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Department of Public Policy & Administration College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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Commencement for PPA Students

How to Participate

We encourage all our master's candidates to participate in spring commencement when they finish their program. It is a great way to celebrate your accomplishment with your friends and family, professors and fellow students. And besides... it’s fun!

Commencement, 3 students in regalia

What to Expect at Commencement

  • When you arrive at commencement you will be separated from your family. They will go to their seats and you will go to the assembly area.
  • University staff (and some of your PPA faculty) will be there to guide you.
  • Find the master's candidates and line up with others from your department.
  • The College will usually host a separate hooding ceremony prior to commencement. As such, you will wear your master's hood at commencement with your tassel on the LEFT side of your cap.
  • Graduate candidates follow the Arena Marshals onto the floor for the procession.
  • Sit where the Arena Marshal directs you and wait for the ceremony to begin.
  • The Arena Marshal will let you know when to stand and prepare to go to the stage.
  • The photographer will take your picture and you will proceed to the stage where you will be announced and the President and Dean will shake your hand.
  • You will then return to your original seat.
  • Sit back and enjoy the rest of the ceremony!

Commencement Advice

  • Wear your hood to the ceremony. Use a safety pin or a shirt button to secure it.
  • Bring hair clips or bobby pins to secure your mortarboard to your head. (Both men and women.)
  • Wear comfortable shoes!
  • Put your phone away during the procession and silence your phone during the ceremony.
  • Take lots of pictures, but please be respectful.
  • Leave your purse, coat, and other valuables with your family and friends.
  • Leave small children with your family and friends. (They can participate one day, just not yet.)
  • Leave pets, beachballs, tortillas, silly string, balloons, Frisbees, and other distractions at home.
  • Stay seated until the end.
  • Be courteous. Treat the commencement speakers and other students as you would like to be treated.
  • Relax and have a great time!

Academic Regalia

Graduate students from Sacramento State wear:

  • black graduate robes (these have long cuffs on the sleeves)
  • our MPPA students wear a "peacock blue" hood
    our MSULD students wear a "gold" hood
  • a black mortarboard and gold tassel

Additionally, the PPA Department will provide MPPA and MSULD students stoles to wear during the commencement and the hooding ceremonies. Students return them to us at the conclusion of the ceremonies.
(These stoles are not available for students to purchase at this time.)

You may purchase regalia from Associated Students, Inc.. Their business office is located on the third floor of the University Union. Purchasing regalia early can help ensure proper size.

Borrow or Donate Regalia

The Department has donated commencement regalia to loan to MPPA and MSULD graduate students who would like to borrow rather than buy. As these are donated items, sizes, quantity, and quality vary. We do not usually have tassels to loan. You may check items out from us with the expectation that you will return items to us in good condition soon after commencement. As our alumni have proven to be honorable individuals, this system has worked well.

Want to help another graduate student participate in commencement? We gratefully accept donations of used graduate regalia.

PPA Spring 2021 Virtual Hooding Celebration Video

PPA Spring 2021 Virtual Hooding Celebration

Congratulations Class of 2021!

Spring semester 2021, the COVID-19 global pandemic necessitated we move to remote operations. Our students persevered, successfully completing the semester in spite of the difficult circumstances.

On May 21st, 2021 we honored the accomplishments of our graduating students with our first ever virtual hooding!