Commencement Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Information
- Ticket Information
- Ceremony Information
- Diploma Information
- Honors Information
- General Information
- Alumni Information
- Financial Aid Loan Information
- How do I apply for Graduation and Commencement? Candidates initiate the graduation process by completing the online Graduation Application Form.
- When do I apply for Graduation and Commencement? Candidates should file their Application for Graduation by September 1 to attend December Commencement and file by February 1 to attend May Commencement (including Summer candidates). PLEASE NOTE: Summer candidates in the School of Nursing and Health Professions are ONLY invited to the December Commencement.
- When will I get notified that I am eligible to attend Commencement? Candidates who file an Application for Graduation will be notified by email (send to student's USF email account) five to six weeks prior to their ceremony. Notification will include eligibility to attend the Grad Finale event and the Commencement Ceremonies.
- How do I obtain my regalia (cap & gown)? If eligible to graduate, candidates pick up their regalia at the Grad Finale event.
- Can someone pick up my regalia for me? Yes, however, it is required that you give your proxy a completed Proxy Pickup Authorization Form. This is the only acceptable document for picking up graduation items. The form must be printed, signed, and dated — no other forms or electronic signatures will be accepted.
- What do I do if I miss the Grad Finale?: Please visit the main Commencement site for the upcoming dates and times for when and where you are able to pick up your regalia (starting the first day of Commencement).
- Candidates and Guest with Disabilities: The Parker Street entrance to the Saint Ignatius Church is wheelchair-accessible and disabled parking is available on Parker Street. USF accommodates individuals with disabilities. Candidates or guests who need a disability related accommodation, please contact Will Vitagliano at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 14 days before your ceremony.
- When are degrees and honors official? Degrees and honors are considered official when all grades are received and all requirements for degree fulfillment and/or honors are met.
- How do Candidates retrieve guest tickets? Guest tickets will be sent ELECTRONICALLY (PDF) to your USF email. Your tickets will be sent on May 1st (Spring Commencement) or December 1st (Fall Commencement). At that time, you will be able to forward individual tickets to your guests.
NOTE: Guest tickets can ONLY be scanned ONCE. The first time the guest ticket is scanned will allow entry into St. Ignatius Church. All subsequent attempts to scan the same guest ticket will result in persons not being allowed into the church. NO EXCEPTIONS! Persons with copies of a previously scanned guest ticket will be directed to overflow locations to view live-streaming of the commencement ceremony.
- How many guest tickets do Candidates get? Please see specific ceremony (links on the upper right) for the number of guest tickets candidates will receive. Please note that each student is only given one set of tickets regardless of how many degrees are being earned. (For example, a dual degree student gets 1 set of tickets, not 2) Guest tickets cannot be replaced if lost, stolen or destroyed. We are not responsible for lost, stolen or destroyed guest tickets. Commencement guest tickets are not for resale. Candidates found selling guest tickets will face disciplinary sanctions, including withholding of their degrees until the next conferral period.
- How to get extra guest tickets? Due to the large number of graduates, there will NOT be any extra guest tickets and there will be NO extra guest tickets available at the door. Candidates may want to check with their classmates to see if anyone has guest tickets that they are willing to give you.
- Can guest tickets be purchased? Guest tickets are NOT for sale or resale. Candidates found selling guest tickets will face disciplinary sanctions.
- Why are guest tickets required for Commencement? Safety is the first and foremost reason for controlling the number of guests in St. Ignatius Church. We give each candidate a designated amount of guest tickets by taking the maximum occupancy of the space, subtracting the number of expected candidates, and divided the remaining seats by the number of expected candidates at each ceremony to determine how many guest tickets each candidate receives.
- Do Candidates need a guest ticket? No. The tickets candidates receive are for their guests.
- Do children need a guest ticket to attend Commencement? Children, ages two and under, do not need a guest ticket.
- If one of my guests is in a wheelchair, will a guest ticket be required? Yes, since a wheelchair occupies the space of a chair, a guest ticket is required for an individual in a wheelchair and all accompanying guest.
- Can non-graduating USF students attend Commencement? Yes, but they need a guest ticket to enter the Church.
- Will seating be available for people without guest tickets? Yes, guests without tickets can view the ceremony via Live Stream over the internet or on campus in the Pedro Arrupe Room and Cowell Hall rooms 106 and 107.
- Is alcohol allowed? NO! Students and guests cannot consume or possess alcohol in St. Ignatius Church. Students found in possession of alcohol may face academic sanctions and have their degree withheld.
- Where and when do Candidates line up? Please arrive in the Atrium of Gleeson Library 45 minutes before your ceremony wearing your regalia.
- Will there be a place where Candidates can store their valuables during the ceremony? No. Please leave valuables and personal possessions with family and friends; we do not have security or space to store them. We are not responsible for lost, stolen or destroyed personal possessions.
- If a Candidate misplaces their Student Walk Ticket, where can they pick up a replacement? Candidates may pick up a replacement Student Walk Ticket in the Gleeson Library’s Atrium ONLY on the dates of distribution.
- How early should guests arrive at the church? The doors to Saint Ignatius Church will open 45 minutes prior to each ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Candidates, please be sure to notify your guests of this procedure.
- Are seats reserved? No, all seats are general admission and on a first-come, first-served basis.
- How long does the Commencement Ceremony last? Each ceremony lasts approximately 60 to 90 minutes.
- Can children accompany Candidates on stage? No, children need to be seated in general seating with candidate's guests.
- Is there a Professional Photographer? Yes, we partner with Grad Images, who will take multiple photos of each candidate as they process across the stage. Candidates will receive an email within 48 hours of their ceremony (from Grad Images) with their photo proofs and instructions on how to order commencement photos.
- Can someone videotape the ceremony? Yes, the use of video cameras will be allowed to the extent that they do not obstruct the view of other guests in the audience. Monopods, bipods and tripods are not allowed.
- Is there a live streaming video of the ceremony? Yes, on the dates of the ceremonies the following link will be live. Commencement Video.
- How long does the reception last? Each reception lasts approximately one hour following each Commencement ceremony. There is no reception after the Graduation Mass.
- Undergraduate Candidates who complete double majors. Will they participate in two ceremonies? No. Candidates who complete double majors participate in their primary major's ceremony.
- How to update diploma name and diploma address after filling for graduation? Candidates update their diploma name by emailing the Graduation Center at email@example.com. Please include your student ID number current phone number, and the updated mailing address.
- When are diplomas mailed? Once all course work has been completed and USF verifies all degree requirements have been met, then degrees are awarded within 4 to 6 weeks after commencement. Please allow an additional 2 to 4 weeks for diplomas to be mailed.
Students needing to change their Diploma Mailing Address must update it in their myUSF Portal (or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) BEFORE their ceremony in order to ensure timely shipping.
- Undergraduate students who complete double majors. Will I receive two diplomas? No. Only one diploma is issued with both majors because candidates earned one degree.
- Do concentrations or minors appear on the diplomas? No. Concentrations and minors appear on the student's official transcript.
- Can anything prevent the release of a diploma? Yes, diplomas will not be released for students who have outstanding financial obligations to the University or outstanding academic requirements.
- How do I get my diploma notarized/ apostilled? To have your diploma notarized or apostilled, students must make arrangements with a notary (at your own expense) to come to the Office of the University Registrar with your original diploma during normal business hours. We recommend SF Notary + Apostille (415) 655-9455 or sfnotary.com
- How to order a duplicate diploma: The form is at: Duplicate Diploma Form
Diploma sizes: Undergraduate 7 X 9, Graduate 8 X 10, Doctor 8 X 10
- University Honors: Are only for undergraduate students who completed at least 60 credits of academic coursework (letter grade) at USF and a minimum USF grade point average of: 3.85 for Summa Cum Laude, 3.75 for Magna Cum Laude, and 3.50 for Cum Laude. University Honors are on noted on the diploma and transcripts.
- School of Management Honors: School Honors are awarded ONLY TO UNDERGRADUATE PROFESSIONAL BACHELOR'S DEGREE STUDENTS. To be recognized for School Honors at commencement, you must meet the following cumulative grade point average in courses taken at USF and you must have completed or be enrolled in all courses required for your degree. School High Honors for those earning a 3.90 GPA or higher. School Honors for those earning a 3.70 to 3.89 GPA. School High Honors and School Honors are noted on transcript.
- School of Nursing and Health Professions Honors: School Honors are awarded ONLY TO UNDERGRADUATE NURSING AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS STUDENTS with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 in courses taken at USF. To be recognized for School Honors at commencement, you must meet these criteria and you must have completed or be enrolled in all courses required for your degree. School honors are noted on transcript.
- Honors at Commencement? Academic honors is calculated using the previous terms Overall GPA (not including current coursework) by the census date of the term the student participates in commencement.
*To be recognized for academic honors at the commencement exercises, undergraduate candidates must have completed, or be in the process of competing, all courses required for their degrees. Degrees and honors are considered official when all grades are received and all requirements for degree fulfillment and/or honors are met.
- Hotel Information? Visit www.sftravel.com/explore/hotels
- How to order Commencement Photos: Visit www.GradImages.com
- How to order Personalized Commencement Announcements: Visit www.jostens.com
- How to order a USF class ring: Visit www.jostens.com
- How to order a DVD of the ceremony: Visit Commencement DVD
- How to order a Diploma Frame: Visit www.framingsuccess.com or from the USF Bookstore. Diploma sizes: Undergraduate 9 X 7, Graduate 8 X 10, Doctor 8 X 10.
- Flowers and Leis? Commencement Flowers will sell flowers and leis on campus during all commencement ceremonies. Visit www.commencementflowers.org
- Questions on the day of the ceremony: Contact University of San Francisco's main phone number at (415) 422-5555.
- Graduation degree requirements, regalia, diplomas, etc.: Contact the Graduation Center: Email email@example.com or Telephone at (415) 422-3756.
- Driving Instructions and Campus Map: Or contact USF Public Safety at (415) 422-4222.
- Bon Appetit Market: Located in the University Center, will be open limited hours during the commencement ceremonies for food and beverage service; please call (415) 422-6294 for business hours.
- University Bookstore: Located in University Center, will be open limited hours during the commencement ceremonies. Diploma frames can be purchased here. Please call (415) 422-6493 for business hours.
- How do I obtain an official transcript, enrollment verification, or degree verification? Log on to myUSF, click on the "Student" tab and then "Student Records" link and click the appropriate request.
- Can transcripts be ordered through the National Student Clearinghouse? Yes, you can order them directly at studentclearinghouse.org
- Can I get my diploma or transcript if I have a hold on my account? No, they will not be released if a student or alum has any outstanding financial obligations with the University.
Financial Aid Loan Information
If you borrowed from the Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan Program, Federal Grad PLUS, Federal Perkins Loan or Nursing Student Loan for study at USF, you must complete exit counseling before graduation as stipulated by Federal regulations.
Exit counseling sessions for Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan Program will be available within thirty (30) days prior to your graduation. You will receive an invitation from the Office of Financial Aid. If you are unable to attend the workshop, please complete the exit counseling online at http://studentloans.gov.
Exit Interview for Federal Perkins or Nursing Student Loan Program is available online at http://uasexit.com, but you must wait until you receive notification from University Accounting Service.
Students who do not fulfill their obligation to complete the exit counseling may have a HOLD placed on their academic records (no release of transcripts or diploma).
For more information: Call the Financial Aid Office at (415) 422-3387 for Federal Stafford Direct Student Loan Program. Call the University Accounting Service at (800) 999-6227 for Federal Perkins and Nursing Student Loans.