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Commencement Expectations

Commencement and graduation ceremonies at Fresno State symbolize the culmination of many years of hard work. It is a time for you, your family and friends to recognize and celebrate your success!

We ask for your help in making these ceremonies a positive experience for everyone.  Misconduct by even a few would be disturbing to the graduates, faculty, and guests who expect and deserve a safe, orderly, and dignified ceremony.

All Fresno State Commencement and graduation ceremonies are alcohol, drug, smoke, vapor and tobacco-free events and a zero-tolerance for disorderly behavior will be strictly enforced.  Graduates and guests will not be permitted to carry alcoholic beverages into ceremony sites or consume them there.

Graduates and guests who are intoxicated or disruptive will not be allowed in the ceremony venue or will be escorted from the ceremony.

Please help us make Class of 2019 Commencement and graduation ceremonies events to remember with celebration and honor!

Important University Commencement Information:



Time Basics Instructions
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Graduate Arrival
  • Graduates assemble in the loading dock at the Save Mart Center (northeast side of building, closest to Chestnut Ave.). Students who have mobility concerns may use the elevator inside the northeast corner of the arena. 
  • Once admitted, you will put on your robe; it must be worn throughout the procession and ceremony.
  • Undergraduate candidates: The cap is worn squarely on the head with the point in the middle of the forehead, tassel on the RIGHT side of the mortarboard.
  • Graduate candidates: Position your tassel on the LEFT side of the mortarboard.
  • Regalia items will be available for sale in the assembly area for last minute needs. 
12:30 p.m. Graduate Line-Up and Entering
  • Line-up behind the sign designating your college or school. 
  • Order of Procession: Dean's Medal recipients and Bachelor's candidates by college (in two lines) will be followed by Master's and Doctoral candidates, then faculty, and then the President's Platform Party. 
  • Last chance for restroom break prior to ceremony. 
1:00 p.m. Graduate Processional
  • At the proper signal, graduates will follow the marshals and process into the arena. 
  • Stand directly in front of your seat. When the entire row is full, you may be seated. Please stand when the President's Platform Party enters (after all graduates and faculty are seated).
1:30 p.m. Ceremony
  • Graduates and guests to remain seated for the entire ceremony.
  • Undergraduate candidates will be recognized by college/school first. The Deans of your college or school will tell you when to stand as a group during the ceremony. 
  • When President Castro confers all the undergraduate degrees, candidates are to stand and move their tassel to the LEFT side of their mortarboard. 
  • Master's degree candidates will then be presented, and their degrees conferred. 
  • Doctoral candidates will process across the stage.
3:00 p.m. Recessional
  • Please stand for the recessional. The President's Platform Party exits first, followed by faculty. 
  • After faculty have exited, graduates and guests are free to leave the building on their own. Meet your party outside the building. 

Safe Celebrating

Congratulations Class of 2019 -
Here are some ways to celebrate safe if alcohol is involved:

  • Pace your drinks to one or fewer per hour. One serving = 12 oz. of beer OR 5 oz. of wine OR 1.5 oz. of hard liquor.
  • Eat a full meal before drinking. Snack on higher fat and protein foods while drinking.
  • Go as part of a group to a party and keep track of each other. Make sure everyone gets home safely.
  • Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Designate a driver or have an alternative ride accessible. 
  • Attend your graduation ceremony alcohol and drug-free! 

Celebrate Safe with us!

Join us for a night of bowling, billiards, music, graduation cap decorating and more!

Thursday, May 16
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. 
USU Lower Level


Security & Logistics


  • To ensure a smooth and efficient security process when entering the Save Mart Center, graduates and faculty wearing academic regalia are advised to carry their robes into event venues and then dress in designated lineup areas.
  • Diplomas will be mailed to student's permanent address.
  • Designate a meeting place outside the Save Mart Center immediately after the University Commencement Ceremony.


Bag inspection and electronic wanding will be in effect Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 for all Save Mart Center graduation ceremonies. All students, faculty, staff, volunteers, guests and vendors are advised to review the statement below and allow extra time to enter the facility:

  • All guests entering the Save Mart Center are subject to a search of their person and their property, this includes a visual inspection and a bag inspection conducted by Save Mart Center security personnel. Persons entering the facility, as a condition of the license to enter, may be subject to search by electronic wand regardless of whether they are carrying any of the above-mentioned items. The purpose of the inspection is to detect prohibited items.
  • The Save Mart Center prohibits backpacks and any bags larger than 12" x 6" x 12". The only approved bags are diaper bags, bags smaller than 12" x 6" x 12", and medically-necessary items (after proper inspection). All bags are subject to search.
  • Any signage that will obstruct the view of other ceremony guests for an extended period of time may be subject to removal by venue management.

In order to provide a safe and secure environment for all, the following items are not permitted at Fresno State graduation ceremony venues, but not limited to:

  • Hoverboards
  • Bottles, cans coolers or similar containers
  • Food, drinks or illegal substances
  • Any weapon, including guns, stun guns, chains, studded bracelets
  • Video equipment, professional camera, tripods or recording devices
  • Laser pointers, aerosol cans, noise-makers, fireworks
  • Helium balloons
  • Tobacco and Smoking, including e-cigarettes or vapors
  • Lighters of any kind
  • Selfie sticks
  • Pets or non-service animals
  • Explosives
  • Handcuffs, Brass knuckles, Sticks, Clubs, Batons, Martial arts instruments
  • Pepper spray, Tear gas
  • Knives of any kind
  • Any other items determined to be unacceptable or dangerous by venue management


GradImages is the official commencement photographer at Fresno State. 

Proofs will be ready to view online as soon as 48 hours after the ceremony. In order to notify graduates when your images are available, GradImages sends emails and mails paper proofs, along with optional text message notifications. Graduate information is never shared and privacy is guaranteed. Pre-registering is simply a way to make contact information is up-to-date with GradImages, so they can provide your complimentary proofs as quickly as possible. Although there's never any obligation to order, you'll save 20% off orders of $50 or more for your participation. To pre-register for your commencement proofs, please visit

For more information visit, call 800.261.2576 or email

Important Updates and Deadlines:

Students must apply for graduation approximately within the first two weeks of the semester in which they plan to graduate.

  Graduation Application Period For More Information
Jan 17 - Feb 14, 2019

Complete Undergraduate Degree Deadlines and Graduation Application Process.

Jan 17 - Feb 1, 2019

Complete Graduate Degree Deadlines
Graduation application procedures are available on the Division of Research and Graduate Studies website.