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Winter 2020 Graduation

Thursday, Dec. 17
More details to follow.

Directions to Apply for Graduation

All students must complete the graduation application by the deadline on the academic calendar to graduate.

To complete the form:

  • log on to SURFS
  • click RECORDS, then Graduation Application


Uniform Stringing / Scrub Top Decoration

a black and white photo of scrub tops strung across the street from 1983

photo of a stringing ceremony from the 1983 yearbook

Uniform stringing is a longstanding tradition for our graduates. The class of 1974 decorated their student uniforms to celebrate the completion of their studies. They held a "stringing party," hanging the uniforms on clotheslines that stretched from the Parson’s Hall dormitory across Lombard Street, proclaiming to the world their enthusiasm for their new careers. This tradition was revived in 2009.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is stringing?

Stringing is an UMSON tradition in which graduating BSN and CNL students decorate their uniform tops. Tops are then displayed and voted on by staff, faculty, and other students for creativity. Uniforms are "strung" as part of graduation activities.

What ceremonies occur?

Winter Graduation  

Graduation is a commencement ceremony for all summer and fall graduates. Each location (Universities at Shady Grove and Baltimore) hosts separate events for their students. At the events:

  • each graduate's name is called, along with any awards and honors, as they walk across the stage
  • undergraduate and Clinical Nurse leader students are pinned
  • doctoral students are hooded
  • diplomas are not distributed

Summer and fall graduates are also invited to participate in University of Maryland, Baltimore's Commencement in the spring (see below), but they do not participate in UMSON's spring convocation.

Spring Convocation Commencement

Convocation honors spring nursing school graduates. At the event:

  • each graduate's name is called, along with any awards and honors, as they walk across the stage
  • undergraduate and Clinical Nurse leader students are pinned
  • doctoral students are hooded
  • diplomas are not distributed

All graduates are invited to participate in University of Maryland, Baltimore's Commencement. At the event:

  • students from all schools walk across the stage
  • individual names are not announced
  • diplomas are distributed

Is academic regalia required? How do I order it?

Yes! All students must wear regalia.

  • In-store:
    • Graduation Fair
      March 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
      Sevens Scholars Bookstore
  • Online:
    • Order regalia through Oak Hill 
    • Order announcements, nursing pins, rings, and frames through Herff Jones


Academic Regalia


Bachelor’s cap, gown, tassel and red stole with UMB logo


Master’s cap, gown, hood and red stole with UMB logo

MSN (except CNL)

Master’s cap, gown, and hood


Doctoral cap, gown, and tassel with doctoral hood


Doctoral cap, gown, and tassel. 

How long is each ceremony?

It depends on how many students participate. The ceremony should last no longer than two hours.

Will my guest(s) need a ticket to attend?

Tickets are not required and there is no limit to the number of guests who may attend.

Who do I contact about special accommodations for either a guest or myself? 

Commencement requires a lot of walking for both graduates and pinners. Handicapped seating is limited at both venues; to ensure seating for wheelchairs or other seating requirements graduates must reserve a space. Please email or call 410-706-2799 if you have any mobility concerns. 

Is there a place I can store personal items?

There is no storage at either venue for personal items. Please give articles to a family member or friend to hold for you. Storing items under your chair is not an option, as graduates may not return to the same seat after leaving the stage. UMSON staff cannot take responsibility for personal items.

Is there photography?

A photographer captures individual photos of graduates as they approach the stage and while on stage, including pinners for BSN and CNL, and offer students the opportunity to purchase photographs of this special occasion. Candid photos prior and during the ceremony may be taken by other graduates, guests, and School of Nursing staff for possible publication. Privately hired photographers and guests are not allowed in the graduate line up area or the arena floor during the ceremony.

When will I get my diploma?

  • Winter Graduation: Diplomas will be mailed to the address listed in the Student User Friendly System (SURFS) approximately the third week in January.
  • Spring Graduation: Diplomas are distributed at commencement. If you do not pick up your diploma it will be mailed to the address listed in the Student User Friendly System (SURFS) approximately three weeks after graduation.

When will my transcript reflect my degree?

  • Winter Graduation: after the second week in January
  • Spring Graduation: after the second week in June

If you would like to order a transcript with your degree, click the "Hold for Degree" box when you fill out your transcript request. After degrees are applied, transcripts will be mailed to the address provided on the request form.

I am a receiving my doctorate. What happens at Graduation?

Hooding for all doctoral (DNP and PhD) students occurs during graduation. To prepare, all doctoral students should watch this "How to Wear a Doctoral Hood" video (do not pin your cap, as you will remove it for hooding). DNP students receive their hood with their regalia. Hoods provided to PhD students at UMB Commencement or the Graduate Hooding Ceremony.

I am receiving my master’s degree. What happens at Graduation?

Student receiving their master’s degree are called to the stage by specialty. Upon reaching the stage each student is announced. Students process across the stage to shake hands with the dean and academic associate dean. CNL students are pinned.

I am a BSN (including RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN) or CNL student. What happens at graduation?

All BSN and CNL students are pinned. RN-to-BSN students who may have previously been pinned will receive a second pin from UMB to signify their completion of the BSN degree. RN-to-MSN students completing their undergraduate degree are also pinned.

Students are announced on stage along with the relationship of their pinner. BSN and CNL students are strongly encouraged to attend the pinning rehearsal. All CNL and baccalaureate students, including RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN students, must purchase a red stole for pinning from the UMB Bookstore. See the regalia section above for purchase information.

What is pinning? 

Pinning is a time-honored nursing tradition. During the ceremony graduates of the baccalaureate and Clinical Nurse Leader programs are presented with the UMSON nursing pin by a person they chose.

I am a BSN or CNL. Who can pin me?

You may choose one person to pin you. Pinners sit with graduates in a section separate from other guests. Due to safety concerns, children under 12 are not allowed on the theatre floor. If you do not have a pinner a faculty member will perform the honor. We strongly encourage graduates and pinners arrive together.

Do I have to buy a nursing pin?

No. Each BSN and CNL student will receive a replica pin at the ceremony, however, you must purchase the red stole. The stole is included in the regalia package if ordered from Oak Hall, or it may also be purchased separately from the bookstore.

Nursing pins can be ordered through Herff-Jones or in person at the UMB Bookstore. If you purchase a pin from the bookstore, you may use it during graduation or use the replica pin.

Do I have to attend the NCLEX Review at the school?

To be certified as having completed all graduation requirements and to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam, BSN and CNL students are required to complete an NCLEX review provided by the School. The three-part review is offered at both Baltimore and Universities at Shady Grove locations and consists of:

  1. 3-day in-person sessions from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., respectively
  2. 1 mandatory practice test
  3. 1 synchronous course held online.

We recommend all students plan for the NCLEX review to be held sometime between the week before, of, or immediately after graduation. Current NCLEX review dates are available on the Academic Calendar.

For more information regarding the NCLEX review and applying for an RN license, consult the "National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and Kaplan Resources" information on the Student Forms webpage.

For any questions, contact the Office of the Academic Deans at 410-706-4359 or

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the office of Registration Services by email ( or phone (410-706-2799).

Request a Visa Letter

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After Graduation

For questions about the NCLEX, NCLEX Live Review, or applying for your RN license, contact:

Maryland license questions Office of the Academic Deans
Out of state license questions

Office of Registration and Clinical Placements

Photo and Video Archive