School of Education

Commencement is a time for excitement and celebration. In order to ensure a seamless and memorable ceremony, we ask your assistance in adhering to the information provided.
UMKC’s Spring Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 a.m. in Swinney Recreation Center (5030 Holmes Street, Kansas City,MO 64110).

RSVP Information
Tickets are NOT required, but there is limited seating. Please RSVP directly to Brad Martens at and on the Commencement website.  The “RSVP” link will be activated beginning in March.  When responding to the RSVP site, please include the phonetic pronunciation of your full name to help announcers correctly pronounce your name during the ceremony.  Also, include the number of guests you anticipate for the ceremony. It is CRITICAL that you RSVP for the ceremony. Without an accurate count of participants, the correct number of seats for candidates and announcing cards will not be prepared, causing problems during the ceremony.

Purchasing Academic Regalia
Students should plan to attend the Grad Fair held in the UMKC Bookstore inside the Student Union on March 8-9th to purchase regalia. The bookstore offers a 10% discount on those two dates only. All students purchase their academic regalia. If you plan to borrow someone else's regalia, it is important to have the correct colors. The academic dress for your specific degree must be purchased, which includes cap, gown, (and hood for graduate students).
• Bachelor’s degree students purchase cap and gown from the University Bookstore.
o Gown color: Black and Tassel color: Light Blue
• Certificate students (those earning a certificate in community college leadership, culturally responsive pedagogy, educational foundations, or reading intervention) should wear the attire appropriate to the highest degree they have earned prior to the certificate program.
• Masters and Educational Specialist students purchase cap, gown and hood from the University Bookstore.
o Hood velvet: Light Blue, hood satin is Blue and Gold; Tassel color: Light Blue.
• PhD candidates purchase cap, gown, and hood from the University Bookstore.
o PhD Hood velvet is Royal blue; EdD Hood velvet is Light Blue; for both degrees the satin is Blue and Gold; tassel color is Gold.
o Please wear caps during the rest of the ceremony and the recessional.

Previewing Commencement
Students are encouraged to watch the School of Education Commencement Slide Show.
Doctoral students should watch the Hooding Ceremony Video prior to Commencement. Both of these can be found at

Robing and Schedule
Students need to arrive at Pierson Auditorium between 9:00-9:30 a.m. Robing, line-up and instructions for the ceremony will take place prior to the ceremony. Please dress in your cap and gown. There will be someone there to assist in assisting the MA and EdS students with their hoods. Doctoral graduates should carry their hood draped over their right arm.
Please leave all personal items with family members or other guests as there is no secure place for them to be stored during the ceremony.
When students arrive you will be asked to complete a short survey about your employment information and current email address. Name cards will be picked up between 9:00-9:30 a.m. in Pierson Auditorium. The announcement card will have your name and your degree. In the lower right hand corner of the announcement card, there will be a letter and a number written in ink. The letter and number will tell you where you need to stand in the line. Signs will designate the line-up for students. School of Education Student Services Office staff will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have. Don’t hesitate to ask them if you don’t know where you should be in line.
At approximately 9:45 a.m. you will receive instructions on how to walk in processional, where to sit in Swinney Recreation Center and how to walk across the stage for the reading of names. Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. You should anticipate that the ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Parking, including handicapped is available at the Student Success Center, Performing Arts Center, the Cherry Street Parking Structure and all other campus parking lots. Maps and directions available online:

Special Arrangements
If you anticipate you or your guests needing special arrangements such as wheelchair access or assistance for the hearing impaired, please note this on the RSVP website and contact Brad Martens at UMKC police will be on hand to direct vehicles with access needs on the day of commencement.

Graduation Photos
A representative from GradImages will attend. They will take handshake and posed photos during the ceremony. They will e-mail proofs and ordering information within four weeks of the ceremony. If you do not receive your mailing, visit their Web site at, or contact them directly at 800-628-4509.

Hooding of Doctoral Candidates (PhD/iPhD/EdD graduates only)
Instructions: Candidates should unbutton hood and drape it across right arm as they approach the stage. Hooders should be at center stage. Under the table holding diploma covers, there is a small box to stand upon if needed. Hooders receive hood from student. Faculty should face the audience, and student will also face audience until hooding is completed. Student walks in front of the faculty member, turns with back to faculty member (bending at knees if taller than hooder). Hooder drapes hood over shoulders of candidate and adjusts hood so colors are showing. Once done, faculty member taps student on shoulder. Student and faculty member shake hands; student goes next to Dean and Provost/Chancellor to shake hands, receive diploma cover, and exit stage. Student returns to seat and sits down. Hooder exits stage via steps and returns to seat. Doctoral students should watch the hooding video at