Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates: Before Commencement

Graduates: Day of Commencement



What is the deadline to sign up for commencement?

Students who received degrees in August 2017, December 2017 or have applied to graduate in May 2018 and plan to attend commencement should complete the Intent to Participate form beginning March 5. The Intent to Participate form should be completed no later than May 18.

For information on verifying you have completed the requirements for your degree, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Where do I get my cap, gown, tassel and hood?

You may purchase regalia at the Spartan Bookstore in the Diaz Compean Student Union beginning with Grad Fest, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday, March 5 to Thursday, March 8, or online. All graduates participating in commencement must wear academic regalia.

Can I decorate my cap?

It is completely acceptable to decorate your cap. Please be respectful when decorating your cap, but have fun. Please note that your graduation gown should not be decorated.

What type of hood do I wear with my academic regalia?

The hood is only included in the academic regalia for students earning a master’s or doctoral degree.

What are academic honors?

To be recognized with academic honors, you must have a qualifying GPA (3.5 or higher SJSU GPA) prior to the semester in which ceremonies are held. Students eligible to receive the honors medallion will be notified by the university and can pick up the medallion at the Spartan Bookstore by May 25. If you subsequently improve your GPA, graduation honors will be posted on your official record and diploma. You will not, however, be able to acquire a medallion for the commencement ceremonies. Graduate students are not eligible for honors. In order to qualify for Latin Honors, your SJSU Cumulative and Overall GPAs both must meet the minimum GPA requirements. Questions about Latin Honors may be directed to the Registrar's Office.

Where do I order graduation announcements?

Graduation announcement samples, pricing and ordering information are available at the Spartan Bookstore. Place your order online. Representatives also visit the Spartan Bookstore during Grad Fest to personally assist you with your order.

How do I verify my name will be in the printed commencement program?

Graduating students will be notified through MySJSU and will receive a postcard in the mail with information on how to make sure their name is correct by April 3.

Who do I contact if I need special accommodations at graduation?

Graduates who need special accommodations may contact the Special Events team with name, phone number, email address and required accommodations two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony.

Do graduates need tickets?

No, tickets are only required for guests.

Can I sell my tickets?

Students may give unused tickets to peers who are participating in the same ceremony. Tickets may not be sold or traded for anything of monetary value.

How many guests may I invite?

For 2018 spring ceremonies, graduates may claim up to 10 guest tickets. Please visit the guest tickets page for more information (available in early March).

I know my department, but what's my college?

Look for your department in this list of colleges and departments.

I am earning multiple degrees this year. Can I attend multiple ceremonies?

Yes. If your degrees are from more than one college, you may attend the ceremony for each college.

Where is commencement?

Ceremonies for the following colleges will be held at the Event Center on SJSU's campus (290 S. 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112):

Connie L. Lurie College of Education, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | 5 p.m.

College of Humanities and the Arts, Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 1:30 p.m.

College of Science, Friday, May 25, 2018 | 1:30 p.m.

Ceremonies for the following colleges will be held at Avaya Stadium (1123 Coleman Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110):

College of Social Sciences, Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 9 a.m.

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 5 p.m.

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, Friday, May 25, 2018 | 9 a.m.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Friday, May 25, 2018 | 5 p.m.

What time should I arrive?

Graduates and their guests should plan to arrive 60 minutes prior to their college ceremony. Please consider travel time, traffic, parking and security screening, and plan accordingly.

Where do I park?

Where do I go to line up for the ceremony?

When you arrive at the Event Center or Avaya Stadium, commencement staff and volunteers will direct graduates where and how to line up. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes and save your special footwear for post-ceremony festivities.

Can my family come see me before the ceremony?

No. Guests are prohibited from the assembly area.

Will the ceremonies be streamed live?

All ceremonies will be streamed live from the commencement website.

What should I bring?

Wear your cap and gown to the ceremony. Proper attire is required to participate. We encourage you wear comfortable shoes. For safety and security reasons, certain items such as balloons, air horns, silly string and alcohol are prohibited from being brought to the ceremony.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Cell phones are permitted, but please turn off the ringer before the ceremony begins.

Where can I leave my coat, handbag or other personal belongings?

Please leave all personal belongings with family members or friends. There are no provisions in the assembly area for coats, handbags or other valuable personal items.

Which side of my cap does the tassel go on?

Master’s degree candidates place the tassel on the left side of the cap. Bachelor’s degree candidates wear the tassel on the right side of the cap until after the conferring of degrees.

Can my child walk with me during the ceremony?

No. Guests are not allowed in the assembly area or the arena/stadium floor.

Will water be available?

Yes. Water will be available for graduates, faculty and platform party participants in the staging area and at seats in Avaya Stadium.

Will medical help be provided for persons in need?

Yes. Avaya Stadium has staffed First Aid rooms. EMTs will be on site at the Event Center at SJSU. Security and staff at both venues will be able to request assistance.

Will my name be read out loud at the ceremony?


Will photos or videos be taken?

A professional photographer will take your photograph during the ceremony. To ensure you receive your proofs and information on how to purchase, please update your email address by visiting MySJSU. Guests are permitted to take photographs and video from the stands, but not on the floor.

Please note: University staff members will also be photographing the event. Photos taken by staff are for university use and are not intended to be sold or given to graduates or family members.

Will there be ASL interpreters at the ceremonies?

Yes. ASL interpreters will be present.

How does the Student Conduct Code apply to commencement?

The Student Conduct Code is enforced at commencement as it is on campus. In addition, commencement is an alcohol-free event. No alcohol is allowed on the premises for this event. For everyone’s safety and to ensure that all participants enjoy this special occasion, we ask that graduates and guests do not bring alcohol onto the property. Being under the influence imposes on others and could preclude your participation in the ceremony.

When will I receive my diploma?

Allow three to four months for the completion of a degree evaluation, after which time diplomas will be mailed to the address we have on file with MySJSU. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar's office

Can guests take photos?

Guests are permitted to take photographs and video from the stands only. They are not allowed on the main floor. Please note: University staff members will also be photographing the event. Photos and video taken by staff are for university use and are not intended to be sold or given to graduates or family members.

What can my guests bring to the ceremony?

For safety and security reasons, certain items are prohibited from being brought to the ceremony.

The following items are prohibited at Avaya Stadium:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Balloons
  • Strollers, car seats, baby carriers
  • Umbrellas
  • Selfie sticks
  • Any metal or glass water bottles
  • Any glass or plastic food containers
  • Incendiary devices (e.g., reworks, smoke bombs, etc.) per Health and Safety Code 12677 and punishable by a fine up to $1000, 6 months in jail, or both)
  • Streamers
  • Seat covers of any kind
  • Illegal substances, drugs or chemicals of any kind
  • Poles and/or staffs of any kind, including but not limited to metal, plastic or wood (except pre-approved items in designated supporters sections)
  • Noisemakers, plastic horns, air horns, drums, whistles or musical instruments of any kind (except in designated supporters sections and approved by Stadium Operations)
  • Frisbees or inflated balls of any kind
  • Aerosol cans (e.g., hairspray, silly string, etc.)
  • Animals (except approved service dogs)
  • Any items deemed by management to be inappropriate, offensive or potentially hazardous