Information for Graduates

Eligibility
The following groups are eligible to participate in Commencement:

  • Master's degree candidates who submit the Degree Eligibility Form by April 8, 2020 to the Graduate Student Service Center (534 Goodell Building), stating an intention to complete all course requirements by the end of the semester. For students who are writing a thesis - the defense and submission of that thesis must take place by the April deadline (see Master's Degree Eligibility Form and Checklist).
  • Educational Specialist Degree recipients who submit the appropriate eligibility form by April 8, 2020 to the Graduate Student Service Center (534 Goodell Building), stating an intention to complete all course requirements by the end of the semester. 
  • Doctoral degree candidates who have completed all degree requirements and filed the Doctoral Degree Eligibility Form by April 8, 2020 (see Doctoral Degree Eligibility Form and Checklist).
  • Students who received their Master's, Educational Specialist, or Doctoral degrees in September 2019 or February 2020.

Questions concerning eligibility should be directed to the Graduate Student Service Center, Room 534, Goodell Building, 413-545-0722, or via e-mail at degreq@grad.umass.edu.

Participation
Please complete the Commencement Participation Form, indicating your planned attendance and estimated number of guests, by Friday, April 24. Completing this form by the requested date will allow us to make appropriate arrangements for parking and the Commencement reception.

Photography Tribute
To honor the Graduate Class of 2020, Graduate Commencement will include a photo tribute to degree recipients. During the ceremony, pictures of graduates will be displayed on jumbo HD monitors mounted on the Commencement stage and suspended from the Mullins Center ceiling. To make the tribute as meaningful as possible, we ask that all graduates send up to three photos of themselves to the Graduate School’s Commencement email address, gradcommence@grad.umass.edu, by Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

All images should be at least 3 MB in size. Please include your name (as you want it to appear on screen), graduate program (Mechanical Engineering, English, Sociology, etc), and degree earned (PhD, MS, MA, MBA, EdD, EdS, etc.) in your message. Pictures may depict graduates in any of the following settings:

  • At work: In the library, laboratory, field, office, studio, classroom or other venue related to research, teaching, or in a creative activity.

  • At play: Socializing with friends, colleagues, or family. Last year, students submitted many pictures of themselves with fellow graduates from their programs and these were terrific!

  • On campus: Reading on the Goodell lawn, relaxing at the pond, hanging out on the Campus Center steps, etc.

  • Simple portraits or other photos you wish to share.

Regalia
All graduates must wear UMass regalia to participate in Graduate Commencement. Regalia distribution information is provided below. Please note that a limited amount of regalia will also be available at the graduate check-in tables (under the tents behind the Mullins Center) on the day of the ceremony. To ensure their eligibility to participate in Commencement, however, graduates are strongly advised to obtain their Regalia prior to May 8. Regalia distribution will take place during the dates and times below:

Master's & Educational Specialist Degree Regalia
University Store
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
April 20 - May 6
*Please note that Regalia distribution will end on May 6 at noon.

Note: Master’s & Educational Specialist degree recipients who are unable to collect their regalia in person can have it shipped to them by using the University Store’s online ordering system. Master’s and Educational Specialist regalia is provided on a complimentary basis, but students are responsible to cover the handling fee of approximately $10. Click here to order.

Doctoral Regalia
Doctoral hoods and gowns are required for participation in Graduate Commencement. After students have been cleared by the Graduate School, doctoral hoods can be purchased from the Graduate Student Service Center in 534 Goodell. The cost of doctoral hoods is $65, and payments by Visa, MasterCard, check, and money order are accepted. At the time of purchase, the Graduate School will provide students with a complimentary souvenir-quality doctoral gown, suitable for one time use at Graduate Commencement (the vast majority of students participating in Graduate Commencement wear this gown). Students who wish to purchase regalia designed for repeated professional use can do so by following the instructions provided below. Doctoral hood sales will take place Monday through Friday, April 20 - May 6, 2020, at the Graduate Student Service Center (534 Goodell), from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Doctoral students unable to purchase their regalia in person may have it delivered by calling the Graduate School at 413-545-0722, beginning on April 20. An additional fee will be charged for shipping.

Optional Purchase of Doctoral Gowns
The Graduate School will provide doctoral degree recipients with a souvenir-quality doctoral gown suitable for one-time use at Graduate Commencement when graduates purchase their doctoral hoods. Students who wish to purchase regalia designated for repeated professional academic use can order it through the UMass Store by March 20, 2020.

Check-In Instructions for Day of Ceremony
On the day of Commencement, all degree candidates must check in between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., wearing regalia, at the tent located behind (west of) the Mullins Center. At this time, participants will receive final instructions for the processional. Please arrive as early as possible. The Mullins Center has implemented new security measures—including metal detectors at all entrances—that may cause congestion and delay your entrance into the facility. In addition, degree candidates should refrain from bringing purses, briefcases or backpacks to Commencement. These items will be inspected by security personnel and cannot be carried with graduates onto the Commencement floor.  

Doctoral Hooding
Doctoral candidates will be hooded on the Commencement stage by the faculty advisor or mentor of their choosing. Doctoral students who wish to be hooded by a faculty member should contact that individual as soon as possible to confirm their availability for Commencement. Additionally, students should complete the Commencement Participation Form, so the Graduate School can also invite the appropriate faculty members to participate in the hooding ceremony. Doctoral students who are not accompanied on stage by a faculty member will be hooded by a “backup hooder,” typically a university administrator.

2020 Commencement Ball
May 1, 2020 from 9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Mullins Center
Presented by the Student Alumni Association, this senior gala is a UMass tradition leading up to graduation. Join your classmates for a formal celebration of your accomplishments during a festive eveningDetails will be available soon.

Photography
Photos of all degree recipients will be taken as they cross the Commencement stage. Graduates will be able to purchase prints directly from the event photographer, Ultimate Exposures, through the company's website at UltimateExposures.com.

Name Pronunciation Hotline
Degree candidates who wish to indicate the pronunciation of their names for the Commencement announcers may do so by calling the Graduate School’s Commencement voice mail at 413-577-6208 between April 22 and May 6.

Graduation Announcements
Optional personalized graduation announcements can be purchased at Print Services, 151 Whitmore, 413-545-2718, fax 413-545-1115.

Reception
A reception will be held for graduates, faculty, and guests following Commencement in the tents behind (west of) the Mullins Center. Light refreshments will be served.

Accessibility
Graduates requiring a sign language interpreter should contact Disability Services via email (rmadams@admin.umass.edu) or phone (Voice/TTY: 413-545-0892). The deadline for requesting interpreter services is April 17. Graduates requiring accommodations for mobility impairments or other issues are asked to email the Graduate School (grad-communications@grad.umass.edu) at least two weeks prior to the ceremony.