FAQ for Class of 2022

Updated: April 12, 2022

Commencement 2022 FAQ

Please be sure to also check our Commencement slideshow presentation for additional information!

General Information

When is Commencement 2022?

Wednesday, May 11 – Friday, May 13. 2022. All Ceremony times and locations are also available.

What is the University Commencement Ceremony?

The USC Commencement ceremony is hosted by the President and Provost on Friday, May 13 at Alumni Park. The ceremony opens with a grand academic procession beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by remarks by university leadership, the conferring of honorary degrees, addresses by the valedictorian and commencement speaker, and the formal transition—the turning of the mortarboard tassel from right to left—that marks the moment when members of the current graduating class officially become USC graduates and alumni.

We do not require students to register for this ceremony and we do not give out tickets. Seating is first come, first serve, we ask you to limit saving not more than 2 seats.

 What are the “Satellite” School Ceremonies?

Satellite Ceremonies are the separate ceremonies hosted by the Academic Schools. They will be held at various times and locations following the University Commencement Ceremony.

The Academic School Ceremony is an opportunity for each program to celebrate as a cohort group, hear remarks from a speaker related to their chosen disciplines, and honor each graduate as that individual walks across the stage to receive congratulations from the platform party. All ceremony times and locations are available now.

Individual school satellite ceremonies may require registration depending on the space available for guests; please check your school’s page.

Do students have to register for Commencement?
There is no sign-up process for participation in the University ceremony which is on Friday, May 13 at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Park. If you’re on track to graduate in Fall, Spring or Summer of this academic year, you can march in the main university ceremony without any registration process. Individual school satellite ceremonies may require registration depending on the space available for guests; please check your school’s page.

How do I know if I am eligible to graduate?
Students will need to check their degree status with the Office of the Registrar, Degree Progress.

Will the ceremonies be broadcast for those unable to attend?

Yes, for those who cannot join us in Los Angeles, all in-person ceremonies will be broadcast online, live, and on-demand for future viewing. The broadcast will be available on our digital platform which will provide a memorable, feature-rich remote experience for all who participate.

How do I participate in social media?

When posting to your social media, please use the hashtag #uscgrad.

In addition to the in-person Commencement ceremonies on campus, will there be other school-specific events?

Almost every school will host a reception before or after their ceremonies. Individual school units will contact their students directly with more information.

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

No, graduates do not need to attend to have their degree conferred.

Do I have to attend the University ceremony?

While it is not required for students to attend the University Ceremony, most students do choose to attend to listen to the Commencement Speaker, the Valedictorian, and President Folt. Students will not be called onstage individually, but families enjoy coming to this ceremony because it is a big, spirited celebration! 

Will my name be called at my Satellite Ceremony if I cannot attend in person?

Please contact your school’s commencement coordinator to inquire if there will be any opportunities available to have your name announced or listed virtually at your satellite school ceremony in your absence.

Will my Doctoral Hooding take place this year?

Yes. Ph.D. candidates will be invited to official hooding ceremonies held by The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; The USC Marshall School of Business; The USC Rossier School of Education; USC Suzanne and The USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Ceremony day and times will vary. Students will be contacted directly by their school’s coordinator.

I will be finishing my degree requirements next fall (2022).  Can I participate in this year’s graduation ceremony?

Students finishing their last requirement in the following fall (December 2022) are allowed to participate in this year’s university wide ceremony (May 13, 2022 at 8:30am in Alumni Park).  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 2023. Certain schools have rules about which spring (before or after) a winter graduate can participate in for the satellite ceremonies. Please contact your school’s commencement coordinator and/or academic advisor to inquire. Students who decide to walk early are not eligible to wear a university Honor Cord.

When does the graduate need to arrive on campus on Commencement Day?

In order to walk in the University Commencement ceremony procession, you should be ready on Friday, May 13 by 8 a.m. to get in line with the other graduates from your school. It is recommended you arrive on campus by 7 a.m. as parking and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please refer to our line up map for directions.

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. Seating is first come, first serve, we do not give out tickets.

Will wheelchairs be available for disabled guests?

Wheelchairs are available to check out on a first-come, first-served basis on commencement day only, Friday May 13th. Checkout begins at 6:00 a.m. and all chairs must be returned by 5:00 p.m. Checkout is located on the northside of Leavey Library off 34th street.

Please note: If you need a wheelchair on Wednesday, Thursday, or on Friday after 5:00 p.m., or Saturday you will need to bring your own.

Does USC have any travel and accommodation recommendations?

If you are traveling from outside of the Los Angeles area for Commencement, it is highly recommended to reserve accommodations early. However, due to the fluidity of the pandemic, we suggest that you please consider reviewing your cancellation policies closely. Commencement schedules could be subject to change should the county guidelines on events alter.

  • The hotel adjacent to the USC main campus is the USC Hotel.
  • Visit Discover Los Angelesfor a handy listing of hotels by price, location, and amenities. When searching, select “Downtown/LA Metro” for the nearest adjacent neighborhood to USC.

Other popular visitor neighborhoods—Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Pasadena, offer a variety of hotels at different price points.

Baccalaureate

What is the Baccalaureate Ceremony? Are all students, families and guests invited to attend?

Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, inter-faith celebration open to all students and their guests. The highlight of the ceremony is a keynote address from a specially selected Baccalaureate speaker, as well as the participation of numerous university dignitaries and the religious directors who work with our student groups. The service itself will feature music and readings from a wide range of religious traditions and conclude with a benediction over the graduating students.

When and where is the Baccalaureate Ceremony? Is there a fee to attend?

The Baccalaureate ceremony will take place on Thursday May 12th at 5pm. It will be held in Bovard Auditorium and is a free, non-ticketed event. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

COVID Safety Protocols and Restrictions

Attendee Screening and Check in

All attendees must conduct a self-health screening prior to attending. If you have any symptoms or are currently in isolation/quarantine period due to a recent infection or exposure, you may not attend.

Will there be any COVID policies and restrictions in place when visiting USC’s campus for Commencement?

Currently no restrictions or limitations for visitors coming to campus.

All COVID policies are subject to change.

While masks are not required for this event, we ask that attendees, vaccinated or unvaccinated, consider wearing them for their own protection and the protection of others when not
actively consuming food or beverage.

Please note that protocols are subject to change. Information on protocol updates will be communicated to guests by email or other appropriate mechanism.

Do I need to be vaccinated to come to campus and attend commencement?

No.

Could commencement be postponed if Los Angeles County moves back into more restrictive COVID tiers?

The situation with the pandemic is very fluid. If Los Angeles County moves back into more restrictive tiers, the State and County guidelines could prohibit gatherings of any size. USC will follow the guidance of LA county health officials – therefore all commencement plans may be subject to change.

What if I am out of state?

Those who plan to attend should stay informed about the California Department of Public Health’s most recent travel advisory.

Can international students attend the in-person Commencement ceremonies?

Those who plan to attend from out of country should stay informed about the California Department of Public Health’s most recent travel advisory.

Regalia

Do I need to wear regalia for the in-person Commencement ceremonies?

Yes, regalia is available to rent or purchase through the USC Bookstore.

Will regalia be shipped to my home, or can I pick up on campus?

You can order your regalia via the USC Bookstore website. The deadline to order Cap and Gown Rentals to ship to your home is April 15, 2022.

After April 15th regalia can be rented only in-person at the Bookstore. In-person distribution begins May 5th.

Can I rent regalia the day of my Commencement ceremony?

A limited amount of regalia will be available to rent outside of the Bookstore on commencement day. To avoid waiting in possible long lines, we recommend ordering in advance via the USC Bookstore.

How do I return my regalia after the in-person Commencement ceremony?

All rented regalia should be dropped off in the return bins located around campus following your ceremony. Permanent bins will be placed in front of the Bookstore.

Can I keep my cap and tassel that came with my rented regalia?

Yes, the cap and tassel are yours to keep

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding regalia?

Please send an email to: gradproducts@usc.edu

Honor Cords

How do graduates get honor cords?

Honor cords are only given to undergraduate students who have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. Students must meet these averages, for both USC coursework and on combined transferred and USC coursework. University honors is then determined by either the USC GPA or the combined USC and transfer GPA, whichever is lower.

You will be contacted by your school’s commencement coordinator or academic advisor during the spring semester if you are eligible to receive one. They are free of charge.

Where do I pick up my honor cord?

Honor cords are provided by your individual school. You will be contacted by their team and instructed on how to pick up your cord.

Diplomas, Program Book, Yearbook

When will I get my diploma?

Diplomas are distributed by the Office of the Registrar, Degree Progress. They will be mailed to your permanent address approximately six weeks after degrees are conferred on May 13.

When and where do I receive my diploma cover?

Diploma covers are distributed to students at their schools in-person satellite ceremony.

Will my name be listed in the 2022 commencement printed program?

If you have worked with Degree Progress to confirm that your requirements are complete, you will be listed in the program.

How do I get a copy of the 2022 commencement printed program?

The commencement printed program will be available at the in-person ceremonies on campus. You will also be able to download a copy of the program from the commencement website and virtual platform.

How do I take my yearbook/graduation photo?

USC’s yearbook, El Rodeo, partners with Lauren Studios to take portraits each fall semester.  For more information about portrait appointmentsdedications, and other yearbook questions, please see the El Rodeo website.

How will yearbooks be issued out to purchasers?

When ordering the yearbook, purchasers may elect to pick up the book on campus or have the book shipped directly to domestic addresses. Student Publications will be in contact directly with purchasers to provide pick-up information and shipping notifications.  For questions related to yearbook orders, see the El Rodeo website.

International Students

I’m an international student, and I need a letter from USC to invite my parents for Commencement. How can I get it?

Please inquire with the Office of International Services, or emailing ois@usc.edu.