Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need tickets?

You do not need tickets for the undergraduate ceremony or any senior recognition ceremony.

  • Do I need to reserve my seat?

Seating is "first come, first serve", but there have never been issues with too little seats. Also, there are no assigned seats.

  • When/where will the Saturday ceremonies be?

Refer to our schedule for a complete list of ceremonies.

  • Which ceremony should I go to?

We encourage graduates and families to go to both ceremonies. Main ceremony is really fun and celebratory; degrees are officially conferred, student commencement band plays, Chancellor, student, and keynote speakers present.

Saturday ceremonies are smaller, names are read, and students walk across the stage, shake hands, and have their picture taken.

  • (Families of graduates) Which ceremony am I supposed to go on Saturday?

Look up the major on the list of schools and colleges, and then refer to schedule to find the right time and location.

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

Plan at least 90 minutes of travel once you arrive in the area. Parking starts at lots closest to ceremony and moves farther, as they fill up, directed by UMass Police Department. Drive towards campus and you will eventually be directed by the Police. Park once and take bus from one of the designated bus stops. Visit Shuttles and Maps page for more info.

  • What about handicapped parking?

Disability services (413-545-0892) is great at making sure anyone with limited mobility gets a parking pass. There will be golf carts available to take people from lot 11 to the gates at McGuirk. The golf carts will begin transporting guests at 2:30 P.M.  Guests with HP or V plates/placards or drivers escorting guests with limited mobility may complete the Reserved Accessible Parking Form by April 17 to request the closest parking available to the stadium. Visit Accessibility page for more info.

  • Where can I stay?

Hotels in the area fill up quickly, please refer to lodging for more information.

  • Where can I get my cap and gown?

Caps, gowns, and tassels (the cost of which has already been paid by your student fees) may be picked up on the days & at the times listed below:

*Grad Fair
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Campus Center Auditorium

**The week of Commencement:
Monday, May 4 - Thursday, May 7, 2020
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Campus Center, Room 165-69

***On Commencement Day
May 8, in Lot 11, at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, after 3 p.m.

If you are a University Without Walls Graduate, please refer to the University Without Walls graduation checklist on how to order your cap & gown. If you are a fall or winter graduate and will not be on campus for the above listed dates, please email for additional information. 

To pick up your cap & gown we will need your height and your Spire ID. If you are unable to pick up in person, a friend can pick it up for you (they will need to know your height and your Spire ID number).

  • I want to invite my relative from another country. How do I do that?

You can find the Student Visa Request Form here. Follow instructions on the form.