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Commencement FAQs

Commencement is a cherished and celebratory time to cap off your academic career. In the midst of this challenging pandemic find answers to many of your frequently asked questions.

Updated June 8, 2021

Optional In-Person Celebration

What is the program for the Friday June 11 in-person celebration?

Graduates will be joined by their guests for the procession during their confirmed time slot:

Undergraduate pre-registered celebrations: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.
Graduate Education & Counseling Psychology: 4:30 p.m.
Graduate School of Engineering: 6:00 p.m.
Graduate Leavey School of Business: 7:30 p.m.

During each designated celebration, participants will process (socially distanced) to the Mission Gardens through campus with their guests, cross the stage as their name is read, receive their diploma cover, have photos taken, and then rejoin their guests. The in-person celebrations (all time slots) will still be broadcast live online, to allow extended friends and family to view this portion of the Commencement experience.

Existing health protocols will be in place: graduates and guests will be required to wear face coverings and engage in social distancing.

What is the procession route for the in-person celebration?

 Please find the procession route in red on the map below. 


How do I sign up to attend the Friday June 11 in-person celebrations on campus?

All students who meet the graduation requirements should have received an email from the Commencement Office with the link to register for one of the three time slots. If you meet these graduation requirements and did not receive an email, please contact us at

How many tickets can I get for the in-person celebration on Friday June 11?

Each student choosing to attend the June 11 optional-in person celebration will be able to invite two guests to join them in the procession. Children above the age of 2 are required to have a ticket.

When will I be able to register my guests?

All students who are eligible to graduate should have received an email from with instructions on how to register up to two guests for the in-person celebration.

Is there a waiting list for additional tickets?

Unfortunately, we are only able to offer two non-transferable guest tickets.

How do I get my admission ticket?

Eligible graduates will receive an email from detailing how to register with MarchingOrder. Through MarchingOrder, graduates can access their GradPass which is required for the in-person celebration and will be scanned upon entry and prior to crossing the stage.

Also through MarchingOrder, graduates can register up to two guests to accompany them to the celebration. Graduates will be required to provide their guests’ name, email address, and information regarding eligibility to attend. Guests will be able to access their tickets via email and will be required to have a screenshot/printed copy of their ticket to be admitted to the celebration.

Will there be photo opportunities for students?

Festive ‘selfie/photo stations’ will be placed in numerous locations on campus and along the procession route so students and their families can capture their graduation moments. In addition, you will have your picture taken by a professional photographer as you cross the platform. These digital proofs will be emailed to you with the opportunity to purchase photos.

Will I be able to invite guests to attend?

Only pre-registered guests can attend on June 11. Density restrictions and public health measures require graduates to have no more than two guests. Friends and family at home can watch live on our virtual platform. Graduates must register guests through the MarchingOrder platform.

Do graduates need to be vaccinated to attend the in-person celebration?

No. All SCU graduates are considered in-state residents by the State of California and do not need to be vaccinated to attend commencement. All graduates who attend the celebrations on June 11 must complete the Prepared SCU: Daily Symptom Check and be able to show they are CLEARED to be on campus.

Do guests need to be vaccinated to attend the in-person celebration?

If a guest is a California resident, they do not need to show proof of vaccination to attend. If a guest is traveling from out of state, they are required to be fully vaccinated and must present proof of vaccination (vaccine card or a photo of vaccine card) to be admitted to the celebration. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions and adhering to the State of California guidelines, guests who are from out of state and who are not fully vaccinated are not permitted to attend.

All guests who attend the celebrations on June 11 must complete the Prepared SCU: Daily Symptom Check and be able to show they are CLEARED to be on campus.

What qualifies as fully vaccinated?

According to CDC guidelines, an individual is considered fully vaccinated (1) two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g., Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) or (2) two weeks or more after they have received a single dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson / Janssen). This can include any other COVID-19 vaccine which has received emergency use authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO) or another national regulatory organization.

As of May 14, the following vaccines have received approval from the World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Astrazeneca-SK Bio
  • AstraZeneca/Oxford
  • Serum Institute of India
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Sinopharm

The Sinovac vaccine has not yet received WHO approval. My family has received this vaccine - can they attend graduation?

As of May 14, the Sinovac vaccine was expected to receive WHO approval in coming days. If WHO approves the vaccine prior to Commencement your family will be able to attend. If WHO approval is not finalized prior to Commencement your family will not be able to attend.

Will I have to wear a face covering at the Friday in-person celebration?

Face coverings will be required regardless of vaccination status for everyone per state guidelines for large gatherings. Graduates will be permitted to take off their face coverings for photos upon receiving their diploma cover.

Will I need academic attire to participate in the in-person celebration on Friday?

Academic attire is strongly encouraged to participate in the in-person celebration. Online ordering is closed at this time. Please contact the bookstore to inquire about purchasing at 408-554-2356 or

Can I remain on campus after my Celebration time slot?

No. Per State of California and Santa Clara County guidelines, gathering with other households on the SCU Campus before or after ceremonies is prohibited. Following the celebration, all graduates will be instructed to return home or to their vehicle. Thank you for your cooperation.

What kind of bag can I bring with me to the optional in-person celebration?

No large purses, backpacks or bags will be allowed at the celebration. All bags will be subject to search, and the University will be adhering to the NFL Clear Bag Policy during the in-person events. The policy states that each guest can bring one large clear bag – either a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or the 12" by 6" by 12" clear bag – plus a small clutch. The larger clear bag must be a standard 12" by 6" by 12" made of clear PVC vinyl and easily searched. A small clutch will be allowable as it provides privacy for small personal items, while also being easily searched.

Can I bring food and water with me to this celebration?

While food is not permitted, guests are permitted to bring a clear bottle of water.

Where should I park? 

Parking on the SCU Campus is complimentary for graduates and their guests. Please park in the designated parking structure corresponding to the graduate’s time slot:

North Campus Garage - 1063 Alviso Street, Santa Clara, CA 95050

  • 8:30 a.m. - Undergraduate pre-registered celebration
  • 12:30 p.m. - Undergraduate pre-registered celebration
  • 4:30 p.m. - Graduate Education & Counseling Psychology
  • 7:30 p.m. - Graduate Leavey School of Business

Main Campus Parking Structure - To your left just off the main entrance to campus, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

  • 10:30 a.m. - Undergraduate pre-registered celebration
  • 6:00 p.m. - Graduate School of Engineering

What if I can’t attend the optional in-person celebration? Will the in-person celebration be available virtually?

The in-person celebration will be livestreamed. A recording of the celebration will be available on SCU’s YouTube channel following the event.

Undergraduate Virtual Commencement

Do I need to attend the in-person celebration to have my degree conferred?

No, undergraduates do not need to attend to have their degree conferred. Undergraduate degrees will be conferred during the Virtual Commencement on Saturday June 12, 2021.

Additional Information

If I am a graduate, when will I get my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed to your permanent address approximately six weeks after undergraduate degrees are conferred on June 12.

How do I participate in Santa Clara University’s social media and submit videos of congratulations?

When posting to your social media, please use the hashtags #SCUseniors and #SCU2021. These submissions will be used as part of the online celebration of the Class of 2021.

Will Baccalaureate take place this year?

No. We look forward to continuing that tradition next year.

What is the Undergraduate Celebration Box?

In preparation for Commencement, undergraduates will receive a Class of 2021 Celebration Box that will be mailed the week of May 31. All graduates were emailed with the opportunity to verify/change their shipping address by May 1.

How will Undergraduates receive their honor cords?

Honor cords are achieved and given to undergraduate students who have a minimum 3.500 GPA. If you have met these requirements, your honor cord will be included in your Class of 2021 Celebration Box.

What undergraduate-commencement deadlines should I be aware of?

Provide phonetic pronunciation of your name to be read aloud: May 19, 2021
Upload a photo to be included in a Class of 2021 Slideshow: May 25, 2021
Pre-register your guest(s): May 25, 2021

What graduate-commencement deadlines should I be aware of?

Provide phonetic pronunciation of your name to be read aloud: May 19, 2021
Pre-register your guest(s): May 25, 2021