What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?
“Graduation” and “Commencement” are terms of art at PSU. “Graduation” means actually finishing and completely fulfilling your degree requirements resulting in a diploma. In other words, “Graduation” is the technical obtainment of credits to receive a degree.
“Commencement” is the symbolic ceremony marking the closing of your academic career where you receive commendation for your hard work at PSU. It is an opportunity for you, your family, friends, and the PSU community to celebrate your accomplishment.
How do I register to graduate?
There are three basic steps to graduate. First, meet with an adviser. Students may use the Degree Audit Reporting System at any time to check their progress toward a degree and are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to discuss the report and plot a course for clearing up any outstanding course work issues.
Second, submit a degree application. Any student seeking a degree from PSU must apply for the degree. Undergraduate degree application forms are due two terms prior to the anticipated graduation date. Graduate degree application forms are due one term prior to graduation. See Applying for a Degree for specific dates and further information.
Finally, attend to any outstanding grade issues. All course work should be completed and final grades recorded to ensure smooth processing of your degree application.
If you have questions regarding the Undergraduate Graduation Application process, please call 503.725.3438. If you have questions regarding the Graduate or Doctoral Graduation Application process, please call 503.725.8410.
When are the deadlines to register to graduate?
Please visit pdx.edu/registration/graduation for more information on graduation deadlines.
How do I change my graduation date?
If after you’ve applied to graduate you need to change your graduation date, you will need to contact the Office of Degree Requirements at 104 Neuberger Hall or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I went to a Commencement Ceremony but didn’t finish my degree requirements. Do I have my degree from PSU?
No. You don’t have a degree from Portland State University until you have satisfied all of your degree requirements—even if you participated in a Commencement Ceremony. The Commencement Ceremony is only a celebration.
Once I’ve applied to graduate, how do I register for a Commencement Ceremony?
In order to register for commencement, simply login to pdxcommencementtickets.com and claim your free tickets. The system will mark you as registered after claiming your free tickets. If you aren't able to access the ceremonies, please fill out this form. Registration closes on June 14, 2013.
Why can’t I register for Commencement? I already applied for graduation.
It takes up to two weeks to process your graduation application and for the system to acknowledge that you are eligible to graduate. Allow at least 14 days. If you are still having trouble, contact degree requirements at 503.725.3438 or 800.547.8887, ext. 3438. If it has been more than two weeks, please fill out this form.
I’m not sure whether I registered for Commencement. How can I find out?
If you claimed your free tickets, you are registered to walk. If you still aren't sure please contact email@example.com.
When is the University Commencement Ceremony for this academic year (2012-2013)?
The University Commencement Ceremony will occur on Sunday, June 16, 2013 at the Rose Garden Arena with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences commencing at 10AM and all other schools and colleges commencing at 3:30PM.
When is Fall, Winter, or Summer Commencement?
PSU celebrates student's acheivements during University Commencement following Spring quarter. There is no Fall, Winter or Summer commencement at Portland State.
Are there any other options for students to participate in a different commencement ceremony?
Yes, many departments host their own graduation celebration. Inquire with your department for dates and times of other events.
In addition, if you are unable to attend the Portland State University commencement ceremony because you are a distance student you may be eligible to participate in a commencement ceremony from Southwestern Oregon Community College. You are eligible if you will complete you degree by Fall 2012, and you live in the following areas: Coos County, Curry County, Douglass County, Josephine County, and Lane County. Please note that only specific cities on Oregon’s Southern West coast will be able to participate. For more information please contact:
Southwestern Oregon University Center
1988 Newmark Avenue, Tioga 318
Coos Bay, OR 97420
When are the Commencement Ceremonies for future dates?
Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremonies
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Moda Center at the Rose Quarter (formerly the Rose Garden Arena)
Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremonies
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Moda Center at the Rose Quarter (formerly the Rose Garden Arena)
How long does the University Commencement Ceremony typically last?
The Commencement Ceremony lasts between 2-1/2 and 3 hours. Please allow additional time for parking.
Which Commencement Ceremony can I participate in?
As of the 2012-2013 academic year PSU will hold University Commencement following Spring quarter. Students that are receiving a degree from Fall 2012-Fall 2013 are eligible to walk in University Commencement. PSU no longer holds a summer commencement.
Please note that Doctoral Candidates must be certified by the Office of Graduate Studies before participating in any University-wide Commencement ceremony (this does not include hooding ceremonies).
How can I participate in the June 2013 University Commencement Ceremony if I am not eligible for graduation Fall 2012-Fall 2013 Commencement Ceremony?
You may petition to participate in a Commencement Ceremony for which you are ineligible so long as your request is reasonable (medical, military, etc.). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, student ID number, and reason for wanting to participating in an alternate ceremony. Please note, participating in the University Commencement ceremony does not mean you have earned or received a degree from Portland State University.
I graduated several years ago and want to participate in a Commencement Ceremony.
You are welcome to come to the event as a guest. Due to the fact that we are at capacity for University Commencement, you may only participate in a Commencement Ceremony if you are eligible.
I don’t want to participate in the University Commencement Ceremony. Are there any alternatives?
Unfortunately, there are no alternatives for undergraduates. Some graduate programs have hooding ceremonies that you may be eligible to attend instead of the large main ceremonies. Contact your department to see if they have a hooding ceremony. You can also view this list of Commencement-related celebrations.
I have two majors. Can I walk with both?
Unfortunately, you cannot walk with both departments. You will need to choose which major you want to walk with at the ceremony. You will walk across the stage when whichever major you choose is called.
Where should my out-of-town guests stay while visiting Portland?
For information about lodging in Portland for your guests, please visit our hotel booking engine.
How many tickets do I get?
Graduates receive 4 complimentary tickets for students and additional tickets will be available for purchase for $6.00. Ticket sales help cover the cost of Commencement. Tickets will be available through the PSU Box Office or at the Rose Garden Arena on the day of Commencement.
My family is traveling from out of the United States for the Commencement Ceremony. How can I obtain a letter to my Embassy regarding Commencement?
Please visit the Office of International Affairs, East Hall room 101 in person, Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM. Letters take between 3 and 5 days to process.
Odds & Ends
What about honors for the ceremony?
PSU awards Latin honors for undergraduate students only. To qualify, students must have at least 72 credits at PSU, 60 of which must be taken for differentiated grades (not Pass/No Pass). Only PSU credits will be used in this calculation. The honors levels for the ceremony are calculated based on coursework completed through Winter term.
Honors are awarded as follows:
- Summa cum laude 3.90 to 4.00
- Magna cum laude 3.80 to 3.89
- Cum laude 3.67 to 3.79
Students who are eligible for honors may pick up their honor cord from the PSU Box Office or at the commencement ceremony. Qualifying students will be notified after May 15.
If I qualify for Latin Honors, will there be an indication on my diploma or my final transcript?
Yes, Latin Honors will appear on both your diploma and your final transcript.
What is appropriate etiquette for the Commencement ceremony?
This is your event to honor your accomplishments. Family, friends, colleagues, faculty, and staff will be present to applaud your hard work. All participants will be expected to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner. The use of cell phones and chewing gum is strongly discouraged. Alcohol is not permitted. No one carrying alcoholic beverages will be allowed to enter. Commencement takes place in non-smoking facilities. Helium balloons are not allowed. If guests bring a helium balloon, they will be asked to leave it outside the exterior doors. You and your guests' understanding and cooperation are vital to the success of the day's activities.
Where can I buy my cap, gown, announcements or other regalia for the Commencement Ceremony?
Regalia may be purchased online here. Last minute orders may go through the PSU Bookstore.
Why is regalia required in order to participate in commencement ceremonies?
There is a& rich history of why regalia is required at university commencements.
What are the tassel colors for my particular school?
College of Urban & Public Affairs
|College of Liberal Arts & Sciences||BS, MS, MST, MEM||Gold|
|College of Liberal Arts & Sciences||BA, MA, MAT||White|
|College of Urban & Public Affairs||BA, BS, MA, MS, MPA, MPA/HA, EMPA, MURP, MUS||Peacock Blue|
|College of Urban & Public Affairs||MPH, MPH/HP, MPH/HMP||Salmon|
|School of Business Administration||BA, BS, MBA, MT||Nugget|
|School of Education||MAS, MED||Light Blue|
|Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science||BA, BS, MA, MS, ME||Orange|
|College of the Arts||BA, BS, MA, MFA||Brown|
|College of the Arts||BM, MAT, MST||Pink|
|School of Social Work||BA, MSW||Citron|
Please note that some schools have multiple colors depending on your degree earned.
When and where can I get my diploma?
It usually takes 3 to 4 months for diplomas to be ready for pick up. You can pick up your diploma at the Office of Degree Requirements in 104 Neuberger Hall during normal business hours.
When and where can I get a diploma cover?
Diploma covers are given to each student as the student walks across the stage at the Commencement Ceremony. For students who do not participate in the ceremony, diploma covers are available for purchase at the PSU Box Office.
Where can I order a diploma frame?
Diploma frames make excellent gifts and are a great way to proudly display your Viking degree. Diploma frames can be purchase from University Frames.
I was photographed at a Commencement Ceremony. Where can I get copies of that picture?
You can browse and purchase Commencement Ceremony photographs at www.GradImages.com.
Is there a DVD of the Ceremony?
No, however the ceremony will be available through PSU's Youtube Channel.
Will the ceremony be broadcast on television?
Yes, the ceremony will be broadcast on OPB2 on June 16 and OPB1 the following weekend. More information will be released closer to the ceremony.
I need insurance after college.& What are my options?
Students should visit the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services' tips on getting insurance after college.
I heard a rumor about Commencement. Where can I find out about whether it is true?
If you have any questions or concerns about PSU’s Commencement Ceremonies, please contact us at email@example.com.
I want to share my PSU graduation story with others. Where can I do this?
We want to hear your story! Please visit our website at http://www.pdx.edu/commencement/your-student-commencement-story to share your experience with us. Alternatively, you can email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I have questions about any Commencement Ceremony, who should I ask?
You can email email@example.com