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Welcome Graduates!

Dear UMBC Community,

As our December 2020 graduates finish their final semester and prepare for graduation, we want to share how proud we are of their accomplishments. To our students: We have missed seeing you in person these past six months, and we admire your resilience and perseverance. You are the embodiment of the hope we feel for the future. 

As we prepare for UMBC’s December commencement, we regret that the current health situation means we will be unable to celebrate in person at this time. However, we are still excited to honor our graduates, and will host our commencement ceremonies online on December 16 and 17 for graduate and undergraduate students, respectively. Both ceremonies will air at 10 a.m. EST, and students and their families will have the opportunity to participate via social media. Recordings of the ceremonies will also be available.

To mark this occasion, each graduate will receive a special package containing a tassel and other commemorative items. The packages will also include honors and 4.0 GPA cords for undergraduates meeting the corresponding requirements.

We know that this will be difficult news for many of our graduates and their families, and we share your disappointment. We intend to invite graduates back to campus to celebrate in person when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, please know that our colleagues are planning a meaningful event that will allow all of us to celebrate your achievements. We also appreciate and plan to incorporate the feedback we received from our May 2020 graduates. 

In these difficult times, we are inspired hearing about our students’ tenacity and inventiveness in the face of great challenges, and learning about the ways our faculty and staff are working to support our students. Our graduating students — UMBC’s future alumni — help us keep hope alive.

Please visit the Commencement website for updates as they become available, and share your questions and ideas about Commencement with

President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous


Large burst of white and gold confetti in the UMBC Event Center during commencement.

Winter 2020 Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the link be for the online celebration?

On the morning of the ceremony, the link to view it will be on the top of this page. Please share with your family and friends.

How is UMBC celebrating commencement?

UMBC will be hosting online commencement ceremonies at the originally scheduled dates and times: Wednesday, December 16 at 10 a.m.for the Graduate School, and Thursday, December 17 at 10 a.m. for Undergraduates.

Will there be an in-person Ceremony in the future?

In addition to these celebrations, we continue to work on a plan to invite 2020 graduates to participate in future commencement ceremonies, when it is safe to do so.

What is happening in December to celebrate the Class of 2020?

UMBC will host two online celebrations to recognize our December 2020 graduates. The Graduate School is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16 at 10 a.m. and the Undergraduate celebration will be on Thursday, December 17 at 10 a.m. Although not the typical commencement ceremony with a processional, crossing the stage and confetti, these online events are meant to recognize this special moment. They will include speaker remarks, campus photos, and individual slides recognizing each graduate. The slides will be made available for download, and the celebration will be shared through social media and can be downloaded to share.

How do I register for the events?

Graduates who have been cleared to graduate by either the Graduate School or the Registrar’s office will receive an email with information on how to register for the online ceremony with instructions on how to upload a photo.

If I participate in the online ceremony, will I be able to participate in the in-person ceremony in the future?

Yes, participation in the online celebration will not impact your ability to participate in a future in-person ceremony.

Do I have to participate in the online celebration?

No. If you do not want to have your name included in the online ceremony, do not click the submit button in the Marching Order database. If you want to participate in the online ceremony, you MUST click the submit button in the Marching Order database. Regardless of your choice, you will be able to participate in the future in-person ceremony.

What about my Cap and Gown?

Cap and Gown purchases are handled by a third party company, Herff Jones.

Regalia is NOT required for the online ceremony, however, if students wish to order regalia for photos they can do so. Undergraduates may purchase caps and gowns from the UMBC Bookstore.

Caps and gowns will be shipped to the address you provide when ordering. The regalia may be used in a future in-person ceremony. Ph.D. and Master’s degrees candidates may choose to rent their regalia through the UMBC Bookstore. If rented, the regalia will be mailed with a return shipping label. You are responsible for the return of the regalia, and you will need to rent regalia again if you choose to participate in a future in-person ceremony.

When will I receive my diploma?

Even without in-person Commencement ceremonies this December, students will earn their degrees and be able to graduate this semester, consistent with academic standards. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates in early 2021.

Will I receive my Latin honors stole or my 4.0 cord?

For those who achieve a 4.0 or meet Latin Honors designation by the end of the Spring 2020 semester, UMBC provides red cords and gold stoles. All graduates who have earned these honors will be mailed the appropriate cord and/or stole.

How do I know if I'm cleared to graduate?

I heard that packages will be mailed to graduates. When will they arrive?

We expect to mail out the graduate boxes the week of December 7.