Chico State Commencement

Information and Instructions

Before the Ceremonies

Apply for Graduation

Apply for graduation one year before you will complete your degree.

Register to Participate in Commencement Ceremonies

To participate in Commencement Ceremonies, you must register to walk. To participate in the additional special ceremonies, contact the person designated for that particular celebration. They are not organized through the Office of Commencement.


Please visit the ticket page for information.


GradFest will be held in the BMU. Dates will be announced on the Commencement homepage. Items available through the Wildcat Store or online include graduation announcements, class rings, diploma holders, and diploma frames. You will also be able to join the Alumni Association, receive information about graduation photos, and insurance (health, dental, vision, auto, home).

Cap and Gown Rental

  • Caps and gowns may be pre-ordered through Herff Jones at this website. Dates for pre-orders will be announced on the Commencement homepage.
  • If you miss the pre-order deadline, the Wildcat Store will have cap and gown rentals available. Dates will be announced on the Commencement homepage.
  • If you have questions about cap and gown rentals - contact the Wildcat Store: 530-898-5222

Ceremony Attire

Candidates must wear proper academic regalia in the Commencement Ceremonies. This includes a cap, gown, tassel, and a red stole. 

The cap and gown are black. Tassels vary in color according to majors. The tassel is worn on the right side of the cap until the degree has been awarded. It is then changed to the left side. Please be aware that high heel shoes make walking difficult on the grassy areas at the staging area and in the stadium. Heels may sink into the grass. You will spend the majority of the time walking on grass.

Be sure to check that everything you need—cap, gown, tassel, and stole—is included before you leave the Wildcat Store. You may decorate your cap. Please do not alter your academic regalia. Students who alter their regalia or are not dressed in appropriate academic regalia risk not being able to participate in commencement.

Honors Medallions

If you are eligible to receive an honors medallion you will be notified by the dean of your college prior to commencement. Please contact the dean's office of your college for more information.

Pre-order Your Graduation Photos

Your photograph will be taken by GradImages photography multiple times during the ceremony - before you walk on stage, and once as you shake the hand of your college dean and accept your diploma cover. You can pre-register for your photo proofs at GradImages.

Order your Class Ring

Order your Chico State class ring at Jostens.


Graduating students who require accommodations during the ceremony should contact the Accessibility Resource Center no less than seven days prior to the event. 

Graduating students 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

Day of Assembly Instructions


Stadium Ceremonies Staging Area: Playing field between Nettleton Stadium and University Stadium.

Graduates must arrive ONE HOUR prior to the start time of your ceremony. 

Arrival Times

Ceremony Start Time

Grad Arrival Time

8:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

4:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

7 p.m.

6 p.m.

There are no rehearsals for the Commencement Ceremonies. Arrive dressed in your cap and gown. You will be asked to show your Chico State ID - bring it! If you have an extenuating circumstance preventing you from showing a Chico State ID, please show a photo ID. Access to the staging area is from the south end of the University Stadium (by Yolo Hall). Please note, only graduating students and faculty and staff participating in commencement are allowed in the staging area. No family members or friends are allowed in the staging area.

Students should look for large signs identifying the various college check-in stations. Staff members and faculty marshals will be available near the staging area to give assistance. Go directly to your college table where you will be given a card with your name on it. (Please do not lose the card. You will present it to the reader on the platform during the ceremony.) Proceed to your lineup area near the table. Your department chair & faculty marshals will organize the line, give you final instructions, and lead you to your seat in the stadium.

At the staging area, students will receive a commemorative program listing the names of all candidates eligible for graduation, who applied for graduation by the deadline listed on the Commencement homepage. Guests attending the ceremony will receive a day program listing speakers and the order of the ceremony and no commemorative programs will be sold or otherwise available.

No extra robes, caps, tassels, or collars will be available in the staging area. Only approved regalia may be worn at commencement. Apparel deemed inappropriate (e.g. Riley's sashes) may be confiscated.

Name Reading

We hire professional name readers who have received a list of graduates ahead of time to review for pronunciation. If you would like to have your name spelled phonetically on your card, see a faculty marshal. They have approved pens to write that information on your card. 

The Commencement Ceremony

Each ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. Ceremonies are held rain or shine. Candidates will sit in designated areas according to college. Each candidate will walk across the platform as his or her name is read and will be congratulated by the dean or associate dean of their college. Out of respect to all candidates and their families and guests, we ask that you remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony. Graduates will process out of the stadium after the departure of the platform party.

University Police Officers will be on hand to provide any needed assistance, and 2 life-support vehicles will be available for emergency situations.

Please note, no pets (service animals excepted), alcohol, drugs, weapons, or glass containers are allowed in University Stadium. There is a zero-tolerance policy at commencement for alcohol and drugs. Students and guests determined to be impaired will be removed from commencement.

Out of respect for all candidates and their families and guests, we ask that you remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.

After the Ceremony

Join the Alumni Association and Stay Connected!

Not only does your Chico State Alumni Association membership entitle you to a myriad of benefits but your dues help the association to provide assistance to Chico State students and the University through scholarships, chapters, events, and activities, and campus beautification projects.

Join us: Chico State Alumni Association.

Update Your Address

Submit any changes in your local or permanent addresses immediately. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Update your address when you register to participate in Commencement Ceremonies,
  2. Update your address via the portal

Updating your address will ensure that all important university mailings, including your diploma, are delivered to the correct destination. It is especially important that, before leaving Chico State, all graduates update their permanent addresses.

Career Services

Contact the Chico State Career Center for information on job postings, career fairs, and resume workshops.

Network with other alumni on the official Chico State Alumni Association LinkedIn Group.

The Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility

Graduating seniors, do more with your degree than simply sustain your own life. Take the graduation pledge and join more than 110 other colleges and universities over the world in a commitment to social and environmental accountability. Pledge your commitment to all that you've learned at CSU, Chico by making a pledge to yourself. The pledge is free, simple and takes less than five minutes. Once you've made the pledge, you are one of the thousands of students who are committed to social and environmental accountability for life. Find more information on the graduation pledge.

Insurance Discounts

Get group rates on medical, dental, vision, auto, and home insurance after graduation

More information about group rates.

Diploma Information

Following a favorable review and final evaluation of your records, the 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.

Any questions concerning diplomas or your graduation status should be directed to Graduation Advising.