Santa Clara University

SCU Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I order my academic attire?

You DO NOT to place an order for your attire. By submitting your undergraduate response form, attire is ordered for you. You simply purchase your cap and gown at the bookstore beginning June 3, 2013. Included with your purchase of attire, the bookstore will provide you with a Commencement packet including: 6 Commencement Tickets for ground level seating, 2 parking passes, your "name-to-be-read" card, and additional instructions.

How many people can I invite to the ceremony?

Graduates each receive 6 Commencement tickets for ground level seating when they purchase their attire in the bookstore. General seating in the bleachers is available in the stadium for non-ticket holders.

Is there a rehearsal for commencement?

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

  • Information and instructions on how the ceremony will proceed. This information is quite detailed, please read it carefully.  
  • A card with your name and number on it. The number indicates your place in line. During the ceremony, you will hand this card to the announcer, just before you walk across the stage. The announcer will use this card to announce your name.
  • Any appropriate honor cords.
  • Parking permits and instructions.

When do I wear the academic attire?

You wear the academic attire only for the commencement ceremony.  Keep in mind the weather, cool in the mornings and evenings and warm during the day. 

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 Student Records, 408-554-4331.

I am receiving two degrees, do I cross the stage twice?

Each student will walk across the stage one time. Students with two degrees will be listed under both departments, but will need to choose which department to walk with.

How do we line up?

Students are lined up by College or School (Arts & Humanities, Sciences, Business, and Engineering), then by Department (Art, English, Mathematics, Accounting, Civil Engineering), and finally in alphabetical order by last name.

What do the hoods signify?

The hoods signify several things:

  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 inside the hood reflects the school colors, so SCU hoods are cardinal 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.

Who wears honor cords?

If you have completed your program, petitioned to graduate and have a grade-point average of 3.50 or better, you will receive a gold honor cord in your packet. Certain honor societies also offer their students honor cords and may be any color. Honor cords are worn during commencement around the shoulders.

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