Skip to main content

Welcome Graduates!

Undergraduate Celebration   Graduate School Celebration

Dear Members of the UMBC Class of 2020,

The entire UMBC community wants to congratulate you and thank you. You persevered during a time that many will remember as one of the most difficult for our University, our communities, and the world. We admire your grit, your commitment to your studies, your care and support of your fellow class members, and your dedication to making the world a better place.

Please take time today to celebrate. Reflect on your dreams and your goals. Share your accomplishments with family and friends. We welcome you to Retriever Nation, our alumni community, and we hope you will stay connected with each other and us.


Download 2020 UMBC Commencement Program (.pdf):


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

Spring 2020 Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be an in-person or online ceremony?

UMBC will host two online celebrations to recognize our May 2020 graduates:

  • The Graduate School celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 at 10 a.m.
  • The Undergraduate celebration is scheduled for Thursday, May 21 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.

How did UMBC decide to celebrate commencement in Spring 2020?

We heard from many students, parents, faculty, and staff about their visions for how to recognize our graduates. In addition, we reached out to graduating students with a survey on the best ways to celebrate the many achievements of the Class of 2020. More than 600 students responded with a range of ideas.

Overwhelmingly, your response was to celebrate online in May and to consider an in-person ceremony at some point in the future.

If I participate in the online celebration, 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 celebration, do not click the submit button in the Marching Order system. If you want to participate in the online ceremony, you MUST click the submit button in the Marching Order system. Regardless of your choice of whether or not to participate in the online celebration, you will be able to participate in the future in-person ceremony.

How do I register for the events?

On April 21, the Registrar’s Office and the Graduate School compiled a list of students who had been cleared to graduate in May. An email with information on how to register for the online celebration by uploading a photo was sent to these students on April 23. If you did not receive an email, undergraduates should contact the Registrar’s Office. In the Graduate School, master’s candidates can contact Patricia Winborn, and Ph.D. candidates can contact Nicole Mooney.

What about my cap and gown?

Undergraduates may purchase caps and gowns from the bookstore. Caps and gowns will be shipped to your home address. Some undergraduates had previously placed an order. For those who have done so, you may request a refund if you choose or ask that it be shipped to your home address. Contact the bookstore in either instance. Generally, students choose to rent their regalia for Ph.D. and master’s degrees. If you have already done so, a refund will be processed back to our original source of payment.

When will I receive my diploma?

Even without in-person Commencement ceremonies this May, students will earn their degrees and be able to graduate this semester, consistent with academic standards. We still fully expect to mail bachelor’s and master’s diplomas out in mid-July. We expect to mail Ph.D. and M.F.A diplomas by mid-June.

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 December 2019 semester, UMBC provides red cords and gold stoles. We are reviewing options to continue this tradition for May 2020 undergraduates.


Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

“I love to help people succeed, so for me, if others have put time into my career and my future, I feel that it’s only right to reciprocate that love to other students,” says Cherie Tebah ’20.
Continue Reading Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

Creating new pathways: Meet ten UMBC arts graduates advancing their fields

Majoring in the arts requires intense levels of stamina and self-discipline — long hours rehearsing, creating, writing, designing, interpreting — coupled with an inner drive for inquiry and perfection.
Continue Reading Creating new pathways: Meet ten UMBC arts graduates advancing their fields

This spring, UMBC’s Returning Women Student Scholars achieve dreams long deferred

This month Karla Gonzalez ‘20, social work, will become the first in her family to graduate from college, at age 34.
Continue Reading This spring, UMBC’s Returning Women Student Scholars achieve dreams long deferred