The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


2020 Commencement & Celebration



Due to the ongoing prohibition of large gatherings and campus efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, May 2020 commencement & related weekend activities are POSTPONED. We will still honor our graduates and as alternative plans are determined, we will update this site accordingly. Read Chancellor Subbaswamy’s “Announcement about UMass Amherst Commencement” here.


Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish!   

Now it’s time for all graduating seniors and their friends and family to celebrate.

Undergraduate Commencement Class of 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020   POSTPONED
4:30 p.m., rain or shine
McGuirk Alumni Stadium, UMass Amherst

College of Engineering Senior Celebration

Saturday, May 9, 2020   POSTPONED
10:00 a.m.
Recreation Center, UMass Amherst

  • Doors open at 8:30a.m. The celebration will conclude at 11:30 a.m.
  • Tickets are not necessary. Seating at in the Recreation Center is unreserved.
  • Every student will walk across the stage and receive a commemorative medal.
  • Reception to follow in engineering quad, outside Marston Hall, rain or shine.
  • Shuttles and Maps
  • For more details, and parking instructions, see FAQs below. 


College of Engineering Reception

Saturday, May 9, 2020   POSTPONED
Immediately following Senior Celebration
Engineering Quad (Marston Hall), UMass Amherst

  • Casual and social, now is the time to introduce family to faculty and to take photos
  • Expected to conclude by 1:30 p.m.
  • Rain or Shine, refreshment will be served


FAQ's About Senior Celebration

  • Who gets to walk?

    A student's year of graduation is established by the Registrar's Office. To be eligible to participate in the May 2020 Commencement ceremony, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the time of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September 2020. Students scheduled for February 2021 graduation who wish to attend the May 2020 ceremony must file a "Petition to Participate in an Earlier Commencement form," available at the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore. If you wish to receive a UMass commemorative medal but are unable to attend the ceremony at which it would be presented contact the University Events Office at or by phone at (413) 577-1101 to ask that your medal be sent to you.

  • What should participants wear?

    Grads and faculty should dress in commencement caps and gowns. Families should dress comfortably. Everyone should wear shoes that are appropriate for walking and climbing stairs.
    Caps, gowns, and tassels (the cost of which has already been paid by student fees) may be picked (with student ID) Monday, May 4, 2020 - Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Campus Center, Room 165-69.

  • Where should I park?

    Parking will be available in Lots 65 and 45.  For those with mobility issues, additional parking closer to the venue is located in Lot 41 and Lot 64 nearest Dickinson Building.  To get driving directions to UMass, please click here.

    Guests who plan to attend the post-event reception in the engineering quad are encouraged to park in the most northern lots (65, 45, 26, 31) and walk to the Recreation Center to avoid having to move their vehicles after the celebration. Upon exiting the Recreation Center, all cars in lots 41 and 64 must be moved so there are spaces for the next group.

    Handicapped parking will be available in the pay-station Lot 64; turn off Commonwealth Avenue to Hicks Way then take two left turns to circle the Parks Band Building. Park in the lot just beyond the northeast corner of the Recreation Center. There is an elevator available in the Recreation Center for those with mobility issues. Any guest that does not have a handicap placard or plate but will be transporting an elderly or disabled guest may sign up for a Reserved Accessible Parking Form (deadline April 17, 2020) which can be used in Lot 26 for the main UMass Commencement on Friday, May 8th and in any handicapped parking spot near any of the senior recognition celebration venues on Friday, May 8th or Saturday, May 9th

  • Someone in our party is hearing impaired. What should we do?

    If you or any of your guests require the services of a sign language interpreter, please contact Disability Services via email at with “Commencement Interpreter Request” in the subject line. The deadline for requesting interpreter services is April 17, 2020.

    For further assistance in attending the Senior Recognition Celebration, Contact Lorraine Robidoux via e-mail, or by phone at (413) 545-6390.
    For further assistance in attending the University undergraduate ceremony, visit the University Commencement accessibility website for more information.

  • Someone in our party has a physical disability. What should we do?

    Seating for family members and guests with special needs will be available in a section in the Recreation Center. These seats will be located on the north side of the gym nearest the cafe and lot 64 entrance. They will be in the first row after an access aisle that is approximately two-thirds of the way back from the ceremony stage. Family members, or a companion, may be seated with these guests. Because seats in this venue are all located on a single floor, guests who use a wheelchair, walker or another assistive device often prefer to sit with family members rather than in the designated area. No prior arrangements are necessary, although it is recommended that you arrive early to secure seating.  For further assistance in attending the University undergraduate ceremony, visit the University Commencement accessibility website for more information.

  • I want to watch my graduating senior process. Where should I stand?

    Easy: You don't even need to stand up. You will be able to see your graduating senior from your seats when they enter the Recreation Center. Be on the lookout for department/major banner which will precede the entrance of each group. The graduates will be seated, up front, in groups, according to their major program/department, for the duration of the ceremony. You will also see your student on stage, shaking hands with various College officials. Also, the jumbotron will enable you to see  "up close."

  • When and where do we (graduating seniors) meet on the day of the College of Engineering Celebration? How do we line up? Are graduates required to attend a rehearsal?

    Graduating Seniors - Students will gather in reserved rooms in the Recreation Center beginning at 8:15 a.m. More information will follow via email. Students should check email often and are advised to update changes of address with the Registrar's Office as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding the celebration, please feel free to e-mail Lorraine Robidoux. There is no rehearsal. Staff and student marshals will be available to help graduates prepare for the processional. Students should find the room where their major is gathering (signs will be posted throughout the Recreation Center). Look for the sign indicating your major. Then, go to the table to fill out the reader card - complete all information - photographers will use this card to send proofs of pictures taken when you receive your medal. Hold on to this card until it is your turn to cross the stage. You will hand it to the reader as you approach the podium.

  • Is food available?

    A limited menu will be available from the Courtside Cafe at the Recreation Center. The Cafes menu includes breakfast items, grab-n-go sandwiches, wraps, salads and a variety of beverages and smoothies. A full range of dining options is available in The Blue Wall, the food court located on the Campus Center's main level. The Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin Dining Commons will be open throughout Commencement Weekend. Amherst and the surrounding communities offer a wide array of restaurants.

  • What happens after the celebration ends?

    Students and faculty will leave the room as a group, after which graduates and families should meet quickly for photo ops by the banners and stage. There will be a reception immediately following the celebration in the engineering quad, next to Marston Hall. You may need to move your car as another ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Recreation Center shortly after our event, so it is essential that everyone exit the room promptly.

  • Where/when is the reception for departments and graduates?

    We will be gathering in the engineering quad (rain or shine) by Marston Hall for some refreshments and the opportunity to socialize, take photos, and to introduce faculty, friends, and family. This event will be the most casual and social of the weekend – you may arrive and leave as you please but make sure you are parked in lot 65, 45, 26, 31 while attending. Access to the buildings/bathrooms will be available. We will be on grass, so please bring/change into appropriate footwear. We expect the gathering to last no more than 90 minutes.

  • What if there is a campus emergency?

    Be prepared by texting UMassAlertsGuest to 78015 beginning Monday, May 4 through Saturday, May 9 to become part of our UMass Amherst campus emergency alert sysyem during your visit.  This is a seven day subsciption and will be automatically discontinued at the end of the seven days.

Professional Photography

  • A professional photographer will be at the ceremony. Graduates will be photographed in their regalia prior to and when receiving their medal. Proofs of these photographs will be sent to graduates along with order forms and information.

Plan Your Weekend:


  • Your diploma, which is officially conferred at the Friday evening Commencement, will be mailed to you. To ensure the delivery of diplomas, all graduates should check SPIRE to make certain that their mailing address is accurately recorded. Diplomas are usually mailed by the end of the summer. Questions regarding diplomas should be addressed to: Registrar's Office, 213 Whitmore Administration Building, 413-545-0555.