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Commencement Weekend

Commencement ceremonies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be held on May 12-13, 2017.

Undergraduate Ceremonies

Undergraduate Commencement takes place over two days. There are two separate events you can attend: University Commencement and CNS Senior Celebration. Please plan on attending both ceremonies.

University Commencement

The University Commencement will take place on Friday, May 12, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The site includes information about planning your visit and information for seniors, including how to get a cap and gown. There is no limit to the number of people who attend and tickets are not required.

CNS Senior Celebration

commencement medalThe College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 13 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Mullins Center. This ceremony allows the college to recognize graduates in a special way: graduates' names are announced as they cross the stage to shake hands with college leaders, and receive a commemorative UMass medal (pictured here) and a special farewell gift from the college. Two jumbo video screens broadcast each graduate’s time on stage, which will also be captured by a professional photographer.

Space is limited. While tickets are not required, graduating seniors are requested to limit their number of guests to four, if possible.

Department Receptions

Astronomy and Physics Joint reception, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 1033 Lederle Graduate Research Tower

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Light Lunch and Reception, 2:15-4:00 p.m., Berkshire Dining Commons (more information and RSVP for BMB reception)

Biology Senior Graduation Lunch, 12:30-3:00 p.m., Franklin Dining Commons

Chemistry Reception, 2:00-3:30 p.m., ISB 329

Environmental Conservation, Environmental Science, Geosciences, and Stockbridge School Combined reception, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Design Building Atrium

Food Science Reception, 3:00 p.m., Pilot Plant: 127 Chenoweth

Mathematics and Statistics Reception, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Room 1634, Lederle Graduate Research Tower

Microbiology Reception, 2:00 p.m., Amherst Room, 10th floor, Campus Center

Physics and Astronomy Joint reception, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 1033 Lederle Graduate Research Tower

Psychological and Brain Sciences Reception, 2:00-3:30 p.m., Student Union Ballroom

Veterinary and Animal Sciences Reception, 1:00-3:00 p.m., ISB Lobby

What to Expect

Mullins Center Accessibility

Mullins Center Accessibility Information


Seniors need to arrive at the Mullins Center at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.


Traffic on and around campus may be extremely heavy on both days, so please plan accordingly. Shuttle buses will operate in a loop around central campus between 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Parking is available near the Mullins Center. Food and beverages may be purchased at Mullins Center kiosks.

Shuttle bus schedule May 13 2017

At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, family and friends may enter the main doors of the Mullins Center. Another ceremony precedes the CNS Senior Celebration, so guests will not be admitted to the Mullins Center until 4:00 p.m.

At 7:00 p.m., the CNS Senior Celebration ends. Graduates and families should plan to meet in the concourse hallway under the lettered section that matches the first letter of your student's last name.


While some faculty have specific roles in the event, all CNS faculty are warmly encouraged to attend the Senior Celebration. The graduates appreciate the support and enjoy the opportunity to make their final goodbyes.


Volunteers from the CNS and university community make the Senior Celebration happen. Our 30+ student and staff helpers are essential to this festive event! Please join us. Email Jane Markarian at if you would like to join our volunteer team. Types of jobs we will need assistance with:

  • Stage/arena set-up and take-down
  • Student Registration and line-up
  • Lobby and entrance crowd control
  • Handing out programs
  • Ushering in student seating area

Senior Celebration FAQs

CNS Senior Celebration FAQs

Event Video

Stockbridge School Ceremony

The Stockbridge School AS Degree Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2016, from 10:00—11:30 a.m in Bowker Auditorium in Stockbridge Hall.

Graduate School Ceremony

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will take place Friday, May 12, 2017, at 9 a.m. in the Mullins Center.