March 30, 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
USF Sun Dome
Students eligible to
October 29, 2018 – May 19, 2019
Top 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, 2019: Cap & Gown sales begin.
- March 18, 2019: Deadline to RSVP to attend Commencement and to order your cap, gown and tassel under the special rate.
- March 19 – March 26, 2019: You can still order your cap, gown and tassel with expedited shipping (expedited shipping charges apply)
- Saturday, March 30, 2019: Commencement Day
Cap, Gown and Tassel Ordering
Gowns are on sale now! Shipping will begin mid-February.
All orders must be placed by March 15, 2019 to get the special price of $28.55 per cap, gown and tassel set. If you order after this date, you will need to pay expedited shipping, and your order will be shipped one business day after the order is placed. We strongly recommend you 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.
Already have your cap and gown? Some Graduates may have already purchase their cap & gown and will be attending the Fall Commencement. RSVP is required for all Graduates.
If you place an order with Economy Cap and Gown you do not need to RSVP again.
For graduates with limited mobility or who need special assistance during their time at the Yuengling Center/USF Sun Dome, please RSVP 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.
Service Animals are permitted in the Yuengling Center/USF Sun Dome. Please bring proper documentation.
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 fill out the RSVP for Grads with Cap and Gown, so we can provide you with a new tassel on the day of Commencement based on your second program.
After you register at the Yuengling Center/USF Sun Dome on March 30, please stop by the “UMA Cap/Gown Support” table to request your new tassel. If you don’t RSVP, 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.
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?
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 members will receive their items upon check-in at Grad Registration. Ambassadors will receive their red stole at check-in at the Ambassadors special table located in the Mix & Mingle.
Please refrain from wearing any non-UMA issued regalia. You will be asked to remove these items prior to being seated for the ceremony.
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 Health Healthcare Management (Black)
- Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding (Black)
- Associate of Science in Nursing (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 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 celebrating at this Commencement).
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/USF Sun Dome 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/USF Sun Dome’s Alumni Club (Level 2) 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 (Level 2) before entering (look for the Mix & Mingle registration table).
- Complimentary photo booths, photo stations, and other photo opportunities will be available for the graduates at no cost!
- A professional photographer will be available prior the ceremony to take graduate portraits. (Payment will be collected at that time). Pre-register online to receive a special discount.
- A Graduate Resource area will be available to help you join the Alumni Association and more!
- Visit the UMA Fan Shop, where you can buy your favorite UMA merchandise.
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.
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 and tassel set in advance to guarantee that you will be able to participate in Commencement. Order online
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.
Yuengling Center Building Policies
Yuengling Center is committed to providing the best experience for all guests. Our building policies ensure that we provide a comfortable, safe environment for all event attendees:
- Yuengling Center utilizes a variety of different search techniques depending on the event for your safety. All bags will be subject to a search by our security team. Guests with prohibited items will be asked to return to their vehicle prior to entering the arena.
- Smoking, tobacco use, and use of related products, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited on all University of South Florida Tampa Campus property, including Yuengling Center.
- Guests may not bring food and/or beverages into Yuengling Center. Guests may dispose of the unauthorized items prior to entering the facility. Guests with specific dietary needs due to medical conditions or religious requirements should call 813-974-8920.
- For general admission events, ADA seating is on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early if you need special accommodations.
- The guest elevator is located inside Gate D Lobby. This elevator is reserved for guests who are mobility challenged.
- Wheelchair escorts are available upon request. You are not able to keep the wheelchair with you during the event. It is only used for transportation.
- Seats may not be saved for guests that are not immediately present.
- Please be courteous of those around you. Standing on seats or in aisles is not permitted.
- Strollers are permitted. If a stroller cannot fit under a seat, it will need to be checked in at Guest Services at Gate A.
- Umbrellas are permitted in. They must be closed and placed under your seat.
- Loge seating will be utilized on an event basis. They are reserved for limited mobility and ADA overflow during non-ticketed general admission events.
- Signs are allowed, however, the sign must not be offensive or oversized. Yuengling Center reserves the right to deny use of any sign at any time if it interferes with the enjoyment of other guests.
- Small, non-professional cameras with fixed lenses are allowed in the building for most events. Cameras with a detachable lens will not be permitted.
- Tailgating is not permitted.
- Video and audio recording equipment is not permitted at Yuengling Center unless otherwise stated for a specific event.
The Following items are not permitted at Yuengling Center events:
- Weapons of any kind
- Pepper Spray or Mace
- Wallet chains
- Cans, Bottles & Glass
- Long Chains/Sharp Spikes
- Large Bags
- Laser Pointers
- Food, Drinks & Alcohol
- Air Horns/Noise Makers
- Offensive Banners/Posters
- Sticks or Poles of any kind
- Controlled Substances
- Chairs, folding chairs or any other type of individual chair for use
- Wrapped gifts
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 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 or friends 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.
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 special needs graduates 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/USF Sun Dome, please RSVP to attend, then contact email@example.com 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.
A stage photographer will be taking pictures of graduates as they receive their diploma covers at the stage, and two more pictures will be taken after graduates leave the stage.
Eligibility to Walk
Any UMA graduate completing their program between October 29, 2018 and May 19, 2019 will be honored at the Spring 2019 ceremony.
If your graduation date falls after May 19, 2019, you are eligible for the Fall 2019 Commencement. You may attend the Spring 2019 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 purchasing your cap and gown set for the ceremony.
Please note: Each graduate receives a diploma cover at the Commencement ceremony. 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.
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 were 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.
Graduate with Disabilities
Graduates with physical disabilities should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-333-1454 as soon as possible after RSVP/Ordering Cap and gown set. We work hard to accommodate all graduates for the Commencement ceremony and would like to work with you on your particular needs.
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 in Level 1. 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 at Commencement is complementary.
UMA is pleased to announce that the Commencement ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet. So if you or your family cannot join us in Tampa, you can still feel part of your special day! There is no cost to attend the virtual ceremony.
Meet with Career Services
We look forward to meeting you in the Career Services booth! 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. Congratulations on this incredible accomplishment and we can’t wait to see you in March!
Things to do in Tampa Commencement Weekend