FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
 
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ARE THERE COMMENCEMENT REHEARSALS?
 
There are no commencement rehearsals. Please visit the Details for Graduating Candidates section for information regarding check in, seating, and program details.
 
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HOW LONG IS EACH COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY?
 
Each Commencement ceremony will last about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes depending on the size of the college. Graduating candidates participating in Commencement are required to stay for the entire duration of the ceremony.
 
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WHEN CAN GRADUATING CANDIDATES CONFIRM THEIR COMMENCEMENT PARTICIPATION AND RESERVE GUEST TICKETS?
 
Candidates who graduated in fall 2017 or winter 2018 OR have approved graduation applications, and are on track to completing all their degree requirements by the end of spring 2018 or summer 2018, will be able to confirm their participation and reserve guest tickets at Grad Fair on March 20 and 21 at the Golden Eagle Ballroom from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. (student I.D. required). After Grad Fair, starting April 2, 2018, at 8 a.m. (PST) through May 4, 2018, at 5 p.m. (PST), graduating candidates can reserve their guest tickets online.  After 5 p.m. on May 4, Commencement participation and guest tickets will no longer be guaranteed.
 
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HOW MANY TICKETS CAN GRADUATING CANDIDATES RESERVE?
 
Graduating candidates who confirm their participation during Grad Fair or during the online registration period of April 2, 2018 - May 4, 2018 will receive 6 – 8 guest tickets depending on the size of the college and ceremony. After 5 p.m. on May 4, guest tickets will no longer be guaranteed.
 
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IS THERE A CHARGE FOR TICKETS?
 
No, tickets are free of charge. The University does not support and authorize the sale of Commencement tickets.
 
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DO GRADUATING CANDIDATES REQUIRE TICKETS FOR THEMSELVES?
 
No, tickets are only required for guests. However, graduating candidates must confirm their participation during Grad Fair or during the online registration of April 2, 2018, until May 4, 2018, by reserving guest tickets. After May 4, 2018, at 5 p.m. (PST), Commencement participation and guest ticket reservation is no longer guaranteed.
 
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CAN GUESTS RESERVE THEIR OWN TICKETS?
 
No, only candidates who graduated in fall 2017 or winter 2018 OR have approved graduation applications, and are on track to completing all their degree requirements by the end of spring 2018 or summer 2018, may reserve guest tickets at Grad Fair or from April 2, 2018, at 8 a.m. (PST) through May 4, 2018, at 5 p.m. (PST) online.
 
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DO CHILDREN NEED TICKETS?
 
Yes. All guests attending, including children, must have a valid ticket. All guest seating inside the gymnasium is bleacher-style seating and children cannot sit on an adult's lap for safety reasons.
 
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WILL EXTRA TICKETS BE DISTRIBUTED?
 
Graduating candidates looking to obtain additional tickets can utilize the Ticket Exchange with fellow students. Please visit the Registration & Ticket Reservation section for more information. After the deadline to register to participate in Commencement and reserve guest tickets on May 4, 2018, unclaimed tickets (if any) will be available online on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 8 a.m. (PST) until 5 p.m. (PST). Only graduating candidates who registered to participate in Commencement during Grad Fair or during the online registration from April 2, 2018, until May 4, 2018, will be able to log on to the e-ticket site and claim an additional ticket(s) on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that extra tickets are not guaranteed to be available for all candidates and ceremonies, and the amount of tickets reservable to each candidate will be dependent on what is available.  
 
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ARE GRADUATING CANDIDATES REQUIRED TO WEAR REGALIA?
 
If participating in the Commencement ceremonies, graduating candidates must wear the appropriate regalia. For undergraduates, it will be a black bachelor's degree cap and gown with tassel. For master's degree candidates, it will be black master's black cap and gown, with tassel, and the hood specific to their major or discipline. For doctoral candidates, it will be the doctoral gown, tam with gold tassel, and the doctoral hood specific to their major or discipline.
 
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WHAT TIME SHOULD GRADUATING CANDIDATES ARRIVE?
 
Graduating candidates should arrive at the check-in station (on the south side of the University Gymnasium) at least 60 minutes prior to the ceremony. Graduating candidates must bring a valid photo ID (University or government issued) for verification. Please plan accordingly to allow sufficient time to park, pick up the name card, and line-up for pre-seating.
 
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WHAT TIME SHOULD GUESTS ARRIVE?
 
Guests should arrive as early as 60-75 minutes prior to the ceremony. Doors will close five minutes before the ceremony and will reopen after the national anthem. Please plan accordingly to allow sufficient time to park, go through security, get their tickets scanned, and find seating.
 
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IS GUEST RE-ENTRY PERMITTED DURING THE CEREMONY?
 
Guests who exit the event space outside the security area once admitted will not gain re-entry.
 
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DOES MY NAME GET CALLED TWICE IF I HAVE A DUAL DEGREE?
 
If you are graduating with dual degrees and they are both being honored at the same ceremony, you will not be able to walk across the stage and have your name read twice for both degrees. Instead, you will need to select the single degree that you would like to walk under during the ceremony. Even though you may only have your name read once at Commencement, you will still be listed for each degree earned in the Commencement program. For candidates with dual degrees but different ceremonies, you may select to attend only one or attend both.
 
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ARE GUESTS ALLOWED TO SIT WITH GRADUATING CANDIDATES?
 
Only graduating candidates can sit at the designated seating area for graduates. Family and friends are not allowed to accompany them.
 
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WHAT IS PROHIBITED INSIDE THE GYMNASIUM?
 
For the safety of all our attendees, all guests must pass through security at the designated entrance locations to the University Gymnasium. Large bags, backpacks, and diaper bags will be allowed inside the venue but are subject to search.
 
Items not permitted inside the gymnasium are inclusive of, but not limited to, the following:
  • Air horns and megaphones
  • Alcohol
  • Balloons
  • Bottles or cans
  • Cigarettes and E cigarettes (Cal State LA is a tobacco and vape free campus)
  • Drones
  • Drugs
  • Fireworks and weapons including firearms, knives, sticks, chains, spiked jewelry, and spiked belts
  • Food & beverages (baby food permitted)
  • Food coolers
  • Laser pointers
  • Signs/Flags/Banners/Posters
  • Skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles, helmets, chairs
  • Strollers
  • Umbrellas
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Commencement Hotline: (323) 343-4723 | commencement@calstatela.edu
 
All information is subject to change. Please visit the website regularly for the most up-to-date information.
Updated: January 30, 2018