Chico State Commencement

Graduate Information

Everything you need to prepare to walk the stage

Graduate Checklist
  1. Ensure you meet all academic requirements and apply for degree conferral with Graduation Advising.(opens in new window) Applying to graduate means completing your degree requirements.
  2. Attend GradFest, register to walk at Commencement by April 17(opens in new window), and claim guest tickets. GradFest will occur at the Wildcat Bookstore on March 6 and 7 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. GradFest is the graduate's one-stop shop for all things Commencement. Can't make it to GradFest? No worries! The registration platform will open up on March 6 on Marching Order. Marching Order provides graduate registration and pre-recorded professional name reading. Graduates will receive up to eight guest tickets once their registration form is completed and submitted. All graduates planning to participate in Commencement 2024 at University Stadium must register in advance to attend. 
  3. Order your cap and gown.(opens in new window) Regalia ordering through Herff Jones will be available beginning March 6. Graduates can pick up their regalia at the Wildcat Bookstore or ship to home. Visit the "Apparel" section below to learn more.
  4. Attend Senior Send-Off Senior Send-Off will be held on April 23rd at Trinity Lawn between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. From there, graduates can pick up pre-ordered regalia at the Wildcat Bookstore, pick up their Grad T-shirt, visit the Commencement help desk, play games, indulge in treats and much more! 
  5. Refer to the Commencement website regularly. Check the Commencement website(opens in new window) regularly from now until you cross the stage. The Office of Commencement is constantly updating the site with details about your ceremony. Please refer to "Important Dates & Announcements" on the Commencement website to ensure you meet all criteria. Don't forget to share this information with your family and guests! 

Click here to print out a "to-go" copy of the Graduate Checklist (PDF)

​*Participating in the commencement ceremony is optional and does not equate to degree completion. Students must review their Degree Progress Report to ensure they are on track to complete the requirements and verify their completion term. Students may apply for degree conferral with Graduation Advising; please be aware that submitting an online application does not guarantee a degree will be granted from Chico State University. Additionally, regardless of participation at commencement, students will not receive a diploma until all outstanding financial obligations have been fulfilled. Students should contact Graduation Advising for any questions.

  • Commencement Registration on Marching Order

    Chico State is partnering with Marching Order to provide graduate registration and pre-recorded, professional name reading.

    Applying for graduation and registering to attend your commencement ceremony are two different but related activities. Applying and paying your graduation fee ensures that your degree will be processed after coursework is complete and your degree certification is issued. Registering to walk in your ceremony ensures that your GradPass and guest tickets will be issued.

    Graduates will receive an email to their Wildcat email account on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, from Marching Order with the subject "Add Graduate to Ceremony." Graduates can also register directly on Marching Order.(opens in new window)

    All graduates planning to participate in Commencement 2024 at University Stadium must register on Marching Order in advance to attend.

    THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2024

  • Your Ceremony at a Glance

    Please check the schedule of commencement ceremonies(opens in new window) for the appropriate date and time.

    • Arrive at least one hour before the ceremony unless otherwise noted for your college.
    • Arrive in regalia and leave all belongings (backpacks, bags, purses) in the car or with guests. The only items you will need are your Student ID and GradPass (on your fully charged phone or printed)
    • Head toward the tennis courts behind the University Stadium. This is where all grads will undergo a security screening before lining up to process into the stadium.
      • Pets are not permitted. Registered service animals are permitted. For more information, please refer to the Accessibility and Accommodations section.
      • Alcohol, drugs, weapons, and glass containers are not permitted. There is a zero-tolerance policy at commencement for alcohol and drugs. Graduates who are visually intoxicated will not be permitted to cross the stage.
      • Reusable water bottles are strongly discouraged. There will be water available for graduates at several locations before entering the stadium and at each graduate’s seat once inside the stadium.
    • After passing the security screening, grads will be lined up to process onto the field behind the stadium (Intramural Field 6/7).
    • Get your GradPass and Student ID Ready!  The next step is to have your ID verified and get scanned in. This is your ticket to walk the stage. Graduates without an ID or GradPass may not be permitted to participate in the ceremony.
    • Enter into the appropriate line for your college. Again, grads are not lined up by major. If you want to sit with your friends, line up with them before going through the security screening.
    • You will receive a copy of the 2024 commemorative souvenir program as you are scanned in.  Hold onto them, and don’t forget them after the ceremony. There are limited quantities, and they are not available for purchase.
    • All lines are color-coded. Once you get into your line, text your guests to tell them what COLOR section you will be sitting in. Seating is open (i.e., you will not be seated by major). This is how your guests will know which side of the stadium you will sit on.
    • There are restrooms for graduates only located in Field 6/7 if needed.
    • Approximately 10 minutes before the ceremony starts, the platform party and faculty marshals will lead graduates into the stadium. Once you are in line, stay in line.  Once you arrive at your seat inside the stadium, please remain standing until you are directed to be seated on the stage.

    Ceremony Overview

    • The ceremony will last approximately 90-120 minutes.
    • The ceremony will include remarks by the dean of each college and other speakers, including President Perez, and the presentation and conferral of degrees.
    • Grad Images will take your official photo THREE times (twice as you are lined up and getting ready to head toward the stage and once on stage as your Dean or Associate Dean presents your diploma cover). These photos can be purchased from Grad Images after the ceremony.
    • As you enter the stage, your pre-recorded name (from Marching Order) will be announced, and you will appear on the giant LED screen adjacent to the stage. You will shake hands with your dean or associate dean and President Perez, exit the stage, and return to your seat. Please do not leave the ceremony.  The conferral of degrees does not happen until the very end.  Out of respect for all graduates and guests, please remain through the ceremony's conclusion.
    • At the end of the ceremony, please exit the stadium orderly to meet up with your guests. We suggest you establish a meeting location because guests will not be permitted to enter the field area, and the stadium will be cleared immediately following the ceremony.
    • Ceremonies take place rain or shine. If the weather is uncertain, please monitor the Chico State home page and official socials for any important weather-related updates.
    • Any lost and found items inside the stadium will be returned to the Commencement Office and available for pick up the week after commencement.  Items of value will be taken to the University Police Department following the ceremony.

    Regalia Return

    • If you RENTED your gown, you have several options for returning it:
      • After the ceremony, you may drop it into any collection bins at the stadium exit gates. They do not need to be in any special bag, nor do they require any paperwork. The cap and tassel are yours to keep.
      • If you want to hold onto your regalia for photos following the ceremony, you can return it to the Wildcat Bookstore the week following commencement. Again, the cap and tassel are yours to keep
  • Apparel and Regalia

    Regalia Guidelines for Chico State Commencement Ceremonies

    Graduates participating in commencement ceremonies must wear academic regalia, a traditional gown, and a cap. Master’s degree candidates will also wear a hood. Graduates arriving at their ceremony without the required regalia will not be permitted to participate.

    Herff Jones(opens in new window) is the official supplier of Chico State regalia. This consists of the black and red gown with the official Chico State wildcat logo and cap for undergraduates. For Master’s candidates, this consists of a black gown, cap, and Chico State hood. Although this is the official regalia, it is not required. Master's candidates can participate in their commencement ceremony wearing any black gown and cap.

    Graduation cords and honor stoles are optional additions. Only cords and stoles representing registered student organizations, including recognized fraternities and sororities, university-recognized honor societies, military and veteran student organizations, and athletic teams, are allowed. A standard and a first-generation stole are available from the Wildcat Bookstore, but these purchases are optional.

    Alcohol leis or non-university affiliated stoles (such as Riley’s) are prohibited. Students wearing items deemed inappropriate will be asked to leave the item(s) at their seat before crossing the stage to receive their diploma cover. Commencement Staff and Faculty Marshals will strictly enforce regalia requirements. Stoles or any other branded Commencement regalia that includes the University name or logos must be approved by University Communications before production to ensure they follow University brand guidelines. Please submit a ticket(opens in new window) to Creative Services or email ucomm@csuchico.edu

    Are you looking for a certain cord or stole? Click here for more information on obtaining your cord or stole to your corresponding entity. (PDF)

  • Guests Tickets

    Guest tickets are distributed to graduates via email when they register to walk in their ceremony. Graduates are responsible for distributing tickets to their guests. Tickets can be printed or forwarded via email and presented digitally to enter the stadium.

    Undergraduates can receive up to eight tickets.  Masters graduates can receive up to 10 tickets. 

    All guests three years old and up must have a ticket to attend commencement. Children under the age of three do not need a ticket. 

    Guest tickets are free and not available for purchase. Graduates needing more than the allotted tickets are encouraged to check with their fellow graduates to see if any extra tickets are available. Please ensure these ‘extra’ tickets are for the proper ceremony. 

    Gates open one hour before the ceremony.  Guests may start lining up as early as 90 minutes before the ceremony.  There is ample seating in the stadium for all guests. 

    Guests are advised to keep their tickets easily accessible as they approach the gates to enter the stadium.

    Guests with mobility concerns can contact the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) at 530-898-5959 or arc@csuchico.edu regarding seating accommodations. For more information, click here.(opens in new window)

    Assistance for guest tickets will be provided at Help Tents located outside gates 1,2 and 4 to address any ticketing issues or questions.

  • Announcements and Photography
    Announcements

    Graduation announcements can be ordered beginning March 6 at Gradfest, (held in the Wildcat Bookstore) or online at Herff Jones or Jostens. Samples are on display in the Wildcat Bookstore. Order announcements by mid-April to ensure ample time for mailing.

    Photography

    Graduation portrait photographers will be available during GradFest, March 6-7, and all commencement ceremonies.

    GradImages Photography will take photographs of each graduate during the commencement ceremony. 1-2 weeks after the ceremony, each graduate will be sent no-obligation proofs of the photographs. Graduates must register here to indicate how they’d like to receive their proofs. Prints will be available to order for up to two years through GradImages. 

    Prior to the ceremony, graduates can pre-register by visiting GradImages(opens in new window) and using the “Pre-Event Email Registration” link. You will enter your email address and up to six (6) email addresses for others to view and order your photos.

    If you have questions about your commencement ceremony photographs, please visit GradImages(opens in new window) or call toll-free 1-800-261-2576.

  • Diplomas
    Diplomas are not distributed at commencement. The university will issue your diploma after verifying that you have completed all degree requirements. You will receive it by mail approximately eight to 12 weeks after graduation. To check the status of your diploma, please contact Graduation Advising (opens in new window)here.(opens in new window)
  • Wildcat Spirit Cord

    The gold Wildcat Spirit Cord is worn by our most generous graduating ’Cats at commencement. The gold symbolizes entering a new chapter and joining other graduates of the last decade, who have demonstrated their dedication to philanthropy and support for our University.

    With a senior class gift of your class year, $20.24 or more through the Student Philanthropy Council, you’ll earn a Wildcat Spirit Cord to wear at graduation, a symbol of your pride, gratitude, and support for a place that’s made a difference in your life.

    Make your gift now!(opens in new window)

    More info

  • Grad T-Shirts and Flowers

    Orchid leis, bouquets, and Grad T-shirts featuring the grad names will be available for sale at commencement. To pre-order your gifts, for easy pickup onsite at commencement, click here.(opens in new window)

  • Accessibility

    Graduates requiring accommodations to participate in commencement ceremonies fully should contact the University Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) at 530-898-5959, arc@csuchico.edu, or visit their website here(opens in new window). Most reasonable accommodation requests made a minimum of 2 weeks in advance will be accommodated.