Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Commencement

1) When and where are the 2017 Commencement Exercises being held?

The Commencement Ceremony for the Graduate School of Nursing, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Medicine is Sunday, June 4, 2017, under a tent on the Campus Green, rain or shine.  A listing of dates and times for all events scheduled during the Commencement Weekend can be accessed by clicking this link.

2) Are tickets required? Is there any limit on how many people I can invite?

Tickets are required, and graduates may invite up to 20 guests to help celebrate this occasion. If more tickets are needed, graduates should speak with their fellow graduates to acquire any extra tickets that would have gone unused otherwise. All other UMass Medical School students are welcome and can pick up tickets from Kristen Maki in the SOM Dean’s Office. 

3) Where may I park?

All parking areas on campus will be open and free. Please refer to the campus map for specific information. 

4) How early can I be seated for the ceremony?

Seating under the tent will begin at 11 a.m. and closes during processional, which begins at 11:45 a.m. To be sure favorable seats are claimed, guests should aim to be seated before 11:30 a.m. Food is not allowed in the tent. 

5) Will accessible seating be available for those who need it?

Seating for handicapped guests and three companions can be reserved in advance by contacting the Commencement staff person in your school. There will be a separate entrance exclusively for accessible seating on the right side of the tent. 3 additional seats are allowed to accompany each accessible seating ticket. Please plan ahead to find seats in general seating if your numbers exceed that. Accessible seating not filled by 11:45 a.m. will be released to the general public. To see a diagram of the tent set-up, click here.

6) What should I know about security arrangements for the event?

We do not anticipate any security problems on Commencement Day but will carry out our usual precautionary measures. Backpacks, briefcases, large bags, and wrapped gifts will not be allowed into the tent.  Handbags, purses, and camera bags will be allowed but may be subject to inspection prior to entry.  

Staff at all Commencement venues will have the authority to prohibit any item deemed to be a security risk, and all items, including unattended backpacks or bags, at any location on the campus, may be subject to inspection or removal without notice by members of the Department of Public Safety.

Additionally, for the comfort and enjoyment of all our guests, please observe the following restrictions:

  • no artificial noisemakers, air horns, or megaphones
  • no poles, banners, large signs, flags, laser pointers, or incendiary devices
  • no promotional items with commercial slogans or identification
  • no alcohol
  • no pets in the tent
  • These policies are subject to change without notice.

7) What should I wear for events on Commencement Weekend?

There is no formal dress code.  We do suggest wearing low-heeled shoes, as you will be walking on a grass lawn.

8) Can I take photographs of my graduate?

UMass Medical School contracts with a professional photographer to take a picture of each graduate being hooded and/or receiving a diploma.  If you wish to purchase a photograph, you may order directly from the photographer's website. There is also a reserved section close to the left front of the stage where you may stand to take your own picture of your graduate; please wait to come forward until near the time when you expect your graduate’s name to be called.

9) Can I watch the Commencement Ceremony online?

Yes. The full Commencement Ceremony will be live streamed here. 

10) What’s the best hashtag for social media posts about Commencement Weekend 2017?

#UMASSMED2017

In addition, feel free to follow University Events' social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

11) Who can answer questions about commencement?

If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed anywhere else on this Commencement Website, please contact the Office of University Events.

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