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Frequently Asked Questions

If there are multiple ceremonies in June, which do I attend?

The Class of 2021 needs to fill out our UMass Dartmouth Commencement Class of 2021 survey to indicate if you will be able to attend the in-person event in June as soon as possible. Once we receive the survey results, we will be able to plan the individual events and provide you with the date and time of your assigned ceremony.

The Class of 2020 needs to fill out our UMass Dartmouth Commencement Class of 2020 survey to indicate if you will be able to attend the in-person event in June as soon as possible. Once we receive the survey results, we will be able to plan the individual events and provide you with the date and time of your assigned ceremony.

There will be a combined Commencement ceremony for the UMass Law Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. Law students still need to complete the corresponding survey - Commencement Class of 2021 or Commencement Class of 2020.

Will I be able to walk across the stage? Will I have to wear a mask?

Yes, there will be a stage for you to cross! Masks must be always worn, except for when you are crossing the stage for photography.

What health and safety protocols are in place?

The University is following the new commencement guidelines issued by the state to plan the extensive public health protocols for these events, including:

  • The state requires that “the ceremony must be kept as brief as possible,” so our event will be shorter than a traditional commencement. Nevertheless, each graduating senior will have the opportunity to be recognized and walk across the stage.
  • To ensure adequate social distancing, we’re setting a maximum of two guests per graduate. The state’s limit of six guests per graduate was designed to accommodate schools with very large arenas and other high-capacity venues.
  • All graduates and guests will be required to register and obtain tickets in advance. By law, people can only be admitted into the site with a ticket.
  • All graduates and guests will be required to wear face coverings during the event, except for the graduate when they are crossing the stage.
  • The state guidelines prohibit communal gatherings and receptions on campus before and after the ceremony itself.
  • For contact tracing reasons, you and your guests will be required by Massachusetts law to inform the university if you test positive for COVID in the days after the event.

Why only two guests?

While we wish all your family and friends could be with us on campus, each graduate will be able to have two guests for the in-person ceremony. Though the Massachusetts guideline states “guests are limited to no more than 6 guests per graduate,” the University does not have a space large enough to accommodate 6 guests per graduate with necessary social distancing protocols. If we can accommodate more guests due to changing regulations, we will notify students. All graduates and their two guests will be required to register and obtain tickets in advance. By law, people can only be admitted into the site with a ticket.

Can I please bring more than two guests?

No. Two guests only.

Do children and infants count as guests?

Yes. According to health and safety protocols, all individuals of any age count towards your 2 guest limit.

Will the ceremony be livestreamed?

Yes. We will livestream the ceremony so family and friends can watch.

What is the seating arrangement going to be like?

All graduating students will be sitting together, social distanced. To ensure adequate social distancing, we’re setting a maximum of two guests per graduate who will have chairs next to each other that 6 feet apart from other pairs of seating.

Do I have to register my guests?

Yes. All graduates and guests will be required to register and obtain tickets in advance. By law, people can only be admitted into the site with a ticket. More information on registration will be released soon.

Is there a reception after my ceremony?

No. State guidelines prohibit communal gatherings and receptions on campus before and after the ceremony itself.

Is there re-entry?

No. Once a guest enters the Ceremony grounds, they cannot leave and come back.

What if I don’t feel comfortable with an in-person ceremony?

UMass Dartmouth respects your decision. The event will be livestreamed, and your name will still be read at your corresponding ceremony. More information on this process will be released soon.

Is the virtual commencement cancelled?

Yes.

So does this mean I have not officially graduated until June?

No. Though Commencement will be held later than normal, the degree conferral date for posted undergraduate and graduate degrees will remain May 15, 2021, and for law degrees May 17, 2021.

When will I receive my diploma?

The Registrar’s Office forwards applicant names to the appropriate academic department for careful review and certification that all requirements have been met after final grades are posted.

  • Undergraduate students: Once all final grades have been posted, the department will review your degree requirements and send your degree certification to the Registrar’s Office for posting of your degree on your transcript. If the review determines you have not met your requirements, you will be notified by your academic department. Please note, per University policy degrees cannot be posted to transcript prior to conferral date.
  • Graduate students: Once all final grades have been posted, the department will review your degree requirements and send your degree certification to the Registrar’s Office. The paperwork will be sent to the Graduate Studies Office for review. When all relevant authorizations have been issued, the Registrar’s Office will post the degree on your transcript. If the review determines you have not met your requirements, you will be notified by your department. Please note, per University policy degrees cannot be posted to transcript prior to conferral date.
  • Law School students: Once all final grades have been posted, the law school will send the degree certification to the University Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will post the degree on the transcript. Please note, per University policy degrees cannot be posted to transcript prior to conferral date.

Diplomas are ordered after your degree is awarded and posted on your transcript. Your diploma will be mailed to your COIN permanent address. Please allow 8-10 weeks after semester final grades for processing and delivery. Important note: You should check your graduation status and transcript through COIN to verify your degree has been awarded. Also, all financial holds must be resolved before a diploma and/or official transcript can be released by the University.

Do I have to bring my cap and gown to campus?

Yes, regalia is required to participate. If you did not order regalia, contact Terry Silvia in the Campus Bookstore at terry.silvia@umassd.edu or 508.999.8190.

What if I didn’t order my regalia?

If you did not order regalia, contact Terry Silvia in the Campus Bookstore at terry.silvia@umassd.edu or 508.999.8190.

When will the graduation regalia be shipped?

If you ordered your regalia by March 15, 2021, you will receive it in time for your in-person ceremony. You will need to bring it to participate. If you have not ordered, contact Terry Silvia in the Campus Bookstore at terry.silvia@umassd.edu or 508.999.8190.

Will cords be included with the cap and gown?

Cords are sent with caps and gowns. Fall 2020 grades determine honors. This information is sent to the vendor before regalia are shipped.

Will there be a refund of graduation fees?

No, there will not be a refund of the graduation fee as an in-person ceremony is scheduled for June 2021 to be held, and all students have an opportunity to receive graduation regalia.

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