Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the graduate commencement ceremony?
The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will take place on May 9, 2014 in the William M. Anderson Center at 7:30 p.m.

How long is the commencement ceremony?
The ceremony will last approximately an hour and a half.

Are tickets required?
No, tickets are not required, nor provided.

Is there an event following the commencement ceremony?
Friday, May 9, 2014
William M. Anderson Center
Please join the University for a reception at the Anderson Center immediately following the ceremony. Tickets are not required.

Am I required to purchase a cap and gown?
All degree candidates participating in commencement excercises are required to purchase the UMW regalia ensemble which includes a cap, gown, tassel, hood, and zipper pull.  Regalia can be purchased through the University Bookstore. All regalia orders must be paid in full at the time of purchase.  The University Bookstore accepts Visa, MasterCard, EagleOne, cash and personal checks made payable to the UMW Bookstore.

Am I required to attend the commencement ceremony?
ALL candidates for degrees are expected to attend the commencement ceremony including those who finished in Summer or Fall of 2013, but it is possible to graduate in absentia. Candidates who cannot attend must submit a written request no later than April 18, 2014, for permission to be excused to Rita Dunston, Registrar at

If I completed my degree requirements in summer or fall preceding the May commencement ceremony, am I still able to participate?
Yes.  As a student, if you have already received your diploma you are on the graduation list. Please contact the Office of the Registrar at (540)654-1063 if you have additional questions.

If I complete my degree requirements in the summer following the May commencement ceremony, am I still able to participate?
No.  Since you will not have completed your requirements by May, you are not permitted to participate in commencement this year. You would be eligible to participate in the ceremony the following year.

If a graduating student or guest requires special accommodations, what should I do?
Please notify the Office of University and Conferencing Events by April 15, 2014 by submitting the Contact Us form. All venues are wheelchair accessible.

Will professional photos be taken of graduating students?
Yes, a photographer from GradImages® will be at the commencement ceremony to photograph each graduate. Graduates will receive a free passport-sized digital proof via email within 1 to 3 days and via postal mail within 5 to 7 days following the ceremony.  After Commencement, orders may be placed online at or by calling 1-800-261-2576.

Since photographers will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax, and enjoy the ceremony.

Will flowers be available for sale?
Yes, a flower vendor will be on campus walk for guests to purchase flowers for their graduate.

Can you recommend a hotel for my family and friends?
You can go on the Fredericksburg Visitors Center website,  to find helpful information about nearby hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, lodges, and inns. Many of these are located within two miles of the Fredericksburg campus. You will also find information about local historic sites, restaurants, and other area attractions.