Graduate Studies

Instructions For Students Who Plan To Graduate In Summer 2024 or Fall 2024

If you intend to graduate in the summer or fall of 2024, you can register for and walk in the May 2024 Commencement Ceremony. Note in the instructions below that you must complete and submit a graduation application by February 16, 2024.

You are not required to submit the graduate clearance form until your scheduled date (in June for summer graduates and September for fall graduates). 

You must fill out an application to file for graduation form as instructed in the two steps below. 

The application process requires you to fill out an Application for Graduation form and pay the filing fee:

  1. Complete the Application for Graduation (PDF) or Application to Re-apply for Graduation (PDF) form. 

  2. Indicate on the application form which semester you will finish all your degree requirements. For example, summer 2024 grads should check the August box to indicate they are applying for summer 2024 graduation; fall 2024 grads should check the December box—both should write in 2024. 

  3. There are instructions on the application for making your fee payment online. You must also send the completed form and email receipt to by February 16, 2024. 

  4. Please note that you will not have to submit a Graduate Clearance Form at this time. If you are a summer 2024 graduate, you must submit your Graduation Clearance Form in June. If you are a fall 2024 graduate, you must submit your Graduate Clearance form in September.

  5. Also, note that you do not need to apply for Graduation again as long as you apply for the correct term on the Graduation Application form, as noted in #2 above.

  6. In early March, the Office of Graduate Studies will send instructions on registering for the Commencement Ceremony to your campus email. Registration will open on Wednesday, March 16, and close on Tuesday, April 16.

If you have any questions, please email

Dates/Deadlines to Apply to Graduate and Register for the Commencement Ceremony

ActionDeadline Date
Apply to Graduate (PDF)Friday, February 16, 2024
Update Your Preferred Name for the Printed Commencement Ceremony ProgramTuesday, February 27, 2024
Apply to Graduate (PDF) with an additional $10 feeFriday, March 1, 2024
GradFest Wednesday, March 6 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m. | Wildcat Bookstore
Thursday, March 7, | 10 a.m.–1 p.m. |
Wildcat Bookstore

Register for Commencement

Graduates will receive an email to their Wildcat email from Marching Order with the subject "Add Graduate to Ceremony." Graduates can also register directly on Marching Order.

Wednesday, March 6–Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Deadline to preorder cap and gown rentals for pick up in the Wildcat BookstoreTuesday, March 12, 2024
Deadline to preorder cap and gown rentals for ship-to-home ordersWednesday, April 17, 2024
Deadline to Register for CommencementWednesday, April 17, 2024
Preordered cap and gown rentals can be picked up at the Wildcat BookstoreTuesday, April 23, 2024 | Starting at 9 a.m.
Didn’t get a chance to pre-order your cap and gown online? Walk-ins for cap & gown rentals can be made at the Wildcat Bookstore during normal store hours. Contact the Wildcat Store at (530) 898-5223 for their hours during Commencement week.Monday, May 6, 2024
Digital GradPass will be sent to your Wildcat email address with the subject line “Here is your GradPass!” The GradPass serves as the graduate’s ticket entry into the stadium and will have the name displayed and announced on the jumbotron.Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Deadline to preorder cap and gown rentals for ship-to-home orders on expedited shipping chargeThursday, May 9, 2024
Attend the Commencement Ceremony at the University StadiumWednesday, May 15, 2024 | 7 p.m. | University Stadium

Important Commencement Information

  • 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.

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


  • Assembly Procession

    The Master's Commencement Ceremony will be on Wednesday, May 15 | 7 p.m. | University Stadium.

    All graduates must assemble one hour before the ceremony at Fields 6/7, behind University Stadium, and arrive one hour before the processional start time. All grads will undergo a security screening and then be lined up to prepare to enter the stadium.

  • Your Ceremony at a Glance
    • Arrive at least one hour in full regalia before the ceremony starts unless otherwise noted for your college.
    • Assemble at Fields 6/7(opens in new window), the behind corner of University Stadium.
    • Each ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. Ceremonies are held rain or shine.
    • Graduates should arrive in their traditional academic regalia and not bring purses or bags.
    • 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 to all candidates and their families and guests, we ask that you remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.
    Valid ID Required

    All graduates participating in commencement ceremonies must present their Wildcat ID and GradPass when they arrive to check in at the staging area.

    Students who do not bring their Wildcat ID or GradPass will not be allowed to participate in commencement.

    Ceremony Overview

    From Fields 6/7, the processional will be guided into the stadium from the Southend.

    After arriving at your seat, please remain standing until you are signaled to sit down.

    The ceremony will include remarks by the dean of Graduate Studies and other speakers. University leadership will also present and confer degrees during the ceremony.

    Graduate pre-recorded names will be announced and will have their names read aloud as they cross the stage. A live video of each graduate crossing the stage will appear on the jumbotron. Graduates will shake hands with the Dean of their college and President, take photos, and exit the stage.

    The commencement ceremony will last between 90 minutes to two hours, depending on the number of graduates in the college. Graduates and guests are encouraged not to exit the stadium until the entire ceremony has concluded and should then plan to meet at a pre-arranged site. Please avoid congregating in the immediate area of the University Stadium to eliminate congestion.

  • Apparel and Regalia

    Herff Jones is the official supplier of Chico State regalia. Graduates in commencement ceremonies are required to wear official academic regalia, consisting of a traditional red and black gown with the Chico State logo and a mortarboard. All master’s degree candidates will wear black gowns and hoods.

    No extra robes, caps, tassels, or hoods will be available in the staging area. Only approved regalia may be worn at commencement. Apparel deemed inappropriate may be confiscated. Absolutely no alcohol leis, no Riley's stoles.

  • Guest Tickets

    Graduates walking in the Spring 2024 Commencement ceremonies can claim guest tickets beginning March 6th when they complete their registration for commencement via Marching Order. Tickets are distributed via email to the graduate when they "submit" the registration on Marching Order. From there, the student is responsible for printing or emailing the tickets to family and guests. Master's students can receive up to 10 tickets.

    Guests are advised to keep their tickets easily accessible as they approach the University Stadium for the ceremony.

    Guest tickets are not available for purchase. Graduates can check with other graduates for additional tickets, but it is essential that the tickets are for the correct ceremony. 

    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.

    Guests with mobility concerns can contact the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) at 530-898-5959 or 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

    Graduation announcements can be reached beginning March 6 at Gradfest, Colusa Hall, 100A, or online at Herff Jones. Samples are on display in the Wildcat Bookstore. Order announcements by mid-April to ensure ample time for mailing.


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

    GradImages Photography(opens in new window) will take photographs of each graduate on stage during the commencement ceremonies. After the event, each graduate will be sent no-obligation proofs of the commencement photographs via email and text. Proofs will also be sent via postal mail. You will have the opportunity to purchase prints after you have seen your proofs. 

    Prior to the ceremony, graduates can also 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 will not be 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 Master's diploma, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Commencement T-Shirt and Flowers

    Grad T-shirts featuring the grad names will be available for sale at commencement. To pre-order your t-shirt for easy pickup onsite at commencement.

    Leis and bouquets can be pre-ordered at GradFest and at several locations around campus during commencement week. Students and guests are encouraged to pre-order for pick up before the ceremony so they can wear their leis on stage and in pictures.

Do You Need To Change or Update Your Name?

The University uses each student’s preferred name listed on their Portal account for the Commencement Ceremony Program. If you want to change your preferred name, you must do so by February 27, 2024.

Please login to your Portal to make sure your preferred name is spelled correctly and is exactly as you want it to appear in the Commencement Ceremony program and on your diploma. You can make any necessary corrections by following these steps:

  • log in to your Portal
  • click on “Student Center”
  • make the change under “Profile”

*Please note: The deadline to make all preferred name corrections is February 27, 2024, and, yes, this deadline is before registration opens for the May 2024 Commencement Ceremony.