Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

If you are graduating from the College of Agriculture, click here for additional information.

Following is a list of frequently asked questions students have regarding the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony.

When is commencement 2016?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Master's Commencement Ceremony
Laxson Auditorium. Tickets required.
4:30 pm BSS & ECC
7:30 pm BUS, CME, HFA, NS, IS
Click here for more information regarding Masters Commencement.

Friday, May 20, 2016

College of Agriculture (incl. COA Master's students)
Laxson Auditorium, 4:30 p.m.
5 tickets per student for Laxson Auditorium
3-4 tickets per student for overflow/video streaming viewing
Doors open for guests at 4 p.m. Please be seated no later than 4:20 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding the College of Agriculture

College of Business
College of Humanities and Fine Arts
University Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
8 tickets per student
Gates open for guests at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
University Stadium, 9:00 a.m.
8 tickets per student
Gates open for guests at 7:30 a.m.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The following ceremonies are at University Stadium at 9:00 a.m.

College of Communication and Education
College of Natural Sciences
University Stadium, 9:00 a.m.
8 tickets per student
Gates open for guests at 7:30 a.m.

Back to top

How long is the ceremony?
The University Stadium ceremonies will last approximately two hours and 15 minutes and should conclude by 10:00 p.m. Friday, and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Back to top

What do I need to know about tickets for the ceremonies?
Tickets are required for all undergraduate commencement ceremonies, including the College of Agriculture. Visit our Tickets FAQ's page for ticket information.

What if it rains?
The ceremony will be held rain or shine. Individual names may not be read, depending on the severity of the weather.  Umbrellas will be allowed in the stadium in the case of rain, and rain ponchos will be available for sale in the Wildcat Store.

Back to top

How do I get my cap and gown?
You rent the cap, gown, tassel, and stole (you get to keep the cap, tassel, and stole) at the Wildcat Store. Pre-order during the month of March and pick up beginning May 9th.

Wildcat Store hours the weekend of commencement are:
Friday, May 20: 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 21: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

It is not necessary to reserve the cap and gown ahead of time. The price is $49.99 + tax. Return the gown to the Wildcat Store immediately following the ceremony. If you do not return the gown, you will be billed an additional $75.00 + tax.

Back to top

When should I arrive for the ceremony?
Students, dressed in their caps and gowns, should be in the field on the northwest side of the stadium (by the railroad tracks, in between University Stadium and Nettleton Stadium) by 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be signs directing students to their college line-up area. Students should find the appropriate area, go to the college tabling area, and pick up their name card and commencement program. Further directions will come from the faculty marshals on site. All students should sit with their own college and not with friends graduating from other colleges (we videotape and photograph the ceremonies and want the students to be with their own colleges).
Back to top

Where will I sit during the ceremony?
University Stadium maps, showing college seating areas, will be posted in early 2016.
Back to top

What should I do if I am late and arrive after the ceremony has started?
If you arrive as the graduates are going up to the stage to have their names read, then you only need to enter at the back and find one of the faculty marshals, who will direct you to where you can seat yourself. Certainly you will not be able to sit where you might want to, but you can sit in the back row of the college you belong to and proceed up to receive your parchment.
Back to top 

How early should my guests plan to arrive?
Guests may enter University Stadium starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, guests may arrive at 4:00 p.m. for the ceremony in Laxson Auditorium. For the convenience of guests arriving early, coffee, water, and snacks will be on sale in the stadium.  If you drive to campus, allow extra time for traffic and parking.
Back to top

Where should guests park?
There are several parking lots available on campus, and street parking is also available. Please note, no regular parking is available in the stadium and Health Center lots to the north and east of the stadium – these are reserved for handicapped/elderly parking. No RVs or campers are allowed in any university parking area. There will be a shuttle available with pick-up stations located at the university parking structures and parking lot located on Second Street between Chestnut Street and Hazel Street.  The shuttle will also be available after the ceremony.
Back to top

Are there special parking and seating accommodations for elderly and disabled guests?
Yes, there are accommodations for both parking and seating for elderly and disabled guests. Parking for elderly/disabled is in the Health Center and University Stadium parking lots next to the stadium. A handicapped placard is fine, and elderly occupants will also be able to park in that area, even without a placard. There will be a shuttle available with pick-up stations located at the university parking structures and parking lots located on Second Street between Normal Avenue and Hazel Street. The shuttle will also be available after the ceremony.

Limited ground-level seating is available on both sides of the stadium for guests who cannot safely navigate the risers on bleacher seating due to a disability or other mobility limitations, there is limited ground level seating. One person may accompany the guest with the disability.  (Both guests need tickets to enter the stadium) Other family members are advised to arrive early for choice seating in both the bleachers and ground-level seating. Please know the special seating area also gets filled up and crowded.

Back to top

Do you have wheelchairs available for guests?
There are no wheelchairs available for guests. You might consider renting one for the day if you think you might need one.

Back to top

What should guests bring with them to the ceremony?
We recommend bringing sunscreen and a hat. Please do not bring folding chairs, sun umbrellas or coolers. Please do not bring confetti to throw.
Back to top

May I bring my pet with me to the ceremony?
No animals are allowed in University Stadium, with the exception of service dogs.
Back to top

Are there restrooms available at the stadium?
There are restrooms available in Acker and Shurmer Gyms, under the bleachers on the east side of the stadium, on the west side of the stadium in the staging area, and portable units available in the south-east side of the stadium. Restrooms available for students to use during the ceremony are located at the south end of the stadium.
Back to top

Is food available for purchase at the stadium?
Yes, there will be light snacks and coffee available for purchase at the stadium. Water will also be  available for sale, sponsored by the Chico Chapter Alumni Association, the proceeds of which help fund scholarships.
Back to top

What do I do if someone in my party becomes ill or needs assistance during the ceremony?
There is an ambulance located at the southeast end of the stadium. There are also university police inside the stadium. In the event of an emergency, please contact university police, medical personnel, or any personnel in orange vests.
Back to top

Who will speak at commencement?
Commencement speakers will be determined closer to the ceremony - please check back!

What about photographs?
The Commencement Ceremony does not provide good close-up photo opportunities for your family and guests. Guests are asked to remain in their seats throughout the ceremony and will not be allowed on the field or near the stage. Please be courteous of other guests and sensitive to their sight lines from their seats. Because of this, we have made arrangements with a professional firm, GradImages, to record the moment you are awarded your diploma cover.

You have no obligation to purchase anything. You may place orders by:
Phone: 800-424-3686; Fax: 515-472-1830;
Web registration: GradImages website
Graduates can pre-register their own e-mail address and those of friends and family (up to six e-mail addresses total) and GradImages will contact them as soon as their photos are available for online viewing and ordering.
Back to top

What other things should I know about the ceremony?
Baby strollers: Please be advised that because the majority of guest seating in the stadium is on bleachers with steep steps, the use of baby strollers is not recommended.

Flowers: Starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, vendors will sell flower bouquets and leis at various locations on campus and around University Stadium.

Grad T-Shirts: Grad T-shirts, featuring the names of the graduates who have applied for graduation prior to February 13, 2016, will be available for sale in various locations around the stadium.

Please note: Alcoholic beverages, balloons, coolers/ice chests, banners, signs, silly string, beach balls, and fireworks are not allowed in University Stadium. Intoxicated students and/or attendees will be removed from the ceremonies.

Smoking is not permitted in or around University Stadium.
Back to top

When will I receive information about commencement?
All commencement-related information will be provided on this website and via e-mail to all students who have applied for graduation. The information provided is the best available at the time of posting but is subject to change. Please check back, especially as we get closer to the date of the ceremonies.
Back to top

How do I get a commencement program?
The commencement program, with the names of potential graduates and program details, will be distributed to candidates when they pick up their name reader card on the day of the ceremony. Students’ names will be listed in the program if they have applied for graduation prior to February 12, 2016. A day program will be given to all guests who attend the ceremony.
Back to top

Please note: The presence of your name in the program does not, in itself, testify to completion of your degree.
Back to top

When will I get my diploma?
Following a favorable review and final evaluation of your records, your diploma will be mailed to the diploma address on file with the Evaluations Office approximately 12 weeks following the ceremony. If you need to update your address, please do so through your CSU, Chico portal account.
Back to top

Where can I get more information?
This website will be updated frequently, especially as we get closer to the day of the event. We have made every attempt to be thorough here, but if there is something we have missed or you need clarification, please e-mail or call us at 530-898-5917. The Commencement Office is located in Sierra Hall.
Back to top

Will the Ceremonies be streamed live on the web?
Yes, the ceremonies will be streamed live. Go to to watch online.
Back to top