Commencement Ceremonies Procedures

Schedule and Format Changes

  • All commencement ceremonies will be held on the Oviatt Library lawn
  • Two commencement ceremonies will be held each day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
  • Honors Convocation will be held on the Friday, May 20, 2016, 8:00am followed by Ceremony 1 at 6:00pm. 

Graduating Students Recognition

  • 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.

Commencement Ceremony Overview

  • Graduates should arrive at the south end of the Sierra Quad robed and ready to line-up for the processional no later than 60 minutes before the ceremony is to begin. They will also need to have their official name card that they will receive when they pick up their regalia.
  • Students will then process into the Oviatt Library lawn venue with other graduates earning the same degree.
  • 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.
  • All tickets will be scanned at entry of the commencement ceremony site.
  • Out of respect for all participants, graduates must stay throughout the entire ceremony and must remain seated unless otherwise directed by faculty marshals.

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.

Commencement Venue and Resources

Alternative Viewing Locations

The following 'Alternative Viewing Locations' are available to guests and provide a live video feed of the commencement ceremony:

  • 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)

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

Receptions and Celebration Opportunities

  • Each college may host a separate reception for its graduates. A schedule of reception times and locations will be announced well in advance of the commencement ceremonies.
  • 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. Locations will be available closer to commencement dates.
  • Any planned receptions that recognize graduates of academic programs, special programs and individual student groups will also be announced prior to the commencement ceremonies.


  • As a convenience and service to our Commencement visitors, the University has contracts with select vendors to provide flower bouquets, cold drinks, snack items, and other sundries.

Printed Programs

  • Commencement programs will be distributed individually to all graduates at the Commencement Ceremony. Programs will be distributed to guests as they are seated prior to the beginning of each ceremony. Due to the limited supply, a single program will be given to each family.
  • Those graduates who do not attend Commencement may visit the Office of Student Involvement and Development during the week after the conclusion of all ceremonies to receive a printed program. Baccalaureate and Master’s candidate names are listed by College. Honors candidates will also be listed in a special section of the program.

Due to press deadlines, the printed program is not a definitive list of all graduates. Further, some students have requested that their names not be published and, therefore, will not appear in the Commencement printed program. Lastly, there is a limited number of available Commencement programs.

Lost and Found

  • The Department of Police Services maintains a centralized lost and found service for the CSUN community. In the event you lose an item during Commencement, a University police officer or Community Service Assistant can direct you to Police Services Headquarters to file a lost report or check on lost property turned in to the Department of Police Services.

Participation Eligibility


  • In order to be eligible to participate in commencement, students must be a degree candidate for fall 2016, spring 201 or summer 2017 and must have filed a degree application by March 3, 2017. 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 on Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday March 16, 2017.

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, there are no plans to issue tickets for this ceremony. It is nonetheless advised that honorees invite between 3-5 guests.


GradFest is Wednesday March 15thand Thursday March 16th in the Matador Bookstore from 9am to 6pm. With the various package deals that include Caps and Gowns, Announcements, Diploma Frames, and many other graduation desires, we are confident that all of your needs will be met during this two day celebration. 

What To Expect

Guest Ticket Processes

Important Deadlines

  • In order to be eligible to participate in your commencement ceremony and gain access to a ticket account, you must apply to graduate by Friday, March 3, 2017
  • Guest tickets must be printed by the guest ticket print deadline: TBA

Guest Ticket Allotment

  • All guest will be required to possess a ticket in order to gain admittance into the Oviatt Library lawn venue.
  • Tickets will be free of charge.
  • Tickets that are not requested will be available to graduates who are in need of additional tickets to accommodate their guests.
  • Additional ticket requests are made on the online ticket account manager. If additional tickets are available, than students will be emailed around the last week of April. 
  • Graduates (and participating faculty) will not need a ticket for admittance to the ceremony at which their degrees are being conferred.
  • Students that have double or multiple majors that span across different ceremonies (ie. Political Science and Economics) will have tickets provided for each ceremony that their degrees are conferred. Students with double or multiple majors that fall within the same ceremony (ie. Philosophy and Religious Studies), will be provided with tickets to the single ceremony where their degrees will be conferred.

Printing Guest Tickets 

  • The University will create individual ticket accounts through Ticketmaster for all eligible graduates. This account is not linked to your portal password, so it is necessary that you click forgot my password when logging in for the first time. 
  • Within the third week of March all eligible students will receive an email with specific instructions on how to print guest tickets.
  • More information on obtaining guest tickets will be found at on the Ticketing Information Page. 

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.

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.

Accessible 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.

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

Wheelchair Seating For Graduates

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

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 number 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.

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 

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.


Carpooling is strongly encouraged. Please note that although permits will not be enforced, all other violations, e.g. red zone, blocking, etc., will be enforced.


  • 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.
    • Warning: Please note that although permits will not be enforced, all other violations, e.g. red zone, blocking, etc., will be enforced.


  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Security and Safety Measures

As we approach the coming Commencement and Honors Convocation exercises in May, we are actively planning for the thousands of graduates, families and loved ones who will attend this momentous occasion. It is our top priority to ensure a safe and memorable experience for all involved.

In recent years, large-scale public gatherings across the country have added additional security measures. At CSUN, the Department of Police Services has progressively looked at safety and security measures for large events, and we have made changes to maximize the safety of our campus community.

This year, we will institute the use of metal detector screening for everyone entering the commencement venue. Our goal is to maximize safety while striking a balance to ensure that our new security measures are not overly burdensome. This will, however, require that guests arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the start of the commencement exercise — the earlier the better. 

Further, guests should not enter the venue with more than one bag, which can be easily checked, and remember that pocket knives and weapons are prohibited. Additionally, glass bottles of any kind (wine, beer, and soft drinks), selfie sticks, air horns and backpacks are also prohibited. Wrapped gifts are discouraged and are subject to be opened if they do not clear a metal detector.

We regret any inconvenience our increased security causes, but our primary goal is the safety of our students, their families and guests, and our faculty and staff. Thank you for your understanding.

Anne P. Glavin,

Chief of Police