Information for Seniors

Graduation Eligibility

A student’s year of graduation is established by the Registrar’s Office. To be eligible to participate in the May 2017 Commencement ceremony, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the time of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September 2017. Students scheduled for February 2018 graduation who wish to attend the May 2017 ceremony must file a “Petition to Participate in an Earlier Commencement” form, available at the Registrar’s Office in 213 Whitmore.

Commonwealth Honors College seniors are urged to meet with a Commonwealth Honors College advisor well before University Commencement, to confirm that they are fulfilling all requirements for graduating from Commonwealth Honors College. At the Commonwealth Honors College Convocation, “Celebration of Excellence,” on Friday, May 12, 2017, at the Mullins Center, the Dean of each college will present each graduating Commonwealth Honors College senior with a gold stole to be worn at the University Commencement later the same day.

Commencement Program Listings

Because of publication deadlines, the names of students added to the graduation list and the names of those who petition to participate in an earlier Commencement received after March 31, 2017, will not appear in the Commencement Program.  A program addendum will be printed after Commencement to include names of 2017 graduates not included in the program that were received after the deadline.  The program and addendum will be mailed to the individuals involved. The form to arrange this is available at the Registrar’s Office, 213 Whitmore. Students who have a full-privacy request on file but wish to have their names printed in the Commencement program must so notify the Dean of Students Office no later than the close of business on March 24, 2017. Those who fail to do so will not be listed.

Graduating Veterans

The Student Veterans Resource Center is distributing complimentary stoles to all veterans who are eligible to graduate. Students who have already reserved their stoles can pick them up at the Resource Center in 19 Dickinson Hall. Students who are interested in receiving a stole, but have not yet reserved one, should call the Resource Center at 413-545-0939.

Senior Portraits and Professional Portrait Opportunities

Senior portrait and professional portrait opportunities are available through Ultimate Exposures®.

Ultimate Exposures® will be on campus to take cap and gown photos as well as professional photos on several occasions in early May.  Walk-ins are welcome or select the link below to schedule your sitting.

Ultimate Exposures - Schedule your photo!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - Student Union Ballroom, Noon - 4 p.m. (during the Undergraduate Commencement Fair)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - Campus Center Room 911, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - Campus Center Room 911, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday, May 5, 2017 - Campus Center Room 911, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday, May 8, 2017 - Campus Center Room 163, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - Campus Center Room 163, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - Campus Center Room 163, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - Campus Center Room 163, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Caps and Gowns

Caps, gowns, and tassels (the cost of which has already been paid by your student fees) may be picked up the week of Commencement in Campus Center Room 165-69 at the times listed below.

  • Monday, May 8 – 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 9 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 10 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 11 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On Commencement Day, May 12, caps and gowns may be picked up after 3 p.m. in Lot 11 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Online ordering is now available online through University Cap and Gown.  Please contact the Office of External Relations and University Events for additional questions, 413-577-1101 or

Graduation Announcements

UMass Amherst Print Services offers graduation announcements personalized with the graduate’s name, degree, and major presented in either standard or customized texts. Many type styles are available. For information, prices, or to order, contact:

Print Services
151 Whitmore Administration Building

Hometown Press Releases

Each summer the Office of News and Media Relations sends press releases about in-state graduates to daily and weekly hometown newspapers in Massachusetts. Because of the large number of graduates involved, names are usually published in lists. Out-of-state graduates wishing to have press releases sent to their hometown newspapers must complete a form available from the News Office at or 413-545-0444.

UMass Amherst Alumni Association

The UMass Amherst Alumni Association congratulates the members of the Class of 2017 on your upcoming graduation. Explore all that your Alumni Association has to offer as you begin the next phase of your life.

Start by visiting

Always champion UMass and be active alum! Contact us with any questions at or 800-456-UMASS

You were. You are. UMASS.

Class Rings

During the three days prior to Commencement, orders for class rings will be taken in the University Store (on Commencement Day, orders will be taken in the tent outside the stadium).

Final Preparations for the Ceremony

There is no pre-Commencement rehearsal for students. When you pick up your cap and gown, you will receive a handout containing important information about the assembly area, gate assignments, seating locations, and related matters.

School and College Senior Recognition Ceremonies

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, each school and college will hold a ceremony for graduates with majors in the school/college. Graduating seniors should make certain that their guests know in advance which ceremony to attend and the location and time.

Visa Letter Request

The Office of External Relations and University Events will provide students seeking letters of invitation for family living abroad to attend Commencement Ceremonies. This letter simply states the name of the graduate, major, commencement dates and relationship to the guest seeking the invitation. It is not an official government document.

Complete the Visa Request Form.

Our office will complete the letter within one week of receipt and email the graduate when the letter or letters are available for pickup.  Please note, it is the responsibility of the graduate to mail the letters to the appropriate Embassy.

Commencement Day

Assembling for the Ceremony

On Commencement Day, Friday, May 12, you must arrive at Yellow Lot #11 (north of the football stadium) no later than 3:30 p.m., with your cap and gown. Once at Yellow Lot #11, graduates should follow the posted signs to the designated area for their school or college. Bags or purses will not be allowed in the stadium and will be subject to search. Small clutches will be permitted with a visual search by security. Commencement marshals will line up students for the processional and escort them onto the field. The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. and will end at approximately 6 p.m.

Students who have not yet obtained caps and gowns may do so in Yellow Lot #11 after 3 p.m.

Commencement Ceremonies Timetable

Friday, May 12, 2017

  • 3:30 p.m. Degree candidates arrive at Yellow Lot 11.
  • 3:45 p.m. Degree candidates assemble by school or college, don their robes, and receive processional instructions from marshals.
  • 4:30 p.m. CEREMONY BEGINS

Saturday, May 13, 2017

After Commencement


To ensure the delivery of diplomas, all graduates should check SPIRE to make certain that their diploma mailing address is accurately recorded. Diplomas are usually mailed by the end of the summer. Questions regarding diplomas should be addressed to: Registrar’s Office, 213 Whitmore Administration Building, 413-545-0555

Commencement Photographs

During the Saturday Senior Recognition Ceremonies for each school and college, graduates will be photographed in their regalia. Proofs of these photographs will be mailed to graduates along with order forms and information.