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Our commencement ceremonies are held every June and allow us to commemorate the accomplishments of our students and congratulate them on completing their degrees. Several City University of Seattle sites worldwide hold Commencement ceremonies and CityU students studying outside the U.S. may choose to attend the U.S. ceremony, held in Seattle.

Check here our Photo Gallery of our last Graduation Celebration in Vancouver!

Prepare for Graduation and Commencement

Students must complete several important steps before graduation.

Graduation Checklist

1. Apply for Graduation

All students must apply for graduation in order to obtain a credential for their chosen program,. Students are encouraged to apply for graduation six to 9 months prior to the expected completion of their academic program requirements. Graduation application forms also called Degree Audit Application are available through the Student Center in the Portal online. Click here to learn more about the steps Once you have applied online or sent in the paper application to the Registrar, your academic record will be audited to determine eligibility to graduate and thus, eligibility to participate in Commencement. A fee will be charged for the audit (currently $100, please check the fee structure to confirm the amount).

  1. To participate in Commencement you must first apply to graduate by the prescribed deadline of February 24, 2024 
  2. Deadline to apply:
    Students should apply for graduation two quarters before their final term. It is highly recommended that you apply no later than February 24, 2024 , to ensure your name is in the Commencement Program.  Students who wait to apply until after that date will not have their name in the Commencement Program, but will still able to attend the ceremony if eligible.
  3. Results of degree audit:
    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.
  4. When you receive your audit results and are notified that you are eligible, RSVP to the ceremony.
  5. 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.
2. Verify your Personal Information

Please Verify your name and degree program and submitting the Degree Audit regardless of your Commencement attendance status.

Ensure that your full name (primary name on your student account and on legal documents) is correct and submit a  Change of Name Request Form with relevant supporting document if applicable. Send the form along with the appropriate name change supporting credentials to your Academic Advisor. 

Address changes can be completed through your CityU Student Portal or through your Academic Advisor by e-mail. Also, notify of the change to ensure the proper delivery of your degree certificate.

3. Verify your Eligibility if you are Attending Commencement

Who is eligible to participate?


  • Students completing all degree requirements during the academic year of the ceremony (July 1 – June 30) are eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony if their 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 of the academic year and did not attend a previous CityU commencement.
  • Students completing their degree program in the immediate summer following the ceremony. Students with no more than two courses left who plan to complete all remaining program requirements during the summer term, or who are members of a cohort program scheduled to complete by September, may be eligible to participate, depending on the results of their degree audit.
  • Alternative Routes to Education cohort members. Students who are earning a Washington State Teaching Certificate through the alternative routes to teaching program, completing in the spring or summer of the year, and verified by the Dean of the School of Education to be eligible may participate in the ceremony.


  • Students in unusual circumstances who are not eligible to participate may write a letter to the Registrar’s Office to explain their situation and request an exception. Examples of exceptions are scheduled to complete in the fall but a member of the summer graduating cohort, or F1 student completing the fall who will be returning home and unable to return for their ceremony.

Not Eligible

  • Students completing only a certificate program, and not a degree-granting program, are not eligible to participate in Commencement.
  • Students who have more than one quarter left to complete at the end of the spring quarter. 

4. Confirm your attendance

How do I attend?

  • Apply to graduate online [Linkvia your Student Center and your academic record will be audited to determine eligibility to graduate and thus, eligibility to participate in Commencement.
  • Once you apply to graduate if you plan to attend the Seattle ceremony you will be asked to RSVP online [Link]. This will also ensure that you receive the latest information on the ceremony.  Students who completed and received their diploma in the summer and fall of 2022 will be sent an RSVP notice to the personal email on file with the University. You may validate the email on file or update it via your Student Center. Students who apply to graduate during the 2023 winter or spring quarters will be sent an RSVP notice to the email account. An RSVP link will also be added to the Graduation & Commencement Tile on the student dashboard in the portal.  

Please Note: If you do not RSVP, we will assume that you do not plan to attend and will not include you in future updates about the ceremony.

5. Order your Cap & Gown

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 [Link] or 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 a deadline that corresponds to the scheduled commencement ceremony date. All orders placed after this established deadline date will incur an additional rush shipping charge. Regalia ordering will begin on January 3, 2023, and the deadline for orders is May 1, 2023. Students ordering after the deadline may call Customer Service at 1-800-854-7464, however, they cannot guarantee delivery after the 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.

  • 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.
  • Educational Specialist degree candidates will receive a graduate-level cap, gown, tassel, zipper pull, and hood appropriate to their degree.
  • Doctoral degree candidates will receive a tam, gown, tassel, zipper pull, and hood appropriate to their degree.  Please note, the university DOES NOT have day-of ceremony regalia for purchase for doctoral regalia as this is custom regalia.

Please be prepared to provide the following information when ordering: shipping address, height, 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’s/specialist/doctoral degree. What hood color to I order?

Hoods and hood colors will be determined by your discipline (e.g. business, project management, computer science, education) and your degree level (master, specialist, doctor). Following is a list of hood colors used by CityU:

Graduate and Doctoral Hood Colors

MA in Counseling
Master of Counselling
M.S. in Global Supply Chain Management
M.S. in Human Resource Management
M.S. in Management
M.S. in Management & Leadership
Doctor of Business Administration
M.Ed. Adult Education & Instruction
M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction
M.Ed. Educational Leadership
M.Ed. Leadership in Education
M.Ed. School Counselling
M.Ed. Special Education
Educational Specialist
Doctor of Education in Leadership
Light Blue
M.S. in Artificial Intelligence Computer Science Cybersecurity
M.S. in Data Science
M.S. in Information Security Project Management
M.S. in Technology & Product Management
Doctor of Information Technology
M.S. in Healthcare AdministrationPeacock

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

In addition to the cap, gown, tassel, and hood cost you will be responsible for customs/duty fees. There is no difference in cost for out-of-country 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 on the day of the ceremony by notifying [Email] 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.

Provide the following address to Josten’s 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.

6. Consult the useful information that can guide you as you prepare for your CityU graduation below for additional details if needed

Learn more about Commencement

Past Ceremonies

Watch Webcasts of Previous Commencement Ceremonies

Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony

47th Commencement Ceremony – 2022

Typically graduation is a special ceremony at university during which degrees and diplomas are given to students who have successfully completed their studies. CityU Annual Commencement usually taking place in mid-June is a recognition ceremony with full regalia with the opportunity to take official pictures. Students do not receive their actual degrees or diplomas during the Commencement Ceremony.

CityU held its Spring 2022 Commencement in person on Saturday, June 25, 2022. Click here to view the ceremony.

Ceremony Overview

The ceremony includes remarks from the president and a student speaker. Following the remarks, the students will walk across the stage as their names and degrees are announced. On stage, the students will receive a diploma cover, have their pictures taken with the President, then leave the stage to return to their original seats. Once all students have received on-stage recognition, some concluding remarks are given. The entire ceremony lasts a little more than two hours.

Meet Our Student Speaker: Xochitl – CityU 2021 Commencement

Click here to see our 2021 Commencement student speaker.

CityU Graduates in their Own Words

Hear what our grades have to say!

Graduation Preparation Guidelines


The ‘Completion’ in your degree means that you have completed the academic requirements for your award. This could be useful if you are applying for further study, or need proof that you have met the academic requirements of your degree while you are awaiting for your conferral.

CityU typically issues the Degree Certificate of Completion (also known as diploma) in the mail soon after the degree is officially posted on your transcripts. You should receive your degree certificate in the mail six to ten weeks later.


“Conferred” in CityU’ s context means officially awarded and the date of your graduation is posted on your transcripts.

When CityU has verified to academic credentials and admitted you into your award as a legal graduate of the University, your degree is conferred. For your degree to be conferred you must have finished all academic and practical requirements and have no outstanding debts to the University. You become an official legal graduate of the University from the moment your degree has been conferred and can use titles associated with that award. You can order your official transcripts for professional registration or for any other purpose if needed at this point.

Degree Audit Application
Step 1.Follow the link to view the step by step process: Applying for Degree Audit
Step 2.Apply online through the Student Center page on the CityU portal
Step 3.Pay the associated $100 fee. (You must complete the payment before receiving the results of initial Degree Audit.)
Step 4.Registrar’s Office will review your academic records to determine your current standing and your eligibility to participate in the annual Commencement (typically students must have completed all but one or two courses of their degree program by June.)
Step 5.You will receive electronic reports from the Registrar’s Office: Updated Program Plan and Degree Audit ResultsReview and make sure they match your academic standing
Definition and Awarding of Graduation Honors

Honors awards are given by merit and by degree level at City University of Seattle. There are two types of awards given, which are: President’s honors and Latin honors.

The President’s honors is only given to eligible master’s degree candidates, and the Latin honors is only given to eligible bachelor’s degree candidates. There are no honor awards given to students graduating at the doctoral, certificate, or associate degree level.

President’s honors are awarded if the student has graduated with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.90 or higher at the master’s level. This honors is noted on the student’s final transcript under the graduation date and is noted on their diploma, with an “honors” label.

Latin honors are awarded to students graduating with a cumulative GPA in the top of the class in their school or division at the bachelor’s level. 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.

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 CityU’s Commencement, you may elect to wear your honor cord to the ceremony where your specific honors award will be announced alongside your degree earned.


Diploma covers are presented to all graduates during Commencement. The diploma is ordered when the degree is posted and mailed during the term following the conferral date, after all financial accounts are clear.

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

Students who do not wish to attend the ceremony should still submit their applications and the $100 fee two quarters prior to completion of their degree program. The degree and diploma fee is strictly an administrative fee and does not cover the cost of Commencement.

Diploma Frames for Canadian Graduates

Have you received your diploma already?

Check our Diploma Frame Program


Professional photography by GradImages will be available. Information on GradImages can be found on their website or by calling 800-261-2576

Schedule and Instructions

Announcement Order*

*Subject to change

School of Health and Human Services

  • Associate of Science in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in General Studies
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Counselling

School of Education and Leadership

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education
  • Master of Education (all Canadian, Adult Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, Reading and Literacy)
  • Master in Teaching
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership

School of Business and Management

  • Associate of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Project Management
  • Master of Arts in Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Master of Science in Management and Leadership
  • Master of Science in Project Management
  • Doctor of Business Administration

School of Technology and Computing

  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Information Security
  • Doctor if Information Technology

Caps and Tassels

Caps are worn during the ceremony and can be ordered through Jostens. Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap until your degree is conferred then moved to the left side.

Scholastic Achievement Honoured

CityU commends and recognizes outstanding scholastic achievement as outlined in the university catalog.

Connect with us on Social Media at Commencement

Use #CityUGrad to share your commencement experience!

Need to order transcripts?

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