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Graduate Checklist

Graduate Checklist

Students eligible to participate in the Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony are:

  • Those who have earned their degrees at the conclusion of the Fall 2020 (previous to the Spring Commencement Ceremony) semester.
  • Those who expect to earn their degrees at the conclusion of the Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 semesters.

Please go through the sections below to ensure that you may participate in Commencement and there are no delays in receiving your diploma.

  • Apply to Graduate

    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.  If you do not apply by the deadline, your name will not be printed in the Commencement program.

     Degree Level Fall 2020 Deadline Spring 2021 Deadline Summer 2021 Deadline
    Undergraduate Student (Bachelors) November 1, 2020 March 15, 2021 March 15, 2021
    Graduate Student (Masters) November 1, 2020 March 15, 2021 March 15, 2021

    Note: For undergraduate students who have not completed 85 units, your graduation application will be cancelled. 

    For more information on applying to graduate, you may visit the Office of the Registrar's website.

  • Let Us Know You'll Attend Your Ceremony

    Applying to graduate this academic year will trigger a pop-up message asking if you plan to attend your Commencement ceremony.  You can reply "yes", "no", or "remind me later".  You can change your response at any time in your Communication Center.  All final responses must be submitted by May 1, 2021. You will receive the Commencement Newsletter if you submit "yes" (newsletter is sent March - May).

    To review or edit your response:

    • Log-in to your Student Center in MyCSUSM
    • Open your Communication Center (on the right side of the screen)
    • Review the message titled "Commencement Ceremony"

    This pop-up is for those graduating this academic year only (Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021). If you do not see the pop-up message right away, log back in after 24 hours. The system may need to refresh.

    Fall 2021 graduates - You will participate in the Spring 2022 ceremony, since you will be completing your degree in the 2021/22 academic year.  Keep in mind, your name will not be printed in the 2021 program and you will not be eligible to receive academic honors (if applicable). We encourage you to participate in the 2022 ceremonies with your class.

  • 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.

    Your ARR will note "Applied for Graduation" under Graduation Status and will not be updated until your degree has been conferred.

  • Verify Your Name and Mailing Address to Receive Your Diploma

    It is your responsibility to verify in your Student Center that your primary name is spelled correctly and your mailing address is up-to-date; this is the name that will be printed on your diploma, and your diploma will be mailed to this address once your degree is awarded.

    If you do not update your address and your diploma is mailed to your former mailing address, you will be held responsible for any re-processing and mailing fees. 

    Name change requests made after diploma has been mailed out will incur an additional re-processing and mailing fee. For name changes or mailing address changes, please follow the instructions noted on the Office of the Registrar's website and complete any changes by March 15 (for Commencement Program) and June 1 (for Diploma).

  • Pay All Balances on your Student Account and Clear All Holds

    Check your Student Center to see if you owe any fees to the University, including parking and library fines. Please make the full payment before the end of the term. Email financial questions to Student Financial Services.  You will NOT receive your diploma until all balances are cleared. Visit the Office of the Registrar's website to learn more about holds and the Student Financial Services website on how to make a payment.

    Any holds placed on your student account must be cleared in order to receive your diploma. If you clear a hold after Commencement, it is YOUR responsibility to notify the Office of the Registrar to have your diploma printed and mailed.

  • Financial Aid - Complete Exit Loan Counseling

    If students borrow federal student loans while attending CSUSM, then you will need to complete the Exit Loan Counseling. You will need to log into the U.S. Department of Education Website, Office of Federal Student Aid.

    Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).

    If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

    • Drop below half-time enrollment
    • Graduate
    • Leave school

    The Exit Loan Counseling takes about 20-30 minutes. You will need the following in order to proceed with the Exit Loan Counseling:

    •  Verified FSA ID
    • Details on your income, financial aid, and living expenses
    • Names, addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers

    For additional information regarding the Exit Loan Counseling, please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at (760) 750-4850 or email the The Financial Aid Office.

  • GradFest 2021

    GradFest 2021 is scheduled to take place in the USU Ballroom  on February 24-25 from 9am - 7pm.

    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,  Alumni Association, Student Philanthropy Fund, Faculty Staff Associations, Extended Learning, The Commencement Group Flowers and have a free sitting for your cap and gown portrait.

    Can't Make it to GradFest? No worries!  Visit the CSUSM University Bookstore website!

    GradFest 2021 will be dependent on current COVID-19 health orders put forth by local government and the University. Any news regarding GradFest 2021 will be communicated via your CSUSM email, @CSUSMCougarCentral Social Media,  and posted to the GradFest 2021 website.

  • Apply to be a Speaker or a Vocalist

    Interested students can apply to be the student speaker or student vocalist for their ceremony. Applications must be submitted on the commencement website. The deadline is March 15, 2021.  Auditions will be held at the end of March, beginning of April . Applicants will be informed by March 22 if they have received an  in-person audition appointment. Dates and times for auditions are TBD. 

    Speakers will be reading their prepared speech and vocalists will be singing the national anthem.

  • 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. There is no rehearsal for Commencement.

    Commencement Information Session Dates and Times are TBD and will be dependent on when the campus re-opens and COVID-19 procedures set in place by local government.

  • Visit the Career Center

    The mission of the Career Center is to empower students and alumni to design and manage their career paths with clarity, competence, and confidence. 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
    • resume & cover letter assistance/critiques
    • mock interviews
    • job search assistance
    • career counseling
    • job fairs & networking events
    • career workshops & info sessions
    • 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 through membership with the Alumni Association.

  • Complete your CSUSM Exit Survey

    On April 29 2021, your CSUSM Exit Survey will be available to take. This short survey asks you about your plans after graduation. Your responses will be applied towards improving and implementing programs and initiatives that support students and alumni in their career development.

    Graduates who complete their surveys by 11:59pm on Monday, June 1, 2021 will be eligible to receive a free CSUSM Alumni lapel pin. Please make sure to enter your current mailing address when prompted on the survey.

     EMail the Office of Institutional Planning & Analysis  with any questions.

  • Join the CSUSM Alumni Association

    Stay connected to Cal State San Marcos after graduation by becoming a member of the CSUSM Alumni Association! Get the exclusive Class Champion alumni membership package only available to the Class of 2021. This exclusive package is only available for purchase on line through April 20. It includes 2 years of Alumni Association membership, a gift to the Student Philanthropy Scholarship, a donor cord to wear at commencement, and an alumni branded reusable tote, t-shirt, license plate frame, and key chain. Class Champion membership costs $60.  Check out the Alumni Association website to learn more or  send them an email.
  • Contribute to the Student Philanthropy Fund

    The Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) is a student committee charged with building the culture of philanthropy among all CSUSM students who need scholarship assistance. A suggested giving amount is $20.20 in honor of the Class of 2020, but many students give $10, $15, $50, or more. To learn more, or to make your donation, visit the SPC website.  Purchase a Class Champion Alumni Membership and receive a special graduation cord to wear at commencement.  Visit Visit the CSUSM Alumni Website for details.  
  • Pre-Order Your Floral Bouquets and Orchid Leis

    If you want to cross the stage wearing an orchid lei, save time by pre-ordering. Graduates can pick up their order before the ceremony begins by the Graduate Check-in Tables.  Modern fresh flower arrangements and CSUSM branded Kukui Nut Necklaces are also available for purchase at various tent locations during commencement and can be given to your graduate after the ceremony. Delivery is not offered at this time.
  • Make Sure you Attend the Correct Commencement Ceremony!

    Take a look at the Commencement Schedule to make sure you and your guests attend the correct ceremony:

    Commencement Schedule

  • Receive Your Diploma

    At the Commencement ceremony, you will only receive a diploma cover, not your actual diploma. Actual diplomas are typically mailed to graduates 6-8 weeks* after  final grades are posted and your degree has been conferred.

    *Due to COVID-19 and campus closure, the Office of the Registrar has minimal essential staff in the office to process diplomas. The estimated time to mail out diplomas after the degree conferral email has been received is 10-12 weeks.

    Degree Conferral emails are sent to your CSUSM email account around mid-June (Spring Graduation), mid-September (Summer Graduation), and mid-January (Fall Graduation). Your degree conferral email can also be accessed via the Communicaiton Center in your MyCSUSM account.

    Additional information can be found at the diploma details page.