Commencement FAQs

What is Commencement?

 Commencement ceremonies at Fresno State are candidate's ceremonies and not degree conferral ceremonies. Participation in a ceremony does not guarantee degree certification.

Is there a difference between Graduation and Commencement ceremonies?

 Yes. Graduation ceremonies are done by individual colleges or departments where you are recognized for finishing all the degree requirements, have your name read, and walk across the stage to be recognized for graduation. The Commencement ceremony is known as the (college) President's ceremony where the whole campus comes together to recognize all the graduates.

Will all students, regardless of what degree they received, be walking across the stage at the Main University Commencement on Saturday morning?

 Students that will be recognized on stage will be Dean's Medalists and Doctoral students. College/School, department and group/affinity ceremonies have components within their ceremony where they recognize individual students. For a list of those ceremonies, visit http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/additional-ceremonies.html

I am coming from out of town for Commencement. Where are some lodging options that are nearby?

Lodging and hotel information can be found at: http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/outreach/location/lodging.html

What do I need to do to participate in Main University Commencement?

 For Main Commencement on Saturday May 19, all participants are required to wear academic regalia and review all information as outlined at http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/commencement-resources/index.htm

Do I need to RSVP and/or secure guest tickets to the graduation ceremonies?

For the Main University Commencement on Saturday, May 2019 there is no RSVP process or tickets required for guests. For additional graduation ceremonies held throughout the weekend, check in the ceremony organizer for any RSVP or guest ticket details. A full list of graduation ceremonies and events, along with contact information, can be found at http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/additional-ceremonies.html

I will complete my degree in Fall 2018. Can I participate in the upcoming Main University Commencement Spring 2018 ceremony? Can I participate in my College/School ceremony?

 While the Main University Commencement recognized graduating students from Summer 2017, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 (with names of these graduates reflected in the program), there is no participation restriction for graduates from past or future semesters. As there are a variety of other ceremonies held during the weekend, check in the ceremony organizer for any graduation status requirements. A full list of graduation ceremonies and events, along with contact information, can be found at http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/

How many people can attend the Main University Commencement ceremony?

There is no cap for guests at the Main University Commencement at Save Mart Center. However, due to large crowds, parking constraints and limited seating, degree candidates are strongly encouraged to coordinate carpools with guests and coordinate early arrival to venue site for greater seating options.

What time should my family and I arrive for the Main University Commencement?

 It is strongly recommended that degree candidates arrive at least 30 minutes before check-in to allow for parking. Family members and guests should be seated 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

Where should my guests and I park?

 For specific lot information based on ceremony venue visit http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/maps-directions.html

How do I arrange for disability accommodations?

 For Save Mart Center accessiblity information for guests visit http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/commencement-resources/accessibility.html . For graduates requesting accommodations, contact Student Involvement at 559.278.2741 or email commencement@csufresno.edu for assistance.

Where can I find out information about what college ceremony I attend to tell my friends and family?

For more information on what college you are in and what ceremony to attend, please visit

Who do I contact after graduation if I have any questions on career support, staying in contact or making a gift to the campus?

Please visit http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/prepare-to-graduate/resources.html
This link shares contact information for the Career Development Center, the Fresno State Alumni Association and resources of life after school.

Where I can I purchase flowers for graduates?

Flower bouquets and fresh leis will be for sale at merchandise sites throughout Save Mart Center and other on-campus ceremony venues.

Do you sell DVD copies of the Main Commencement ceremony?

No, but 2 weeks after the ceremony, you will be able to view the ceremony through a link on the commencement website at http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/.

Do I need tickets and parking passes for my guests?

For all graduation ceremonies during Commencement weekend parking passes are not required. While tickets are not required for Main University Commencement, note that seating is on a first come first served basis and saving large quantities of seats is not allowed.
Note that some graduation ceremonies during Commencement weekend require tickets. A full list of graduation ceremonies and events, along with ticket information, can be found at http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/additional-ceremonies.html

Can I sit with my friends at Main University Commencement?

Graduates are seated by their specific School/College so yes; you can sit with your friends within your School/College.

Where do I find our more information about Graduation Photography 

GradImages is the official commencement photographer for our school. Your proofs will be ready to view online as soon as 48 hours after the ceremony. In order to notify you when your images are available, GradImages sends emails and mails paper proofs, along with optional text message notifications. Your information is never shared and privacy is guaranteed. Pre-registering is simply a way to make sure your 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 http://GradImages.com/Preregistration

For more information visit www.gradimages.com we have a FAQ section that should answer most of their questions. You can also list our customer service number 800.261.2576 and email giservice@gradimages.net.

Graduation Eligibility and Programs/Booklet FAQs

How do I know if I am eligible to graduate?

 If you have not done so, check with your academic advisor to make sure you have met all of the requirements to graduate. For further information contact the University Advising Center's website at http://www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/advising/ or view a list of advising centers at http://www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/advising/documents/Fresno%20State%20Advising%20Centers%202017.pdf

What graduate names are reflected in the Commencement Program?

Summer 2017, Fall 2017 graduates, and Spring 2018 graduates who submitted their Graduation application by the deadline date are included in the 2018 Main Commencement Program.

What name will appear in the Commencement program?

 Primary Name Type or Diploma Name Type as indicated in "Personal Information" section of your Student Center.

While I have not applied to graduate for Summer 2017, Fall 2017 or Spring 2018, I would still like to have my name printed in the Commencement program. What is the process?

 If you will not be completing your graduation requirements for Spring 2018 but still want your name to appear in the Commencement program, contact the Degree Advising Office in Joyal Administration Building, Room 115 or visit the Degree Advising contact page at (http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/registrar/contact-us/index.html) for more information.


Attire/ Academic Regalia FAQs

Where do I pick up my academic regalia?

 Regalia can be picked up at the Kennel Bookstore. For more information visit http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/commencement/prepare-to-graduate/regalia.html

What attire is recommended for graduation ceremonies?

Can I decorate my cap?

 Yes. When decorating your cap, be mindful of the following: Information/message on your cap will viewed by fellow graduates, families and guests of all ages; ensure that your decor does not obstruct the view for others; make sure items are secure and not falling off, including excessive glitter.

Where do I get honor cords and related honor regalia?

 Contact your specific honors office/department for additional information regarding regalia details.

I've heard about a Grad Box that has Alumni gear and academic regalia. Where do I go for more information and how to order?