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Graduate Checklist

Apply to Graduate

3/16/18: The deadline to apply for Spring and Summer 2018 graduation has passed.  Please visit Cougar Central to apply in-person.  Please note, a late fee will be charged and your name will not appear in the 2018 Commencement program.

To apply for graduation, log-in to your Student Center in MyCSUSM, and locate the Apply for Graduation field and follow the prompts for the appropriate graduation term. Undergraduate students must have a minimum of 85 semester units before they can apply. Students must be fully classified in the major before applying for graduation (no pre-major status). Students must apply to graduate by the deadlines below.

 Degree Level Fall 2017 Deadline Spring 2018 Deadline Summer 2018 Deadline
Undergraduate Student (Bachelors) November 1, 2017 March 15, 2018 March 15, 2018
Graduate Student (Masters) November 1, 2017 March 15, 2018 March 15, 2018

Note: For undergraduate students who have not completed 85 units, your graduation application will be cancelled. This is different from filling out the participation form for the ceremony.

Graduation Audit

Check your Academic Requirements Report (ARR) by logging-in to your Student Center. The ARR tracks the completion of ALL degree requirements. The report lists all courses completed at CSUSM, courses in-progress, as well as any transfer course or test credit completed off-campus which has been submitted. Undergraduate students must have a minimum of 120 total units to graduate. Check that all grades and/or incomplete grades from previous semesters are posted accurately and that all transfer work appears.

Verify Your Mailing Address to Receive Your Diploma

Verify in your Student Center that your mailing address is up-to-date; your diploma will be mailed to this address once your degree is awarded. Also check for any holds that might prevent the mailing of your diploma and clear the holds as soon as possible.

Pay All Balances on your Student Accounts

Check your Student Center to see if you owe any fees to the University, including the library. Please make full payment before the end of the term. Email financial questions to

Financial Aid - Complete Exit Loan Counseling

If students borrow federal student loans while attending CSUSM, federal regulations require Loan Exit Counseling to be completed upon graduation (or at the point of falling below half-time enrollment). Loan Exit Counseling may be completed at Failure to complete the Loan Exit Counseling will result in holds on CSUSM records which would prevent requesting transcripts, receiving diplomas, and other campus services. For additional information regarding the Loan Exit Counseling requirement, please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at (760) 750-4850.

Participation Form

If you are planning on participating in the 2018 ceremonies, please fill out the Participation Form by April 13, 2018.

2018 Participation Form

Attend GradFest 2018

Wednesday, March 14 & Thursday, March 15
Student Union Ballroom
10:00am to 6:00pm

Graduates can take care of all their commencement needs in one place. Some of the items available for purchase at GradFest are caps and gowns, alumni apparel, diploma frames, class rings, and announcements. You will also be able to gather information from the Commencement Office, Career Center, Alumni Association, Student Philanthropy Fund, Graduation Day Flowers and have a free sitting for your cap and gown portrait.

Did you miss GradFest? No worries! You can visit the University Store to purchase your regalia and other graduation related items.  Can't make it to the store? Give them a call (760) 750-4730 to order over the phone and have your items shipped.  At this time, there is no online purchasing option.

Apply to be a Speaker/Vocalist

Interested students can apply to be the student speaker or student vocalist for their ceremony. Applications must be submitted on the commencement website between February 1 and March 16, 2018; all applicants are required to audition. Speakers will be reading their prepared speech and vocalists will be singing two verses of “America the Beautiful.”

Attend a Commencement Information Session

Graduation candidates who plan to participate in the commencement ceremonies are strongly encouraged to attend one of the information sessions to learn about Commencement procedures and protocol.

Information Session Dates:

  • April 25, 6-6:50pm, Mark 125
  • April 26, 12-12:50pm, Arts 240
  • May 1, 12-12:50pm, Arts 240

Pick-up Your Honor Cord if You Have Earned Academic Honors

Eligible undergraduate students ONLY will be notified via email by their college in early May with Honor Cord pick-up information. Recognition of academic honors at May ceremonies is based on coursework completed the prior fall term. Grades recorded through the Fall 2017 semester will be calculated for the overall GPA and the CSUSM GPA. The lower of these two GPA's will determine academic honor recognition in the commencement program and the name cards. Honors designation is not official until all final grades are in and degree is conferred by the Registrar.

Academic Honors are:

  • Cum Laude: at least 3.5, but less than 3.7
  • Magna Cum Laude: at least 3.7, but less than 3.9
  • Summa Cum Laude: at least 3.9

Visit the Career Center

The Career Center provides services to ensure development of individuals with respect to unique personal, cultural and professional values. Career Center services include self-assessment instruments, workshops, resume & cover letter assistance/critiques, mock interviews,  job search assistance, career counseling, a career resource and computer lab, career fairs, networking events, and graduate school advising. All Career Center services are provided free of charge for 3 months after graduation for alumni. After the three month period, alumni can continue to receive services by becoming a member of the Alumni Association.

Join the CSUSM Alumni Association

The CSUSM Alumni Association is a committed partner of the University. Underlying all that we do is the belief in the value of education to the well-being of society, and a commitment to philanthropy, integrity, diversity, and service. Alumni Association dues are $30 per year or $300 for a Lifetime Membership. NEW GRADUATES will be offered a onetime deal of 2 years for $30. Check out the Alumni Association website to learn more! Or contact us at (760) 750-4406 or 

Contribute to the Student Philanthropy Fund

The Student Philanthropy Council is a student committee charged with building the culture of philanthropy among all CSUSM students prior to their graduation, and raising money for the Student Philanthropy Fund Endowed Student Scholarship, impacting CSUSM students who need scholarship assistance.  A suggested giving amount is $20.18 in honor of the Class of 2018, but many students give $10, $15, $50, or more.  The participation of the student body is more important than the amount donated because this program is about the impact of students helping other students!  To learn more, or to make your donation, visit SPC

Pre Order Your Floral Bouquets and Orchid Leis

If you want to cross the stage wearing an orchid lei, take advantage of discounted pricing at Graduates can pick up their leis before the ceremony begins.  Modern fresh flower arrangements and orchid leis are also available for purchase at various tent locations during commencement and can be given to your graduate after the ceremony.

Attend Commencement!

Commencement ceremonies are in May 2018, at the Mangrum Track and Field.  

Commencement Schedule

Receive your Diploma

At the Commencement ceremony, you will only receive a diploma cover, not your actual diploma. Actual diplomas are mailed to graduates 6-8 weeks after final grades are posted. Continue to check your CSUSM email for information regarding the mailing of your diploma or questions about your degree award.