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Commencement Office

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Frequently Asked Questions

Check back often for updated information.

Health and Safety Protocols

Sacramento State recommends that all students, staff, faculty, and visitors be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Large events, such as commencement, pose a risk to those who are not vaccinated.

Per California Department of Public Health guidelines, masks are no longer required indoors, but are highly recommended for large events, such as commencement. We welcome graduates and guests to bring their own masks. Golden 1 Center has hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue. Disposable masks will be made available at the Grand Entrance Concourse for guests that forget to bring a mask. Graduates that need a mask can visit the PPE table located near the entrance to the arena floor.

As of April 1, Golden 1 Center does not require proof of negative test or vaccination status to enter the arena.

Please note, COVID-19 event guidelines can change up until the day of the event. If you are sick or experiencing symptoms of illness, please refrain from attending in person. Every commencement ceremony will be livestreamed and viewable online for those unable to attend. Livestream feed will be available via the Commencement Home Page at each ceremony's start time.

Questions for Graduates: Before Commencement

What is the deadline to petition to graduate?

  • Undergraduate 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. Visit the Graduation Advising website for additional details.
  • Graduate Students must have filed petitions with the Office of Graduate Studies by Feb. 1 if graduating in the spring/summer, and by Oct. 1 if graduating in the fall. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies at grad_degreeservices@csus.edu with any questions.
  • Teaching Credential Candidates do not petition to graduate. The Credential program has provided information to the Commencement Office for inclusion of eligible students in the event program and for access to guest tickets. When credential candidates claim guest tickets, it also serves as their confirmation of intent to participate in commencement. Contact your college coordinator, Debbie Santiago (916-278-3618 -or- santiago@csus.edu) with any questions.

Can I participate in Commencement with a graduation term other than Fall 2021, Spring 2022, or Summer 2022?

  • Only Fall 2021, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 graduates are invited to attend the May 2022 Commencement Ceremonies. At this time, we are unable to accommodate any requests for exceptions to the eligibility requirements to participate in Spring 2022 Commencement.

Who do I contact if I need accommodations for a disability at graduation?

  • Here is a list of planned accommodations for commencement. Participating students who need additional accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office at sswd@csus.edu. Be sure to have the subject line read "Commencement Request" and include your name, phone number, and requested accommodations in the body of the email. For best assurance of accommodation requests being met, please contact the SSWD office at least 2 weeks prior to your ceremony.

Do graduates need tickets?

  • No, tickets are only required for guests. Please visit our guest tickets page for further information.
  • Golden 1 Center is now a paperless venue. Please remind your guests that all tickets must be shown on a scannable mobile device when entering the venue.
  • Below are some tips for mobile devices related to ticket-scanning:
    1. Take a screenshot of your QR Code so you do not have to search your emails at the time of the event.
    2. Turn the brightness of your phone screen all the way up when QR Code is being scanned.
    3. If phone screen is cracked, screenshot the QR Code and send it to another member of your party.
    4. Zoom into the QR code so it takes up the majority of your screen.

Will recent graduates have access to tickets via their Student Center?

  • Yes. Recent graduates have access to their SacLink account for 24 months after their graduation date. This means Fall 2021 graduates will be able to access tickets through their Student Center the same as Spring/Summer 2022 graduates.

Can I sell my tickets?

  • 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.

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

  • You may purchase regalia at Grad Fest, online at asi.csus.edu/services/student-shop or at the Associated Students, Inc. Student Shop in University Union, 3rd Floor, Room 3231.
  • To find out if you are receiving academic honors or to purchase an honor cord, please check with the Student Shop office at (916) 278-7916 after Grad Fest.
  • All students participating in commencement must wear academic regalia.

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 are honors?

  • Honors are computed by the Office of the University Registrar using information through Fall 2021. Bachelor’s degree candidates who have completed a minimum of 30 graded Sac State units (excluding CR grades) with a GPA of 3.50-3.74 will graduate Cum Laude, students with a 3.75-3.89 GPA will graduate Magna Cum Laude, and students with a 3.90-4.0 GPA will graduate Summa Cum Laude. Honors at Commencement are based on units and CSUS GPA completed prior to the term of graduation for Spring 2022 Bachelor’s degree candidates only. Students who subsequently improve their GPA, will have the honors at graduation noted on their diploma and official academic record. Honors designation for Fall 2021 students with degrees awarded, is based on actual/final GPA when the Bachelor’s degree was awarded. 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.

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

  • If you are eligible for graduation in Fall 2021, Spring 2022, or Summer 2022 and you have applied to graduate prior to March 29, 2022, your name will be included in the program. Otherwise, your name will not be included.

  • If you have legally changed your name since applying for graduation, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@csus.edu to update your student record.

I'm a double-major. Can I participate in multiple ceremonies?

  • No. Graduation fees cover the cost of participation in one Commencement ceremony. Students with multiple majors will automatically be granted access to ticketing, and participation in their primary academic college as noted in their student center. If a double-major wishes to attend a different ceremony, they must contact the Commencement Office after tickets open (the first week of March 2022).

How do I change my name for the graduation ceremony?

  • Students' names will be pulled from their Student Center (including preferred name, primary name, and diploma name). During the commencement registration process, students will have the option of selecting which name they prefer to be read aloud, and which name they would like displayed on the screen during the ceremony.
  • Students can update their preferred name in their student center. Click here for a detailed video about changing preferred names. Once you have completed the process of changing your preferred name, you must log back into the commencement ticketing/RSVP system to assure the name change has been captured before the initial registration deadline.

What are some public transportation options?

  • Click here for information on SacRT routes and schedules.

How do I get a letter for my family's visiting visas?

Where do I order graduation announcements and/or Sac State Grad & Alumni Merchandise?

  • Jostens is the official class ring and graduation announcement company for Sacramento State students. Class ring and graduation announcement samples, pricing and ordering information are available at the Hornet Bookstore. Place your order online by visiting the Jostens website or by using Jostens toll free number, (800)854-7464. Jostens representatives table at the Hornet Bookstore each semester as well as Grad Fest, to personally assist you with your order. Visit Jostens @ www.jostens.com for upcoming tabling days at the Hornet Bookstore.
  • The Hornet Bookstore offers alumni items including diploma frames, apparel, hats, and gift items for graduates. Check out our grad selection in early spring of 2022.
  • You can shop in-store or online 24/7 at www.hornetbookstore.com.

Questions for Graduates: Day of Commencement

What are the COVID Safety Guidelines?

Where is commencement?

  • Ceremonies will be held at Golden 1 Center, David J Stern Walk, Sacramento, CA 95814.

What time should I arrive?

  • Graduates should plan to arrive 60 minutes prior to their college ceremony. Check in will begin promptly 60 minutes before ceremony start times. Please consider travel time, traffic, and parking, and plan accordingly.

Where do I park?

What are some public transportation options

  • Click here for information on SacRT routes and schedules.

Where do I go to line up for 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 students will descend multiple 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.

What should I bring?

  • All graduates are required to bring their Sac State OneCard to check in to Commencement. If you do not have a OneCard, a valid picture ID (driver's license or passport) will suffice.
  • 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. Be aware of Golden 1 Center's prohibited items.

What shouldn't I bring?

  • Here is a list of Golden 1 Center's prohibited items.
  • Please note that Golden 1 Center is now a bagless venue.
    Clutches and wallets smaller than 8” x 6” x 1” will be permitted and are subject to security inspection. Medical and parental bags will be allowed but must go through X-ray security screening.
  • Balloons are also not allowed inside the Golden 1 Center.

Where can I leave my coat, handbag or other personal belongings?

  • Please leave all personal belongings in your car or with family members or friends. There are no provisions in the assembly area for coats, handbags or other valuable personal items.

Can I bring my cell phone?

  • Cell phones are permitted, but please turn off the ringer before the ceremony begins.

Will there be ASL interpreters at the ceremonies?

  • Yes. ASL interpreters will be present for program interpretation. They will be visible on screens throughout the arena.
  • There will also be a live stream with captioning available.
  • Participating students who need additional personal accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office at sswd@csus.edu.

Will my name be read out loud at the 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. 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. DO NOT LOSE THIS CARD. DO NOT TEAR OR WRITE ON THIS CARD.

How does the Student Conduct Code apply to commencement?

  • Students participating in Commencement must comply with the Student Conduct Code, including policies on public intoxication and alcohol. Commencement is an alcohol-free event. For the safety of everyone participating in Commencement, staff may deny entry to any student who appears intoxicated. Students removed for intoxication or possession of alcohol will also be referred to Student Affairs.

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 the degrees.

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.

I’m a master’s candidate. How do I wear my hood?

  • Each college has its own protocol regarding hooding. Please check with your academic college for information on their unique customs and procedures. Commencement coordinators at the arena will provide guidance on the day of the ceremony.

Can my child walk with me during the ceremony?

  • No. Guests are not allowed in the assembly area or the arena floor.

What is the policy regarding service animals?

Where can I get a commencement program?

  • 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 ceremony.

Will photos or videos be taken?

  • 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 your MySacState. 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, recorded, and photographed. There will also be a video clip and photographs taken as each graduate crosses 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.

When will I receive my diploma?

Questions for Guests

What are the COVID Safety Guidelines?

How many guests can attend per graduate?

  • For 2022 Commencement ceremonies graduates can claim up to six (6) guest tickets and distribute to their guests. Please visit the guest tickets page for more information.

In what format should I bring my tickets?

  • Please note Golden 1 Center is now a paperless venue.
  • All tickets should be on a mobile device with a readable/scannable screen, when entering the venue.
  • Below are some tips for mobile devices related to ticket-scanning:
    1. Take a screenshot of your QR Code so you do not have to search your emails at the time of the event.
    2. Turn the brightness of your phone screen all the way up when QR Code is being scanned.
    3. If phone screen is cracked, screenshot the QR Code and send it to another member of your party.
    4. Zoom into the QR code so it takes up the majority of your screen.

I lost my guest tickets. What should I do?

  • Please contact your graduate if you have lost your guest ticket. Graduates that have claimed commencement guest tickets will have access to electronically forward tickets through the ticketing system.

Will the ceremonies be live-streamed?

  • Yes, please visit csus.edu/commencement on the day of the event to access the live-stream feed with closed captioning.

Where do guests park?

What are some public transportation options?

  • Click here for information on SacRT routes and schedules.

Which entrance should guests use?

  • Click here for a diagram of guest entrances at Golden 1 Center.

What can guests bring to the ceremony?

  • For safety and security reasons, please inform your guests of Golden 1 Center's list of prohibited items. Please note balloons are not permitted inside Golden 1 Center!
  • Flowers and leis can be purchased through private vendors inside Golden 1 Center.
  • 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.
  • Please note that Golden 1 Center is now a bagless venue.
    Clutches and wallets smaller than 8” x 6” x 1” will be permitted and are subject to security inspection. Medical and parental bags will be allowed but must go through X-ray security screening.

How do guests arrange reasonable accommodations for needing accessible seating?

  • Please visit Golden 1 Center's ADA/Accessibility information webpage for more information.
  • Guests who use wheelchairs/scooters/canes and other mobility devices can use the VIP "crown" entrance noted on the G1C diagram. Golden 1 Center has both limited mobility and wheelchair accessible seating. The seating is all general admission and on a first come, first serve basis. Golden 1 Center will make every effort to ensure that all guests requiring ADA seating are accommodated. There is high demand for ADA locations, therefore Golden 1 Center requests one companion per ADA seat, additional people in the party are welcome to find seats near that location. If there are additional questions please contact: guestservices@kings.com.
  • If you have questions regarding ADA-related accommodations, please contact guestservices@kings.com.

Will there be ASL interpreters at the ceremonies?

  • Yes. ASL interpreters will be present for program interpretation. They will be visible on screens throughout the arena.
  • Live captioning will also be displayed.

What is the policy regarding service animals?

Can guests visit with graduates before the ceremony?

  • No. Guests are prohibited from the assembly area.

Can food be brought to the ceremonies?

  • No outside food/beverages are allowed into the arena. Baby food is permitted.
  • Concessions may be open during ceremonies. All stands will be cash-free and contactless. Mobile ordering of food and drinks will be available through the Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app.

How can guests purchase flowers?

  • Guests can pre-order flowers for their graduates through Graduation Bouquets.
  • The deadline for pre-order is May 7, 2022.

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.

Where do guests meet graduates after the ceremony?

  • After the ceremony, guest and graduates can meet outside. Guests are not permitted on the arena floor.