Graduate Information

Expected Graduation Term

At Cal Poly, undergraduate students do not apply for graduation. Instead, they are assigned an expected graduation term once they have completed a certain percentage of their degree.

Students will receive their expected graduation term when they reach 72% or more of degree completion (78% for Architecture and Landscape Architecture majors), as indicated on their Academic Progress Gauge on Poly Profile.

Visit the Office of the Registrar's Graduation Process website to learn more about expected graduation terms, how to change your graduation term, degree postings, diplomas, and how to apply for graduation as a graduate student.

Ceremony Assignment

Commencement 2024

If your expected graduation term on Poly Profile is listed as Fall Quarter 2023, Winter Quarter 2024, Spring Quarter 2024 or Summer Quarter 2024, you are automatically scheduled to participate in Commencement 2024 and will receive ceremony-related emails.

Change Your Commencement Ceremony

Please note that requesting to change your commencement ceremony is not the same as changing your graduation term.

Please only complete this form if:

  • You would like to participate in a commencement ceremony different from the one you are automatically assigned to.
  • You are in a Blended Program and would like to participate in a commencement ceremony at the completion of the undergraduate portion of your program.
  • You are an undergraduate student and recently changed your graduation term.
  • You are a graduate student and submitted your Application for Graduation form late (less than one quarter prior to the quarter in which you will graduate).

Still not sure if you need to complete a Commencement Request Form? Contact the Commencement Office at or 805-756-1600.

Commencement 2024 Request Form

The deadline to complete the Commencement 2024 request form has passed. If you have any questions, please contact the Commencement Office at

Additional Information

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:


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.


Official honors are based on a graduate's final grade point average when all coursework and degree requirements are completed. The Commencement Office will provide eligible undergraduate 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.

Ceremony Programs

Graduates will receive commemorative commencement programs 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.

Ceremony Photos

View and purchase commencement ceremony photos from GradImages. Prices vary by order.

Looking for photos from ceremonies prior to June 2019? Please visit the Ultimate Exposures website.

College Colors

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
Architectural Engineering | Orange
Architecture | Lilac
All other degrees | Brown

Orfalea College of Business
Industrial Technology | Royal Blue
All other degrees | Drab

College of Engineering
All degrees | Orange

College of Liberal Arts
All degrees | White

College of Science and Mathematics
Kinesiology and Public Health | Sage Green
All other degrees | Gold

School of Education
All degrees | Light Blue

Extended Education
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.

Celebrate Responsibly

Cal Poly encourages all grads and guests to have a safe and enjoyable commencement by celebrating responsibly.

Commencement Fee

A mandatory commencement fee will be automatically charged to all eligible graduates and all students 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. Please visit the Student Accounts website for additional information.

Related Content

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Follow The official Cal Poly Commencement Facebook page.


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Follow The official Cal Poly Commencement Instagram account.


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