returned immediately following the ceremony, the graduate will be charged the full cost of the regalia.
Tassels are worn on the left side of the mortarboard.
The cap should be worn so that the mortarboard is
level. It should not be tilted to the back or side
of the head. The crown should be approximately one
inch above the eyebrows. The front of the cap is
indicated on the inside of the crown. Men remove
their caps during the playing of the National Anthem.
Students earning master's degrees wear hoods marked
with bands of color indicating the degree earned.
Master's degree candidates wear their caps, gowns
and hoods in the procession.
Master of Arts (M.A.) = white velvet band
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) = brown velvet band
Master of Science (M.S.) = gold velvet band
Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) = dark blue velvet
The doctoral degree awarded by the Graduate School
is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, signified
by a dark blue velvet band on the hood. Ph.D. candidates
wear their caps and gowns in the procession and
carry their hoods on the left arm, with the velvet
band at the wrist.
As a graduate of UMBC, you are automatically
a member of the Alumni Association. There are no
dues or fees. We hope you will stay connected with
your alumni friends, classmates and University associates
through the many events, programs and services offered,
especially through C-YA, our Chapter of Young Alumni.
Stay informed of alumni activities and news by reading
our monthly e-mail newsletter or by visiting Retriever
Net, our alumni online community, at www.umbc.edu/alumni.
Once online you may update your mailing address
and check all the special alumni advantages you’re
eligible for – from great rates on consumer
services to short-term health care coverage. You
can also sign up for e-mail forwarding with a special
UMBC alumni e-mail address!
The deadline for graduate students to apply for May 2009 graduation has passed (it was February 9). The deadline for August 2009 graduation is June 9, 2009. Applications can be obtained from the Graduate School’s Web site at www.umbc.edu/gradschool/procedures/forms.html.
There is a $110 application fee for master’s candidates, $150 for Ph.D. graduates and an additional $5 renewal fee to update the application. For more information, contact Linda Thomas at 410-455-2440 or Kathy Miller at 410-455-3269.
In addition to ordering academic regalia
through the Bookstore, you may purchase standard
(non-personalized) graduation announcements and
order diploma frames, featuring a mat border with
the University seal. The Bookstore is open Monday
through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday
until 4 p.m. The Bookstore's telephone number is
A campus map and directions to UMBC
are available online.
Graduate students should contact the Graduate School if your mailing address after May 20 will be different from the one listed on your application for graduation. Master’s students should contact Linda Thomas at 410-455-2440 or email@example.com. Doctoral students should contact Kathy Miller at 410-455-3269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Order from the Herff Jones Company or Balfour.
Sales representatives from Herff Jones will
be available Monday, March 2 through Wednesday,
March 4 and Monday, May 4 through Wednesday,
Ph.D. candidates will receive their diplomas at the Commencement ceremony. Ph.D. candidates not participating in the ceremony may pick up their diplomas in the Graduate School beginning on May 20. Diplomas for master’s degree candidates will be available for pick-up in the Graduate School beginning July 1. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Ph.D. candidates wishing to have diplomas mailed should contact Kathy Miller at 410-455-3269 or email@example.com. Master’s students should contact Linda Thomas at 410-455-2440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
No tickets are required for spring Commencement ceremonies. Doors will open
at 9 a.m. For information on special accommodations
seating, see the Special
A list of nearby hotels is available
General parking for graduates and
their guests will be available in The Commons Garage
and along Hilltop Circle. Directional signs will
be posted at all major campus entrances, leading
you to the designated parking areas. Meters will
not be in effect. Parking is not permitted at fire
hydrants or in fire lanes.
Handicapped parking spaces will be available on
the upper level of The Administrative Drive Garage.
Cars must display handicapped license plates or
hang tags. Please allow sufficient time for travel
and parking. Participants and guests are strongly
encouraged to share rides to alleviate parking difficulties.
On Monday, May 4 through Wednesday,
May 6, a professional photographer from Graduation Images will be available to take formal portraits
of graduation candidates in their regalia. There
is no purchase obligation.
Your friends and guests are welcome to bring cameras
to the ceremony. Graduation Images will also photograph
each graduate during the ceremony. However, no guests will be allowed down on the Retriever Activities Center floor. You will receive
color proofs by mail approximately two weeks after
Commencement. If you wish to purchase prints, you
may do so, but there is no obligation. Please make
sure that the Graduate School has your correct mailing
address. Graduation Images’ contact information
is 800-424-3686 or www.gradimages.com.
If one of your guests requires special
arrangements, please complete the Graduate
School Special Accommodations Form and fax
or mail the form to Lisa Morgan in the Graduate
School (2nd Floor Administration Building; 1000
Hilltop Circle; Baltimore, Md. 21250) no later than
Wednesday, May 13. The fax number is 410-455-5932.
Special accommodations may include reserved seating
for mobility-impaired persons, as well as hearing-impaired
A drop-off point for physically challenged persons
has been designated on Administration Drive, near
the Administrative Drive Garage. Please contact
Lisa Morgan at 410-455-8142 if you require further
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact Lisa Morgan in the Graduate
School at 410-455-8142 or at email@example.com.
for FACULTY, STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION
All faculty and staff are invited
to participate in the Graduate School Commencement
ceremony. If you also plan to participate in the Undergraduate
Commencement ceremony, please see the Faculty/Staff/Administration section for details regarding that ceremony.
For seating purposes, we need an RSVP for ALL faculty
and staff who will march in either or both ceremonies
(undergraduate or Graduate School), even if you
have your own regalia. The deadline to RSVP for
one or both ceremonies is Friday, May 8. Please
use the Web
UMBC will subsidize the rental of academic regalia
for faculty and administrative and associate staff.
To reserve regalia, please use the Web Commencement form.
If you have ordered regalia at UMBC before, your
information will automatically appear on the screen
when you enter your user name. If you have not ordered
before, you must enter the following information:
your cap size, height with shoes, weight, degree
earned, and the name of the school where the degree
Prior to April 6, there is no cost to faculty and staff to rent regalia. Between April 6 and May 8, a $20 late fee will be charged. No regalia may be ordered after May 8. (Even if
there is only a slight chance that you will attend
Commencement, you should order regalia. It is
easier for the Bookstore to return unused gowns
and hoods than it is to place a late order and
risk not receiving delivery on time.)
Faculty and staff may pick up rented regalia at
the Bookstore Monday, May 11 through Friday, May
15. If you have any questions, please call the
Gail Dupree at 410-455-3904.
Faculty and staff should line up in the Retriever
Activities Center gym (Court I on the lower level of the facility).
Please make sure to arrive no later than 9:15 a.m.
Personal belongings can be left at the line-up area,
which will be monitored by campus security. If you
are a mentor to a graduating Ph.D. candidate, please
read the information below.
FOR PH.D. MENTORS
Any faculty members who are mentors to graduating
Ph.D. candidates should report to the lower level
(basement) of the Sondheim Hall no later than 9:15
a.m. Do not report to the regular line-up area for
faculty and staff. Mentors will accompany their
students in the procession and will hood them on
stage as part of the ceremony.
Members of the platform party should line up in the
Retriever Activities Center gym (Court 2 on the lower level of the facility). Please make sure to
arrive no later than 9:15 a.m. Personal belongings
may be left at the line-up area, which will be monitored
by campus security.