Create a Personalized Graduate Slide
In preparation for Virtual Spring Commencement 2021, all graduates are invited to create a personalized slide to be showcased in the academic college ceremonies. Your personalized slide will feature your name (which will be read aloud), a celebratory headshot, a personal message, and will list your college, major, degree and honors (if applicable).
In addition to being showcased in your college ceremony, each personalized slide will be featured on the Commencement website and emailed to you directly so that it can be downloaded and shared with family and friends.
Follow these quick steps to create your personalized graduate slide today:
- Click the link below.
- Click the "Register" button under New Users.
- Enter your Cal Poly email address.
- Look for an email with a link to create your unique password.
The deadline to create personalized slides is April 30.
Downloads, Regalia and Gifts
Visit the Class of 2021 celebration page to access commencement downloads, purchase grad gear, and learn about alumni resources.
- Download banners, lawn signs, social media images, Zoom backgrounds and more to help you enhance your celebration and display your accomplishments.
- Order caps, gowns, tassels, sashes, masters hoods, class rings, diploma frames, alumni gear and more. Learn about special pricing on grad packs!
- Get involved with your local or affinity-based alumni chapter to network with other alumni, support current students and stay connected to your Cal Poly community. In addition, learn about the discounts and benefits available to Cal Poly graduates.
- Career Connections, Cal Poly's exclusive networking and mentoring platform, allows you to support and engage with current students and network with alumni.
- Complete the Graduate Status Report and let us know what you are doing after graduation in terms of employment or your admission to graduate school.
Check Your Graduation Quarter
Once you have reached 72% or more of degree completion (78% for Architecture and Landscape Architecture majors), you are assigned a graduation quarter. To view your assignment quarter:
- Log on to your Cal Poly Portal
- Click the "Academics" tab
- Under "General Degree Resources" click "Poly Profile"
- Under the "Career Program Plans" section, you will find “Expected graduation is XXX quarter XXX”
- If you are scheduled to graduate in winter, spring or summer quarter, you are automatically scheduled to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony. Students will automatically begin receiving information about Spring Commencement via email in spring quarter.
- If you are scheduled to graduate in fall quarter, you are automatically scheduled to participate in the Fall Commencement Ceremony. Students will automatically begin receiving information about Fall Commencement via email in fall quarter.
Change Your Commencement Ceremony (Spring Commencement 2021 Request Form)
The deadline to complete the Spring 2021 Commencement Request Form and have your name listed in the commemorative booklet has passed. Please contact the Commencement Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Please note: This form is NOT REQUIRED if your expected graduation quarter is listed in your portal as winter 2021, spring 2021 or summer 2021.
The Commencement Office is developing a Spring Commencement 2021 commemorative booklet that will include the names of each eligible graduate. If you meet one of the conditions below, please complete this form by April 1 to ensure that your name is included in the booklet and to receive ongoing commencement communications.
Please only complete this form if:
- You would like to participate in a commencement ceremony that is different than the one you are scheduled to participate in. (Learn how to check your graduation quarter above).
- You are a 4+1 student and would like to participate in commencement at the completion of the undergraduate portion of your program.
- You are an undergraduate student and submitted a Change of Degree Completion Term form late (less than one quarter prior to the quarter you plan to graduate).
- You are a graduate student and submitted your Application for Graduation form late (less than one quarter prior to the quarter you plan to graduate).
Still not sure if you need to complete a Commencement Request Form? Please contact the Commencement Office.
Commencement vs. Graduation
Commencement is a ceremony that celebrates the completion (or near completion) of a degree. Participation in a commencement ceremony does not indicate that you have officially graduated or completed all degree requirements.
Graduation marks the completion of all degree requirements and coursework as recorded on your official transcript. Learn more about expected graduation quarters, changing your graduation quarter, applying for graduation as a masters student, diplomas and more by visiting the Office of the Registrar's Graduation Process site.
Update Your Cal Poly Portal Before Graduation
Before completing your degree, be sure to update your Cal Poly Portal with the following information:
Mailing address: where you would like your diploma sent.
Name: how you would like it to appear on your diploma.
Email: forward your Cal Poly email to a personal account.
Please note that students have access to the My Cal Poly Portal for eight quarters after graduation. Office 365 email access expires after six months (or three quarters) of not attending classes. To maintain access to your email, please set up an email delivery address (EDA) through the following link: https://tech.calpoly.edu/services/cal-poly-account
Diplomas and Certificates
Learn about diploma information by visiting the Office of the Registrar's Graduation Process page.
A complimentary certificate will be given to each student who participates in an in-person commencement ceremony. For students who misplace their certificate or would like an additional one, please contact the Commencement Office.
Official honors are based on a graduate's final grade point average when all course work and degree requirements are completed. The Commencement Office will provide eligible honor recipients with honor cords to be worn at the commencement ceremonies.
Master's Degree Candidates
- Graduating with Academic Excellence: candidates who have been recommended by their college dean and are in the top 10 percent of their major.
Bachelor's Degree Candidates
- Graduating with Honors distinction
- Summa cum laude: cumulative Cal Poly grade point average of 3.85 or higher.
- Magna cum laude: cumulative Cal Poly grade point average of 3.70 to 3.84.
- Cum laude: cumulative Cal Poly grade point average of 3.50 to 3.69.
Graduates and guests will receive a commemorative commencement program at each ceremony. Please note that this program is not an official list of graduates or honors recipients. While the Commencement Office does its best to list all eligible graduates in the program, please note that there is no guarantee that every name will be included. If you would like to request an additional program, please contact the Commencement Office.
View and purchase past commencement ceremony photos. Prices vary by order.
Looking for photos from ceremonies prior to June 2019? Please visit the Ultimate Exposures website.
The tassel color each graduate wears represents the discipline in which they studied. Bachelor's candidates wear tassels on the right side of the mortarboard (cap) and Master's candidates wear tassels on the left side.
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
All degrees | Maize
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Architecture | Blue Violet
Architectural Engineering | Orange
All other degrees | Brown
Orfalea College of Business
Industrial Technology | Sapphire Blue
All other degrees | Drab
College of Engineering
All degrees | Orange
College of Liberal Arts
All degrees | White
College of Science and Mathematics
Kinesiology | Sage Green
All other degrees | Golden Yellow
All degrees | White
The velvet border on a master's candidate's hood represents the subject in which the degree is earned, while the lining and chevron colors represent the university granting the degree. Cal Poly's colors are represented with green lining and gold chevrons.
Cal Poly encourages all grads and guests to have a safe and enjoyable commencement by celebrating responsibly.
A mandatory commencement fee will be automatically charged to all eligible graduates and all student who have achieved 75% degree completion. The fee will be charged to the student's account. The commencement fee covers the cost of all commencement-related services, resources, events, staffing and all programmatic elements of the commencement experience from beginning to end. For further details, please visit the Student Accounts website.