Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates: Before Commencement

Graduates: Day of Commencement

Guests


 

What is the deadline to sign up for commencement?

The deadline to sign up for fall commencement will be Nov. 30.

If I have already applied for fall 2018 graduation, but won't know until December if I need to extend my graduation date to spring 2019, do I need to do anything different?

No. If you apply for fall 2018 graduation and intend to complete all requirements for this term, you do not need to change your graduation date.

Will the GAPE office accept late applications for fall 2018 graduation?

Yes. The GAPE office will accept late fall 2018 graduation applications. However, after September 10, the student's name may not be included in the commencement book. Best efforts will be made to incorporate late names into the book.

 

Will there be a commencement for fall 2018 graduates?

Yes. Fall 2018 commencement will be held December 19 - 20. The schedule of ceremonies will be announced in June 2018.

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

All graduates participating in commencement must wear academic regalia.

You may purchase regalia and graduation items at the Spartan Bookstore in the Diaz Compean Student Union this fall. Grad packages with reduced pricing, as well as a la carte items at full price, are available. Dates will be announced at a later date.

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. The color of the felt on the hood is specific to the college.

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. Representatives also visit the Spartan Bookstore during Grad Fest to personally assist you with your order. Watch for fall Grad Fest dates.

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

Graduating students will be notified through MySJSU with information on how to make sure their name is correct.

If you do not wish to have your name appear in the commencement program, please notify your graduation evaluator.

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 age three and up.

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?

The number of tickets available to each graduate will be announced when the schedule of December ceremonies is announced.

Can I purchase extra guest tickets?

No, tickets are not available for purchase.

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?

Fall / December ceremonies for the following colleges will be held on campus at SJSU (290 S. 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112):

 

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, 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.

How long will the ceremony be?

Following the processional, the ceremony is anticipated to be 2 to 2.5 hours.

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 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?

Yes.

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.

Can my guests come up to the stage to take photos?

For the safety of guests and graduates, guests must remain in their seats. Professional photographers will take photos near the stage and you will be emailed proofs.

For ceremonies at Avaya Stadium, can guests and family members go see graduates on the field following the ceremony?

Immediately following the ceremony, the field will be cleared. Security will not allow guests to access the field to greet graduates. 

What can my guests bring to the ceremony?

For the safety and enjoyment of all patrons, the following items are not permitted at all SJSU commencement ceremonies:

  • Drones or airborne flying devices
    Note: Flying a drone at Avaya Stadium is a federal offense and will result in immediate arrest.
  • Balloons
  • Artificial noise-making devices, horns, air horns
  • Inflatable balls, frisbees, tortillas, etc.
  • Confetti or streamers
  • Tripods or selfie sticks
  • Seat cushions
  • Umbrellas
  • Skateboards, scooters, rollerblades
  • Signs or banners larger than 3 feet by 5 feet. (Banners brought to Avaya Stadium must be foldable and held only -- and cannot be attached to any railings, fencing, etc. Your banners will be inspected before you are admitted to the stadium.)
  • Large bags or backpacks over 25 pounds
  • Coolers, hard sided coolers
  • Animals, except services animals
  • Laser pens or pointers
  • Weapons of any kind (including chains, chain wallets, studded belts, etc.)
  • Any item deemed by management to be dangerous or inappropriate that may disrupt other spectators enjoyment of the event
  • Smoking, including vapes

Approved items:

  • Sealed snacks
  • Sealed water bottles under 20 oz.
  • Empty reusable water bottles
  • Diaper bags
  • Strollers (must be parked in approved area):
    • Avaya Stadium: At bag check trailer outside of main gate
    • Event Center at SJSU: Upper concourses only

There is no public storage for items not allowed inside nor can any items be held by a staff member.

All guests will be subject to search, which may include the use of electronic devices, pat downs and inspections of bags.

Guests are discouraged from bringing unnecessary items to the event.