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Cap & Gown

Commencement has been Postponed

We are saddened to share that the 2020 Cal State San Marcos commencement ceremony scheduled for May 15-16 will be postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 

Updates regarding Commencement will be posted on this website along with our Instagram page (@csusmcougarcentral). Current graduates will also be informed via their CSUSM Email Account once a Commencement date has been determined.

You may read the official announcement by clicking here.

What is Required

All ceremony participants are required to wear full academic regalia consisting of a traditional black gown, mortarboard (cap) with tassel, and medallion.  Additional items including sashes, cords, or leis are optional. We kindly ask that personal modifications to the mortarboards (caps) be limited to those expressing well-wishing and gratitude or affiliation with sanctioned organizations.  Unacceptable decorations, offensive language or inappropriate images on the mortarboards will not be allowed into the venue. Decorations must also remain flat and cannot obstruct the view of the person sitting behind you, and must not contain any derogatory remarks or profanity. In order to preserve the dignity and importance of Commencement, gowns are to remain formal with no embellishments/decoration. Students not following these guidelines may be pulled from the graduation line up.

Where to Purchase

As of March 17, 2020, the University bookstore is closed and will not reopen for in-person purchases until cleared by the University. This is due to the recent COVID-19 crisis. You may purchase regalia from the University Online Bookstore starting on March 18 through Commencement. Unfortunately, due to the University going virtural with all services, the University Bookstore's phone lines will not be monitored. The University Bookstore will be making announcements on their website.

Click here to purchase regalia

Click here to purchase Frames, Alumni Gear,  and other graduate gifts

Click here to purchase Graduation Announcements by Jostens

Click here to purchase Collegiate Jewelry by Jostens


Return Policy on Regalia

We want students to be excited about their achievements and have peace of mind when making their regalia purchases at the University Store. In the event that you need to return your regalia, we will accept returns on unworn/undecorated regalia and students will be refunded for the amount paid in the original form of payment used for purchase. Visit the University Bookstore website for more information.


Shipping on Rental Returns & Deadline Extensions

The University Bookstore supports learning regardless of where it takes place. Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns. Please visit the University Bookstore website for more information. Inquiries can be directed to the University Bookstore via email.

What to Wear Under Your Gown

The ceremony will be outdoors with graduate and faculty seating exposed to the sun and wind.  Please wear appropriate clothing under your gown.  The ceremony stage is high and graduates will access it via open steps.  Please exercise caution when selecting footwear - high heels are not recommended.

There will be no place to leave items once the processional starts.  You should make arrangements for someone to be responsible for your valuables during the ceremony.  Bring  your cap, tassel and gown to line-up.  Be sure to bring any pins or clips you may need to anchor your cap - in case there is a strong breeze at the ceremony site.