Student FAQs

Below you’ll find the answers to commonly asked questions from students as they approach their graduation. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please reach out by emailing us at

Yes! Applying to graduate is the important first step in the process, whether you plan to attend the Commencement ceremony or not.

Graduates of the Class of 2023 are required to wear regalia to participate in the Commencement ceremony on May 6th, and may want to purchase graduation regalia at this time. Some students may receive regalia from students and friends who have graduated in past years. You can order your regalia online through the University Store.

There are a number of ways to apply. You can find all of the details on the application process here.

If you have completed at least 114 credits and are registered for the remaining 6 credits required to graduate by the end of summer, you can participate in the Commencement ceremony.

When you applied to graduate, you indicated whether or not you plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony. If you applied to graduate in the Fall semester and don’t remember what you selected, or if your plans to participate have changed, please get in touch with the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services.

Yes! Per the Cross Insurance Arena’s policy, every single person attending the ceremony is required to have a ticket.

Graduates eligible to participate in Commencement 2023 can reserve one ticket for themselves and up to five guest tickets, for a total of six tickets. We are no longer able to accommodate requests for any extra tickets beyond the 6 guaranteed to every graduate. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes for you. A livestream of the Commencement ceremony will still be available for people to watch if they are unable to attend the ceremony in person.

The deadline to request tickets has passed. If you need to acquire last-minute tickets, please email us at to see if we can accommodate your request.

If you have not received your requested tickets by 4:30pm on May 4th, 2023, your tickets will be available at the Will Call area at the Cross Insurance Arena starting at 7:30am on the morning of Commencement.

After requesting your tickets, please allow at least 24 hours for processing your request before you pick them up on the first floor of the Abromson Center, Department of Conferences, Suite 111. Please note, lost tickets cannot be replaced.

If you are unable to pick up your tickets prior to Commencement, you will have the opportunity to collect them at the Cross Insurance Arena at a “Will Call” table before the ceremony begins. We will not be mailing tickets, as again we cannot replace tickets that are lost.

The Spring Street Parking Garage (45 Spring Street) is located adjacent to the Cross Insurance Arena and is available for parking for a fee. There will also be parking on the Portland campus at the Law Building (246 Deering Avenue) with a shuttle bus running continuously to and from the Cross Insurance Arena from 7am to 3pm (no fee).

We have created a color-coded map of the robing areas that graduates will go to, according to their major/department.

When you enter the Cross Insurance Arena on the morning of Commencement, there will be pathways lined with color-coded tape that will take you to your robing area. The colors of the tape correspond to the color of your robing area.

The Cross Insurance Arena is accessible to guests with mobility challenges. You may enter from both main entrances, and the Arena has wheelchairs available (located in the main lobby) which may be borrowed for the duration of the Commencement ceremony. The Arena has accessible seating (including seating for guests with wheelchairs) located in the sky boxes and on the landings, as well as elevators for accessing these spaces. There will be extra chairs set up for one additional member of your party as well. Arena staff will help direct those who need accessible seating to the appropriate areas.

ASL interpreters and CART captioning (on the jumbo screen at the Arena & on the livestream) will be available during Commencement. Limited seating for guests with hearing impairment (for ASL interpretation) or visual impairment will be located in the front row of Section C at the Arena.

If you have questions about access, need to request disability accommodations, or require other assistance for Commencement, please contact Sherry Philips Gleason at

Yes! The link for the video broadcast will be posted on the front page of the Commencement website closer to the date of the event.

The deadline for getting your name listed in the program is April 1st, 2023. You may still apply to graduate and participate in the May 6th Commencement ceremony, however your name will not be included in any printed materials if you missed the April 1st deadline.

Graduation with distinction categories are (a) at least 3.90 for summa cum laude; (b) at least 3.75 and less than 3.90 for magna cum laude; and (c) at least 3.60 and less than 3.75 for cum laude. Honors status at the time of the May Commencement ceremony is based on the cumulative GPA obtained after the last full term of attendance (fall) as grades for the spring term are typically not in. For more information, read our Graduation Honors Policy. NOTE: Honor cords will need to be picked up either from the University Store or at the booth in the Cross Insurance Arena lobby before the ceremony.

Your diploma will be mailed to you once your appropriate Academic Dean or Department has certified that you have met all degree requirements and your degree has been awarded. This process usually takes 4-6 weeks.

Undergraduate diplomas measure 7×9 inches and Graduate diplomas measure 8 1/2×11. Frames can be ordered through the University store here. Check out the University Store Graduation page for information on other items available for purchase as well.

A student who completes two majors will receive one diploma that lists both majors.

Don’t worry! You can order a replacement diploma through the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services.

USM Alumni Relations would love to communicate with you about news, events, and special offers just for USM graduates!