April 18, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
USF Sun Dome
Students eligible to
November 11, 2019 – May 17, 2020
Reasons to Attend
- You’ve Worked Hard to Get Here – This level of accomplishment is worthy of celebration.
- You Get to Wear a Cap and Gown – There are only so many times in your life you get to wear this outfit in front of a crowd who is genuinely happy for you and proud of you.
- Complete Strangers May Congratulate You – Don’t be surprised if people you’ve never met give you a big smile, clap for you and maybe even shed a tear or two.
- It’s Like a Party (Family-Friendly) – You’ll hear whooping, hollering, cheering, clapping and experience overall good vibes. Light refreshments will be served at the Mix & Mingle starting at 8:00 a.m. Other food is available for purchase.
- Meet UMA Staff & Instructors – You already know how much we believe in you. Take this chance to meet the people who work hard for your success. We really want to congratulate you in person.
- February 1, 2020: Registration opens.
- February 1, 2020: Cap & Gown sales begin.
- April 1, 2020: Deadline to order your cap, gown and tassel under the special rate.
- April 2 – April 10, 2020: You can still order your cap, gown, tassel order with expedited shipping (expedited shipping charges apply)
- April 15, 2020: Deadline to register to attend Commencement
- April 18, 2020: Commencement Day
Eligibility to Walk
Any UMA graduate completing their program between November 11, 2019 and May 17, 2020 will be honored at the Spring 2020 ceremony. If your graduation date falls after May 18, 2020, you are eligible for the Fall 2020 Commencement. You may attend the Spring 2020 ceremony, walk the stage and have your name called. However, your name will only be included in the program and on livestream for the ceremony in which you were eligible.
As with any other graduate, you are responsible for registering and purchasing your cap & gown set for the ceremony. Please note, at the commencement ceremony, each graduate receives a diploma cover. The actual diploma is mailed to the address provided by the student once all degree requirements have been met and all UMA financial obligations have been satisfied.
Register to Attend
Are you attending Commencement in person in Tampa, Florida? All grads who will be attending must register in advance. You do not need to register to attend the livestream. Guests do not need to be registered. Registration opens on Saturday, February 1, 2020 for Spring Commencement.
Cap, Gown and Tassel Ordering
Gown sales will begin on February 1, 2020.
Order your cap and gown▸
All orders must be placed by April 1, 2020 to get the special price of $31.15 per cap, gown and tassel set. All orders placed after April 1, 2020 will incur an additional $10 rush order fee. Orders must be placed by April 10, 2020 to receive in time for Commencement day. Signature is required for delivery.
It is recommended to contact Economy Cap and Gown by calling 866-245-0600 to find out the best expedited shipping option according to your needs.
It is our policy that all graduates must wear a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony.
Honors cords and stoles will be provided by UMA to graduates who qualify.
Graduating from a second program at UMA? Were you not able to attend the Commencement that you were eligible for? Some Graduates may have already purchased their cap & gown or are attending a different ceremony than the one that they were eligible for based on their graduation date. Registration is required for all Graduates who will be attending Commencement in person in Tampa, Florida.
Graduate and Family Special Assistance
For graduates with disabilities, limited mobility, or who need special assistance during their time at the Yuengling Center please register to attend and order your cap and gown, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-333-1454 to provide more details regarding your needs. We can best assist you with advance notice.
Service Animals are permitted in the Yuengling Center. Please bring proper documentation.
Handicap seating is available throughout the Yuengling Center.
Sign language interpreters will be at the ceremony for any hearing-impaired graduates or guests. If you are a graduate needing sign language interpretation on Commencement day, special assistance can be provided. If you have a family member who requires seating near the sign language interpreters, reserved seating is available. Please contact email@example.com or call 888-333-1454 in advance of Commencement Day to make arrangements.
Know Before You Go
Graduating with a second degree or diploma?
Good news! If you already graduated from another program, attended a previous ceremony and have a royal blue cap and gown, you may wear the same blue cap and gown again. Just make sure you register for Commencement, so we can provide you with a new tassel on the day of Commencement based on your second program.
After you check-in at the Yuengling Center on April 18, please stop by the “UMA Cap/Gown Support” table to request your new tassel. If you don’t register, we can’t guarantee we’ll have your new tassel, and you must have one in order to attend the ceremony.
Should I steam or cool-iron my gown at home?
Yes, please get the wrinkles out of your gown before coming to the ceremony. Use a cool iron or a steamer to smooth out the wrinkles. Please do not use a hot iron or you could damage/melt the fabric.
What are the shipping options for my cap and gown?
Your order will ship to your home. Orders are not processed daily and your order may take a few weeks to arrive. If you place an order by the online order shipping deadline, please be assured that it will arrive in time for you to bring your cap/gown to Commencement. If you have any questions, please contact Economy Cap and Gown at 866-245-0600.
Signature is required for cap & gown delivery.
May I buy a cap, gown or tassel as a souvenir even if I am not attending the ceremony?
Yes, you may! Visit our vendor, Economy Cap and Gown, and answer, “No, I will not be attending Commencement.” Then you will be able to place your order.
What if there is a problem with my cap, gown or tassel order?
Please contact the vendor, Economy Cap and Gown. As the providers of the cap and gown set, they will be able to work on resolving your issue. Their customer service number is 866-245-0600.
Honor Cords, Tassels and Stoles
If you received a gold or silver honors cord in the mail, bring it to the ceremony. A limited number of honors cords will be available when you check-in, but we cannot guarantee to have extras if you forget yours.
ABK honors society members will receive their items in advance of Commencement day. ABK cords will not be available at the ceremony. Ambassadors will receive their red stole at the Ambassadors table located by Graduate check-in.
Please refrain from wearing any non-UMA issued regalia. You will be asked to remove these items prior to being seated for the ceremony.
Honors cords are sent by UMA to graduates who have qualified.
UMA Cords and Stole
- Gold Cord: High Honors (4.0 CGPA)
- Silver Cord: Honors (3.5 – 3.99 CGPA)
- White Cord: Perfect Attendance (Ground Campus Only)
- Red/Blue Cord: Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society
- Red Stole: Student Ambassadors
The color of your tassel signifies your degree or diploma. All associate degree graduates wear a black tassel. Diploma graduates wear differing colors based on their program.
- Associate of Science in Health and Human Services (Black)
- Associate of Science in Health Information Technology (Black)
- Associate of Science in Health Sciences (Black)
- Associate of Science in Healthcare Management (Black)
- Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding (Black)
- Diploma Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions (Purple)
- Diploma Medical Administrative Assistant (Light Blue)
- Diploma Medical Assistant (Light Blue)
- Diploma Medical Billing and Coding (Burgundy)
- Diploma Medical Office and Billing Specialist (Burgundy)
- Diploma Nursing Assistant (Navy)
- Diploma Patient Care Technician (Navy)
- Diploma Phlebotomy Technician (Navy)
Note: If you are graduating from a second program, attended a previous ceremony and/or have a UMA royal blue cap and gown, you can wear it again in this ceremony. Please make sure to stop by the “UMA Cap/Gown Support” table to request your new tassel based on your second program (the one you are attending this Commencement for).
Pre-ceremony activities start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 a.m. We highly recommend you arrive at the Yuengling Center at 8:00 a.m. in order to fit in all of the pre-ceremony activities. Lines do get long.
- Mix & Mingle is a special opportunity for graduates to socialize in the Yuengling Center Corral (located on the main level near Gate D) with fellow students and UMA staff. Beverages and light refreshments are served, and guests are welcome. There is no need to RSVP for the Mix & Mingle, but please check-in at the entrance of the Corral before entering (look for the Mix & Mingle registration table).
- Meet and have your photo taken with Journey the Puma, UMA’s mascot!
- Complimentary photo booths, selfie stations, and other photo opportunities will be available for the graduates at no cost!
- In the Graduate Resources area, meet with Career Services, Alumni Association, Financial Literacy Services and the Career Readiness team.
- Visit the UMA Fan Shop, where you can buy exclusive UMA merchandise.
Graduate Portraits and Stage Photos
A professional photographer will be available prior to the ceremony to take graduate portraits from 8:00am – 10:00am. Portraits will not be taken after the conclusion of the ceremony.
All orders must be placed in advance, no day of purchases will be taken at Commencement.
For pre-registration and to receive a special discount, please click here.
Grad Images will be taking pictures of graduates as they receive their diploma cover on the stage, and two more pictures will be taken after graduates leave the stage.
Proofs will be emailed to the graduate to view after the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase the photos.
In order to participate in the commencement ceremony, graduates must be in academic apparel (wearing cap, gown and tassel) We would also like to see you wearing your best interview attire underneath the gown.
Etiquette | How to properly wear a graduation cap and gown:
Royal blue cap and gown must be worn by graduates, with limited quantities for sale the day of the ceremony. We strongly recommend that you order your cap/gown/tassel set in advance to guarantee that you will be able to participate in commencement. Order here.
Men: It is recommended that men wear dark trousers or khakis, dark socks, shoes, and a neatly pressed, light-colored dress shirt with dark tie underneath an academic gown. Jeans and shorts, sandals and tennis shoes should be avoided. The cap is worn flat on the head. The gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle. Tassels are worn on the right side and shifted to the left when graduates receive their diplomas. Men should remove their caps during National Anthem.
Women: Women graduates should wear dark slacks, dress, or skirt, and a light-colored dress blouse with dark shoes. High heels are not recommended for reasons of safety and comfort; flats or pumps are suggested. Sandals, open shoes, heels and tennis shoes should not be worn. The cap is worn flat on the head. The gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle. Tassels are worn on the right side and shifted to the left when graduates receive their diplomas. Women are allowed to keep their caps on during the National Anthem.
Seating for Ceremony
There is no graduate processional, so you are welcome to access the ground floor by using the stairs near to Gate D beginning at 9:30 a.m. There will be two seating sections in the arena. Due to limited seating, there is no option to select your seat, so please follow staff directions to the seat you will occupy during the ceremony. If you want to sit with a friend(s) during the ceremony, you must enter the arena floor at the same time, since you won’t be able to reserve seats for anyone and staff will make sure every seat is occupied. Graduates will not be seated by program.
Children are not permitted in the graduate seating area and must remain with family and friends in the general seating area. Only graduates are permitted to walk across the stage. No exceptions can be made to this policy.
Please fill in every seat in your row. The commencement staff will assist. All graduates are required to be seated by 10:15 a.m., so plan accordingly. Your cooperation in following these instructions will help us get the exciting commencement ceremony underway!
Seating for Ceremony - Graduates with Special Needs
We are happy to accommodate our students with special needs. We request that graduates with special needs or limited mobility (wheelchairs, etc.) arrive on the ground floor by 10:00 a.m. to avoid walking traffic from other graduates. You can access the ground floor by using the elevator located near Gate D. We have reserved space for our graduates requiring special assistance in the first rows of the right-hand section of the arena, so that they can access the stage via the ramp.
For graduates with limited mobility or who need special assistance during their time at the Yuengling Center, please register to attend, order your cap and gown, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-333-1454 to provide more details regarding your needs the day of Commencement.
The commencement ceremony program begins promptly at 10:30 a.m. with the processional of the UMA Leadership and Faculty.
During the reading of graduate names, we ask graduates and their guests to be considerate in their applause and celebration so that all names are heard clearly, and the ceremony is not disrupted.
We also ask that if you decide to attend the Commencement ceremony, you remain in your seat for the entire event. Only in rare instances will an usher allow a grad to leave their seat. Please make post-Commencement plans with the understanding that you are expected to attend the ceremony in its entirety. The ceremony is approximately 2 hours, and we want to afford all graduating students and their families the same respect and honor.
Talking on the phone and texting is highly discouraged during the ceremony to avoid disturbing other graduates. Selfies are not allowed on stage. Please silence your phones.
Name Reading and Awarding of Degrees
A graduate must be in attendance and walk across the stage to have their name read at a ceremony. Names of all graduates, in attendance or not, are printed in the program. Please note, your name will only be included in the program and on livestream for the ceremony in which you are eligible.
Graduates will rise one row of each section at a time to be presented with the diploma cover. The staff will direct the movement to the stage. People with special assistance needs will proceed first to the stage towards the right-hand side where the accessibility ramp is located.
When it is your time to advance toward the stage, follow the other candidates closely and walk up to the stage. Present your card to the staff member and continue walking. Please do not stop as your name is being read, you will immediately be ushered to stand next to a Leadership member who will present you with your diploma cover. Follow the instructions of staff in order to pose for a picture with leadership, and then proceed down the stage for two more pictures before returning to your seat.
The reading of the names will go quickly; please follow instructions of the commencement staff.
Due to venue and ceremony time constraints, we are not able to read the names of graduates who are not in attendance in person at Commencement.
Guests are invited to sit in any area of the Arena that is not designated as reserved for Graduates or VIPs. There is available seating for family members with limited mobility. Please ask a representative to find the area. Out of respect to the graduates, everyone should be seated at 10:15 a.m. before the ceremony starts.
All parking is complimentary.
The Commencement ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet. So, if you or your family cannot join us in Tampa, you can still be a part of your special day! There is no cost to attend the virtual ceremony.
Livestream – Fall 2019
Livestream – Spring 2019
Livestream – Fall 2018
Livestream – Spring 2018
Livestream – Spring 2017
Livestream – Fall 2016
Livestream – Spring 2016
Livestream – Fall 2015
Livestream – Spring 2015
Meet with Career Services
After you check in for commencement, you will get to speak with an advisor, pick up some UMA swag, and learn about career openings in your area! You’ll have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with members of the Career Services Department including the Corporate Alliance Team, Interview Prep Specialists, and Graduate Success Coordinators just to name a few. We are committed to your success and providing guidance in jump-starting your career in the Allied Healthcare field.
Things to do in Tampa Commencement Weekend