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The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Congratulations! You did it! If you are a UWW Interdisciplinary Studies student, this page will provide you with information about your commencement ceremonies and instructions for making sure you are cleared for graduation. 

Graduation Checklist

Are you a 2021 graduate (February, May, or September)? Be sure to review the below checklist to make sure you are on track.

Main Ceremony

This beautiful event is the university's official graduation ceremony, typically attended by thousands of graduates, family, friends, faculty, staff, and dignitaries. Held annually, the ceremony is for all UMass Amherst students graduating in February, May, and September of that calendar year. UMass Amherst has announced that the main ceremonies for 2021 graduates will be held in-person (without guests) and via livestream on May 14, 2021, and the main ceremony for 2020 graduates will be held in November 2021. Details for both are TBA.

Cap and gown ordering is open now for 2021 graduates (February, May, and September). In order to receive your cap and gown by May 14, order by the April 1 priority deadline. UWW Degree Completion Program students can select “University Without Walls” under the “major” dropdown, and no additional degrees.

Senior Recognition

This is typically a smaller, heartfelt ceremony where UWW Degree Completion Program graduates, families, friends, faculty, and staff celebrate and acknowledge your individual accomplishments. This event is not meant to replace the main commencement ceremony, and all students are encouraged to attend both. UMass Amherst has not indicated plans to hold senior recognition ceremonies for 2021 or 2020 graduates.

The UWW Degree Completion Program will be creating a video to celebrate the class of 2021 as well as our 50th anniversary, and we’d love for you to be part of it! You can join in by sending us a video clip or two. Up to thirty seconds in length is ideal, but if it’s longer, don’t worry. We’ll edit it if we need to! Here’s last year’s celebration video for inspiration, and here are some prompts you can try:

  1. A clip of you celebrating your graduation. This could be celebrating with loved ones in-person or on Zoom, dancing with your kids or pets, showing off your diploma if you’re a February grad, throwing your cap in the air (doesn't have to be the one that comes with your gown), or another idea of your choice. We want to feel the joy and love!
  2. A clip of you responding to one or more of these questions:
    • How does it feel to graduate with your bachelor's degree?
    • Who has been your biggest inspiration throughout this process?
    • What words of wisdom do you have for your fellow UWW Interdisciplinary Studies grads?
    • What was your favorite experience as a UWW Interdisciplinary Studies student?

You can email your clips and any questions you have to @email by Wednesday, April 21. If your video is too large to email, please use a shared drive like Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox. We will use as many clips as we can. If you use your phone, please take the video in landscape (phone on its side) and not portrait (phone vertical) mode.

Diploma and Certificate

Your diploma will be mailed to your address in SPIRE shortly after you are cleared for graduation. You can expect to receive your certificate, which recognizes your area of concentration, within three months of your official graduation date. In the meantime, if you need to demonstrate your area of concentration to employers or graduate schools, it is listed on your transcript.