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FAQ

  • What do I need to do to participate in the Commencement ceremony?

    You will need to apply to graduate in MyCSUSM.  Once you do this, you will receive a pop-up message asking if you plan to participate in your ceremony.  You can review or change your response at anytime through May 1 by logging back in to MyCSUSM and visiting your Communication Center.

    Fall 2019 grads, if you wish to participate as an early grad, please note that your name will not be printed in the program. Your name will be in the 2020 program.  You will also not be eligible to be considered for academic honors.  We encourage you to participate in your ceremony next year.  If you choose to participate this year, you may sign up to receive the Commencement Newsletter for information from our office and follow the Graduate Checklist.

  • I am graduating next fall, can I participate/walk early?

    Yes, simply sign up to receive the Commencement Newsletter. We do not check how many units you have completed and there is no special permission or process required to participate. 

    Your name will NOT appear in the program and you will NOT be eligible for academic honors. Your name will be in next year's program and academic honors will be recognized on your transcript.

  • Will my name be in the Commencement program?

    Yes, if you are a Fall 18, Spring 19 or Summer 19 graduate and applied for graduation on time (Fall -November 1, Spring/Summer - March 15). 

    If you applied for graduation after the deadline, your name will not appear in the program. 

    If you are walking early (ex: you are a fall 2019 grad walking spring 2019) your name will NOT be in the program. Your name will be in the Spring 2020 program.

  • How will my name be read at the ceremony?

    When you check-in to your ceremony, you will fill out a reader card.  Write out your name the way you want it to be read as you cross the stage.  You will also include your email and contact information so the photographer can send you your photos from the event.
  • What is the difference between graduation and Commencement?

    Graduation is the term in which you have officially completed all of your graduation requirements.  Commencement is the ceremony held at the end of each year.  The Registrar is your main contact for all graduation, honors, and diploma inquiries.
  • What does it cost to participate in the Commencement ceremonies?

    The University does not charge students to participate in Commencement. Students only have to purchase their Commencement regalia (cap, gown, tassel, medallion).
  • When is GradFest?

    GradFest will be held March 13 & 14, 10am-6pm, in the USU Ballroom.
  • Do I need tickets and parking passes for my guests?

    No, all parking is complimentary at Commencement and there are no tickets issued for this event.  Seating is on a first come, first served basis. We ask that in consideration of all graduates, please limit your guest count to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Where can I purchase my cap and gown?

    GradFest is your first opportunity to purchase your Commencement regalia.  The University Store is your contact for all regalia purchases, exchanges, and questions. (760) 750-4730
  • Can I decorate my cap?

    Yes, but please make sure that all cap decorations remain flat; it cannot obstruct the view of the person sitting behind you.
  • What should I bring to Commencement?

    Your regalia (cap, gown, tassel, medallion).  A water bottle is highly recommended. You will be outdoors with no shade, we recommend you apply sunblock.  No bags will be permitted.
  • Where do I park?

    Graduates and their guests can park in lots C, X, Y, Z and F.  Please follow the direction of the parking attendants for the nearest parking available.  Handicap parking is available in lot B.  Please display a handicap placard if you or your guests require handicap parking.
  • When and where do I check-in at Commencement?

    Graduates will check-in at the softball field, one-hour prior to the start of your ceremony. 
  • What should I wear to Commencement?

    Your cap, gown, tassel, medallion, and comfortable clothing underneath.  Heels are not recommended.  Graduates will walk on grass, stairs, and uneven ground.
  • Can I sit with my friends at Commencement?

    All students are required to sit with their major, so yes; you can sit with your friends within your major.
  • Do you sell DVD copies of the ceremony?

    No, but the link to the entire ceremony will be posted on the Commencement website approximately two weeks after the ceremonies. 
  • If I am not attending Commencement, will my name still appear in the program?

    Yes, the names of all graduates who have applied to graduate by the given deadline (Fall -November 1, Spring/Summer - March 15) will be listed, even if they choose not to participate in the ceremony.
  • Can my guests take pictures at commencement?

    Yes, they are able to take pictures from the guest seating area only and the aisles must remain clear at all times.
  • If I am a double major and my majors are in 2 colleges, which ceremony do I walk in?

    You will walk with your primary major, whichever college that falls in.
  • Do you have wheelchairs available for guests?

    No, we are not able to provide wheelchairs for guests. All guests requiring wheelchair assistance will need to bring their own.  We will have wheelchair accessible seating available on a first-come, first-served basis under the tents and near the Lots Y and Z entrance.
  • What do I do if I arrive late to the ceremony?

    If you are late to the ceremony, please check-in with a volunteer in a blue shirt at the field. You will have to sit in the back of the last row of graduates, which means your name will not be called with your major but with the major of those students in the last row.  
  • If I am unable to participate in my college‚Äôs ceremony, can I participate in another one?

    No, graduates must participate in the ceremony of their college. 
  • Who is Eligible for Honors?

    Only undergraduate students are eligible for honors. Your college will contact you if you are honors eligible to pick up your honor cord and reader card.

    • 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
  • When will I receive my diploma?

    Once your final grades are posted, the Office of the Registrar will process your diploma and mail to the address you have in your MyCSUSM portal.  This process takes 6-8 weeks after final grades are posted.

For any additional questions, please contact the Commencement Office at 760-750-DONE (3663) or commencement@csusm.edu