Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

The University of Maryland will be holding its campuswide Commencement in person on Friday, May 21, 2021. In order to accommodate all graduates while safely distancing, there will be two ceremonies held at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Graduates will be assigned a designated ceremony time based on their college and/or unit. 

A live stream of both ceremonies will also be available on commencement.umd.edu. 

The ceremony will last approximately 60 minutes.

11 a.m. 

  • College of Arts and Humanities 
  • Robert H. Smith School of Business
  • College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • College of Education
  • Extended Studies
  • Philip Merrill College of Journalism
  • School of Public Policy 

4 p.m. 

  •     College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  •     School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
  •     College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences 
  •     A. James Clark School of Engineering 
  •     College of Information Studies
  •     School of Public Health
  •     Undergraduate Studies 

Spring 2020 & Winter 2020 Graduates

Spring 2020 and Winter 2020 graduates are invited to attend the in-person campuswide commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 21, 2021. 

Interested 2020 graduates were required to RSVP by May 7, 2021.

No. We will be unable to accommodate Summer 2021 graduates.

2020 graduates will also receive tickets to bring up to two (2) guests and will be assigned to a designated ceremony time based on their graduating college.

Safety Guidelines

No. There will be no student processional to prevent gathering.

No. Graduates will remain seated with their guests for the duration of the ceremony. 

Graduates will be recognized at their respective individual colleges’ virtual ceremony on Thursday, May 20 via an on-screen scroll at the conclusion of the event. 

Yes. Everyone is required to wear a face covering. Guests will be seated in households of three to meet CDC recommendations and 4 Maryland protocols. If you answer yes to any of the following questions the day of the event, we ask you to please refrain from attending in person: 

  • Have you or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 30 days?
  • Do you have any reason to believe you or anyone in your household has been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • To the best of your knowledge have you been in close proximity to any individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

 All attendees will be required to follow current CDC and 4 Maryland guidelines.

COVID-19 testing is not required for graduates, faculty, staff or guests attending in person commencement ceremonies. 

Guests can enter from Gates C, F, and I. 

Only guests with Field Level Tickets will be able to use the Field Level Entrance.

The campuswide ceremonies will take place rain or shine. If severe weather is in the forecast, everyone will be notified of any changes in the schedule such as a delay in the start time. Ceremonies may also be condensed in response to severe weather.

All parking will be free for attendees. You may park in any unattended lot. 

Stadium Drive Garage is reserved for accessibility parking with an ADA tag or plate only. Please check in with the attendant when you arrive. 

Recommended entrance gates and parking lots are as advised as follows: 

  • Seating Sections 2-8
    • North Gate C
    • Parking Lot 2, Regents Drive Garage, Xfinity Center Parking
  • Seating Sections 9-16
    • West Gate F
    • Parking Lot 1
  • Seating Sections 17-28
    • South Gate C
    • Parking Lot 1
  • Field level seating
    • Field Level Entrance - Gate M
    • Parking Lot 1,  Regents Drive Garage 
  • Best ADA entrance and access
    • Gate I 
    • ADA parking: Stadium Drive Garage, Lot 1

Stadium Drive Garage and Union Lane Garage are reserved for accessibility parking with an ADA tag or plate only. Please check in with the attendant when you arrive. 

Stadium Drive Garage is recommended if you have ADA seating as it is the closer garage to that seating area.

  • Balloons
  • Umbrellas
  • No bags larger than 12x12x6
  • No backpacks
  • Pets*
  • Outside Food or Drink of any kind*
  • Chair Backs - Please refer to the Chair Back Policy for more information
  • Illegal Substances
  • Fireworks / Firearms
  • Weapons (both real and facsimiles)
  • Flammables of any kind
  • Laser Pointers
  • Artificial Noisemakers
  • Strollers
  • Skateboards / Bicycles
  • Dangerous or Disruptive Behavior
  • Signage, Apparel or other Items that display, depict or represent recognizable symbols and/or words, including nooses and swastikas, that incite, intimidate, or threaten members of the University of Maryland community.
  • Sign Poles or Sign Sticks
  • Smoking and Vaping
  • Soliciting / Loitering / Trespassing
  • Video Cameras
  • Any other items or actions deemed dangerous or disruptive to the attendee experience

*Exceptions will be made for those with medical requirements and/or special needs.
 

Yes, concessions will be available on site with water and food options. Only cashless payments options are available.

Yes, each guest is permitted to bring in one unopened bottle of water or sports beverage. Guests can also bring an empty personal water bottle.

Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

The campuswide commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed starting at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on commencement.umd.edu as well as the UMD YouTube channel. Graduates and their families can also follow along on the UMD Twitter and Instagram for live updates during the ceremony and opportunities to engage and interact in real-time.

Leading up to and during commencement, graduates are encouraged to share their memories on social media using #UMDgrad. See Terps’ photos and reflections and join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram

Graduates were offered the chance for photos to be included in either the campuswide commencement ceremonies or the school and college ceremonies by submitting photos via email or social media by May 6. 

Individual colleges and schools’ virtual ceremonies will be available at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2021 on the commencement website, to watch at your own pace following the streaming of the campuswide commencement ceremonies. 


Yes, both ceremonies will be available on commencement.umd.edu for any subsequent viewing following the livestream.

Yes, both the campuswide commencement and individual school and college ceremonies will have closed captioning. When viewing the ceremony, click on “CC” or video settings to turn on captions.

The ceremony can play on most browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, iOS or Android. A hardline connection over a wireless router (WiFi) is more consistent for carrying streaming video. 

Minimize local network congestion. If you can, ask others to limit activity during the event. 
Close out other running programs while viewing. Other open browser tabs, email, etc all use data and resources that will impact your computer’s streaming watching performance.

Reboot your computer or mobile device if it has been running for several days. Devices can become sluggish after running continuously for days.

In the event of buffering or other issues, first try refreshing your browser, and if the issue is not resolved try quitting and re-starting the stream.

Ticketing

Tickets are required for all graduates and their two (2) guests. 

No. Tickets will be assigned in advance in order to ensure safe distancing between all attendees. 

Graduates will be able to claim tickets through their athletic online ticket account. Graduates will receive an email on May 5, 2021, at 12 PM directing them to set up their account.

Graduates must register with the system using their University ID number.

Tickets will be emailed to all graduates shortly after the request has been processed. Please allow at least 48 hours for requests to be processed.

No hard copy tickets will be provided. All tickets will be electronically accessed. 

Spring 2021 graduates must register by Wednesday, May 19 to receive them Friday, May 21.

Tickets will be limited to 1 for the graduate and 2 for guests.

No. Tickets may not be transferred to other ceremony times.

No. Requests for additional tickets will not be granted. 

No. Tickets may not be transferred to other graduates and/or their guests. 

Children two and under require a special “lap ticket” which can be added to the graduate’s allotment. Please contact the Office of Special Events, events@umd.edu, to request this.

If you have any questions, please contact the Athletics Ticket Office at 301.314.7070.

Yes. The Box Office at Maryland Stadium will be open 90 minutes prior to each ceremony (9:30 AM and 2:30 PM) and will close once the ceremony begins. 

Please contact the Office of Special Events, events@umd.edu, to discuss options.

Yes. Captions will be available on all screens and there will be a designated live ASL interpreter section. Please contact the Office of Special Events, events@umd.edu, to request ASL.

As much as we’d like to invite our entire UMD campus community,  with the restricted capacity - we are focusing on accommodating our graduates first. However, all members of our community are welcome and encouraged to participate by watching the live stream at commencement.umd.edu. 

Care Packages & Programs

Please make sure to update your permanent address in Testudo no later than Monday, April 19, 2021. 

Care packages will be sent to all graduates in two separate mailings via USPS. One package will include the official commencement poster and pin along with other items. The second package will include the Spring 2021 commencement program. Undergraduate seniors will receive a cap and tassel.

The first care package is scheduled to arrive the first week of May. The second package will arrive the week of May 19. 

International addresses will be sent to their respective International Broker’s facilities and then forwarded to their destinations. If the recipient’s country is on a restrictive list and cannot be forward immediately, the package will be held until such time as the mail is allowed to be delivered. 

PhD graduates will receive a special program that will be sent to them after commencement on May 21.

No. Cords and/or medals are provided by your respective honor college and/or affiliate programs. Please reach out to them directly for delivery. 

Programs will be delivered to graduates as part of their care package starting the week of May 17.

The program will also be available digitally as a PDF on our website on May 20.

Yes. Please complete the request form here. Please note we will only provide a maximum of 5 copies of each item. 

Extra programs and posters will be shipped after commencement starting mid-June. 

Please email events@umd.edu and we’ll assist you by providing you the tracking number or resending your package as necessary. 

Regalia

The deadline for ordering regalia was May 1. 
 
For concerns with any outstanding orders from Oak Hall Cap & Gown or to be added to a regalia wait list, please reach out to Deddison Won, Operations Manager, University Book Center, at dwon1@umd.edu.

Wearing regalia is preferred.

Other

Due to COVID safety regulations, we won’t be able to have volunteers at our ceremonies. 

There will be no change in the way students receive their diplomas. Official diplomas will be mailed to the address listed when applying for graduation via Testudo. Applications for graduating in May 2021 were due February 5. Please expect diplomas to start arriving by July 2021. 

For any further questions or if you need to change your mailing address, please contact Diploma Services: 301.314.8270 / diploma@umd.edu

Students and families can order the 2020 - 2021 yearbook and schedule or submit photos at www.terrapinyearbook.com

Photos may be submitted at www.terrapinyearbook.com. For any questions, please email terrapinyearbook@gmail.com

For any questions about merchandise or licensing please email licensing@umd.edu

As a result of the continued management of COVID-19, there are new guidelines for hosting events on campus this spring.  This information will be updated as campus and county leaders continue to manage the health and safety of the community. All events must comply with the latest Prince George’s County guidance.

View full UMD COVID-19 Related Event Guidelines.

No. Tailgating is not allowed for any events or programs.

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