These questions will be updated as more information becomes available. If you still have questions, please see our contact page.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What time should students arrive on Commencement Day and where should they go?
Graduate students should arrive no later than 1:00 p.m. on May 11, and undergraduate students should arrive no later than 9:00 am on May 12. Both groups should report to the main quadrangle dressed in Commencement regalia and line up in the areas designated by College.
Update: The undergraduate ceremony is delayed by one hour. Students should still arrive as soon as possible, no later than 10:00 am.
What time should family and friends arrive and how long does the Commencement ceremony last?
Family and friends should plan to arrive no later than 1:45 p.m. on May 11 for the graduate ceremony and no later than 9:30 a.m. on May 12 for the undergraduate ceremony as the Commencement will begin on time. Please plan extra time for local traffic and parking. The ceremony will conclude by 4:00 p.m. on the 11 and 12:30 on the 12.
Update: The undergraduate ceremony is delayed by one hour. Please plan to be on campus no later than 10:30. We hope to conclude no later than 1:30 this afternoon.
What happens in the event of rain?
The entire Commencement ceremony for both Saturday May 11th and Sunday May 12 will be held under the Commencement tent in the event of rain.
What time do residential students need to check out of their residence halls?
All students must be properly checked out of their residence hall no later than 7:00 p.m. on May 12. Housing will be offered to all seniors currently living in a residence hall, seniors who purchase a Senior Week ticket, and non-seniors who sign up to work as Commencement staff.
Can I participate in the graduation ceremony if I am short a few credits?
Undergraduate degree candidates who have 9 or fewer credits to complete may participate in the commencement. If a student needs more than 9 credits, s/he must have permission from the dean of their College and plan to complete the coursework during the summer and fall.
What is the difference between “Commencement” and “Graduation”?
“Graduation” signifies that a candidate has satisfied all of the necessary criteria of their chosen program and that their respective academic department has certified their degree. “Commencement” is the ceremony that recognizes the degree seeking candidates.
How will I know if I have met all of the necessary requirements to graduate?
Students should meet with their respective Department Chairperson to ensure that they have met their degree requirements.
What do I need to do to declare my intention to graduate?
You can apply for graduation by visiting the following url: https://secure.umassd.edu/weblogin/?s=secure.umassd.edu&p=/graduation. If you have any questions pertaining to the application or survey, or need special accommodations please contact the Registrar's Office at 508-999-8615 or Registrar@umassd.edu.
How and when will students learn if they are eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony?
After the Registrar's Office approves the online application, an email will be sent to the students notifying them that they can participate in the Commencement ceremony.
Is there a limit to the number of friends and family a student can invite to Commencement?
No, there is no limit— the more the merrier, so long as they all give you presents!
Where and when can students get their caps and gowns?
Caps & Gowns will be distributed to degree candidates in the Campus Store. They will be made available the third week of April:
- Thursday April 18 from 8:30am-6:00pm
- Friday April 19 from 8:30am-5:00pm
- Saturday April 20 from 11:00am-2:00pm
If you miss these, the makeup date is May 2nd from 8:30am-5:00pm. Please make every effort to retrieve your regalia on these days to help the commencement ceremony as smooth as possible.
If you miss these dates, the campus store will be open on both Commencement days for you to retrieve your cap and gown.
- Graduate Ceremony: 12:30pm-3:30pm
- Undergraduate Ceremony: Sunday 8:30am-11:30am.
There is no addition fee for caps and gowns.
Will there be special parking and seating for individuals with disabilities or health concerns?
Parking lot 10 will be available those with handicaps or disabilities.
If you or a guest you are bringing has a disability, please contact Charlene Clark-Salley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508.999.8121. You will be provided with all the pertinent information.
Who will be the Commencement speaker?
Who will receive honorary degrees?
Can family and friends see the Commencement if they are unable to travel to campus?
Yes. See the Webcast page for more information.
Is there a listing of local hotels and restaurants?
Yes— at the SouthCoast Tourism page.
Is there a Commencement Telephone Hotline people can call to get Commencement information?
Yes, the Commencement Hot Line number is 508-910-6971. This will answer a large number of the questions listed here for anyone who does not have internet access.
What are the ticketing and security arrangements in place for the ceremonies?
No tickets are needed for the Graduate Ceremonies on May 11th.
For the Undergraduate Ceremonies, there will be a limit of two tickets per student. Only ticketed people will be allowed in the Ampitheater. Other family members and guests may view the ceremonies in the large tent behind the Ampitheater, or in other open venues across campus.
We want to ensure you that your safety and security is of utmost importance as we plan Commencement Weekend. We are implementing three significant changes to increase security in line with best practices across the nation, detailed on our Security and Ticketing page.