Graduation at UMD

haveuheard graduation

Remember When…

It seems like yesterday that your Terp was an incoming freshman and now, within a few months, they will be graduating and looking towards the next step in their lives. For some it will be graduate school, for some it may be the military and for some, it may be their first job in the “real” world. Whatever it will be, graduation time is a time of excitement and pride! Here are some helpful tips and some guidance to ensure that the time for graduation is a memorable time and not a stressful time.

UMD has two graduation ceremonies, one in the fall and one in the spring. Due to COVID-19, commencement is going to be virtual this fall and take place on December 20 at 1 pm. Spring commencement will take place on May 21 and it is still to be determined if it will take place in-person or online. The ceremony will be streamed live across multiple platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. It will also feature special remarks, and photos, videos, and messages sent in by the graduates.

When getting ready for graduation there are several things to consider. Here are our tips for UMD Graduation.

Where to Stay

The first thing you must do when planning for graduation is to book a hotel. You may think six to nine months before graduation is a crazy amount of time to make hotel reservations, however, most local hotels will be sold out for the weekend of graduation so plan ahead. Our hotel blog will give you an up to date and thorough list of hotels in the UMD area. College Park has several options for hotels, but if you run into issues when trying to book your stay, Airbnb is a great option when looking for a place for the weekend. You can choose the size accommodation that you need and, if an additional family member suddenly decides at the last minute they want to join you, you won’t be scrambling to find a place for them to stay.

Reservations for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner

When my daughter graduated from UMD two years ago, my sister called a local restaurant six months prior to her graduation and felt a bit foolish when she said she wanted to make a reservation six months in advance. The woman at the restaurant said they already had about ten reservations. So, make sure you plan early. Colleges typically release graduation dates months in advance, and I would highly recommend making a reservation at your favorite tried and true restaurant. Check out our blog on dinner restaurants, brunch restaurants, and breakfast restaurants.  These blogs will give you a ton of choices ranging from expensive to moderate.

We also have a blog strictly dedicated to graduation restaurants in College Park and the surrounding areas that will give you information about the places that do and do not accept reservations on graduation weekend and how to go about getting those.

Have your camera ready

Make sure your phones, cameras, video recorders are fully charged. Many times, parents forget to charge their devices and wind up not capturing that special moment. UMD does offer amazing pictures of your child’s graduation. Many students get photographed in popular places on campus prior to graduation as well. We recommend several reputable photographers in our Graduation Photography blog.

Stay Calm

As I said, this is one of the most enjoyable proud moments in your student’s life; don’t worry about the small things, just enjoy and be present.

Disabled or Special Needs

If your party needs any special accommodation at the ceremony because of a visual or hearing disability, please contact the Accessibility & Disability Service Center, (301) 314-7682. Guests with limited mobility should find an usher who will direct them to special seating locations. There will be limited wheelchair seating around each venue. There will be disability accessible buses to shuttle guests to and from the parking lot.

Cap & Gown is Extra

Wondering how much your student will need to pay for the cap and gown which is required if they are walking? The University Book Center is the official supplier of commencement regalia for UMD. Cap and gown packages can be purchased both in-person at Stamp Student Union or online. The package that graduates purchase includes a cap, gown, departmental hood, stole of gratitude, and a tassel with an official medallion. The Departmental hoods have different colors depending on your school. The Bachelor of Arts has a white velvet hood and the Bachelor of Science has a gold velvet hood.

For Spring Commencement, graduates may purchase regalia packages at the University Book Center’s Grad Fair, September 25 (10 AM-6 PM), and acquire a $10.00 discount. The undergraduate package will cost $140.00 and the graduate degree package will cost $148.00. If regalia is purchased after the Winter Grad Fair, pricing will be $150.00 for undergraduate packages and $158.00 for graduate packages. Graduate candidates will need to first apply for graduation. Once approved, they can order their regalia online.


It is very common to want to send your student congratulatory flowers, fruit, or balloons to celebrate their graduation accomplishment. Below are some local College Park places that do deliveries.

  • Ava’s Flowers: Ava’s flowers offer beautiful flowers and balloon bouquets and same-day delivery!
  • Balloon Planet: Balloon bouquets are the latest birthday trend, and balloon planet has plenty of options to choose from.
  • Cupcake Dropoff: This bakery delivers cupcakes, cakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, and other great birthday treats!
  • Gift Basket Connection: College Park Gift Basket Connection offers various types of gift baskets for all different kinds of occasions. From fruit baskets to candy, to flowers, they have it all!
  • Wood’s Flowers and Gifts: Located right on Baltimore Avenue, Wood’s flowers and gifts offers flowers, cakes, and other special birthday presents.

See you at graduation!

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2020-10-29T14:54:00-04:000 Comments

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