COMMENCEMENT

FAQs

2014 Commencement and Honors Convocation Exercises

Commencement and Honors Convocation exercises are pinnacle moments for California State University, Northridge and our graduating students. They are also very complex events that, over the years, have undergone significant changes no less than nine times. Absent a stadium or large indoor event center, these changes have typically been made to accommodate growing numbers of eligible graduates. Remarkably, over the past 10 years, the campus has experienced a 33 percent increase in the number of students participating in commencement ceremonies. In 2013, almost 7,000 students participated in one of eight college-based commencement ceremonies, which were hosted in two locations: the Oviatt Library lawn and Mazanita Hall lawn.

Unfortunately, attendance at several of last year’s ceremonies substantially exceeded available seating and caused concerns about public safety and the university’s ability to properly host its guests. As such, President Dianne F. Harrison asked that the format, location and timing of our ceremonies be reviewed with two primary goals: one, reducing the total number of ceremonies; and two, addressing safety concerns.

After considering a wide range of options such as moving to various on- and off-campus locations, holding ceremonies on the weekend and adding December ceremonies, and after consulting with student and faculty leaders and college deans, there was a clear consensus to host all ceremonies on the Oviatt Library lawn. To make this possible, seating at the Oviatt Library lawn site will be increased to 10,500. Additionally, following further consultation with the president and vice president of the Associated Students, an initial plan to host two colleges at each commencement ceremony has been further refined. Specifically, President Harrison agreed to add an additional day to the announced commencement schedule, which will allow the largest colleges to continue with individual ceremonies and, thereby, reduce the number of graduates at all ceremonies. In order to ensure adequate seating for all, guests of graduates will be required to possess a ticket in order to gain admittance to the Oviatt Library lawn venue. As a result of the reduced number of graduates planned for each ceremony, the university is pleased to announce that it will now be able to offer each graduate up to seven (instead of four) guest tickets. Visit the Ticketing Information page for information on how to claim tickets.

Newly revised 2014 Commencement and Honors Convocation schedule can be found on the Schedule page.


Frequently Asked Questions

(Revised: March 18, 2013)

How has the schedule changed for 2014?

  • All commencement ceremonies will be held on the Oviatt Library lawn
  • Two commencement ceremonies will be held each day on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Ceremonies will not be held on Tuesday, which is a day when several of our university officials are required to attend a California State University Board of Trustees meeting.
  • Honors Convocation will be held on the Friday, May 16, 2014, before the first day of commencement that will be held on Monday 19, 2014.

What format changes are planned for each commencement ceremony?

  • The format will feature a mix of single and combined college ceremonies. With one exception, each ceremony will confer degrees on both undergraduate and graduate degree recipients. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is projected to produce the largest number of graduates. In order to provide the graduates of this college with seven guest tickets, its undergraduate degree recipients will participate in a single college ceremony, and its graduate degree recipients will participate in another ceremony as indicated in the schedule above.
  • The script for each ceremony will be revised to provide a focus on the university as a whole while also recognizing each college and its graduates.
  • Before the ceremonies, all graduates will receive instructions as to where and when to line up so they can progress into the Oviatt Library lawn venue with other graduates earning the same degree.

Will graduates be individually recognized?

Yes, we will continue the well-established tradition of having each graduate's name read while he or she walks across the stage to receive a congratulatory handshake from the president and/or other university officials.

Each graduate will be presented with a commemorative diploma cover, and each graduate will be photographed by a professional photographer.

How long will each ceremony last?

The length of each ceremony will depend on the number of participating graduates. It is anticipated that each ceremony will last between two and three hours.

Out of respect for all participants, graduates must stay throughout the entire ceremony and must remain seated unless otherwise directed by faculty marshals.

How many guests will graduates be able to invite and will tickets be required?

  • All guests will be required to possess a ticket in order to gain admittance into the Oviatt Library lawn venue.
  • Tickets will be free of charge.
  • Graduates will be allowed to initially request up to seven tickets for guests. 
  • Tickets that are not requested will be available to graduates who are in need of additional tickets to accommodate their guests.
  • Graduates (and participating faculty) will not need a ticket for admittance to the ceremony at which their degrees are being conferred.

How can I secure guest tickets?

  • Those eligible to participate in the upcoming ceremony will be provided with an online ticketing account which will enable them to print out guest tickets. 
  • If the email gets misplaced or wasn't received for whatever reason navigate to the ticketing website to gain access to their account and print out the tickets.
  • Download the Ticketing Tutorial for additional assistance.  
  • Additional tickets can be requested up until April 14th through their student ticketing account.  More information on how to navigate this process can be found on the Ticketing Tutorial.
  • An email will be sent to all eligible students (those who've applied to graduate by March 7) with a link to access this account and print up to seven guest tickets by a confirmed deadline. This email will come through a student's CSUN email account.

Is there anything else about guest tickets I should be aware of?

  • Guest tickets must be printed by the guest ticket print deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014.
  • Tickets not printed by the ticket print deadline will be removed from student ticket accounts and possibly utilized by others wishing for additional guest tickets.
  • "Printing" tickets is the same as "Claiming" Tickets. Students are not presented an option to only "claim" tickets, but rather "print" tickets.  When opting to "print tickets" the tickets will be downloaded onto your computer devise - possibly in your temporary internet downloads folder, or in your hard-drive download folder. 
  • Guest tickets can be re-printed if they are misplaced after the deadline; however, they will void out previously printed tickets. 
  • Students are responsible to print and distribute tickets to their guests prior to the commencement ceremony.
  • Students should only print tickets that will be used by guests.
  • All guests must have a ticket for entry. Graduates themselves do not need a ticket to participate.
  • All tickets will be scanned at entry of the commencement ceremony site.
  • Children must have a ticket unless seated in an adult's lap throughout the ceremony. Please note that strollers will not be allowed into the venue.
  • Guest must retain their tickets throughout the ceremony.

What if I missed the guest ticket printing deadline?

At this time, guest tickets are not available for students who missed the deadline.  Students are still able to attend their ceremony as they do not require a ticket to participate.  The University is making every effort to determine if there are remaining tickets available.  Should this occur, tickets may be redistributed to students who missed the ticket printing deadline and/or to those students who requested additional guest tickets beyond their original 7 allocated.

IF YOU MISSED THE DEADLINE BUT STILL WISH TO ACQUIRE GUEST TICKETS

Please email us at with the following information below.  Should tickets become available, we will notify you through your CSUN email account.  

Subject Line: Missed Printing Deadline

  • Name
  • CSUN email address
  • ID number
  • Ceremony Date/Time
  • Brief explanation of situation (ex: forgot to print my tickets)
  • Amount of tickets desired if they become available

Redistribution of remaining tickets are not guaranteed. 

Additional Student Ticket Printing Questions/Information

  • Students must print their tickets by the deadline (April 14th, 2014) 
  • Ticketing accounts will be temporarily disabled on April 15th (for approx. 1 to 2 weeks) during which students  cannot reprint, view, etc., their tickets. 
  • Students will be notified by CSUN email about their additional ticket requests.  We will make every effort to accommodate these requests but it is not guaranteed. 
  • If students misplace their tickets they can be reprinted, which will void out their misplaced tickets. This function can be found on the student ticketing account.
  • Tickets are officially claimed by students when they are printed.  "Tickets Claimed" vs. "Tickets Printed" are referencing the same thing.
  • If students are not granted access to their ticket account it is possible that they are not eligible to participate.  Please review the commencement procedures for more information on eligibility.
  • If you have any problem printing your tickets, please review the FAQ section of the commencement website, or send an email to CommencementTickets@csun.edu.
  • Students sometimes find that they are "locked-out" of their ticket account which is a result of unsuccessful log-in attempts.  If you find yourself 'locked-out', please wait till the next day to retry gaining access to their ticketing account. 
  • Most ticketing problems are due to student's misunderstanding of accounts and passwords.  Please read over the instructions prior and/or review the ticketing tutorial prior to contacting .
  • Tickets printed by the official deadline will remain on a student's ticket account and can be reprinted if they are misplaced.  If reprinted, the misplaced ticket will become void and cannot be utilized.

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH TICKETING ACCOUNTS:

INCLUDING: PASSWORD/LOGIN, "LOCKED OUT OF ACCOUNT", CAN'T LOCATE TICKETS AFTER RECEIVING EMAIL CONFIRMATION OF PRINT

 

Most problems can be resolved by carefully following the step by step processes offered in the Ticketing Tutorial.  If you cannot resolve your technical problem, please email commencementtickets@csun.edu with the following information. 

Subject Line: Technical Difficulty

 

  • Name
  • CSUN email address
  • ID number
  • Ceremony Date/Time
  • Brief explanation of situation (must use one of the following)
    • Password/Login (can't access your ticketing account)
    • Ceremony tickets are for incorrect date/time
    • Locked out of account
    • Can't locate tickets, but have received confirmation of them having printed
  • SCREEN SHOT (if able, please provide a screen shot of the page you are experiencing your technical problem)

What is an Alternative Viewing Location?

The following 'Alternative Viewing Locations' are available to guests and provide a live video feed of the commencement ceremony. Some Alternative Viewing Locations will require tickets for admittance which are allocated to students on their student ticketing accounts if the primary venue (Oviatt Library Lawn) has reached seating capacity.  Students should be sure to check their printed tickets to ensure guests are going to the correct venue. 

Alternative Viewing Locations (Ticketed):
It is required that you have a ticket to enter these venues.

  • Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) 
  • Plaza del Sol Performance/Concert Hall  

Alternative Viewing Locations (non-Ticketed):

  • Bianchi Planetarium (located within Citrus Hall)
  • Nobbs Auditorium (Located in SequoiaHall Room 104)
  • Johnson Auditorium (Located in Jacaranda Hall)
  • Kurland Hall (Located adjacent to VPAC)

Who is eligible to participate in the spring 2014 commencement ceremonies?

In order to be eligible to participate in commencement, students must be a degree candidate for fall 2013, spring 2014 or summer 2014 and must have filed a degree application by March 7, 2014. See the commencement procedures for more information.

Eligible graduates will be able to confirm their participation status and order a cap and gown at GradFest, which will be held in the Matador Bookstore in March 2014.

Will there be a way to view the commencement ceremonies without being in attendance?

The university plans to provide a fully accessible live webcast of each ceremony. A link to the live feed will be available on the View Ceremonies page during the ceremony.

Will there be receptions and/or other celebratory opportunities before or after the commencement ceremonies?

Yes, each college may host a separate reception for its graduates. A schedule of reception times and locations will be announced well in advance of commencement ceremonies.

Any planned receptions that recognize graduates of academic programs, special programs and individual student groups will also be announced prior to the commencement ceremonies.

Are any changes planned for Honors Convocation?

Participation in Honors Convocation will continue to be by special invitation, and honorees will continue to be individually recognized and invested with a special medallion to be worn at commencement.

At this time, a decision has yet to be made about the use of tickets for admission to this ceremony.

Will parking be available?

  • Parking charges will be waived for Honors Convocation and on the dates commencement ceremonies are scheduled. Graduates are encouraged to refer to this website for the most up to date information.
  • For all commencement ceremonies, the most convenient parking is on the west side of the campus (Lots B1, B2, and the B3 Parking Structure). Please have your guests enter the campus at Nordhoff St. and Darby Ave. (one block east of Reseda Blvd.) and follow the signs to the closest available parking.
  • Parking for persons with disabilities will be available in parking lots B1, B2 and on all levels of the B3 parking structure. A current state issued “Disabled Person Parking Placard” or “Disabled Person/Veteran” license plate, issued to an occupant of the vehicle, will be required to park in an ADA stall.
  • Note: Graduates and guests may be directed to overflow parking in the B5 parking structure in the event of an exceptionally large turnout. Additional parking for all ceremonies will be available in Lot G3, G4 and F5. Additional disabled parking is available in all lots.
  • Warning: Please note that although permits will not be enforced, all other violations, e.g. red zone, blocking, etc., will be enforced.
  • Carpooling will be strongly encouraged. 

Driving directions to the graduation parking can be found on the Directions page.

Where can further information and updates about Commencement and Honors Convocation be found?

All updated information about the 2014 ceremonies will be available on this website.
For a list of contacts, visit the Contacts page.

What is GradFest and do I have to attend?

GradFest is a one-stop opportunity for many graduation needs. This year it will be held on Wednesday, March 12 and Thursday, March 13 inside the Matador Bookstore Complex from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is strongly encouraged you to attend this event but is not mandatory.

While at GradFest students will be able to:

  • Receive information about your graduation ceremony
  • Pre-order your cap and gown
  • Learn how to secure guest tickets
  • Take a free cap and gown portrait. Please come dressed to impress and ready to go for your photo. Caps and gowns will be provided for you.
  • Purchase graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames and other grad-related items
  • Join the Alumni Association
  • Learn about and contribute to the Senior Class Gift

What if I miss GradFest?

Please visit the Matador Bookstore website for further information and follow the prompts to pre-order your Commencement regalia (cap and gown), announcements, class rings, alumni memberships and more.

The Matador Bookstore will not have cap and gown pre-orders available after the end of March; however, you can still rent your regalia at the bookstore in early May (these will be on-hand rentals, and cannot guarantee all sizes of gown will be available). Some vendors will still be available at the bookstore from time to time. Contact information related to graduation and commencement can be found on the Contacts page. Please contact the appropriate department or company should you have any specific questions.

What is available for guests and graduates with disabilities and ADA accessibility needs?

CSUN strives to ensure that all graduates and guests can participate fully in this program. At commencement ceremonies staff and volunteers will be available throughout the ceremony venue to assist those with disabilities. Handicap-accessible restrooms are located near the ceremony venue. We recommend you to review our online campus maps prior to arrival if possible. Ceremony maps will also become available on the commencement website as the ceremony date approaches.

1. Accessible entrances

Wheelchair accessibility is available at all entrances and throughout a large portion of the ceremony venue. Maps will be made available as we get closer to the ceremony.

2. Accessible parking (please see parking)

3. Wheelchair notice

Due to the number of expected participants and guests at the commencement ceremonies, graduates, their families and guests are reminded that the university is unable to provide  wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices of a personal nature. If guests in your party require assistive devices for their mobility, graduates are encouraged to rent them from a commercial vendor prior to the event and consult campus maps for the most suitable parking areas.

4. Wheelchair seating for graduates

Graduates should connect with the Office of Student Involvement and Development directly to make arrangements by calling (818) 677-2393.

5. Wheelchair seating for guests

Reserved seating will be designated at each ceremony. Please review the campus maps for wheelchair seating areas as they become available on this website. Maps will also be distributed at the ceremonies which will indicate designated seating areas for wheelchair users and their families. Depending on the arrival time and amour of guests who attend, there is no guarantee that space will be available. Because of limited seating capacity, the guest with a disability may be accompanied by only two party members. Every effort will be made to seat other party members in the closest adjacent seating area possible. Seating designated for wheelchair users will be held for as long as possible; however, should seats go underutilized 15 minutes prior to the starting of the ceremony, the seats will be claimed by all guests.

6. Live streaming of ceremonies with caption

If unable to attend the ceremony there will be live footage of the commencement online on this website.

Indoor telecast rooms with live captioning will also be streaming at these locations which are near the commencement venue. These locations are available to the public and access will be at a first-come first-serve basis. The following telecast rooms listed below will be indicated on maps distributed at the ceremony, as well as online as they become available.

  • Planetarium-Citrus Hall
  • Nobbs Auditorium-Sequoia Hall 

7. Sign language interpretation

All ceremonies will have a designated American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation section for guests and graduates. At all commencement information tents, we will have ceremony maps that will help identify the deaf and hard-of hearing section. Additionally, the ceremony will be filmed and presented live with captions online on this website. After the ceremony has concluded, guests and graduates can download a copy of the ceremony with captions on the CSUN YouTube station.

 

Where is the reception and how long will it be?

Pending on when the ceremony takes place, receptions either occur before or after the actual commencement. Receptions are planned by individual colleges and in some cases, by department. Graduates are encouraged to contact their college and/or department if you have questions regarding commencement receptions. 2014 locations will be available closer to commencement dates.

Will there be a photographer at the ceremony?

For your convenience, the university has arranged for GradImages to shoot three different poses of each graduating student. Should you wish to contact them, you can contact them by calling (800) 424-3686 or by visiting their website. A complimentary proof of each pose will be sent via email to your CSUN email account. Information is collected through the graduate’s “official name card” which is given to them when they pick up their cap and gown at the bookstore (or it will be included in their cap and gown package for graduates who have their regalia mailed in).

When taking pictures at the ceremony site, students will be asked to follow instructions by photographers during the ceremony to insure an agreeable pose. While the photographer appreciates advance orders, with a money back guarantee, advance orders are not required to receive your complimentary proofs. A letter from the photographer will be sent to the student in advance of commencement with all pertinent information regarding this service.

GradImages is also present taking portrait-like shots during the GradFest event.  

What if I want to take pictures or film the ceremony?

For safety and security reasons, guests will not be permitted access to the stage area or graduate seating areas during the ceremony to photograph or video record the event. Please advise your guests to remain seated during the commencement ceremony. The rules set forth by the Fire Marshal, who monitors our commencement, do not allow for anyone to stand or block the aisles. Any person doing so will be removed. 

How do I obtain information about my diploma status?

Diplomas are not issued at the commencement exercises. Graduates will receive their diplomas approximately three to six weeks following commencement from Admissions and Records. A diploma cover will be given to each graduate on the day of the ceremony.

Honors Convocation and Graduating with Honors

For information regarding Honors Convocation and Graduating with Honors, please review the Honors page. 

 

Emergency Response

Police officers from the Department of Police Services, medical staff from the Klotz Student Health Center and EMT’s will be on duty during the commencement exercises. Police officers will provide the normal array of public safety services and both police officers and student community service assistants in red and black uniforms are available to assist guests with lost members, directions and many other services. Klotz Student Health Center representatives and EMT’s will be available should emergency aid be needed. Please review ceremony maps as they become available. 

Please note that it will not be possible for any guest to be paged.

Other Questions

Most questions like the following can be referenced in the Commencement Handbook.

  • What is the arrival time for graduates?
  • Where is the assembly area for graduates?
  • What is appropriate behavior of graduates?
  • What should I bring with me?
  • Where do I receive an "official name card"?
  • Will there be printed programs at the commencement ceremony?
  • Will there be vendors present at the commencement?
  • What if I have a double major?
  • What if I have a special major?
  • Is there a lost and found?