Information and Expectations for Guests

We look forward to welcoming you to UMBC’s beautiful campus on May 22 and 23!

Commencement marks a significant milestone for you and your student. Please review the details below to prepare for the exciting celebration!

Plan Your Visit

Doors for guests will open one hour before the ceremony start time.

Transportation: Baltimore offers numerous ways to get to/from the airport and around the city.

Dining: Check out our on-campus dining options, as well as local restaurants during your stay.

Destinations: Check out on-campus activities and the Baltimore area.

Traveling outside the US? The Office of International Students and Scholars can help!

Learn more about our special UMBC community and Dr. Valerie Sheares Ashby, UMBC’s 6th President and first female to serve in this role.

Lost and Found: During an event, you may inquire about lost or found items at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena Guest Services location behind section 100/101.

Ceremony Location and Parking

Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena: Directions and Parking Information

  • Parking is free and available across campus and around the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena. Limited handicap parking spaces are available directly in front of the arena (permits required).
  • Shuttles will be available to take guests to and from the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena from the following lots. (You can also find where the shuttle is using the shuttle tracker.)
  • Guests and graduates will need to leave the building immediately after the ceremony. Plan to meet one another outside on the arena plaza.
  • In case of an emergency, you and guests will be directed by the arena staff. EMTs are located on the arena’s concourse level behind section 101.


Accessible parking and shuttle buses; stair-free and wheelchair accessible seating (first-come, first-served); and ASL interpreters and live closed captioning will be available. Upon arrival, an Accessibility Services table will be located inside the entrance to the Arena. Volunteers will assist with finding acceptable seating and accommodations. We recommend that guests who need accessible seating arrive when doors open. Visit our Accessibility website for more information.

What to Bring (and What to Leave at Home)

  • Bags no larger than 12″x12″x8” will be permitted. Diaper bags or medical bags are allowed to exceed the size limit. All bags, purses, and personal items of any size are subject to search.
  • Balloons, food, drink, signs and noise makers are NOT permitted inside the arena.
  • Strollers may not be brought into arena seating. You may leave a small folded stroller in the lobby behind the Accessibility table at your own risk, at no liability to the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena or UMBC.

Tickets & Guest Seating

The Undergraduate Ceremonies require all guests over age two to have a ticket to enter the arena. On May 1, we will distribute guest tickets to graduates via email. We will release as many tickets per student as space allows. At this time, we anticipate each graduate will receive 5 tickets.

Graduates are responsible for claiming and distributing their own guest tickets via Marching Order. Instructions on how to do this will be emailed to the graduate’s UMBC email on May 1. We are unable to accommodate requests for additional tickets.

Graduating students DO NOT need a guest ticket for commencement, but will need to present the GradPass sent to them by MarchingOrder.

The Graduate School ceremony does not require guests to have tickets.

Livestream & Photography

The ceremony will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. You can find the link to stream the ceremony the day of Commencement on our Homepage. The recording will be stored on the UMBC YouTube page after the event.

Guests may take photos from seated areas and outside of the arena. For your safety, no guest will be admitted onto the floor at any time. After the conclusion of Commencement ’24, individual student portraits will be available for purchase via GradImages.


Gifts, keepsakes, apparel, and other items can be purchased in advance through the UMBC bookstore.

The bookstore’s CEI Arena location (on the main concourse) will be open one hour prior to each ceremony for in-person sales.

The Commencement Group will also have a tent for flower sales at the outdoor entrance of the arena prior to each ceremony.


If you have questions, please email