Commencement FAQ

All students completing a degree (graduating) in the calendar year are welcome to participate in the one annual celebration event we have in May that year -- Commencement.   There are two steps for being able to join the ceremony: 

  1. students must apply to graduate with a degree term in the calendar year, and        
  2. students are required to purchase rental ceremony attire by 3/28 (Doctoral students by 3/13)  

Tickets are required for the Undergraduate (Senior) Commencement at the Arena, and each student is allowed up to eight guests. The ticket request system will go live on April 14. Using their student ID, graduates will be able to select up to 8 guest seats from the side of the Arena that offers guests the best stage view of them from the front, and accessible seats (which may not be near the other guest seats). The assigned seats in the ticket confirmation message can be forwarded by the student to families/guests for use on a mobile device or to print-at-home.

Tickets are not required for Commencement Mass, Law Commencement, nor Graduate Commencement in McCarthey.Tickets are not required for Law Mass in the University Chapel.

Other celebration events hosted on Commencement Weekend are typically by-invite only, and may require RSVP or a ticket purchase. See the Commencement Season Schedule for information.


DOCTORAL STUDENTS – The Jostens order site opens February 12, and closes on March 12.   Custom purchase gowns are shipped to the student.  Rental can be picked up in the ZagShop beginning Thursday, May 7 after 1pm, and returned by 5pm on Saturday, May 9 to the Zagshop. 

  Attire Rental - $125 - Order here

Custom Attire Purchase - $1,000 - Order Here

The vendor for UNDERGRADUATE, MASTERS, and LAW attire is Herff Jones. The site is open and available now to take your order. Orders must be completed before March 28. The Zag Shop is the pick-up and return location.  Pick-up begins on Monday, May 4, and returns are due by Sunday, May 10 at 5pm.



Diplomas are not provided at Commencement, as it is a celebratory event.  Diplomas are mailed from the Registrar within a couple months after the student's graduation date, and sent to the designated mailing address on Zagweb.  Contact the Degree Evaluation Office with questions about diplomas.  Link to the Degree Office is here.



For the ceremony, Latin honors for undergraduates are determined based on their final Fall 2019 semester GPA.  We use this benchmark because not all courses submit mid-term grades for Spring, and final grades for Spring are due after commencement.  See this link for details regarding Honors.

If eligible to wear a cord at the ceremony, the student can retrieve one at attire pickup in the Zag Shop, beginning May 4, and the cord is their gift to keep.

If a student achieves Latin honors at the point of graduation, the transcript and diploma is updated, accordingly. 


Cords and pins from honor societies are approved ceremony accessories. These are provided by the advisor in April, sometimes at a celebration event organized by the group.  


Unfortunately, ceremony gowns are only intended for rental and cannot be purchased. However, the cap and tassel that come with the gown are keepsakes, and do not need to be returned after commencement.


If you would like to purchase a general/custom attire set or just a hood, please email Howard Byrd at


Doctoral students can choose to rent or purchase the ceremony gown from Jostens.  Please contact Angela Ruff at or 509-313-3572 for details.


If you are a student receiving a dual degree, but in the same school, there is nothing further that needs to be done regarding the student’s attire or where they will be seated at commencement.

If you are a student receiving a dual degree in two different schools, you will be sent an email in January or February asking you to please chose which school you would like to sit with and represent within your attire.


Regardless, both degrees will be acknowledged during commencement, and read at the same time as the student walks across the stage.