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FAQ's

Browse through frequently asked questions about the Southern and Northern Commencements

Southern & Northern Commencement FAQ's

ADA Accommodations

  • If you are participating in Commencement as a graduate, please denote that you need accommodations for a disability on your RSVP form or email [email protected] with your request. Please note, at the Southern ceremony captioning will be available on the large screens near the stage, for those with 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 both the Northern and Southern ceremonies, 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 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 ceremony captioning will be available on the large screens near the stage, 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 [email protected] and a commencement team member will respond.

  • Yes. 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.

  • While the University does not have wheelchairs available for guest use, we invite you to use the lists of local vendors who provide wheelchair rental services for the Southern and Northern ceremonies. Individuals with questions regarding disability-related accommodations should read the FAQs listed above. If you still have questions, you may email [email protected] and a commencement team member will respond.

Ceremony Info

  • Although ceremonies will likely include health and safety measures to safeguard attendees from COVID-19, the university plans to celebrate graduates in a traditional celebratory manner. Ceremonies are expected to include remarks from Chancellor Gary Brahm and a student speaker, as well as an opportunity for each graduate to cross the stage when their name is announced.

    Anticipated safety measures will likely include mask requirements, symptom screening questions, and information gathering for the purposes of any necessary contact tracing. Depending on the state of the pandemic and public health orders at the time of the events, safety measures may also include social distancing and reduced guest ticket allocations.

    UMass Global (formerly Brandman) will monitor federal, state, and local regulations governing public gatherings. The university will do its best to provide advance notice of UMass Global’s planned health and safety measures to enable you and your loved ones to make any necessary preparations. 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. Ceremony plans are subject to change. UMass Global will not reimburse anyone for personal travel expenses associated with commencements.

  • Yes. Both the classes of 2020 and 2021 are invited to join us for our fall in-person commencement ceremonies. Eligible graduates can choose the ceremony location they prefer, between Northern and Southern California.

  • The fall 2021 ceremonies will be held outdoors. Due to the uncertainty of the weather in October and November, we recommend all our attendees dress warm and wear layers. Temperatures in Sacramento, California during late October can range from 55 degrees to 74 degrees throughout the day. Temperatures in Irvine, California during early November can range from 55 degrees to 76 degrees throughout the day.

  • Yes. All eligible graduates will have the opportunity to cross the stage and hear their name announced.

  • UMass Global (formerly Brandman) will monitor federal, state, and local regulations governing public gatherings. 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. 

    Ceremony plans are subject to change. UMass Global will not reimburse anyone for personal travel expenses associated with commencements.

  • UMass Global (formerly Brandman) will monitor federal, state, and local regulations governing public gatherings. 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.

    Ceremony plans are subject to change. UMass Global will not reimburse anyone for personal travel expenses associated with commencements.

Diplomas

  • 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 weeks. For more information, please visit the Degree Conferral page on MyUMassGlobal.

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

    We anticipate grads and alumni will be able to choose between UMass Global and Brandman diplomas on the Diploma Form later this year. More information to come on this.

    Brandman souvenir diploma frames are available for purchase on the Chapman Online Bookstore. Be sure to select a Brandman University Diploma Frame when ordering, to ensure the correct size opening for your diploma.

  • 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.

  • 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 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. 

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

General

  • During the RSVP process, our 2020 and 2021 graduates will have the opportunity to select to attend a fall 2021 ceremony. If you would like to be invited to a 2022 ceremony instead, please email [email protected] to make that request.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • If you are graduating with two 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.

  • The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance to UMass Global (formerly Brandman). With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout, as well as changing federal, state, and local regulations, the university decided to hold ceremonies in late fall. UMass Global is hopeful this will result in ceremonies taking place at a time when more people have been vaccinated and the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower. UMass Global is also optimistic that scheduling ceremonies for fall may allow the university to offer a greater number of guest tickets to grads than would have been likely for early summer ceremonies.

  • UMass Global (formerly Brandman) has enjoyed previously hosting commencements at the Chapman University campus in Orange, California. However, due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and changing federal, state, and local restrictions, it is not feasible for the university to combine its own ceremonies with Chapman’s extensive commencement celebrations, which took place in late August and early September.
  • With the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, vaccine rollout, and changing federal, state, and local restrictions, it was not feasible for UMass Global (formerly Brandman) to host our typical ceremony schedule in 9 different locations. We are pleased to invite all our graduates to attend either the Northern or Southern California ceremonies this fall, as long as it is safe to do so.

    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.

  • 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 on your seat. These programs are complimentary and are subject to availability.

  • Send an email from your university email account to [email protected] 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 Northern and Southern Commencement ceremonies. Graduates will receive instructions via their university email account the weeks leading up to Commencement. On the day of, there will be University Marshals leading the procession and directing all graduates where to go.

  • The nomination process is currently closed for the 2021 Southern and Northern ceremonies.  The deadline for submitting nomination packets was on Monday, August 9, 2021.

    Information regarding the 2022 student speaker process, along with the 2022 nomination form, will be posted in Spring 2022.

Regalia and Memorabilia

  • We recommend that you watch this instructional video to learn how to properly wear your cap and gown at commencement. UMass Global regalia will be similar to the Brandman regalia, with the main differences being the school colors and logos. Photos of the items are available on the ordering website

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

  • If you are receiving your undergraduate degree, your regalia consists of a black gown, mortar board cap, and tassel. There are also Brandman, UMass Global, and Veteran 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 Brandman hood will have maroon and gold lining and the UMass Global 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, doctoral hood, and velvet tam with attached gold tassel. 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 Brandman custom regalia, your gown will be apple red with black velvet trimmings and the Brandman logo. If choosing to purchase UMass Global custom regalia, your gown will be black with blue velvet trimmings and the UMass Global logo. The Brandman hood will have maroon and gold lining and the UMass Global hood will have blue and red lining.

  • 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 Brandman or UMass Global grade point average and cumulative grade point average, including all transfer work, at or above the specific honors category. A minimum of 54 credits must be Brandman or UMass Global 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). Any students who have met these requirements by Fall II may order an honors cord. Please view your academic catalog or contact your Academic Advisor for any questions.

    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 schedule to complete your degree with Latin Honors. Any students who have not completed their program requirements and are on schedule to graduate with Latin Honors, may order an honors cord.

  • Regalia should be ordered ahead of time and there are order deadlines specific to your ceremony location and degree level, which ensure your items arrive in time for your ceremony. The university will not have extra regalia or items for sale on the day of your ceremony. Visit the Ordering Resources page under Regalia for deadlines specific to your degree and ceremony location.

  • 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.

RSVP and Tickets

  • Graduates received an email invitation to RSVP for grad and guest tickets in mid September. 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.

    For contact tracing purposes, you will need to provide the name, phone number, and email address for each ticketed guest. Additionally, 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.

  • Guest tickets are required for admission to our fall in-person Commencement ceremonies. Guest seating will be assigned randomly in pods based on each grad's reservations and 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.

    Due to social distancing and capacity limitations, graduates will have the opportunity to secure the following number of tickets based on their ceremony location and time:

    Northern California

    3:00 PM - Commencement

    • Graduates may secure up to 6 guest tickets

     

    Southern California

    8:00 AM - Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing & Health Professions Hooding & Commencement

    11:30 AM - Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (Ed.D.) Hooding & Commencement

    • Graduates may secure up to 12 guest tickets

     

    3:00 PM - School of Business & Professional Studies & School of Education Commencement

    6:30 PM - School of Arts & Sciences Commencement

    • Graduates may secure up to 6 guest tickets

     

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

  • Graduates will have the option to RSVP for a fall in-person ceremony through the registration process or email [email protected] to request to be invited to a 2022 ceremony. The university would likely be able to distribute a greater quantity of tickets in 2022 if state and local governments have fewer public health restrictions in effect at that time.

  • If you are interested in attending a future commencement, please email [email protected] 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.

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