Chico State Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

* All information is subject to change. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information about where to stay?

Lodging information can be found on the Explore Butte County(opens in new window) website

How long is the ceremony?

The University Stadium ceremonies will last approximately 75-90 minutes.

Do I need tickets for my guests?

All guests attending the ceremony will need a ticket to enter the stadium. Eight guest tickets are emailed to each graduate taking place in the ceremony. The email came from Marching Order and has the subject "Graduate Sent Ticket to Guest". 

Graduating students, who have not received their commencement tickets should email

Can I get more tickets?

No. Graduates are encouraged to check with fellow graduates who may not be using all eight of their tickets for your specific ceremony. We encourage family and guests to utilize the live stream option on the Chico State website and Facebook if a graduate cannot secure enough tickets. 

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.

Are there health & safety requirements for COVID-19?

 To learn more about Chico State's COVID-19 response, click here.(opens in new window)

How do I rent my cap and gown?

Beginning May 8th, if you did not preorder a cap and gown, they will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in BMU 210. After these dates, they will be available at the Wildcat Store during normal store hours.

Please contact the Wildcat Store at 530-898-5223 with questions regarding cap and gown rentals.

How do I return my gown?

Graduates can return their gowns at the end of the ceremony or at the Wildcat Bookstore by Monday, May 22nd. There will be a booth at commencement to return gowns and there will be a "Return Bin" in front of the Wildcat Bookstore as well. Tassels and caps can be kept by the student. Only gowns must be returned. Please keep in mind, that each gown has a built-in chip. If a gown is not returned, the graduate will be charged an automatic penalty fee. 

When should I arrive for the ceremony?

Graduates should plan to arrive one hour prior to their college ceremony. Please consider travel time, traffic, and parking. Students should be dressed in their cap and gown and meet 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.(opens in new window)

Guests may enter University Stadium one hour prior to the start time. If you drive to campus, allow extra time for traffic and parking.

Are there accessible seating accommodations for the elderly and guests who are disabled?

Seating is available on both sides of the stadium for guests who cannot safely navigate bleacher seating due to a disability or other mobility limitations. This area is seated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each guest needing accommodations may have one guest sit with them in the accessible seating area. Other family members are advised to arrive early for choice seating in both the grandstand bleachers and ground-level bleachers.

Please note that there are no wheelchairs available. If you feel you might need one, please consider renting one for the day.

If you have a guest who needs accommodations (other than accessible seating as noted above), please contact the Accessibility Resource Center(opens in new window) no less than seven days before the ceremony. Guests who require the service of a sign language interpreter should contact the Accessibility Resource Center no less than two weeks prior to the event.

Where should guests park? 

There are several parking lots available on campus, and street parking is also available. To view all campus parking lots and the surrounding area please click the interactive campus/parking map available online.(opens in new window)

Designated accessible parking spots will be available in the Health Center Parking Lot.

No drop-offs at the event location will be allowed before the ceremony or pick-ups following the ceremony. Please use caution as there may be many pedestrians, lots may be closed, and traffic may be diverted. 

No RVs, campers, or vehicles with trailers are allowed in any university parking area. 

What about weather and heat safety?

Commencement ceremonies are held outside. To prepare for these potentially warm conditions, please refer to our heat and safety website(opens in new window) and check the local weather. Bottled water and snacks are sold in the stadium.

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

There will be an ambulance located at the stadium. In the event of an emergency, please contact University Police, medical personnel, or any event personnel. University Police phone: 530-898-5555.

What should guests bring with them to the ceremony?

We recommend bringing sunscreen and a hat.

Please do not bring:

  • Pets or animals that provide emotional support or the companionship to a guest are not permitted (Misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is a criminal violation. (§ CA Penal Code 365.7)
  • Folding chairs
  • Sun umbrellas or pop-up canopy
  • Backpacks or large purses (Diaper Bags are ok; subject to being searched)
  • Coolers
  • Large bundles of balloons
  • Markers or spray paint
  • Large Signs/Flags/Banners/Posters: No larger than 11" x 17"
  • Alcohol, cans, bottles, flasks, drugs, illegal substances
  • Weapons, flares, fireworks
  • Frisbees and beach balls
  • Laser pointers
  • Noise-making devices (air horns, whistles, etc.)
  • Fireworks

May I bring my pet with me to the ceremony?

No animals are allowed in University Stadium with the exception of service animals. Comfort and emotional support animals are not considered service animals. Misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is a criminal violation. 

Are refreshments 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.(opens in new window) Register for your Grad Fair photos and get 20% off.

What other things should I know about the ceremony?

The Commencement Group Company will sell flower bouquets and leis at various locations on campus and around the University Stadium. You can pre-order flowers and leis at this link.(opens in new window)

Grad T-Shirts, featuring the names of the graduates who have applied for graduation by February 18th deadline, will be available for sale in the stadium.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the Chico State campus.

When will I get my diploma?

Following a favorable review and final evaluation of your records, your diploma will be mailed by the Graduate Advising Office to the diploma address listed in your Student Center approximately 12 weeks following the ceremony. If you need to update your address, please do so through your CSU, Chico portal account.

Will the Ceremonies be streamed live on the web? 

Yes, all official ceremonies will be streamed live.(opens in new window) You can find the simulcast at the top of the Chico State homepage. The ceremonies will have closed captioning. 

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 or call us at 530-898-5917. The Commencement Office is located in Sierra Hall on the corner of Third and Chestnut streets.

 * All information is subject to change.