FAQ/About

What is happening in May to celebrate the Class of 2021?

UMBC will host two online celebrations to recognize our May 2021 graduates. The Graduate School is scheduled for Thursday, May 20 at 10 a.m. and the Undergraduate celebration will be on Friday, 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 and can be downloaded to share.

How is UMBC celebrating commencement?

UMBC will be hosting online commencement ceremonies at the originally scheduled dates and times: Thursday, May 20 at 10 a.m.for the Graduate School, and Friday, May 21 at 10 a.m. for Undergraduates.

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.

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

In addition to these celebrations, we continue to work on a plan to invite 2021 graduates to participate in future commencement ceremonies, when it is safe to do so.

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, please log into your Marching Order account and click “No” to the question “Do you plan to participate in the virtual ceremony?” this will remove your slide from the online graduate slides. 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 may do so.

Undergraduates may purchase caps and gowns through the 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 regalia through the 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 May, students will earn their degrees and be able to graduate this semester, consistent with academic standards.

All undergraduate students who have graduated, per the final review process conducted by the Registrar’s Office, will receive their undergraduate diploma in the mail. Undergraduate diplomas are not distributed at the commencement ceremony. Students can expect to receive their diploma at their mailing address four to six weeks after their degree has been conferred. For additional information regarding your undergraduate diploma, please visit the Registrar’s Office website.

All graduate students who have completed degree requirements and been approved for graduation by the Graduate School will receive their graduate diploma in the mail. Students can expect to receive their diploma at the mailing address given on their supplemental application for graduation. The conferral date for graduate diplomas will be May 20, 2021. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates in early summer 2021.

Will I receive my Commencement Honors stole or my 4.0 cord?

Honors are based upon coursework taken over the duration of a student’s entire undergraduate academic career at UMBC. To be eligible for Commencement Honors, students must have earned at least 60 graded credits at UMBC (excluding Pass/Fail and Audit grades) with a GPA as follows:

  • Summa cum laude (“With highest honor”): Students graduating with a GPA between 3.95 and 4.0.
  • Magna cum laude (“With high honor”): Students graduating with a GPA between 3.75 and 3.9499.
  • Cum laude (“With honor”): Students graduating with a GPA between 3.5 and 3.7499.

All graduates who are eligible to receive University Honors will be mailed the appropriate stole and cord.

While students may be provisionally recognized with Honors at the time of the commencement ceremony and in the commencement program (refer to Eligibility for Undergraduate Commencement Participation), the official determination of Honors occurs after the commencement ceremony, once final semester grades have been submitted and calculated. The diploma of the University and the final official transcript are the only documents that officially award Honors at the time the degree is conferred by the University.

For additional information regarding Commencement and University Honors, please visit the Registrar’s Office website.