View from commencement ceremony stage

Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is excited to celebrate the Class of 2024 on Friday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m., and on Saturday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. We invite you all to attend as we honor the Class of 2024, hear words of inspiration from university leaders, welcome honored guests, applaud the student speakers, and cheer our graduates as degrees are conferred.

Throughout the Commencement Weekend, undergraduate Senior Recognition Ceremonies take place where undergraduates will have their names called and cross the stage. Dates and times are listed below.

On Saturday, May 18, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture will conduct its Associate Degree Commencement at 3:00 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium.

Graduate Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 17, 2024 at McGuirk Stadium

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 18, 2024 at McGuirk Stadium

Stockbridge School of Agriculture Associate Degree Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall

 

Schedule

Grads

Undergraduate (Bachelor's)

Undergraduates seated at commencement ceremony at the stadium

Master's, Doctoral, Education Specialists

Graduate students processing into commencement ceremony at the stadium

Guests

Family posing for a photo with their graduate in cap and gown

Faculty

Faculty processing into the commencement ceremony

FAQ

students

Is Commencement the Graduation Ceremony at UMass Amherst?

Yes! Degrees are conferred at the Friday, May 17, 2024, 10:00 a.m. University of Massachusetts Commencement Ceremony at McGuirk Stadium (for the graduate class), and on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at the University of Massachusetts Commencement Ceremony at McGuirk Stadium (for the undergraduate class). Both events will be livestreamed, a link will appear at the top of this website.

I'm an undergraduate, should I attend the commencement ceremony at McGuirk Stadium or my senior recognition ceremony?

We encourage undergraduates and families to attend both, the main commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18th at 10:00 a.m. at McGuirk Stadium and their individual school or college recognition ceremony. The 10:00 a.m. commencement ceremony at McGuirk Stadium is a fun and celebratory event held outdoors, where degrees are conferred; the Commencement Wind Ensemble plays; and Chancellor, student, and keynote speakers present. Senior Recognition Ceremonies are smaller, more intimate events where undergraduates’ names are called, and each are recognized individually.

For more information on the associate degree commencement, visit Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencement - AS Degree.
 

Are there tickets to attend the ceremonies? What is the cost? Which ceremonies?

There is no cost for any tickets at any UMass Commencement event. The College of Natural Sciences and College of Computer Sciences events at the Mullins Center (see below) require tickets for guests. Guest tickets have been sent to the gradates who have registered to attend those ceremonies. For all other ceremonies, including the Graduate Commencement on Friday, May 17 at McGuirk Stadium, and the main Undergraduate Commencement on May 18 at the McGuirk Stadium, there are no tickets, no limits on the number of guests, and no need to register the names of your guests.

Recent News

Photo of crowd at commencement ceremony at stadium

Please plan ahead and expect heavy traffic, some delays and road closures getting to and from the University of Massachusetts Amherst due to student move-out and Commencement activities Thursday, May 16 through Sunday, May 19.

Jarrel De Matas

Jarrel De Matas, graduating with a PhD in English, has been named the student speaker for the graduate class of 2024.

Sophia He

Graduating senior Sophia He, a linguistics major, has been named the student speaker for the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 18, 2024. 

Photo of undergraduate student speaker at Commencement

All undergraduate seniors are invited to submit a speech proposal for consideration as the UMass Amherst Undergraduate Student Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2024. 

flex-grid-4

UMass Graduate smiling at commencement

Schedule of Events

 

Class of 2024 Degree Conferral Ceremonies
 

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2024

Graduate Commencement Ceremony

All doctoral, master's, and education specialist degree candidates 

10:00 a.m.
McGuirk Stadium

This event will be livestreamed, a link will appear at the top of this website.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2024

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

All bachelor's degree candidates

10:00 a.m.
McGuirk Stadium 

This event will be livestreamed, a link will appear at the top of this website

 

Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencement Ceremony

All associate degree candidates

3:00 p.m.
Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall

Senior Recognition Ceremonies
(Undergraduate Class)

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2024

Commonwealth Honors College Celebration of Excellence (Undergraduate)
6:30 p.m.
Mullins Center

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2024

Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (Undergraduate)
2:00 p.m.   
Bromery Center for the Arts

Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (Undergraduate)
2:00 p.m.   
Recreation Center

College of Education  (Undergraduate)
2:00 p.m.   
Campus Center Auditorium

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (Undergraduate)
2:00 p.m.   
Mullins Center

University Without Walls (Undergraduate)
5:00 p.m.  
Bromery Center for the Arts

College of Engineering (Undergraduate)
6:00 p.m.  
Mullins Center

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2024

College of Natural Sciences (Undergraduate)
9:00 a.m.  
Mullins Center

Elaine Marieb College of Nursing (Undergraduate)
9:00 a.m.  
Bromery Center for the Arts

College of Humanities & Fine Arts (Undergraduate)
10:00 a.m.
Recreation Center

School of Public Health and Health Sciences (Undergraduate)
1:30 p.m.  
Mullins Center

Isenberg School of Management (Undergraduate)
5:00 p.m.  
Mullins Center

Undergraduate students seated at commencement

What do Undergraduate Students Need to Know About UMass Commencement?

COMMENCEMENT DAY INSTRUCTIONS

Please find details to help you prepare for commencement including arrival at the stadium, security, and the schedule of activities in the Commencement Day Instructions for Undergraduates

Stockbridge School of Agriculture Associates Degree Ceremony detailed information here

CAP & GOWNS

No pre-order is necessary for undergraduates. Caps, gowns, and tassels may be picked up on the days and times listed below. Some Schools/Colleges and other campus organizations distribute additional regalia (like cords, stoles, pins, etc.). Please contact them to see if there are other items that apply for you.

  • At the Commencement Fair: Wednesday May 8, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Campus Center Auditorium.
  • During the Senior Toast: Friday, May 10, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Campus Center 165
  • The week of Commencement: Monday, May 13 – Thursday, May 16,10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Campus Center 165
  • On Commencement Day: Saturday, May 18, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., Lot 11 Undergraduate Assembly Area at McGuirk Alumni Stadium

A limited supply will also be at each of the Senior recognition Ceremonies. For UWW students and distance learners unable to pick up their cap and gown on campus, you can have a friend pick up your regalia at one of the above distribution times. They will need to know your height (for gown length) and your School/College (for tassel color). 

COMMENCEMENT FAIR

Join us on Wednesday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Campus Center Auditorium for everything graduates need for commencement:

DIPLOMAS & MEDALLIONS

Diplomas are not distributed during Commencement Weekend. They are mailed to the student's address approximately six weeks after grades have been received and students are cleared for graduation by their department, college and the Registrar's Office. To ensure the delivery of diplomas, all graduates should check SPIRE to make certain that their diploma mailing address is accurately recorded. Please log in to SPIRE then go to your Academics tile and then in your left menu click graduation > diploma preferences to update your mailing address. Questions regarding diplomas? Please contact the Registrar’s Office, located at 213 Whitmore Administration Building, by phone at 413-545-0555, or via email at reggrad@registrar.umass.edu. Please allow for 6-8 weeks for diploma delivery after your degree has been officially conferred in SPIRE.

Commencement medallions are presented to each graduate at their school/college ceremony.

MARCHING ORDER: CEREMONY REGISTRATION & NAME PRONUNCIATION

The deadline to register via Marching Order was April 20. If you registered after that day or did not register at all, or have any other Marching Order issue, contact the School or College running the ceremony you are walking at. Links to the ceremonies, with contact information, are in the schedule above.

SENIOR & PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITS

Ultimate Exposures® will be on campus to take senior portraits as well as professional photos in early May. A cap, gown, and tassel will be provided and sittings are free. Walk-ins are welcome or you may make an appointment online today by visiting Ultimate Exposures.

CEREMONY PHOTOGRAPHY

Commencement photos of graduates walking across the stage will be taken during the individual school or college ceremonies. Photo proofs will be emailed within 48 hours of the ceremony to graduates along with order forms and information for those wishing to purchase prints.

GRADUATION KEEPSAKES

Jostens® can help commemorate your graduation with products that include class rings, and more! Visit jostens.com to see their list of products or to place an order!

GRADUATION ANNOUNCEMENTS

Optional graduation announcements can be purchased at Amherst Copy. More information and the order form can be found here.

GRADUATION ELIGIBILITY (Undergraduates)

An undergraduate student’s year of graduation is established by the Registrar’s Office. To be eligible to participate in 2024 commencement ceremonies, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the date of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September of 2024.

Students who are expected to graduate in fall of 2024 or spring of 2025 but want to walk in May of 2024, need to contact the Registrar's Office, Diploma and Graduation Services at reggrad@registrar.umass.edu no later than March 31, 2024.

FERPA PRIVACY FLAGS & COMMENCEMENT PROGRAM LISTINGS

Students with a FERPA Privacy Flag on their SPIRE account will not have their names printed in the commencement program or on any commencement related material. If you have a privacy flag on your account but would like your name included in commencement material, please request the flag be removed by March 15, 2024.  You may do so by completing the Request for Privacy form with the Dean of Students Office. Please email commencement@umass.edu when you have removed the flag.

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 Celebration of Excellence, the Dean of each college will present each graduating Commonwealth Honors College senior with a gold stole to be worn at the University Commencement.

VISA REQUEST LETTERS

The Office of Community Relations and University Events will provide letter(s) for undergraduate students who wish to invite family member(s) living abroad to attend commencement ceremonies. The letter states the name of the graduate, major, commencement dates, and relationship to the guest seeking the invitation and it's not an official government document. To receive a visa request letter, fill out this Visa Request Form. Our office will complete it within one week of receipt and notify you when it's available for pickup.  Please note, it is the responsibility of the graduate to mail the letters to the appropriate Embassy.

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 & Media Office or call (413) 545-0444.

Graduate Students at Commencement Ceremony

What Do Master's and Doctoral Students Need to Know About UMass Commencement?

COMMENCEMENT DAY INSTRUCTIONS

Please find details to help you prepare for commencement including arrival at the stadium, security, and the schedule of activities in the Commencement Day Instructions for Graduates

May 17th Commencement Ceremony - Master's, Education Specialist Ceremony, Doctoral Ceremony

The Master's and Education Specialist and Doctoral Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m. at McGuirk Stadium. Graduate students who have earned a master’s, an education specialist, or a doctoral degree will be individually recognized by name and celebrated with their families and friends.

REGALIA

Graduate Students can pick up their regalia at the UMass Store in the Campus Center beginning Monday, May 6. Discipline-specific Doctoral hoods will be available for purchase at the UMass Store. There is no charge for caps/tams, gowns, or tassels, regardless of your degree. Hoods for master's degree recipients are free of charge. 

For more information about regalia or if you would like to purchase a deluxe, quality gown, hood, and tam, visit UMass Store Regalia Information

For graduates unable to pick up regalia on campus, you can visit Jostens to order your masters or doctoral regalia. Regalia is free of charge. You will only be charged for shipping.  However, after April 11, it is too late for shipping to be processed in time for Commencement. If you need regalia for the ceremony, you can either:

  1. Have a friend pick up your regalia at the UMass Store beginning Monday, May 6. They should know your SPIRE ID, height (for robe length), and field of study (for hood colors).
  2. Arrive early (8am) to pick it up on site at Lot 11 on the morning of the Graduate Commencement Friday, May 17. You do not need to order or reserve, we will have regalia of all kinds available.

MARCHING ORDER: CEREMONY REGISTRATION & NAME PRONUNCIATION

The register or make changes in Marching Order has passed. Just go to the Graduate Commencement Ceremony and check in with the Graduate School staff upon arrival, in order to sort out your name being called (with correct pronunciation), as you walk across the stage.

COMMENCEMENT FAIR

Join us on Wednesday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Campus Center Auditorium.

PROCEDURE TO GRADUATE, ELIGIBILITY, & DIPLOMAS

Master's and Doctoral degree eligibility is determined by staff in the Graduate School. Your degree eligibility form must be completed by April 1, 2024 In order to be considered eligible, you must fulfill various requirements. The list of requirements can be found on the Graduate School Degree Requirement website. Once those requirements are complete and you are approved for graduation, view the appropriate degree eligibility form.

Information regarding diplomas for master's and doctoral students can also be found on the Degree Requirements website.

PORTRAIT OPPORTUNITIES

Ultimate Exposures® will be on campus in May to take graduation and professional photos. Regalia will be provided at your appointment. Walk-ins are welcome or you may make an appointment today!

CEREMONY PHOTOGRAPHY

Commencement photos of graduates walking across the stage will be taken at the Graduate Commencement ceremony. Photo proofs will be emailed within 48 hours of the ceremony to graduates along with order forms and information for those wishing to purchase prints.

GRADUATION ANNOUNCEMENTS

Optional graduation announcements can be purchased at Amherst Copy & Designworks. Complete the graduate announcement order form.

COMMENCEMENT PROGRAM LISTINGS

Students who have a full-privacy request on file but wish to have their names printed in the Commencement program must also notify the Dean of Students Office no later than the close of business on March 15, 2024. Those who fail to do so will not be listed.

VISA REQUEST LETTERS

The Office of Community Relations and University Events will provide letter(s) for graduate students who wish to invite family member(s) living abroad to attend commencement ceremonies. The letter states the name of the graduate, major, commencement dates, and relationship to the guest seeking the invitation and it's not an official government document. To receive a visa request letter, fill out this Visa Request Form. Our office will complete it within one week of receipt and notify you when it's available for pickup.  Please note, it is the responsibility of the graduate to mail the letters to the appropriate Embassy.

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 & Media Office, or call (413) 545-0444.

ADVISORS

Doctoral advisors - please visit the faculty section to learn more and request regalia.

A photo of a family at the dining commons with their graduate

What Do Guests Need To Know About UMass Commencement?

The main Commencement Ceremony for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Undergraduate Class of 2024 will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the UMass Amherst campus, rain or shine. The ceremony is scheduled to conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Guests should plan to arrive on campus by 8:00 a.m. to ensure ample time to reach campus, park, and arrive at the stadium via a shuttle bus or by walking.

Once at the stadium, you will proceed through security. The stadium map (on the last page of the commencement program handed out at the entrance) shows where each school or college will be seated so you can plan your seating in the stands accordingly.

If you are proceeding to a senior recognition ceremony on Saturday May 18, please park once and use a shuttle bus or walk to your next destination(s).

Graduates receive monthly emails regarding cap and gown pick up, photography, and opportunities such as Student Speaker and 21st Century Leader Awards. Sign up to stay informed with monthly emails.

The main Commencement Ceremony for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Graduate Class of 2024 will be held on Friday, May 17, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.. The ceremony is scheduled to conclude at approximately 12:00 p.m.

DINING & LODGING

Dining
While on campus, enjoy a meal with our award-winning UMass Dining at the Berkshire, Hampshire, or Worcester Commons. The People's Organic Coffee Shop and Harvest Market will also be open as well as The Commonwealth Restaurant. The campus also offers a special graduation dinner buffet in the Marriott Center by reservation only. 

Stadium concessions will be offered prior to the ceremony at the stadium, and a complimentary grab and go breakfast will be offered to Class of 2024 graduates at Berkshire and Hampshire Grab & Go beginning at 6:00 a.m., prior to gathering in the Lot 11 graduate assembly area. Outside food, beverages, and snacks are permitted in the stadium, though subject to inspection upon entry.

For a unique blend of restaurants, hotels, shops, and cultural destinations, please visit our friends at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce at amherstarea.com and the Amherst Business Improvement District at amherstdowntown.com or Hampshire County Tourism Council at visithampshirecounty.com.

On Campus Lodging

Residence Hall Lodging - Staying on campus is the best way to be close to all of the commencement activities. Beginning Saturday, our campus residence hall accommodations, in single or double occupancy, provide casual comfort at affordable rates. Each floor offers a lounge that encourages interaction with other guests while offering you the option of retreating to your own room to prepare for the next day’s activities. Parking is free and close by, and linens and towels are provided. There are a few rooms available for guests with disabilities, so please be sure to indicate any special accommodation needs when registering. All rooms are located in a low-rise residence hall in the Southwest Residential Area, a convenient location to the various Commencement activities held throughout the weekend and the closest lodging option to the main Commencement ceremony held at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday night.

Please note, due to student move-out, no residence hall lodging is available Friday night. To register, please visit: https://umass.irisregistration.com/Site/Commencement. For questions and/or registration assistance, call 413-577-8102 or email registration@umass.edu. Reservations will be accepted until 4 p.m. on April 12, 2024, or until capacity is reached.

Hotel UMass - Visit: https://hotelumass.com/

Off Campus Lodging
For a unique blend of restaurants, hotels, shops, and cultural destinations, please visit our friends at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce at amherstarea.com and the Amherst Business Improvement District at amherstdowntown.com or Hampshire County Tourism Council at visithampshirecounty.com.

PARKING & SHUTTLES

Please be advised that on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, there will be heavy traffic on and around the University campus. Several roads will be partially closed or limited to one-directional traffic. Please allow for extra time to navigate campus. See below for more information (section entitles "Traffic, Road Closures & Parking Advisory")

Parking will be directed by the UMass Police Department based closest available parking lots. Shuttle buses will operate from 8:00 a.m. through the end of ceremonies. We strongly recommend that you park once on campus and travel via shuttle or walk to the your destination.

Accessible parking is available throughout the campus. If you need accessible parking, please follow the signs and the direction of the traffic officers to park in the designated accessible parking areas adjacent to each of the venues. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR VISITORS

Dining

COMMENCEMENT WEEKEND ON-CAMPUS DINING

At Berkshire Dining Commons, Hampshire Dining Commons, and Worcester Dining Commons, families and guests of graduates who are on a UMass meal plan may join their graduates for complimentary meals. Other students, families, faculty, and staff may dine at the Commons at the rate of $11.50 for breakfast, $15.50 for lunch, and $18.75 for dinner. Meals feature healthy and sustainable global cuisine and showcase local and regional ingredients. On Sunday, Hampshire and Worcester DC will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m..

The People’s Organic Coffee Shop and Harvest Fresh Market on the concourse at the Campus Center both open at 8 a.m. and serve coffee, breakfast, and fresh baked organic and all natural treats. Harvest Fresh Market is a full-service market serving healthy, sustainable and delicious fare.  Our hot bar features Indian, Asian, traditional American and many other world cuisines. Don’t miss our salad bar featuring freshly prepared composed salads using locally sourced in –season ingredients.

The Commonwealth Restaurant, located on the top floor of the newly constructed Worcester Commons, offers a relaxed atmosphere with beautiful views of campus. The Commonwealth is open Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. featuring a lunch and dinner menu. Saturday offerings include: brunch 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and dinner buffet 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Sunday brunch 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. For reservations, please call 413-545-0255. 

A Graduation Dinner buffet is offered beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, in the Marriott Center on the 11th floor of the UMass Amherst Campus Center. With beautiful views overlooking the campus and a delicious meal prepared by UMass Catering, the dinner buffet is the perfect way to celebrate the many achievements of your graduating student. Please note, tickets are $60.00 per person and reservations are required.

Stadium Concessions
Food and beverages at the stadium prior to the 2024 Ceremony and on the east side of the stadium, near the entrance. Snacks and light meals, including a fresh grill selection, fruit, desserts, and beverages will be sold. Complimentary water will also be available at Concessions and throughout the stadium.   

UMass Dining facilities Hours of Operations

COMMENCEMENT WEEKEND OFF-CAMPUS DINING, LODGING, & EXPERIENCES

For a unique blend of restaurants, hotels, shops, and cultural destinations, please visit our friends at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce at amherstarea.com and the Amherst Business Improvement District at amherstdowntown.com or Hampshire County Tourism Council at visithampshirecounty.com.
 

Lodging

OFF CAMPUS

Visit Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce website and the Amherst Business Improvement District website for an eclectic mix of locally owned Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, motels, and a variety of national chains. For more off campus lodging options, please visit:

ON CAMPUS

Residence Hall Lodging - Staying on campus is the best way to be close to all of the commencement activities. Starting on Saturday, our campus residence hall accommodations, in single or double occupancy, provide casual comfort at affordable rates. Each floor offers a lounge that encourages interaction with other guests while offering you the option of retreating to your own room to prepare for the next day’s activities. Parking is free and close by, and linens and towels are provided. There are a few rooms available for guests with disabilities, so please be sure to indicate any special accommodation needs when registering. All rooms are located in a low-rise residence hall in the Southwest Residential Area, a convenient location to the various Commencement activities held throughout the weekend and the closest lodging option to the main undergraduate Commencement ceremony held at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday.

Please note due to the student move-out schedule, there are no residence hall accommodations available on Friday. To register, please visit: https://umass.irisregistration.com/Site/Commencement. For questions and/or registration assistance, call 413-577-8102 or email registration@umass.edu. Reservations will be accepted until 4 p.m. on April 12, 2024, or until capacity is reached.

Hotel UMass - Visit: https://hotelumass.com/

Accessibility

DISABILITY SERVICES & ACCESSIBILITY

Accessible parking is available throughout the campus. If you need accessible parking, please follow the signs and the direction of the traffic officers to park in the designated accessible parking areas adjacent to each of the venues. 

Guests with limited mobility can also be dropped off at one of the designated bus stops, regularly serviced by accessible shuttle buses.

Golf carts will be available near the reserved accessible parking area at McGuirk Stadium before and after the ceremony to assist guests with limited mobility get to and from the stadium and the parking area.

Keep in mind that there will be significant traffic on Commencement Day, so it is best to allow 2 hours of travel after arriving in the Amherst/Hadley area. Our 25,000 guests trickle in throughout the day, but when Commencement is over, everyone wants to leave at once, which leads to delays and traffic.  

Due to high traffic on campus on Saturday, May 18, we urge you to PARK ONCE if you are attending more than one event that day. It is best to drop off guests at the appropriate venue and park in Lot 11 for easier access exiting at the end of the day, if possible. UMass Police will direct you to Lot 11, the closest lot to McGuirk Alumni Stadium.   

DRIVING TO CAMPUS

To gain access to Lot 11, you MUST enter campus from Route 116. If you are coming from Route 9, take 116N, at the UMass Exit, take a RIGHT onto North Hadley Road. If you are coming from 116S, take a LEFT at the top of the exit onto North Hadley Road. From North Hadley Road, at the intersection with Mullins Way turn RIGHT toward the track and then take an immediate LEFT to follow Stadium Drive down to LOT 11 on the RIGHT. You will NOT be able to access LOT 11 from University Drive as the road closes early to accommodate bus traffic. Lot 22 may also be used for overflow traffic. Same rules apply. 

PARKING, ENTERING AND EXITING THE STADIUM

Lot 11 is the closest lot to the Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 18. The stadium is a short walk from the parking lot to the gate.  However, golf carts are available for those who need transportation from their cars in lot 11 to the gate at McGuirk Stadium. Golf carts are also available to bring guests back to their cars in lot 11 after the ceremony. 

The University does not have wheelchairs or scooters for rent at the event. Please contact a local medical supply store in your community if you need one.  

We encourage all guests with mobility impairments to plan to enter and exit Gate 2/Portal 20 in the Northeast corner of the stadium. Please be advised that it may take a few minutes for the crowds to disburse following the commencement ceremony, so it may take some time until the golf carts and vans are ready to shuttle guests back to Lot 11. 
 

ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE STADIUM

The Commencement ceremony is rain or shine.  There is no shade in the stadium so a sunny day can become intolerable without proper planning. Although the area devoted to our guests who need accommodations has been paved, most of the stadium ground is gravel which may make walking difficult. Please consider this when choosing footwear.  

Food and beverages will be available for purchase within the stadium. There is extensive security, including metal detectors. No alcohol is available or allowed at the stadium event. UMass is a tobacco free campus, so there is no smoking allowed anywhere. All bags will be checked. It’s highly recommended that you bring only what you need into the event. 

Seating for our guests with mobility concerns is on the field behind the graduates. The grass will be covered with flooring to provide a flat and stable surface. There are no tickets for any seating at McGuirk stadium. We encourage at least one person to stay with the guest seated on the floor of the stadium but your party does not need to separate.  
 
Wheelchair accessible restroom facilities will be available throughout the stadium grounds, with the largest cluster located by Gate 2/Portal 20, which is the entrance/exit for all guests with disabilities who require transportation. 

If you require a van shuttle with a wheelchair lift, please contact Transportation Services prior to May 18 at 413-545-2086 or stspv@admin.umass.edu

SIGN LANGUAGE/INTERPRETERS
If you or any of your guests require the services of a sign language interpreter submit your request through the event accommodations request form. The deadline for requesting interpreter services is April 15, 2024.

Security

SECURITY AT McGUIRK ALUMNI STADIUM

Our security protocols ensure the safety of our visitors and our campus community. Metal detectors will be in place at the entrances to McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Guests are advised to pack lightly for the day as all items taken into either venue are subject to search—the less you are carrying, the more quickly your party will be able to proceed through security. Please discuss security measures with the members of your party ahead of time so everyone is aware of our protocols. Although you can expect security measures to take a little time at your point of entry, our staff will be there to welcome you!

Please remember:

  • Stadium gates open at 8:30 a.m. 
  • All bags and containers are subject to search. 
  • Tickets are not required for the main undergraduate ceremony and graduates may invite as many guests as they wish. Seating at McGuirk Stadium is on first come, first serve basis.
  • Graduates will enter and sit in the stadium with their school or college. The stadium map, included in print programs and signage at the event, shows where each school or college will be seated so you can plan your seating in the stands accordingly.

Outside food and beverage are permitted at the stadium. 

SECURITY AT MULLINS CENTER

All guests and graduates will be required to walk through metal detectors when entering the venue. To expedite the process, we ask guests and graduates to remove cell phones from their pockets. Purses, diaper bags, and other small personal bags are allowed but will be inspected at all entrances. Outside food or beverages will NOT be allowed.  Weapons of any kind, and tobacco products are not permitted inside the arena. For details on security procedures and a full list of prohibited items, please visit the Mullins Center website.

Traffic, Road Closures, & Parking Advisory

Please be advised that during commencement weekend there will be heavy traffic on and around the University. Please allow for at least 60 minutes upon arrival on campus to park. 

Visitors to campus on Friday and Saturday for Commencement and senior recognition ceremonies are asked to park upon arrival. Parking will be directed by the UMass Police based on nearest available parking lots. Shuttle buses will operate from 8:00 a.m. to the end of ceremonies and all buses will stop at all ceremony locations throughout the two days of events. It is strongly recommended that visitors arrive as early as possible, park once, and travel by bus or walk to your destinations. 

Several roads will be partially closed or limited to one-directional traffic. Please follow direction from UMass Police they will guide you on campus.

Complete public traffic and road closure advisory

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Parking

Recreational vehicle (RV) parking is available upon request at no charge. However, there are no hookups for electricity, water, or waste disposal. Call the Office of Community Relations and University Events at 413-577-1101 or email commencement@umass.edu for more information or to make a reservation. 

Shuttle

SHUTTLE BUSES will operate  campus from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday (5/17) and 8 a.m. through the end of ceremonies on Saturday (5/18) stopping at various locations including the ceremony venues and dining commons. We strongly recommend that graduates and guests park once on campus and travel via shuttle or walk to their destinations. 

Complete public traffic and road closure advisory

ACCESSIBLE PARKING is available throughout the campus.

At McGuirk Alumni Stadium

PARKING, TRANSPORTATION, & ACCESSIBLE PARKING

Graduates and families will be guided by UMass Police officers and traffic flaggers to the closest available lots to the stadium beginning with Lots 22 and 33.

To specifically request accessible parking at the stadium on Saturday (5/18), complete the Accessible Parking form. Accessible parking for the stadium is located in Lot 11 on Stadium Drive.

There is a designated security checkpoint, entrance, and golf cart transportation for guests with mobility challenges. Commencement Ambassadors will be present to assist with driving golf carts and directing guests to the Disability Service entrance (Portal 20).

Portal 20 (the northeast-most portal of the stadium) provides full access to restrooms, and accessible guest seating on the field. Guests can of course, choose to sit in the stands. There are ramps to the stadium stands at the southern end of the stadium. The first row of the stands is available from those ramps. All others are only accessible via stairs.

Graduate Assembly Area: Lot 11, is otherwise closed and serves as the graduate assembly area.

Three students posing at UMass Commencement

What are the Frequently Asked Questions about UMass Commencement?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

Is Commencement UMass Amherst’s Graduation?

  • Yes. Commencement is the Class of 2024 degree conferral ceremony. There are also many senior recognition ceremonies.
  • See also, which ceremony should I go to?

When is Commencement?

  • Degrees are conferred at the Friday, May 17, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. University of Massachusetts Graduate Commencement Ceremony, and on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at the University of Massachusetts Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at McGuirk Stadium. See full schedule of events.
  • All events are rain or shine (yes, you can bring umbrellas).
  • Approx. running time for each ceremony is 2 hours.

Do I need tickets?

  • Tickets are only required for guests attending one of two ceremonies: the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences senior recognition ceremony, and the College of Natural Sciences senior recognition ceremony.
  • With the increasing number of graduates and venue capacity limits, ticketing ceremonies ensures all graduates have the option of guests attending and prevents guests from being denied entry due to capacity constraints.
  • Graduates participating in any of the ceremonies do not need a ticket for themselves.
  • Tickets are not required for the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Ceremony at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, or for any of the other senior recognition ceremonies not named above.

How do I get tickets? Can I transfer my tickets? What if I want more tickets?

  • Guest tickets will be automatically deposited into each graduate's account with the Mullins Center for graduates to distribute as they wish. Graduates do not need to request tickets.
  • Instructions on how to create a Mullins Center account, information on when tickets will be available, and details on how to transfer tickets to guests was in March.
  • Due to the finite number of seats available we cannot exceed the designated allotment of tickets per graduate.
  • Senior recognition ceremonies will be livestreamed, so that family members and supporters can join the celebration from anywhere. 

Schedule / When/where will the ceremonies be?

Which ceremony should I go to? (undergraduate class)

  • The main commencement ceremony for the undergraduate class will be held at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. This ceremony is fun and celebratory, degrees are conferred; the UMass Wind Ensemble performs; and remarks are given by the Chancellor, keynote, and student speakers. All members of the Class of 2024 are encouraged to attend and are recognized en masse by school or college.
  • Additionally, school and college/senior recognition ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, 2024. Senior recognition ceremonies are smaller and more intimate. Names are read, students walk across the stage, and have individual portraits taken. Students and families are encouraged to attend the main undergraduate ceremony and the senior recognition ceremony.

    See full schedule of events.

What is traffic usually like? How will I know where to go?

  • Plan at least two hours of travel time once you arrive in the Amherst area.
  • Parking starts at lots closest to ceremony and moves farther as they fill up. Once you arrive on campus, UMass Police officers will direct traffic and parking.
  • If you have two ceremonies to attend on the same day, park once and take the bus or walk to your destination(s).
  • Shuttle services will be available to take people from farther lots to the ceremony for the undergraduate ceremony.

What about accessible parking?

  • The Office of Community Relations and University Events will arrange for anyone with mobility issues to receive a parking pass for Lot 11 on Stadium Drive, the accessible lot closest to the stadium for the  graduate ceremony on Friday, May 17 or the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 18.
  • There will be golf carts available in Lot 11 to bring guests from their cars to the gates of McGuirk Stadium.
  • To receive accessible parking pass at the stadium, for the
  • All other venues that will host the senior recognition ceremonies have accessible parking near the building and accessible parking is available throughout the campus.

What physical accessibility accommodations are in place at the stadium?

  • There is a designated security checkpoint, entrance, and golf cart transportation for guests with mobility challenges. Commencement Ambassadors will be present to assist with driving golf carts and directing guests to the accessible entrance (Portal 20).
  • Portal 20 (the northeast-most portal of the stadium) provides full access to restrooms, and accessible guest seating on the field. Guests can of course, choose to sit in the stands. There are ramps to the stadium stands at the southern end of the stadium. The first row of the stands is available from those ramps. All others are only accessible via stairs.
  • Accessible seating is available for guests and graduates on the stadium field; however it is in the open sun. Guests should take appropriate precautions related to the weather. Guests sitting in the stands and in the accessible area on the field may want to bring sunscreen and visors or hats for sun protection. Additional accessibility instructions for the stadium can be found in the accessibility drop down below. 
  • The pathway from the Lot 11 Graduate Assembly Area to the stadium field and student seating (for processional/march) is an even grade, paved, and accessible by wheelchair.  
  • Note that portions of both the east side (for guests) and west side (for graduates) of the stadium are gravel and may be difficult for a wheelchair to traverse. However, the paved sections, concrete sidewalks, and installed floor provide accessible pathways to most of the stadium.

Where can I stay?

  • Campus residence hall accommodations are available, in single or double occupancy, providing casual comfort at affordable rates. Registration is now open at https://umass.irisregistration.com/Site/Commencement. For questions and/or registration assistance, call 413-577-8102. Reservations will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on April 12, 2024, or until capacity is reached. 
  • For a unique blend of restaurants, hotels, shops, and cultural destinations, please visit our friends at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce at amherstarea.com and the Amherst Business Improvement District at amherstdowntown.com or visithampshirecounty.com.

When/where do I get my cap and gown?

Undergraduates: No pre-order or online ordering is necessary. Caps, gowns, and tassels may be picked up on the days and times listed below:

  • At the Commencement Fair: Wednesday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Campus Center Auditorium.
  • During the Senior Toast: Friday, May 10, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Campus Center 165
  • The week of Commencement:  Monday, May 13 – Thursday, May 16,10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Campus Center 165
  • On Commencement Day: Saturday, May 18, Prior to 10:00 a.m. Ceremony, Lot 11 Graduate Assembly Area at McGuirk Alumni Stadium

Undergraduate UWW/Distance Learners and Fall or Winter Grads unable to pick up their cap and gown on campus, can have a friend pick up their regalia at one of the above distribution times. They will need to know your height (for gown length) and your School/College (for tassel color). 

​​​​​​Graduate Students can pick up their regalia at the UMass Store anytime the store is open through Thursday, May 16. It will also be available at the Graduate Commencement Friday, May 17, in Lot 11 (8am-10am). Discipline-specific Doctoral hoods will be available for purchase at the UMass Store. There is no charge for caps/tams, gowns, or tassels, regardless of your degree. Hoods for master's degree recipients are free of charge.

I want to invite my relative from another country, how can I do that?

  • Graduates can complete a Visa Letter Request Form for each relative they wish to attend. Staff will follow up with instructions. 

I am a graduate student; how do I know if I am eligible to attend Commencement? 

Will my doctoral advisor be able to hood me? / Will I be able to hood my doctoral advisees?

  • Yes! Doctoral candidates will be hooded during the graduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 17. Your advisor or chosen faculty will be able to participate and hood you. Please RSVP in your Marching Order account and indicate who you would like to have hood you.

Where can I get senior portraits?

  • Ultimate Exposures® will be on campus to take cap and gown photos as well as professional photos May 13-17 in Campus Center, Room 163C. Make an appointment online by visiting, ultimateexposures.com.  

What physical accessibility accommodations are in place at the Mullins Center?

Please contact the Office of Community Relations and University Events at 413-577-1101 or commencement@umass.edu with additional questions.

Faculty processing into Commencement ceremony.

What do Faculty Members Need to Know About UMass Commencement?

Commencement Day Instructions for faculty members

Faculty participation is encouraged in all commencement ceremonies. Academic regalia is required for all University of Massachusetts Amherst commencement ceremonies. Rental of academic regalia is sponsored by the Provost’s Office and is provided to faculty free of charge. After the deadline, regalia will be made available to faculty in all sizes, but will not be customized or discipline specific.

GRADUATE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY  

McGuirk Alumni Stadium 

Graduate Commencement Ceremony 

Friday, May17, 2024

Assemble in the Football Performance Center no later than 9:00 a.m.  

For the Graduate Commencement ceremony, Friday, May 17, please plan to arrive to the Football Performance Center at McGuirk Alumni Stadium by 9:00 a.m. Then follow the posted signs to the Faculty Robing Room.  A continental breakfast, coffee, tea, and cold beverages will be available in the Faculty Robing Room. Commencement ambassadors will assist with line up and indicate when the processional is ready to begin.  

Faculty attending as a graduate advisor or hooding faculty should report to Lot 11 (the graduate assembly area) at 9:00 am and proceed directly through the security gates. Commencement ambassadors will guide you to the doctoral line up where you will meet your graduates. The processional will begin at 10:00 am. Commencement ambassadors will lead you and your doctoral graduates to your seats on the stadium floor.  

Rain: The ceremony remains at the stadium, rain, or shine. Please prepare and dress accordingly.  

UNDERGRADUATE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY 

Saturday, May 18, 10:00 a.m. 

McGuirk Alumni Stadium 

On Undergraduate Commencement Day, Saturday, May 18, please plan to arrive to the Football Performance Center at McGuirk Alumni Stadium by 9:00 a.m. Then follow the posted signs to the Faculty Robing Room. A continental breakfast, coffee, tea, and cold beverages will be available in the Faculty Robing Room. Commencement ambassadors will assist with line up and indicate when the processional is ready to begin.  

  • The student processional will begin at 10:00 a.m. 

  • Following the student processional, Faculty will process down the center red carpet and be seated on one of the stages on either side of the main stage. 

  • If you need a restroom during the ceremony, portable toilets are located on either side of the south end of the stadium. Walk down the side stairs of the stage through the field fence gate to the restroom. 

Rain: The ceremony remains at the stadium, rain, or shine. Please prepare and dress accordingly.  

Picking Up Regalia

Faculty regalia can be picked up on the first floor of the Campus Center on the following dates and times:

Monday, May 13 - Thursday, May 16, 2024, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you placed an order before the March 29 deadline, you can provide your name upon arrival to receive your order.  All other faculty can pick up extra regalia that was ordered for those who missed the deadline.

If you are unable to pick up your regalia during these times, please contact the Office of Community Relations and University Events at
commencement@umass.edu or call (413) 577-1101.

Returning Rented Regalia:

Please be sure to return your rental regalia to the Office of Community Relations and University Events the week following commencement by dropping it off in person or via inter-campus mail to Munson Hall - Lower Level, 101 Hicks Way. Please make every effort to have the regalia returned to Munson Hall by May 24, 2024.

View the Commencement schedule.