Spring 2018 Commencement


Campus-Wide Ceremony

Date: Sunday, May 20th 2018
Time: 1:00pm
Location: Xfinity Center

Tickets are required for the campus-wide ceremony and only those students who are completing all degree requirements this semester may receive tickets to attend. For detailed information regarding the Campus-Wide Commencement Ceremony and ticket distribution visit https://umd.edu/commencement/future-dates/spring-2018 .


Department of Government and Politics and ENSP Politics/Policy Ceremony

Date: Monday, May 21st 2018
Time: 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Location: Reckord Armory

Detailed information about the GVPT ceremony will be posted at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester. In the meantime, any questions can be directed to KRiffert [at] umd.edu

Tickets and Guests
Tickets are not required for the departmental ceremony and students are not required to RSVP. However, seating in the Armory is limited so we request that students keep their total number of guests to no more than six. We want to ensure that all graduates are able to have their immediate family present.

All students must wear regalia to participate in the ceremony. Cap and gown packages can be purchased at the University Book Center within the Stamp Student Union. The last day that hood colors/robe sizes can be guarenteed is April 6th, so please be sure to purcahse regalia before that date. For more information please see the following link.  Any regalia questions should be directed to the University Book Center. 

Please note that regalia cannot be purchased online. If for some reason you are unable to pick up regalia at the Book Center (location, full-time internship, etc) you can fax a form to the Book Center and have your regalia shipped to you for an additional fee. If you need this form please e-mail KRiffert [at] umd.edu.

Free parking for graduates and their guests will be available in any lot or parking garage on campus aside from Lot L, the gated lot that surrounds the Reckford Armory. Parking closest to the Reckford Armory is available in the Regents Drive Garage. It is a 10-minute walk from the garage to the Armory and free accessible shuttles to the Armory are also available.

There will also be a drop-off area outside of the Armory where guests can drive up to the rear (accessible) entrance of the Armory (see map) in order to drop off anyone who requires physical assistance. Handicapped parking spots in the Armory parking lot (Lot L) are reserved to UMD faculty/staff members with a campus-registered license plate, so you should be prepared to drop off any guests in need of assistance and park in another open lot. 

Disabled guests and/or families who need to avoid stairs can enter the Armory through the rear (accessible) entrance adjacent to the Main Administration Building. This door opens directly onto the gym floor and once guests enter the Armory, they can sit anywhere they like. It is floor seating only, no bleachers or stairs. Wheelchair seating will be marked off so guests should see a commencement volunteer (wearing name tags) or an usher (in yellow jackets) for assistance. 

Important Venue Information
There will be a bag screening for all students and guests upon entering the Armory so we ask that everyone avoid bringing bags into the Armory or limit the amount and size of bags in order to avoid delays. Parents, guests, and students cannot bring food into the Armory. Additionally, there is no place to store strollers and strollers cannot be placed in the aisles, therefore we ask that guests please refrain from bringing strollers into the facility.

Information for Graduates

  • Please arrive at the Armory no later than 11:30am to check in and line up for the processional. Line-up for the processional will be in the basement of the Armory, which should be accessed by the main entrance facing Route 1. Staircases to the basement can be accessed from inside the main entrance of the Armory.
  • Graduates are required to wear regalia in order to participate in both ceremonies. Regalia can be purchased from the University Book Center and is sold as a package that includes the following items: cap, gown, department hood, stole and tassel. For more information visit www.commencement.umd.edu
  • You will be standing a long time, and you will also be walking across a stage with 3,000 people watching you, so wear comfortable shoes!
  • Do not bring things like book bags or purses with you. You won’t have any place to store them and regalia does not come with pockets.
  • Designate a place to meet your family after the ceremony. You will be processing out of the main entrance of the Armory, so plan to meet them outside afterward.
  • If you have a name that is difficult to pronounce, please contact Jillian Santos (jsantos5 [at] umd.edu) prior to commencement to clarify the pronunciation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do I have to apply for graduation?
A: Students who will be finishing degree requirements this semester and intend to graduate need to apply for graduation. Applications for graduation were due February 9th electronically via Testudo. If you intend to graduate and have not yet submitted an application, please contact the BSOS Advising Office as soon as possible.

Q: Do I have to attend either of the commencement ceremonies?
A: Participation in the main and departmental ceremonies is encouraged, but not mandatory. If you choose not to participate in the commencement ceremonies, you will still receive your diploma.

Q: I am a double-major. Which ceremony do I attend?
A: Students can choose to attend both ceremonies, only one ceremony, or neither.  It is at the discretion of the student.

Q: I am planning to graduate during the summer, can I still participate in Commencement?
A: If you plan to finish your degree during the summer of 2018 you may still be eligible to walk in the departmental commencement ceremony only. Please contact KRiffert [at] umd.edu for more information.

Q: Will I receive my diploma at graduation?
A: No, you will not receive your diploma at graduation. Your diploma will be sent to the diploma mailing address specified at the time the application for graduation was submitted. If a diploma mailing address was not specified, the diploma will be mailed to your permanent address.

Further questions regarding the GVPT/ENSP commencement ceremony can be sent to Kiersten Riffert at KRiffert [at] umd.edu.