Santa Clara University

2015 Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions - Graduate

How do I order my academic attire?

Graduates DO NOT order attire. By submitting the Graduate Response Form, attire is ordered for you. The cap and gown can be purchased at the Campus Bookstore starting May 30, 2016. Included with your purchase of attire, the bookstore will provide you with a packet of information including: five (5) Commencement tickets, your "name-to-be-read" card and additional instructions.

Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?

No rehearsal is scheduled. When you purchase your academic attire, you will receive an envelope which contains:

  • Detailed information and instructions on how the ceremony will proceed. Please read it carefully.  
  • A card with your name and number indicating your place in procession line. The card is to be handed to the announcer, immediately before walking across the stage. The announcer will use this card to pronounce your name as you want it to be read.

When do I wear the academic attire?

Graduates wear the academic attire only for the Commencement Ceremony. Please arrive fully dressed upon lining up in the procession.

Do my guests need tickets to attend the Commencement Ceremony?

YES. The use of tickets for the Graduate Commencement Ceremony was instituted in order to give each graduate's family and friends equal access to the ceremony. Each graduating student will be allotted five (5) tickets for Commencement. Additional tickets cannot be issued. However; a live stream of the ceremony will be available online. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. on the evening of June 10, 2016. Students may pick up their tickets and academic attire at the Campus Bookstore beginning May 30, 2016.

What do I receive when I cross the stage?

On stage, you will receive only your portfolio (diploma case). The diploma will be mailed to you by the Office of the Registrar once the completion of academic requirements has been verified. The mailings will begin in September for June graduates. Any questions about diplomas should be directed to the Office of the Registrar directly at 408-554-4331 or

How do we line up?

Students are lined up by College, Division, or School (i.e., Pastoral Ministries, Education & Counseling Psychology, Business, Engineering), then by Program (e.g., Educational Administration, Executive Master of Business Administration, Mechanical Engineering), and finally in alphabetical order by last name. 

Where am I sitting during the ceremony?

Graduating students are seated right to left when looking at the stage in the following order: Arts, Business, Engineering. Names of the graduates are called in this order as well.

What do the hoods signify?

  1. The level of the degree received. The bachelor's hood is 3 feet long, the master's degree is 3.5 feet long, and the doctor's degree is 4 feet long.
  2. The college or university granting the degree. The satin lining the inside of the hood reflects the school colors, so SCU hoods are accordingly Santa Clara Red and White.
  3. The area of study. The velvet designates the field of study, white for arts, golden yellow for sciences, drab (tan) for business, and orange for engineering.

Do I need a parking permit for Graduate Commencement?

NO. Parking permits are not needed for Graduate Commencement.

Commencement Office | Walsh Administration Building, Lower Level
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
1-408-554-2326 |