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 or call (916) 278–4724. The Commencement Office is located in Sacramento Hall 150.
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., Wednesday, March 28, in the University Union Ballroom), online at 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) the semester prior to your official graduation term. 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 2018 Spring Commencement program at noon on April 4. Please make sure your student record shows you're eligible to graduate in the Summer or Spring 2018 term. Students with a grad term other than Spring or Summer 2018 wishing to participate will have their name included in the 2018 Spring Commencement program if their petitions for participation have been submitted to the Commencement Office by noon on April 4. Otherwise your name will not be included. Having your name included in the program does not guarantee you will be granted access to claim guest tickets.

If you have changed your name since applying for graduation, please contact the registrar's office at (916) 278-3625. 
No. Graduation fees cover the cost of participation in one Commencement ceremony. As a graduate with two majors in different colleges, you must decide which ceremony to attend.
Yes, please fill out a petition form to participate in Commencement early. All petitions must be submitted by March, 16, 2018 to your academic college Dean's Office. The deadline will not be extended. The petition process does not guarantee you will be approved to participate in Commencement or that your name will appear in the program.

Prior to submitting a petition form to your Academic College, undergraduates must apply to graduate with the Registrar’s Office. Graduate student must apply to the Office of Graduate Studies. Your petition will not be accepted until you have applied to graduate.
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.
Tickets may not be sold or traded for anything of monetary value. Students may give unused tickets to peers who are participating in the same ceremony.
Click here for transportation options provided by Sacramento Regional Transit. 
For preferred name changes, please send an email with your legal name, preferred name, and student ID number to This will update the name that will be read and displayed as you cross the stage at the ceremony. This will not change the name that is printed on your diploma or transcripts. Legal name changes for those documented are managed by the registrar’s office (916) 278-3625.
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
Students participating in Commencement must comply with the Student Conduct Code. In addition, Commencement is an alcohol-free event. For the safety of everyone participating in Commencement, staff will deny entry to any student who appears intoxicated. Students removed for intoxication or posession of alcohol will also be referred to Student Affairs. 
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. When you check in to Golden 1 Center, you will be given a card with your name, degree info, and a pre-printed scan-code. DO NOT LOSE THIS CARD. The card will be scanned when you walk across the stage, and your name and degree will be read aloud and displayed on the jumbo screen.
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: Graduates and Commencement audiences should be aware that Commencement will be live-streamed and recorded. There will also be a video clip and photography of each graduate crossing the stage. In addition, University staff and official photographers may be roaming around during your graduation day capturing pictures and video clips for the University's social media channels, website and printed materials.
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 2018 Spring ceremonies graduates can claim up to nine 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
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 on the day of the event to access the live-stream feed.
Please contact the Commencement Office at 916-278-4724.
Click here for transportation options provided by Sacramento Regional Transit