Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations! Graduation day is near and it promises to be a memorable day for you, your family and friends.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help guide you through the process of preparing for graduation—everything from ordering your regalia to making sure your family and friends see your proud moment.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Commencement Office at commencement@csus.edu or call (916) 278–4724.
Questions for Graduates: Before Commencement
Students receiving a bachelor’s degree must file a petition to graduate with the Office of the University Registrar by Oct. 1 of the previous year if graduating in the spring/summer, and Feb. 1 of the current year if graduating in the fall.

Graduate students must have filed petitions with the Office of Graduate Studies by Feb. 1 if graduating in the spring, and by Oct. 1 if graduating in the fall.
You may purchase regalia at Grad Fest (10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the University Union Ballroom), online at asi.csus.edu/services/student-shop or at the Associated Students, Inc. business office in Sequoia Hall 311. All graduates participating in commencement must wear academic regalia.
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.
To be recognized with academic honors, you must have a qualifying GPA (3.5 or higher Sacramento State GPA) prior to the semester in which ceremonies are held. If you subsequently improve your GPA, graduation honors will be posted on the official record and diploma. You will not, however, be able to acquire an honor cord for the commencement ceremonies. Graduate students are not eligible for honors. To find out if you are receiving academic honors or to purchase an honor cord, please check with the ASI office at (916) 278–7916.
Balfour graduation announcement samples, pricing and ordering information are available at the Hornet Bookstore. Place your order online by visiting Balfour or by using Balfour’s toll free number, (877) 225–3687. Balfour representatives also visit the Hornet Bookstore (see Bookstore website for dates) each semester as well as Grad Fest, to personally assist you with your order.
Please file your petition to graduate with the University Registrar in advance of the deadline.

Names will be collected for listing in the 2017 Winter Commencement program on Oct. 31. Please make sure your student record shows you're eligible to graduate in the Summer or Fall 2017 term. Otherwise your name will not be included. 

If you have changed your name since applying for graduation, please contact the registrar's office at (916) 278-3625. 
Yes, please fill out a petition form to participate in Commencement early. Forms must be approved and submitted by your College. The petition process does not guarantee you will be approved to participate in Commencement or that your name will appear in the program.
Graduates who need special accommodations should contact their college with name, phone number, email address and required accommodations two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony. 
No, tickets are only required for guests. Please visit our guest tickets page for further information.
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.
Public transportation options will be made available at a later date. 
Questions for Graduates: Day of Commencement
Ceremonies will be held at Golden 1 Center, David J Stern Walk, Sacramento, CA 95814
Graduates should plan to arrive 60 minutes prior to their college ceremony. Please consider travel time, traffic, parking and security screening at the arena, and plan accordingly.
Please visit Golden 1 Center's directions and parking webpage for more information. Graduates and guests can also book and pre-pay for parking spots nearby Golden 1 Center through the SacPark website
Commencement is an alcohol-free event. This venue does not allow outside alcohol 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.
Sacramento State commencement staff and college commencement coordinators will direct graduates where and how to line up. The graduate entrance can be seen here. Please keep in mind that you will go down a few flights of stairs to the graduate tunnel. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes and save your special footwear for post-ceremony festivities. There's also an elevator for graduates who have accessibility needs.
Wear your cap and gown to the ceremony. Proper attire is required to participate. We encourage you wear comfortable shoes, as you will go down a few flights of stairs to the graduate tunnel. For safety and security reasons, certain items are prohibited from being brought to the ceremony such as balloons, air horns, silly string and alcohol.
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.
Cell phones are permitted, but please turn off the ringer before the ceremony begins.
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 the degrees.
The hood is only included in the academic regalia for students earning a master’s or doctoral degree.
Each college has its own protocol regarding hooding. Please check with your college for information on their unique customs and procedures. Commencement coordinators at the arena will provide guidance on the day of the ceremony.
No. Guests are not allowed in the assembly area or the arena floor.
Commencement program booklets are available on the day of the ceremony. The University prints a limited number of Commencement programs for guests. Graduates will receive a copy of the Commencement program at their college ceremony.
Yes. You do not need to fill out anything in advance or be checked off a list. You will find a card and pencil on your seat. Please fill out the card and print your name clearly (provide a phonetic spelling if your name has a unique pronunciation). Hand it to a reader as you move toward the podium. Your name will be called from this card.
A professional photographer from GradImages will take your photograph during the ceremony. To ensure you receive your proofs, please update your email address by visiting My Sac State. To order photographs, visit the GradImages website. 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.
Yes. ASL interpreters will be present. They will be visible on screens throughout the arena.
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 MySacState. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar's office at (916) 278-3625.
Questions for Guests
For 2017 Winter ceremonies graduates can claim up to 12 guest tickets. Please visit the guest tickets page for more information.
Please visit Golden 1 Center's directions and parking webpage for more information. Graduates and guests can also book and pre-pay for parking spots nearby Golden 1 Center through the SacPark website.
Please visit Golden 1 Center's ADA/Accessibility information webpage for more information. 

If you have questions regarding ADA-related accommodations, please contact guestservices@kings.com.
No. Guests are prohibited from the assembly area.
For safety and security reasons, please inform your guests of Golden 1 Center's list of prohibited items.

Flowers and leis can be purchased through private vendors. All patrons attending the ceremonies will be wanded by security in addition to bag checks. In the event of rain, graduates and guests are allowed to bring umbrellas into the arena.
No outside food/beverages are allowed into the arena. Baby food is permitted.
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.
Yes. ASL interpreters will be present. They will be visible on screens throughout the arena.
After the ceremony, guest and graduates can meet outside. Guests are not permitted on the arena floor.
Yes, please visit csus.edu/commencement on the day of the event to access the live-stream feed.
Please contact the Hornet Tickets Office at 916-278-4323.
Public transportation options will be made available at a later date.