Ready to Graduate?
Apply to Graduate
All graduate students must apply to graduate in the term in which they expect to complete their degree requirements. This application triggers the student’s file to be reviewed for degree conferral. Students should also review their Academic Requirements Report (ARR) via their Student Center in MyCSUSM to verify completion of all requirements.
To apply to graduate:
- Login to your Student Center on MyCSUSM
- Locate the 'Apply for Graduation' field under Academics.
- Follow the prompts and select the appropriate term for graduation.
Graduation Application Deadlines
Semester of Graduation
Application Start Date/Deadline
January 1 – March 15
August 1 – November 1
*For a Spring graduation, if your application is not submitted by the deadline indicated above, your name will not appear in the Commencement program and there may be a delay in conferring your degree.
Graduation vs. Commencement
Often referred to as “Graduation”, Commencement is the ceremony. It is an end-of-spring semester celebration for students projected to successfully complete all their graduation requirements by the end of that Spring or Summer semester.
Commencement is coordinated by the Commencement Office. There is only one Commencement ceremony that takes place at the end of the Spring semester each year to celebrate graduation from the previous Fall, Spring or upcoming Summer terms.
All Commencement participants are required to wear full academic regalia consisting of a traditional black gown, mortarboard (cap) with tassel, medallion, and master’s hood. Regalia and additional celebratory items can be purchased at Gradfest that takes place every March in the USU. After Gradfest, graduates may purchase their regalia at the University Bookstore.
You will not receive a diploma at the commencement ceremony. Confirmation of degree completion will not take place until official grades are posted. For more information on Commencement, visit the Commencement website.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I confirm that my application to graduate has been received?Go into myCSUSM and look up your Academic Requirements Report. It will be reflected on the upper left hand corner.
- I decided to change my graduation to next semester, do I need to do anything?Submit an online request to update your graduation term here.
- How long does it take to obtain the hard copy of my degree and have it reflected on
my transcript?This will take approximately 6-8 weeks after the semester. It will be mailed to the address on file on myCSUSM, so be sure to update your address.
- I missed the deadline to apply for graduation. Can I still apply for graduation?Yes. You will need to go down to Cougar Central (3rd floor of Administrative Building) and fill out the graduation application there.
- How do I find out about commencement information?Visit the CSUSM Commencement page for information.
Master's hooding is a significant ceremonial tradition in academia, symbolizing the transition from student to master. During the hooding ritual, a graduate student is recognized for their academic achievements. The hood, a colorful and ornamental garment, is placed over the graduate's shoulders, signifying their expertise and mastery in their field of study. This rite not only celebrates the individual's hard work and dedication but also marks the beginning of their professional journey, equipped with the knowledge and skills gained through their graduate studies.