CSU, Chico Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions


Lodging information can be found on the Chico Chamber website.

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. Umbrellas will be allowed in the stadium in the case of rain.

Weather and Heat Safety

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

How do I rent 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 - be sure to bring required return paperwork. You can also return your gown at the Wildcat Store. 

When should I arrive for the ceremony?

Graduates should plan to arrive one hour prior to their college ceremony. 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).

Guests may enter University Stadium one hour prior to start time. 

Please consider travel time, traffic, and parking.

Where will I sit during the ceremony?

University Stadium maps, showing college seating areas, will be posted in May on this page. Guests can plan where to sit as well using these maps.

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 have been designated for accessible 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. See the detailed campus map here.

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 buses 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. One shuttle is wheelchair accessible.

Limited ground-level 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. 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 grandstand bleachers and ground-level bleachers.

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

If you have a guest that needs accommodations, please contact the Accessibility Resource Center no fewer 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.

Accessibility Resource Center
Student Services Center, Room 170

When the ceremony is over, there will not be any assistance to help people exit. There are 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. Tickets are not required.  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. University Police phone: 530-898-5555.

What should guests bring with them to the ceremony?

Please dress appropriately for the weather. Stadium chairs are allowed. 

Please do not bring folding chairs, balloons, large signs, sun umbrellas or coolers.

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 service animals. Misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is a criminal violation. (§ CA Penal Code 365.7) 

Are there restrooms available at the stadium?

Yes, see the commencement map for details.

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. Pre-register for a discount.

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. You can preorder flowers and leis at this link.
  • Grad T-Shirts: Grad T-shirts, featuring the names of the graduates who have applied for graduation by the deadline in the important dates section, will be available for sale in various locations around the stadium.
  • Please note: Alcoholic beverages, air horns, 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.

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. 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 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.