Seattle Commencement 2020

The 2020 Commencement is scheduled for June 13, 2020.

To confirm your attendance at the ceremony email us and provide your full name and Student ID Number when submitting your confirmation.



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 2020 Seattle Ceremony will be held Saturday, June 13, 2020 at T-Mobile Park located in Seattle, Washington, USA.  The event start time will be announced in February of 2020.

The ceremony is 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.

The initial deadline to apply in time to ensure eligibility to attend Commencement is usually at the end of February. Students who apply after April 20, 2020 will not have their names printed in the Commencement brochure due to printing deadlines, but they may still participate in the ceremony if the degree audit indicates that they are eligible.

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.

Detailed information on the ceremony, including where to park, how and when to order regalia, having graduation honors recognized at the ceremony, etc., may be found further in the FAQ’s below.


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

Contact Jostens to place your cap and gown order, starting January 7, 2019. 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 must be placed no later than May 1st. All orders placed after this deadline date will incur an additional rush shipping charge. Any students ordering after the May 1st 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.

Orders placed after May 1, 2020 will be subject to an express shipping fee. Not all orders will be will be accepted after May 1st and will depend upon the custom item being ordered (hoods, tassel, etc.) A limited number of items may be purchased on the day of the ceremony at the CityU Regalia Desk — however, all items are first come first served.

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.


What is the schedule and instructions for the day of the ceremony?

Place and Time: The 2020 Commencement will be held on Saturday, June 13th. Start time for the ceremony will be announcement in February. The ceremony will last approximately two hours. Tickets or invitations are not needed for your guests, and there is no admission fee.

Ceremony: Prior to the ceremony, marshals will direct graduates to the processional area to obtain a name card and to be lined up for the processional for entry into the seating area for graduates. Once seated, graduates will be presented to the President as a group. After the President confers the degrees, all graduates will be asked to be seated. Graduates will then be asked to stand by designated rows and will be directed to the stage by a marshal. Once on the stage, graduates will hand their name card to the announcer, continue across the stage to receive a diploma cover (diplomas are mailed to graduates after the degree is confirmed and fees are paid), and shake the hand of the President and have a formal graduation photo taken. Graduates then return to their designated seat immediately after leaving the stage. We ask that graduates respect their fellow students by remaining seated until the ceremony is concluded and the platform party has left the field.

Cap and Gown: Cap and gown is required to participate in the ceremony. You should order your cap and gown through Jostens and have it prior to Commencement. Caps are worn during the ceremony and the tassels are worn on the right side of the cap until the degree is conferred, then moved to the left side.

To obey fire regulations and avoid confusion, only graduates and City University of Seattle staff will be allowed on the field before and during the ceremony.


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 Commencement.


What happens at the ceremony?

Graduates arrive well before the ceremony, bringing their Commencement regalia. After putting on their caps and gowns (in designated dressing areas), graduates will check in at the name card desk to pick up the name cards given to the readers on stage so that as they cross the stage the reader will announce their name and degree.

Family members and/or other guests may accompany the graduates until it is time to line up for the processional. Professional photographers are available on-site. Guests find seating wherever available in designated areas, and the students go to designated areas to be lined up.

Graduates are directed by CityU staff to enter the arena in a procession, and take their seats. Faculty members also enter in a procession, as does the the Platform Party consisting of special guests and university officials. The ceremony includes remarks by the president, a guest speaker, and a student speaker. Then the graduating students are lined up to walk onto the stage one by one. Each student’s name is announced (via name card), with degree and graduation honors (if any). The student walks over to the president, receives a diploma cover (symbolizing the degree), has his/her picture taken with the president, and leaves the stage to return to his/her original seat.

Once all students have received on-stage recognition, concluding remarks are given, the ceremony ends, and the recessional begins as the Platform Party and Faculty  file out in reverse order from the processional. The entire ceremony lasts about two hours.


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.


Will pictures be available at the ceremony?

Professional photography by GradImages will be available onsite. More information on GradImages can be found online: or by phone: 1.800.261.2576.


Is the event accessible?

Graduates and guests who have a disability or have difficulty walking will find disabled parking in the Mariners Parking Garage, directly across from the main entrance. Accessible seating is available once inside the park and staff will be able to direct you upon entrance. T-Mobile Park accessibility details may be found at


How do you get to T-Mobile Park?

Please visit the Seattle Mariner’s driving directions page for comprehensive driving, parking, disabled drop off, and transit directions for the park.


Can you help with lodging?

There are many hotels in the vicinity of the park. For a list of those nearest the facility see below or contact

Silver Cloud Hotel – Seattle Stadium

Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Pioneer Square

Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square

Kimpton Alexis Hotel