School of Education

RSVP Information

The “RSVP” button will be activated in early February 2015. Tickets are NOT required and you are welcome to bring as many guests as you would like. Please RSVP at both the Commencement website and directly to 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.

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.

School of Education Commencement will be held on Saturday May 16 at 10:00 a.m. in Swinney Recreation Center (5030 Holmes).

Purchasing Academic Regalia

Students should plan to attend the Grad Fair held in the UMKC Bookstore inside the Student Union on March 10th and 11th to purchase their regalia. The bookstore offers a 10% discount on those two dates. If you plan to borrow someone else's regalia, it is important to have the correct colors and 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.

  • All students purchase their academic regalia.  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: Gown color: Black and Tassel color: Light Blue
  • Certificate students (those earning a certificate in community college leadership, culturally responsive pedagogy, educational foundations, reading intervention or health professions education) 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. 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. 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. 
  • Appropriate regalia must be worn as follows:
    • Caps are worn horizontally (like balancing a book on one’s head), with the tassel on the right side.
    • Graduate Certificate, Masters, Educational Specialist, Ed.D. and Ph.D. degree candidates should wear the appropriate hood. Ed.D. and Ph.D. students carry their hoods over their right arms until they cross the stage and are hooded officially. Please view the Hooding Ceremony Video located under ‘Faculty and Staff’ at the bottom of the Commencement home page.
    • Women wear caps throughout the ceremony. Men remove caps for the National Anthem.
    • Please wear caps during the rest of the ceremony and the recessional.

Previewing Commencement

Students are encouraged to watch the power point, ‘School of Education Commencement Slide Show’.

Doctoral students should watch the Hooding Ceremony Video (located under Faculty and Staff) on the Commencement website prior to Commencement.

Robing and Schedule

  • Arrive at Pierson Auditorium no later than 9:40 a.m.
  • Robing, line-up, and instructions for the ceremony will take place prior to the ceremony.
  • Please dress in your cap and gown. Graduate Certificate, M.A. and Ed.S degree candidates should also wear their hoods.
  • Doctoral graduates should carry their hood draped over their right arm.
  • Name cards should be picked up between 9:15 and 9:45 a.m. in Pierson Auditorium (located inside the Atterbury Student Success Center). 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.
  • Bring only your regalia to the robing room; the security of other possessions in Pierson Auditorium will not be guaranteed. Please leave all personal items with family members prior to the ceremony.
  • 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. Normally the noise level in the robing room is high. When you are asked to pay attention and listen to instructions, please do so.
  • Commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. You should anticipate that the ceremony will last approximately one hour.


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 Gail Metcalf Schartel at or (816) 235-2887. 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 and 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. Click on the hooding ceremony video:  .