Special Notice: 2020 Ceremony Update

Commencement is a celebration of your academic accomplishment – walking across the stage, hearing your name called in front of your family, friends, and peers is an experience like no other. Unfortunately, this year the global pandemic has forced us all to rethink traditional celebrations. Based upon ongoing restrictions on gatherings and travel, the original planned in-person ceremony on June 13th is just not possible.

Thank you for those who took the time to provide your feedback on the 2020 ceremony. Overwhelmingly, you told us that you would prefer to postpone the June 2020 ceremony to the Fall of 2020.  The University has heard you and will be working towards establishing a fall ceremony date. However, these are such uncertain times, with gathering and social distancing measures changing continuously.  Should we be unable to gather and celebrate this fall due to these restrictions, we will consider smaller regional celebrations. And your invitation to the next schedule June 2021 ceremony will always stand.

This postponement does not impact your graduation, or the sending of your diploma.  Diplomas will be sent upon the completion of your final courses and the posting of your degree.

Already RSVP’d to the original ceremony?  No need to do anything else at this time. We will continue to keep you apprised of our plans and will reconfirm your attendance for any new event scheduled. Didn’t RSVP yet? We will reach out to you once final plans are made to confirm  your attendance.

If you already purchased your cap and gown, please hold on to these items as they will be the same for the new ceremony or celebration. Didn’t purchase cap and gown yet? A new order deadline will be established with the finalization of  a new celebration date.

Stay tuned for more information later this summer on date and venue format.

Stay safe, stay healthy and I look forward to congratulating you in person!

President Randy Frisch

Seattle Commencement 2020

General FAQs on the Ceremony

What is the date and location for the Seattle Commencement Ceremony?

Commencement is the official ceremony held by the University every year to honor its graduating students. Although not every City University of Seattle site worldwide holds its own ceremony, several do. CityU students studying outside the U.S. may choose to attend the U.S. ceremony rather than one at their own site. This web page provides information only on the ceremony held in Seattle.

The June 2020 Seattle Ceremony has been postponed to Fall of 2020. The date and venue is TBD and will be announced in the summer based upon government and local public health guidance.

CityU ceremonies are open to the public and no tickets are required to attend.

How do I sign up to participate?

To participate in Commencement you must first apply to graduate. This can be done online. Once you have applied online or sent in the paper application, your academic record will be audited to determine eligibility to graduate and thus, eligibility to participate in Commencement.

As mentioned above, once you have applied to graduate, the Registrar’s Office audits your academic record. The results of the degree audit, along with an updated program plan, are then emailed to you. In addition to any impediments to program completion, the degree audit states clearly whether you are eligible to participate in Commencement.

If eligible, let us know that you plan to attend Commencement when you receive the results of your degree audit. Please email us to let us know that you plan to attend. Include your full name and student ID. If you have questions, please contact us.

Please Note: If you do not contact us after receiving your degree audit, we will assume that you do not plan to attend, and will not print a name card for you or include you in future updates about the ceremony.

General information on the ceremony may be found further in the FAQ’s below. Detailed updates to the FAQs will be added for the Fall 2020 ceremony once the venue and date are confirmed.


How do I receive a Cap and Gown for the ceremony?

Contact Jostens to place your cap and gown order. You may do this online at via the consumer call center at 1.800.854.7464. The consumer call center is available to take orders from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday – Friday.

Cap and gown orders will have deadline that corresponds to the scheduled commencement ceremony date. All orders placed after this established deadline date will incur an additional rush shipping charge. Any students ordering after the deadline can call the Customer Service # 1-800-854-7464, we cannot guarantee delivery after deadline due to lead times.

All cap and gown orders will ship directly to you, at the address that you provide, upon placing your order. Orders usually ship within 4 weeks.

An order deadline for the Fall 2020 ceremony has not been established. Stay tuned for more information.

Associate degree candidates will receive a cap, gown, tassel, and zipper pull.

Bachelor degree candidates will receive a cap, gown, tassel, and zipper pull.

Master degree candidates will receive a cap, gown, tassel, zipper pull and hood appropriate to their degree. Please note, candidates graduating with master’s degrees from two disciplines i.e. MBA and MS in Project Management, will need to purchase a second Master Hood – please contact Jostens for pricing.

Doctoral degree candidates will receive a tam, gown, tassel, zipper pull and hood appropriate to their degree.

Please be prepared to provide the following information when ordering: shipping address, height and weight, degree type (i.e. B.S. in Management, Master of Education), and payment information.

Please view all current pricing and payment methods on the Jostens website.


I am earning a master/doctoral degree. What hood color to I order?

Hood colors will be determined by your discipline (, project management, computer science, education). Following is a list of hood colors used by CityU:

    MA in Counseling/Master of Counselling: White
    MA in Leadership: Drab
    MBA: Drab
    M.Ed. Light Blue
    M.Ed. (Professional School Counseling; School Counselling): Light Blue
    MIT: Light Blue
    MPAcc: Drab
    MS in Computer Science: Gold
    MS in Healthcare Administration: Peacock
    MS in Project Management: Gold
    MS in Information Security: Gold
    Doctor of Education in Leadership: Light Blue
    Doctor of Business Administration: Drab


I live in Canada but will be attending the ceremony in Seattle. How can I order my cap and gown and pick it up at the ceremony?

In addition to cap, gown, tassel, and hood cost you will be responsible for customs/duty fees. There is no difference in cost for Canadian students, all fees must be paid in U.S. dollars. To avoid customs/duty fees you may arrange to have your cap and gown shipped to the Seattle Campus for pick up at the Graduation Help Desk at the on the day of the ceremony by notifying that you have ordered your cap and gown and are having it shipped for pick-up. Provide your name, contact number, and a copy of the shipping order confirmation number from Jostens.

You should provide the following address for shipping: Attn: Cap and Gown Pickup, CityU, 521 Wall Street, Seattle, WA 98121. NOTE: The order must be in the graduating student’s name.


Who is eligible to participate?

Students completing their degree program during the current academic year: Anyone who will complete all their degree requirements during the academic year (July 1 – June 30) is eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony if his/her cumulative GPA is at least 2.0 for an undergraduate program or 3.0 for a graduate program.

Previous graduates: Students who graduated earlier than July 1 and did not attend a previous CityU commencement are eligible to participate.

Students within two courses of finishing their degree program. Students who will have completed all but one or two courses of their degree program by June 30th are eligible to participate.

Students completing their degree program in the immediate summer following the ceremony. Students with more than two courses left, who plan to complete all remaining program requirements during the summer term may be eligible to participate, depending on the results of their degree audit.

Students in unusual circumstances who are not eligible to participate may write a letter to the Registrar to explain their situation and request an exception.

Not Eligible
Student completing certificate programs. Students completing only a certificate program, and not a degree-granting program, are not eligible to participate in Commencemen


What are the requirements to have graduation honors announced at Commencement?

There are two types of honors awarded at City University of Seattle. Master degree candidates are eligible to earn President’s honors. Bachelor’s degree candidates are eligible to earn Latin honors. Honors are not awarded for Associate degrees, Doctoral or certificates of any kind.

President’s honors are awarded if the student has graduated with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.90 or higher (with no rounding up). President’s honors are noted on the student’s final transcript under the graduation date as well as on the student’s diploma with an “honors” label. Student who attend the Commencement Ceremony and who are awarded President’s honors receive a gold honor cord at the ceremony.

Latin honors are awarded to students graduating with a cumulative GPA in the top of the class in their school or division. Latin honors are designated summa cum laude (with highest honor – top 3.900 or above), magna cum laude (with great honor – 3.800 or above) and cum laude (with honor – 3.700 or above). Latin honors are noted on the student’s final transcript under the graduation date and on the student’s diploma with a special label showing the specific honor. Students who attend the Commencement Ceremony and who are awarded Latin honors receive an honor cord of the appropriate color at the ceremony.

Honors cords will be distributed to the students who have earned them during the check in at Commencement. If you are awarded either of these honors and choose to walk in CityuU’s Commencement, you may elect to wear your honor cord to the ceremony where your specific honors award will be announced your degree earned.


Do I get my diploma at the ceremony?

At the ceremony, diploma covers are presented to all graduates. Students who have earned academic honors also receive honor cords to wear. The diploma is ordered when the degree is posted and is mailed to the student during the term following the conferral date if all financial accounts are clear. For example, if a student’s conferral/graduation date was June 30 – the end of spring term – the diploma will be mailed during summer term.

Students who have completed the academic requirements for a degree but have outstanding financial obligations will not be prevented from participating in the ceremony; however, no diploma or transcript will be issued to until the financial account has been cleared.

Students who do not wish to attend the ceremony should still submit their Final Degree Audit Application and the required fee two quarters (6 months) prior to completion of their degree program. The degree and diploma fee is strictly an administrative fee and does not cover the cost of the ceremony.

Contact the Registrar’s Office for information or questions regarding diplomas.