University of Southern California


 Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if my son/daughter is graduating?
Your child will need to check their status with Degree Progess here.

Do students have to sign up for Commencement?
There is no sign-up process for participation in the main ceremony. As long as you’re on track to graduate in Fall, Spring or Summer of this academic year, you can march in the main ceremony without any registration process. Individual schools may require registration depending on the space available for guests; please check your school’s page.

I will be finishing my degree requirements next fall.  Can I participate in this year’s graduation ceremony?
Students finishing their last requirement in the following fall (December 2016) are allowed to participate in this year’s main ceremony (May 2016).  However, their name will not appear in the program distributed at the ceremony; it will instead be printed in next year’s program, in May 2017.

Some schools require tickets or an RSVP for their satellite ceremonies, so please check with your home department for details on attending, especially since you will not receive notice in the mail.  Students who participate early will need to rent a cap and gown at the bookstore, but are not eligible to wear a university Honor Cord.

Where and when do I get my cap and gown? How do I return them?
You can rent your academic regalia in the Bookstore. Return it at the Bookstore on commencement day after your satellite ceremony.

When do I get my diploma? How can I get my diploma if I don’t attend the Commencement Ceremonies?
Diplomas are not distributed on commencement day, but are mailed later to the graduate’s permanent address of record (check your diploma details at the Degree Progress website). Once final grades are released a couple weeks after commencement, you will be sent a congratulatory e-mail. Your diploma should follow the mail four to six weeks later.

Are tickets required for the ceremonies?
There are no tickets for the main ceremony on Friday morning; however, there are tickets for some satellite ceremonies, depending on their location. Please check here for confirmation.

Will transportation be available on campus on Commencement Day?
USC trams will be stopping at tram stops on campus. Please click here for more information.

When should guests arrive on Commencement Day?
The procession begins at 8:30 a.m. and the ceremony at 9:00 a.m., but we recommend guests arrive by 7:00 a.m. to secure parking and seating. Those who arrive by 6:00 a.m. will have an easier time parking and finding seating.

Will wheelchairs be available for disabled guests?
Wheelchairs are available for checkout from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on commencement day only. Checkout is located in front of the New North Residential College. If you need a wheelchair on Thursday, or on Friday after 5:00 p.m., you will need to bring your own.

Does USC have any travel recommendations?
STA Travel is the official travel agency for commencement and can be reached at (213) 254-2662. They have negotiated discounted rates with airlines, hotels and rental cars. We recommend that you contact them early to arrange for your travel needs.

I’m an international student, and I need a letter from USC to invite my parents for Commencement. How can I get it?
Talk to the Office of International Services in the Student Union (STU 300). A form may be filled out online by clicking here.