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Sac State Requirements:

  • Graduates must have filed the appropriate petition to graduate forms with the Office of Admissions and Records.  Petitions to graduate are due one year prior to graduation. (i.e. May 1, 2007 for May 2008 graduation and November 1, 2007 for November 2008 graduation). http://webapps1.csus.edu/admr/content/evaluation/graduation_application.asp
  • Graduates must sign up on the commencement website of their respective college to participate (this does not guarantee your name will appear in the program).


  • Ceremonies will be at ARCO Arena and the University Union Ballroom (winter only). Please see schedule for details.
  • Graduates should arrive at the ceremony site ½ hour prior to the event.  Ceremonies will begin on time.
  • Allow ample time to arrive at the ceremony site, park and assemble.
  • For ceremonies in the University Ballroom, graduates will assemble in the Redwood Room. 
  • For ceremonies at ARCO Arena, graduates will assembly in the lower level of ARCO Arena.  Enter the arena via the Security Entrance (through the staff parking lot).
  • Please keep personal items to a minimum.  There are no previsions in the assembly areas to leave coats, purses, or other valuable personal items.
  • There are no rehearsals for graduation.
  • Tickets are not required for your guests.


  • The consumption of alcohol is prohibited. 
  • Balloons are not allowed.  Guests will be asked to leave balloons outside the facility.
  • Strollers are not permitted in ARCO Arena and the University Union.
  • Beach balls, silly string, tortillas, and Frisbees are not allowed and will be confiscated.


  • There is a $10.00, per vehicle, parking fee at ARCO Arena as with any other public event.  Please inform ALL family and guests of the parking fee
  • For ceremonies at Sacramento State, there is no charge for parking on campus during the ceremony.


  • Diplomas will be mailed to the address on file, please update your address by visiting My Sac State from the Sac State home page, www.csus.edu/.   
  • Allow two weeks after grades are due before final review of files for degree conferral.
  • Allow at least four to six weeks after degree posting for diplomas to be mailed.

Caps, Gowns, Honors Cords, Announcements:

  • Caps and gowns are available at the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) business office on the third floor of the University Union.  Purchase your cap and gown early to insure proper size.  Call (916) 278-7916 to confirm their hours of operation.
  • Honor cords will be available at the ASI cashier window for those bachelor graduates who qualify for University Honors with a cumulative Sacramento State grade point average of 3.5 or higher (excluding extension). 

For recognition of graduation with honors at commencement ceremonies, a qualifying GPA must be met before the semester in which ceremonies are held.  If a student subsequently improves his/her GPA, honors at graduation will be posted on the official record and diploma.  However, the student will not be able to acquire the cord for the commencement ceremonies.

  • Tassels – master’s degree candidates will place the tassel on the left side of the cap.  Bachelor’s degree candidates will wear the tassel on the right side of the cap until after the conferring of the degrees.  There will be oral instructions from the stage to move the tassel to the left side.
  • Graduation announcements are available for purchase at the Hornet Bookstore beginning the first week of October for winter ceremonies and the first week of March for spring ceremonies.


  • A professional photographer will take your photograph during the ceremony.  To insure your proofs are mailed to you, please update your address by visiting My Sac State from the Sac State home page, www.csus.edu/.
  • Guests are permitted to take photographs from the stands.  Guests are not allowed on the main floor of ARCO Arena or near the stage in the University Ballroom.

Graduation Day:

  • Arrive ½ hour before the ceremony (see schedule for time and location)
  • Wear your cap and gown. 
  • Leave personal belongings with a family member or friend.
  • Graduates enter ARCO through Security Entrance below Southeast Entrance.  You will be directed to the appropriate area by commencement staff. Please check in with your college coordinator.
  • Guests enter ARCO through the Southeast Entrance
  • For ceremonies in the University Ballroom, graduates assemble in the Redwood Room and their guests proceed to the ballroom.
  • Persons with disabilities will be escorted to the disabled seating area by student hosts. Due to space constraints, only one family member will be allowed to accompany the disabled individual to this seating area.
  • After the ceremony, plan to meet your guests outside the arena near the west tunnel. 



California State University, Sacramento • Ceremonies and Visitor Relations
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-4724 • infodesk@csus.edu