FAQ: The essential do’s, don’ts for graduation

Sac State staff answers all your questions


Jacob Peterson

The Golden 1 Center on Wednesday, March, 8, 2023. Golden 1 is the anticipated designation for Sacramento State’s commencement ceremonies, spanning from May 19-21. (Photo by Jacob Peterson, Graphic made in Canva by Tierra Tilby).

Tierra Tilby

With graduation quickly approaching May 19-21, soon-to-be graduates at Sacramento State are left with questions while counting down their long-anticipated commencement.  

The State Hornet sat down with Kristen Tudor, the deputy chief of staff for the Office of the President, to answer the most pressing ceremony questions.

Question: Where is the commencement? 

Answer: Like last year, this year’s commencement is planned to will be held at the Golden 1 Center. 

Q: Who is eligible to participate in graduation?

A: Graduates from past semesters will be included in the ceremony. Only fall 2022, spring 2023 and summer 2023 graduates will be eligible to participate in this year’s commencement ceremonies.

Q: What are the major commencement deadlines for students graduating? 

A: Graduates can claim their allotted eight tickets and register for commencement up until the ceremony on site. However, if students register for commencement after April 24, their names will not be pre-recorded for the ceremony.

Those students will instead be given a card at commencement to write their name and will present their card on stage for someone to read aloud.

“In terms of tickets, there is not a deadline. We’re not going to cut off when they can get their tickets,” Tudor said.

Q: Are students allowed to decorate their caps?

A: “Yes, we love cap decorations,” Tudor said. “It’s so fun to see the ways that the students decorate their caps. Sometimes you get whole programs who will work together to do something thematic, that has to do with their major.”

There is no limit to stoles, cords or leis that graduates can wear at the ceremony, according to Tudor. The only exception is students cannot wear or bring items that are deemed prohibited

Q: Where can commencement attire be purchased?

A: Traditional gowns, caps, stoles, tassels, and honor cords can all be purchased at the ASI Student Shop located on the third floor of the University Union. Attire can also be found on ASI’s website for pickup or for shipping at Jostens.com using the exact phrase “California State University, Sacramento” as your school.

Gowns are not allowed to be decorated or altered for commencement. Students can purchase customized stoles on the Jostens website.

Q: Will there be extra tickets available to purchase?

A: Students are getting eight tickets in total to invite attendees to the ceremony, two more tickets than were offered in spring 2022. Tudor said the limit is there to save tickets for students who have a change of plans and can claim tickets at a later time.

 “We would never charge money for tickets for commencement,” Tudor said. “And we will not be able to increase the number from eight.” 

Q: Will commencement be live streamed?

A: Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed on Sac State’s Commencement Homepage and will be viewable anywhere.

Q: What do graduates need to bring to commencement? 

A: “ [Students] should have their OneCard,” Tudor said. “If they don’t have their OneCard, they can bring their driver’s license. Also cap and gown, they won’t be permitted on the floor without their regalia.”

Q: When should students arrive for commencement? 

A: Students should arrive 90 minutes before their ceremony to allow time to wait in line, go through security, get their OneCard/driver’s license scanned, get into the Golden 1 Center and get onto the floor. 

Ceremony dates and times, organized by each academic college can be found on Sac State’s commencement schedule.

Guests will be allowed into Golden 1 Center 60 minutes before the ceremony begins. They should also account for parking, walking to Golden 1 Center and security lines.

Q: Do students need to submit a photo for commencement ahead of time? 

A: “During commencement, there is a live camera view of each student and their name, degree and that live footage are on the Jumbotron,” Tudor said. “So no, no picture is used.”

Graduates will also have their picture taken by GradImages after they walk across the stage. Search Sacramento on the site to find your ceremony.

“This is a very exciting time,” Tudor said. “It’s an exciting weekend, but take some time ahead of time to really plan ahead.”