CSU, Chico Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

College of Agriculture FAQ

How long is the ceremony?

The University Stadium ceremonies will last approximately two hours.

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.

How do I get my cap and gown?

You rent the cap and gown at the Wildcat Store or online. Pre-orders will begin in March. Specific dates are available in the important dates section. You may pre-order your cap and gown online at collegegrad.herffjones.com.

In person rentals start in May in BMU 008.

Please contact the Wildcat Store for their hours during Commencement week.

How do I return my gown?

You can return your gown at the end of the ceremony. There will be a collection bin at the stadium. You can also return your gown at the Wildcat Store. 

When should I arrive for the ceremony?

Graduates should plan to arrive 60 minutes prior to their college ceremony. Please consider travel time, traffic, parking. Students should be dressed in their caps and gowns and should be on the northwest side of the stadium (by the railroad tracks, in between University Stadium and Nettleton Stadium)

Where will I sit during the ceremony?

University Stadium maps, showing college seating areas, will be posted in May on this page.

Guests may enter University Stadium 1 hour prior to start time. Guests may enter 30 min Prior for ceremonies in Laxson Auditorium. If you drive to campus, allow extra time for traffic and parking.

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 University 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. A parking map will be posted in May.

Are there special parking and seating accommodations for elderly and disabled guests?

The Student Health Center parking lot and the entire University Stadium lot have been designated for accessible parking. There will also be two shuttle carts going back and forth from the parking structures on streets 2nd and Ivy, 2nd and Hazel, and 2nd and Chestnut. There are designated waiting areas for the shuttle, or they may be flagged down, for a ride to the arena.

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.

Please note there are no wheelchairs available and if you feel you might need one, please consider renting one for the day. For disability-related accommodations please contact:


Accessibility Resource Center

Student Services Center, Room 170


Alaina Wakefield
College of Agriculture

When the ceremony is over, there won't be any assistance to help people exit. It probably is best you just have patience, enjoy, and wait for the crowd to thin. There are two shuttles to the parking structures, which will be available for 30 minutes after the ceremony.

Are there other viewing locations?

If someone in your party will have difficulty sitting outside or if you do not have enough tickets for all persons in your party, there is a simulcast of the stadium ceremonies in Harlen Adams Theatre. This is an indoor, temperature controlled environment. No tickets are needed for the simulcast. It is first-come-first-served. You can view the Performing Arts Center on the campus map.

All official Commencement ceremonies will live-stream from the Chico State homepage and from Facebook.

What do I do if someone in my party becomes ill or needs assistance during the ceremony?

There is an ambulance located at each 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 event personnel.

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.

May I bring my pet with me to the ceremony?

No animals are allowed in University Stadium, with an exception for service animals.

Are there restrooms available at the stadium?

Yes, see commencement map for details.

Is food available for purchase at the stadium?

Yes, snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

What about photographs?

The University has made arrangements with Grad Images.

What other things should I know about the ceremony?

  • Flowers: 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 10, 2017, will be available for sale in various locations around the stadium.
  • Please note: Alcoholic beverages, balloons, coolers/ice chests, banners, signs, silly string, firearms, beach balls, strollers, 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.

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 applied by the deadline listed in the important dates section.

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

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 Graduation Advising Office approximately 12 weeks following the ceremony. If you need to update your address, please do so through your CSU, Chico portal account.

Where can I get more information?

We have made every attempt to be thorough here, but if there is something we have missed or you need clarification, please e-mail commencement@csuchico.edu or call us at 530-898-5917. The Commencement Office is located in Sierra Hall on the corner of Third and Chestnut Street.

Will the Ceremonies be streamed live on the web?

Yes, the ceremonies will be streamed live. A link will be provided on the homepage on the day of the ceremonies. You can also view the live-stream from Facebook.