USC’s commencement consists of one main ceremony for all degree candidates and their families, followed by smaller ceremonies for individual schools and programs throughout the day. Students are officially designated graduates of the university at the first (or main) ceremony, but they do not march across a stage, receive a diploma cover, and take a photo until they attend their school’s satellite ceremony.
There is no registration required for students to march in the main ceremony, and guest seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that at the main ceremony each guest may only hold or reserve two additional seats. Some satellite ceremonies require tickets for guests, and that information will be noted on this website.
Commencement begins at 8:30 a.m. as 5,000 degree candidates march into Alumni Park from its four corners. Students process with their school, behind cardinal and gold banners listing the name of the school, and flags depicting the school’s academic imagery.
The main ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. This ceremony includes formal addresses from the President, the Valedictorian, and the Commencement speaker; in addition, honorary degrees are bestowed, and students are officially recognized (en masse) as graduates of the university. The ceremony concludes by 10:15 a.m., and students march out of the park back to their assembly points.
Following the main ceremony, most students and families head to their schools’ satellite ceremonies. Many ceremonies begin at 10:45 a.m., and most last less than two hours.
Maps of the campus and a listing of all ceremonies’ times will be posted by the end of February, 2016.