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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 semester (prior to the Spring Commencement Ceremony).
  • 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. If you apply to graduate, this not automatically registers you for Commencement.  If you apply after the noted graduation application deadlines, the following may occur:

    • You may not be notified about Commencement.
    • You may not receive a link to register for Commencement.
    • Your name may not be printed in the Commencement Program.

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

  • Register to Attend Your Ceremony

     All participating 2020 and 2021 graduates must pre-register to attend their ceremony. Applying to graduate does not automatically register you for Commencement. You may not be notified about the Commencement ceremonies or recieve your unique Commencement registration link if you do not apply to graduate by the graduation deadlines.

    Fall 2021 graduates - You will participate in the Spring 2022 ceremony, since you will be completing your degree in the 2021/22 academic year.  No exceptions will be made for the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies due to limited capacity that we must adhere to per State and County regulations.

    For those with difficulty accessing the Marching Order Form or need additional help, please email the Commencement Office for assistance. An appointment will be set up so that a Commencement staff member may assist you with the registration.

    The University will continue to monitor county and state regulations. CSUSM plans to host in-person ceremonies, rain or shine,  on the Mangrum Track on May 22-23, 2021, to celebrate both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. Attendance and Participation will require advance regiatration and attendance will be very limited.  Due to space restrictions and health and safety guidelines, only two guest invitations may be extended per graduate. A livestream of the in-person ceremonies at Mangrum Track will be made available on the CSUSM website and the CSUSM app. 

    Please continue to monitor this website for the most current details, protocols and safety measures regarding Commencement 2021. We will update the site regularly as state and local regulations continue to evolve.

    We ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to find solutions that are compliant with local health orders during these unprecedented times. 

  • 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. If there are any discrepancies on your ARR, please contact the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible.

    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. Your primary name will also be your display name on the screen as you walk across the stage.

    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 virtually on March 10th and 11th, 11AM .

    Our GradFest vendors will be available virtually on Microsoft Teams to help you shop for all of your graduation gear and accessories:

    • Cap & gown
    • Diploma frames
    • Graduation announcements
    • Kukui leis
    • College rings
    • Join the Alumni Association

    Join us at the event on Teams to be eligible to win one of our amazing prizes! Bundle pricing will also be available during these days. Visit the Commencement website to learn more about Virtual GradFest 2021.

     Microsoft Teams Download and Guide

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

  • 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 May 10, 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 7, 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 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, or while supplies last. This year we are gifting an additional 3 years to the package for a total of 5 years of Alumni Association membership. The package also includes 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. Sign up by April 20 to receive a bonus alumni branded gift.

    The Alumni Association will be gifting the Class of 2021 a free 2-year membership.  Visit the Alumni Association Website for more information.

  • 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 CSUSM Kukui Nut Lei

    Pre-ordering your orchid lei, flower bouquet, or CSUSM branded Kukui Nut Necklace today! They look great for pictures! Items purchased are available to be picked up on the day of your Commencement ceremony. Look for the tent on the South end of the Track just past the main entrance to the track. 
  • 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

    The University will continue to monitor county and state regulations. CSUSM plans to host in-person ceremonies, rain or shine,  on the Mangrum Track on May 22-23, 2021, to celebrate both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. Attendance and Participation will require advance regiatration and attendance will be very limited.  Due to space restrictions and health and safety guidelines, only two guest invitations may be extended per graduate. A livestream of the in-person ceremonies at Mangrum Track will be made available on the CSUSM website and the CSUSM app. 

    Please continue to monitor this website for the most current details, protocols and safety measures regarding Commencement 2021. We will update the site regularly as state and local regulations continue to evolve.

    We ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to find solutions that are compliant with local health orders during these unprecedented times. 

  • 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 8-12 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.


The University will continue to monitor county and state regulations. CSUSM plans to host in-person ceremonies, rain or shine,  on the Mangrum Track on May 22-23, 2021, to celebrate both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. Attendance and Participation will require advance regiatration and attendance will be very limited.  Due to space restrictions and health and safety guidelines, only two guest invitations may be extended per graduate. A livestream of the in-person ceremonies at Mangrum Track will be made available on the CSUSM website and the CSUSM app. 

Please continue to monitor this website for the most current details, protocols and safety measures regarding Commencement 2021. We will update the site regularly as state and local regulations continue to evolve.

We ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to find solutions that are compliant with local health orders during these unprecedented times.