Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement 2019 ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 10 and Monday, May 13. Schedules and information for students and guests are now available, and all ceremonies will be streamed live. 

Graduation signifies that a candidate has satisfied all of the necessary criteria of his or her chosen program and that their respective academic department has certified his or her degree.

Commencement is the ceremony that recognizes the degree-seeking candidates.

Do we need tickets?

No. Tickets are not needed for commencement ceremonies as there is ample seating for family and guests.

What security arrangements are in place?

For security purposes, only items placed in clear plastic bags will be permitted into the graduation ceremonies. Additional bags will be available in parking lots and at check points during the ceremonies. No purses or wrapped packages. 

Prohibited items include:

  • Purses
  • Briefcases
  • Wrapped presents
  • Bags, including gift bags
  • Backpacks
  • Coolers
  • Umbrellas
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Laser pointers or similar items
  • Balloons/beach balls
  • Fireworks
  • Drones

All items not in a clear plastic bag are subject to inspection.

Where do I park?

Ring Road traffic will be one way during commencement ceremonies.  There will be ample parking available. We will be utilizing all the parking lots around ring road. Guests will have to walk from the parking area to the commencement ceremonies on Cressy Field and should allow extra time to get to the graduation location. There will be a drop off location for those guests who have mobility issues and guests with a state issued ADA placard should proceed to Lot 10 for parking. 

Will there be special parking and seating for individuals with disabilities or health concerns?

Vehicles with state issued ADA placards will be permitted to park in lot 10. Vehicles transporting persons with mobility issues will be directed to a drop-off area close to the venue and will then proceed to park as directed.

What happens in the event of rain?

The Undergraduate and Graduate ceremonies will be held outdoors, at Cressy field, rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, please refer to emergency notifications for details. Please note that umbrellas are not permitted into the venue.

The UMass Law ceremony will be held in the Campus Center Main Auditorium, rain or shine.

Where will guests of graduating seniors be seated?

Seating will be available both on the field and in the bleachers. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and guests will be prohibited from saving seating.

Whom may I contact with additional questions?

Please email with questions regarding Commencement.