FAQs for the Class of 2024

Browse through frequently asked questions about the Southern and Northern Commencements

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Southern & Northern Commencement FAQs

Ceremony Info

  • Each ceremony is expected to last approximately 1 ½ hours. Graduates are required to remain for the entire Commencement ceremony and may not leave early.
  • A livestream of the Southern and Northern California ceremonies will be available for those friends and family that would like to watch from around the globe on the UMass Global Facebook page. A Facebook account is not required for guests to view these videos. 
  • Yes. All eligible graduates who RSVP before the ticket deadline and attend the ceremony, will have the opportunity to cross the stage and hear their name announced. This will be done through your Grad Pass by scanning the QR code when it is your turn to cross the stage. 

  • The university encourages all graduates who are able to travel to California for our ceremonies, to please join us for these celebrations if they wish. 

    Please view the CDPH and CDC travel advisories for precautions and recommendations related to COVID. Ceremony plans are subject to change. UMass Global will not reimburse anyone for personal travel expenses associated with commencements.

  • Both our Southern and Northern California ceremonies will be held indoors. In Northern California, student lineup will take place outdoors. There is no alternate rain location for our ceremonies and they will take place as scheduled unless a downpour or electrical storm create a safety hazard. Please wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from the sun, apply sunscreen, wear sensible shoes, and drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. If at any time you do not feel well, please notify a commencement team member in a red polo.

  • Professional graduation photographers from Pro Pics will capture various photos of the graduate, on stage and portrait-style. Pro Pics will e-mail photo proofs directly to graduates in the days after the ceremony. Family and guests are not allowed near the stage during the ceremony to take photos. Guests are encouraged to remain in their seats and may not approach the graduates at any time during the ceremony.

Commencement ADA Accommodations

  • Yes. There are designated drop off locations at both the Southern and Northern ceremonies, for those guests and grads who cannot walk long distances.

    • In Southern California, enter the parking lot and notify the parking attendant that you need to use curbside drop off for a family member who cannot walk long distances. Disability parking is also available near the front of the venue.
    • In Northern California, curbside drop off is available on the 15th Street side of the auditorium. This is not a parking location, so you will need to coordinate with someone in your group to assist the guest while another parks the car at a nearby lot.
  • If you are participating in Commencement as a graduate, please denote that you need accommodations for a disability on your RSVP form or email commencement@umassglobal.edu with your request. Please note, at the Southern California ceremony captioning will be available on the large screens near the stage, for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. A Commencement Team Member will respond to your request and work with you to create a plan that suits your needs.

  • At the Northern California ceremony, the majority of guest seating will be stadium style. There will be designated seating areas for guests in wheelchairs or who are unable to walk up stairs. If any of your guests cannot do stairs and need ADA seating accommodations, please designate that during the RSVP process for guest tickets. More details will be provided to students on the RSVP process in the future.

    At the Southern California ceremony guest seating will be at ground level and there will be a designated seating area for guest in wheelchairs. Additionally, captioning will be available on the large screens near the stage in Southern California, for those who may be deaf or hard-of-hearing.

    Additionally, upon entering the parking lot, please notify the parking attendant that you are in need of disability parking or curbside drop-off for any of your guests with physical limitations that cannot walk long distances.

    For any other inquiries regarding accommodations for guests, please email commencement@umassglobal.edu and a commencement team member will respond.

  • The university does not provide wheelchairs or carts at the event. Please come prepared with your own assistive devices, if attending. Grads and guests can rent a wheelchair from one of the local wheelchair vendors. For any other inquiries regarding accommodations, please email commencement@umassglobal.edu and a commencement team member will respond.

Commencement Eligibility

  • A dual degree refers to two different types of degrees, which have been completed concurrently. For example, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and a Master of Science in Human Resources would be considered dual degrees. If you are graduating with dual degrees, you will not be able to cross the stage and have your name read for both degrees. Instead, you will need to select the single degree that you would like to walk under at the ceremony and indicate your selection during the RSVP process. Even though you may only have your name read once at Commencement, you will still be listed for each degree earned in the Commencement program.

  • To be eligible for participation in commencement ceremonies, the student's official degree audit must indicate that the student is on course to satisfactorily complete all degree requirements by the end of Summer Session II of that year or sooner. This is verified by the Academic Advisor and indicated by the expected graduation date on the student's degree audit.

  • Students that will complete their coursework in Fall I session or later, may not participate in Commencement this year and will need to wait until the following year to walk. Beginning in September, these graduates will be able to begin the process of attending next year's ceremony by completing the Commencement Interest form. More information is available on MyUMassGlobal

  • Participation in the commencement ceremony involves a two-step process:

     

    • Step 1: Submit the "Commencement Interest" form
      The Commencement Interest form is available to submit from now until February 28. Completing the Commencement Interest form is required to participate in commencement and critical for students to continue receiving important information, including an invitation to reserve tickets.
     
    • Step 2: Submits the "RSVP Ticket" form
      Following completion and Advisor approval of the Commencement Interest form, students will receive an email invitation to their university email account in late March or early April to complete the RSVP Ticket form. The RSVP Ticket form is necessary to secure tickets for student commencement participants and/or guests to attend the ceremony. Please note the dates when the RSVP Ticket form is available and the deadline to complete the form change each year. Please check your ceremony location page for that information, once it's available.
  • Graduates who were eligible in a previous year, but were unable to participate in their commencement can request to be eligible to participate this year by emailing commencement@umassglobal.edu.  Please provide your name, student ID, student email address, and the degree for which you would like to participate in commencement for. Requests received after February 28 will not have their name in the printed program. Please note, graduates can only participate in commencement one time over their lifetime, per degree earned from our university. 

Diplomas

  • Students do not need to apply for degree conferral. Conferral is the result of the official program evaluation from Degree Works, reflecting all requirements as complete. Once your degree progress bar indicates 100% completion, your record will be flagged for processing. The degree conferral date is final and will not be backdated. Each conferral is subject to a seven-day validation. Please visit the Degree Conferral page on MyUMassGlobal.

  • No. The RSVP for Commencement is a separate process from obtaining a printed diploma. Once your Degree Works progress bar indicates 100% completion, the record will be flagged for processing. Students will then receive an email confirming degree conferral. Next, the student should pay the Conferral Fee in Self-Service and ensure all holds are cleared. Once paid and holds are fully cleared, students can complete the Diploma Form. We ask our students to allow 6-8 weeks for processing and delivery of diplomas after form submission is complete. Please visit the Degree Conferral page on MyUMassGlobal for more information and to submit your form.

  • University of Massachusetts Global diplomas are 8.5”x11” and previously awarded Brandman University diplomas are 11”x14”.

    Alumni who already hold a Brandman University diploma, may request a University of Massachusetts Global diploma at no additional charge on MyUMassGlobal. If interested, use the link provided to submit a new Application for Diploma form and under the Institution drop down choice, you will want to select University of Massachusetts Global.

  • The university's conferral fee is not related to commencement ceremonies or participation.

    The conferral fee, due upon completion of course requirements, covers the validation of your degree, as well as the printing and shipping your diploma and an official transcript. The conferral fee will need to be paid for students to begin the diploma process.

  • Once your Degree Works progress bar indicates 100% completion, the record will be flagged for processing. Students will then receive an email confirming degree conferral. Next, the student should pay the Conferral Fee in Self-Service and ensure all holds are cleared. Once paid and holds are fully cleared, students can complete the Diploma Form. We ask our students to allow 6-8 weeks for processing and delivery of diplomas after form submission is complete. Please visit the Degree Conferral page on MyUMassGlobal for more information and to submit your form. 

  • Once your degree is conferred, conferral fee paid and any holds cleared, you will be able to complete and submit a diploma form. The diploma and an official transcript will be mailed to the address you provide on your diploma form. You should expect to receive your diploma by U.S. mail within 6-8 weeks. For more information, please visit the Degree Conferral page on MyUMassGlobal.

General

  • If you meet the eligibility requirements for this year's ceremony and are unable to attend, you can email commencement@umassglobal.edu and request to be invited to next year's ceremony. Please include your name, student ID, university email address, and the degree for which you are earning.

  • For guests attending our ceremonies, commencement programs will be located near the guest entrance at each ceremony. For graduates attending our ceremonies, a commencement program will be placed at your seat. These programs are complimentary and are available while supplies last.

  • In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we plan to seat all graduates with some distance from one another. Additionally, we encourage all our guests to leave an empty seat between your group and other groups. At this time, masks are not required to attend our Southern or Northern California ceremonies. If there is a change to the recommendations or requirements, the university will notify graduates via their university email account. 

    UMass Global will continue to monitor federal, state, and local regulations governing public gatherings and update graduates of any changes. For a more thorough list of the commencement terms and conditions, please view them on that page of the website.

  • Send an email from your university email account to commencement@umassglobal.edu with your name (the graduate), student ID, degree program, the name(s) of the family member(s) traveling, and the consulate mailing address. You should receive a response from a commencement team member within 5 business days.

    Please be aware the letter provided by UMass Global (formerly Brandman) is not a guarantee that your family member will be approved to travel, per their respective consulate and other restrictions. For information on pandemic-related travel recommendations, including any that would affect grads and guests planning to travel domestically or internationally to our ceremonies, please view the CDPH and CDC travel advisories for updates between now and the ceremony. UMass Global will follow the federal, state, and local directives that are in effect at the time of university events. Ceremony plans are subject to change. UMass Global will not reimburse anyone for personal travel expenses associated with commencements.

  • There are no rehearsals for the Southern and Northern California ceremonies. Graduates will receive instructions via their university email account in the weeks leading up to Commencement. On the day of, there will be University Marshals leading the procession and directing graduates where to go.

Regalia and Memorabilia

  • If you are receiving your undergraduate degree, your regalia consists of a black gown, mortarboard cap, and tassel. There are also UMass Global, Military, Veteran, Kente, and Serape stoles available for purchase, but they are completely optional.

    If you are receiving your master’s degree, your regalia consists of a black master’s gown, mortarboard cap, tassel, and a master’s hood. The hood will have blue and red lining. If you are unsure what master's hood color to order, we recommend reviewing our easy reference chart

    If you are receiving your doctoral degree, your regalia consists of a doctoral gown with velvet panels and bars, velvet tam with attached gold tassel and doctoral hood with blue and red lining. For doctoral regalia only, graduates will have the option to rent or purchase their commencement attire. If choosing to rent, your gown will be black with black velvet trimmings. If choosing to purchase custom UMass Global regalia, your gown will be black with blue velvet trimmings, gold piping, and the UMass Global logo.

  • If you have any questions regarding your regalia or announcements order, please contact Oak Hall directly at 1-540-387-0000. The university will not be able to assist you with your Oak Hall order.

  • No. The stole is an optional item for your Commencement attire and is not recommended for Masters or Doctoral graduates.

  • Stoles and other regalia accessories are optional and not required to participate in commencement. The regalia guidelines for the university are that we permit students to order the regalia accessories provided by our exclusive regalia vendor, Oak Hall. This vendor offers an assortment of stoles, including UMass Global, Military, Veteran, Kente, and Serape options available for purchase on their website.

    Official student groups and honor societies are also permitted to order stoles from their governing organization, if available for purchase. A list of Student Organizations is available on MyUMassGlobal. Please reach out to the group directly to inquire if there are any stoles offered by the governing organization.

    No other regalia accessories are permitted at commencement. Please do not order custom stoles from a third party website or vendor.  See Honor Cords FAQ for more information on that topic.
  • Only Bachelor candidates are eligible for Latin honors and honor cords. Purchasing or wearing honor cords at commencement does not guarantee that the student will earn Latin honors, which are determined at the time of degree conferral.

    To be eligible for Latin honors, the student must have a UMass Global (or Brandman) grade point average and cumulative grade point average, including all transfer work, at or above the specific honors category. A minimum of 33 credits must be UMass Global (or Brandman) coursework taken for a letter grade. Categories of honors are cum laude (3.500–3.699 GPA); magna cum laude (3.700–3.899 GPA); and summa cum laude (3.900+ GPA).

    • For students who have met these requirements by Fall II, they may purchase an honors cord set when ordering regalia, if they wish to. 
    • For students who have not completed their program requirements, but would like to wear honor cords at commencement, please work with your Academic Advisor to determine if you are on course to complete your degree with Latin Honors. Any students who have not completed their program requirements and are on course to graduate with Latin Honors, may purchase an honors cord set when ordering regalia, if they wish to.

     

    Please view your academic catalog or contact your Academic Advisor for any questions you may have.

  • No. Regalia will not be available for purchase at your ceremony. Regalia should be ordered far ahead of your ceremony date, as it can take upwards of 5-9 weeks to process and ship, depending on your degree level. There are order deadlines specific to your ceremony location and degree level, which allow enough time for your items to arrive in time for your ceremony. Please order early and open your packages as soon as they arrive to ensure your order was fulfilled correctly. If you have any questions regarding your regalia purchase, please contact Oak Hall customer service at 1-540-387-0000.

    The university will not have extra regalia or items for sale on the day of your ceremony. Visit the Ordering Resources page under Regalia & Announcements for deadlines specific to your degree and ceremony location.

  • We recommend that you watch this instructional video to learn how to properly wear your cap and gown at commencement. Photos of the items are available on the ordering website and shown in the video. 

  • Due to the varied flooring at Commencement (grass, ramps, stage, and possible stairs) and the length of time graduates will be standing in the lineup area and procession, it is recommended that graduates wear sensible shoes. For ladies, flats or wedge style shoes with a low heel are recommended. Tall heels can become a trip hazard and dangerous with the varied flooring grads will experience.

RSVP and Tickets

  • Guest tickets are required for admission to our Commencement ceremonies. Seating will be first come, first serve. In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all our guests to leave an empty seat between your group and other groups. 

    Tickets will be distributed to graduates the week of the ceremony. Children under the age of 2 who will sit on the lap of an adult during the entire ceremony, do not require a ticket. All other guests will need a ticket in order to attend the ceremony. Ticket allotments are based on the size of the graduating class by ceremony and the seating capacity of the venue, and will be shared via email with graduates in mid-spring.

    *Tickets are not guaranteed, and the event is subject to change.

  • Children under the age of 2 who will sit on the lap of an adult during the entire ceremony, do not require a ticket. All other guests will need a ticket in order to attend the ceremony, regardless of their age and willingness to sit on an adults lap. 

  • During the RSVP and ticketing process, students will have the opportunity to add phonetic pronunciation information for their name. Additionally, you can record yourself saying your name, which will be provided to our professional voice artists as a point of reference, when they record your name for the ceremony. Please speak clearly and slowly so the voice artist has as much information on how you would like your name pronounced as possible. 

  • If you are interested in attending a future commencement, please email commencement@umassglobal.edu to make your request. Sharing this information with the university will help us better plan for our ceremonies in the future and ensure you will be invited next year.

    If you are not interested in attending this year's ceremony or any future ceremonies, then no action is needed on your part.

  • The Commencement Interest form is not an RSVP for commencement. If approved before the deadline, your name will be included in the printed program, you will receive additional information about commencement, and the opportunity to RSVP for tickets later in Spring. For more information on Commencement Eligibility, visit the page on MyUMassGlobal.

    • If you are undecided it is recommended that you complete the Commencement Interest form, for the option to RSVP later and have your name in the printed program. 
    • If you truly do not plan to attend commencement, you do not need to complete the Commencement Interest form. However, your name will not be included in the printed program, you will be excluded from continuing to receive information, and not have the opportunity to RSVP for commencement later in Spring.
    • If you are interested in attending a future commencement, please email commencement@umassglobal.edu to make your request. Sharing this information with the university will help us better plan for our ceremonies in the future and ensure you will be invited next year.

    The deadline to complete the Commencement Interest form is February 28

  • Graduates will receive more information and an email invitation to RSVP for grad and guest tickets later this Spring. During this process grads will provide the name they wish announced on stage, the phonetic pronunciation of their name, and be able to secure their allotted guest tickets.

    Graduates may designate accommodation requests for themselves and their guests during the RSVP process. Guest and grad tickets will be sent to your university email the week of the ceremony, however a confirmation email will be emailed to the student upon registration completion.

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