Commencement versus Graduation

There are important differences between commencement and graduation with which you should be familiar.

Commencement refers to the ceremony, officiated by the President of the University, where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the University, Board of Trustees, National University System Chancellor, senior administrators, and faculty to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree.

Graduation, on the other hand, is a three-step process consisting of submitting an Application for Graduation form, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation.

If you have not filled out the Application for Graduation, please do so immediately by logging into your Student Portal or contact your student advisor with any questions.

There are six official conferral (degree posting) dates per year in 2017 the conferral dates are January 15, March 19, May 21, July 16, September 17, and November 19.

Commencement involves two separate ceremonies, one in Southern California and one in Northern California. The ceremony features the processional, remarks from the President, and a keynote address. During the ceremony, you will proceed across the stage and receive your certificate of participation.

Your actual diploma will be mailed to you four to six weeks after your specified conferral date. Your degree becomes official when it is posted to your transcript and not by your participation in commencement exercises.