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. The deadline to apply to graduate is March 1st, 2024. To apply to graduate, please visit our webpage.

Graduates of the Class of 2024 are required to wear regalia to participate in the Commencement ceremony on May 4th.

We are asking graduates to pre-order their regalia online by April 1st. Pre-ordering is not a requirement; it helps the University Store to make sure they do not run out of sizes. PhD candidates should order by April 1st as their regalia is special ordered.

Grads may select on-campus pickup in Portland (218 Abromson), Gorham (Library, Study Room 6), Lewiston (Library), or have it shipped to them.

On-campus sales for regalia will begin on Monday, April 22nd out of the University Store’s office at 218 Abromson Hall.

Bachelor degree grads who have earned academic honor cords will have their cords automatically placed in their orders starting then. If a grad picks up their order before the 22nd, they should check back after the 22nd to see if they should receive cords.

The University uses ‘Greenweaver” graduation gowns. Each is made from 23-27 plastic bottles! We highly recommend that after use, graduates gift their gown to a friend of similar height that has not graduated yet. We sell hats and tassels separately for this reason. The University Store can send used gowns back to the manufacturer for recycling for any who do not wish to keep it.

There are a number of ways to apply. For more information and to complete an online application to graduate, please visit our webpage.

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

Please visit our webpage for more information and to apply to graduate.

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.

Graduates eligible to participate in Commencement 2024 do not need a ticket for themselves. Graduates will need to be in possession of their regalia to enter the venue.

Graduates eligible to participate in Commencement 2024 are allowed five guest tickets. Due to venue capacity, we are no longer able to accommodate requests for any extra tickets beyond the 5 guest tickets guaranteed to every graduate, and we are unable to make any exceptions. Please feel free to reach out to your fellow graduates for any extra tickets they may not need to utilize. There is no assigned seating associated with the tickets so guests can sit with their party. The Cross Insurance Arena requires tickets for everyone to enter the main venue of the arena. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

A livestream of the Commencement ceremony will be available for people to watch if they are unable to attend the ceremony in person. The link for the livestream will be posted on shortly before the ceremony begins.

Students signed up to attend Commencement will be able to pick up their 5 tickets beginning April 1. You do not need to request tickets in advance. The pick up location is Conference Services located in Suite 111 on the first floor of the Abromson Community Education Center. Pick up times are from 9am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday.

If you do not collect your tickets by 3:30pm on May 2nd, your tickets will be available at the Will Call area at the Cross Insurance Arena starting at 7:30am the morning of Commencement.

Please note, lost tickets cannot be replaced.

All tickets must be collected in person. We are unable to mail tickets at this time.

The Spring Street Parking Garage (45 Spring Street) is located adjacent to the Cross Insurance Arena and is available for parking for a 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 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 March 1st, 2024. You may still apply to graduate and participate in the May 4th Commencement ceremony, however your name will not be included in any printed materials if you miss the March 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 for the May Commencement ceremony is based on the cumulative GPA obtained at the time of booklet printing, March 1. For more information, read our Academic Policies.

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!