FAQs

What will happen during each ceremony?
Each ceremony will be approximately 30-40 minutes in length. Upon entering the stadium, graduates will be presented with a medallion and will have an opportunity to have their photo taken. Graduates will hear from Chancellor Subbaswamy and a student speaker, among others. Degrees will be conferred, and graduates will take part in the traditional turning of the tassel.

Will my name be called during the ceremony?
With more than 6,500 graduates in the UMass Class of 2021, we are unable to have individual recognition of students. Names of all eligible graduates will be posted on the commencement website.

I have two majors—which ceremony do I attend?
Graduates receiving multiple degrees can choose to attend all ceremonies for those degrees or just one. Graduates with multiple majors are assigned to the ceremony of their primary major. At registration, graduates with multiple degrees can select one option at a time. They can respond to one event, then the page will refresh and will allow them to respond to another event.

Will I be able to have my photo taken?  Will we receive our commemorative medallions?
Upon entering the stadium, you will be presented with your medallion, and have the opportunity to have your photo taken. You will then be directed to the seating area.

Can I move my seat so I can sit next to my friends?
Upon arrival, you will be directed to the next available seat and you will not be able to choose where you sit. If you would like to be seated near your friends, you should plan to arrive at the stadium at the same time. All seats will placed at six feet, as per state public health guidelines, and must remain six feet apart through the ceremony.

Can I take my mask off if I get hot?
Face masks must be worn at all times.

Are guests allowed?
We are able to welcome a limited number of registered guests — two people per graduate — to our 2021 UMass Amherst commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 14. In accordance with Massachusetts commencement guidelines, all guests must be registered in order to attend commencement. If you have already registered for commencement, you can add up to two guests by modifying your existing registration. If you have not yet registered for commencement, there’s still time to do so! Upon registration, guests will receive an email confirmation with a QR code to ensure a smooth check-in on May 14.

Do guests need to be tested?
Guests are not required to be tested. All attendees - graduates and guests - will need to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols. 

Will the ceremonies be livestreamed?
Yes, we will have links to the livestreams of each ceremony at https://www.umass.edu on Friday. There will also be additional virtual content for the ceremonies, so be sure to check it out!

Will I be able to have my picture taken in my cap and gown?
Yes. You will have two opportunities to have your photo taken. Ultimate Exposures will be on campus from May 7- May 13. You can schedule an appointment here, as appointments are required. You will also be able to have your photo taken before your ceremony at McGuirk Stadium. 

I forgot to order my cap and gown by April 1st.  Can I still order one?
Yes. Our vendor requires a four to five week lead time to process and ship your order. Orders placed after April 1 will not arrive before May 14. Order here.

What about the senior recognition ceremonies?  Are there ceremonies on Saturday?
The schools and colleges will be celebrating you with virtual celebrations. Details will be sent directly by your school/college, and information will be posted on school/college websites.

I am traveling to campus for commencement.  What are the travel restrictions in Massachusetts? 
For details on Massachusetts travel restrictions please visit the Massachusetts Travel Advisory.

Where will I be able to park my car?
Parking is limited at the stadium. When you arrive tat the stadium, you will be directed to the next available parking spot by a police officer. Please be considerate of your fellow graduates and do not arrive more than an hour before your ceremony. Please leave immediately after your ceremony ends. Vehicles left in Lots 11 and 33 between ceremonies may be towed.

Do you have a list of restaurants that will be open after my ceremony?
For a list of unique blend of restaurants, please visit our friends at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District.

Can family members come to campus to greet our graduate?
All graduates may invite up to two guests to attend commencement. All guests must be registered by the graduates in order to gain entry to the stadium.

Can family members watch the livestream on campus?
Due to limited internet access at the stadium and for the best viewing experience, we are asking family members to watch the livestreams at home or an off-campus location.

Can I bring guests to the Senior Dinner?
No, the Senior Dinner is reserved for graduates only. 
 

Frequently Asked Testing Questions 

If I have been fully vaccinated, do I still have to get tested? 
Yes, all students attending undergraduate commencement on Friday, May 14 are required to be tested for COVID-19 and show their Green Check Mark via the campus health hub in order to gain entry to McGuirk Stadium, regardless of their vaccination status. Here are the options students have to get tested: 

If you are getting tested at the UMass Amherst Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center, you are required to schedule an appointment when you register for commencement or via the Campus Health Hub and get tested on Monday, May 10, Tuesday, May 11 or Wednesday, May 12, to will ensure your test results are reported prior to Commencement on Friday, May 14.

For students living in the greater Boston area, you may get tested at the Mount Ida Campus in Newton. Appointments are limited and will only be offered on Wednesday, May 12 from 7 am – 5 pm. You can schedule appointments when you register for commencement or via the Campus Health Hub.

Students may choose to get a PCR test at an off-campus location. If you choose to do so, test results must be submitted to 
testing@umass.edu by Thursday, May 13 at noon. The day of the test cannot be any sooner than Monday, May 10.  


What type of test does the University allow? 
The university requires a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. Rapid response antigen tests will not be accepted as PCR tests are more reliable.  

How to do I schedule an asymptomatic test at UMass Public Health Promotion Center?
Testing is by appointment only. No walk-ins are allowed. Visit the Campus Health Hub and select “Book an Appointment”. If you receive a message that says, "Currently you are not registered as part of the program,” click the link that says "Please Fill Out This Form," then fill out the form and you will then be allowed to book your appointment. Click "Walk-in" at Mullins Center. Choose the date and click "next". Select an appointment


How to do I schedule an asymptomatic test at the Mt. Ida Campus?
Testing is by appointment only. No walk-ins are allowed. Visit the Campus Health Hub and select “Book an Appointment”. If you receive a message that says, "Currently you are not registered as part of the program,” click the link that says "Please Fill Out This Form," then fill out the form and you will then be allowed to book your appointment. Click "Walk-in" (Mt. Ida Health Center - Main Entrance). Choose the date and click "next". Select an appointment


I am attending from out of state (or out of the country). What guidelines should I follow in order to attend? 
In addition to the testing requirements, individuals must follow the current Commonwealth of Massachusetts Travel Advisory 
as you prepare to attend commencement.