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Frequently Asked Questions

1. When and where are the main ceremonies?

The university-wide ceremonies for Spring 2017 will take place at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 9:00 a.m.

College of Liberal Arts | Orfalea College of Business

Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 3:00 p.m.

College of Engineering | College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Sunday, June 18, 2017 | 9:00 a.m.

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences | College of Science and Mathematics

Students will need to be at their assembly site one hour prior to their ceremony start time. 

2. How long does each ceremony last?

The university-wide ceremonies last approximately 2.5 hours.
College and department events vary in length. Please contact your department regarding event specifics. 

3. Where do I get E-tickets?  How do I get more E-tickets?

  • Ten (10) guest tickets are distributed to graduates via e-mail and will show up as a PDF attachment.
  • Tickets are required for all guests attending the commencement ceremonies.
  • Students are responsible for distributing tickets to their guests prior to the ceremony.
  • Each ticket is unique and will be scanned before entrance into a ceremony. Make sure to print each individual ticket, not 10 copies of the same ticket.
  • Duplicating tickets will result in some of your guests being turned away due to invalid tickets.
  • Additional tickets are not available for purchase, however, students can contact the Commencement Office to be put on a waitlist for additional tickets. Students who do not use their allocated tickets are encouraged to share with others. 

4. There will be small children in the family attending, do they also need tickets?

Any child under the age of 3 will not require a ticket. However, we do ask that children sit on parents' or families' laps so that seats will be available for other guests.

5. Where and when do I pick up my cap and gown? 

Students can take care of all their commencement needs at the Commencement Fair on TBD.

Cap and gowns can also be purchased online at 

Cap and gown prices vary based on if the student buys them as a package or separately. A package (cap, gown, tassel) for bachelors is $37.75 and $72.75 for masters.

All costs are subject to change.

6. My friends received an email regarding commencement, why didn’t I?

If a student has their email forwarded to a Yahoo, Gmail, etc. account it may have gone into their junk mail folder.

Students who finish their degree in Winter Quarter 2017 will have their Cal Poly emails deactivated 1 month after finishing degree requirements. Students should ensure their emails are forwarding to a non-Cal Poly email. 

Undergraduate students may not be receiving emails because their expected graduation date is not Winter 2017, Spring 2017, or Summer 2017 as listed in their Poly Profile, which  means they are not eligible for the Spring Ceremonies. A Commencement Petition Request form can be filled out to participate in the Spring Ceremonies. 

Students who are accepted into a 4+1 program may not receive communication because their graduation date will change to reflect the completion term of their 4+1 program. Students who will continue to attend Cal Poly as a 4+1 student and want to participate in their undergraduate ceremony still can. A Commencement Petition Request form will be needed.

Graduate students may not receive emails if they have not filed their Graduation Evaluation forms. Contact the Graduate Education office for appropriate steps and forms. 

7. My family member has a mobility impairment, what accommodations are available?

Shuttle service and accessible seating is available for any guest (and one companion) who needs accommodations. Wheelchairs are also available at locations across campus. 

8. How do I give to the senior class gift?

The Senior Gift Campaign is a fundraising effort led by current Cal Poly seniors benefiting the health, happiness & well-being of Cal Poly Students. It's Philanthropy at its finest - students helping students. Opportunities to give back to Cal Poly take place throughout Spring Quarter. 

Please feel free to contact the Commencement Office at 805-756-1600 or with any additional questions.

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