FAQs

General

After close consultation with county public health officials and in adherence with county and state guidelines, SDSU is moving forward with hosting our May 2021 Commencement at Petco Park. The schedule for commencement by college is:

  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021:
    • 9:00 a.m. – College of Education/Faculty Advancement and Student Success (Interdisciplinary Studies in Three Departments)
    • 2:00 p.m. – College of Sciences
  • Wednesday, May 26, 2021:
    • 8:00 a.m. – College of Arts and Letters
    • 1:00 p.m. – College of Engineering
    • 5:30 p.m. – Fowler College of Business
  • Thursday, May 27, 2021:
    • 9:00 a.m. – College of Health and Human Services
    • 2:00 p.m. – College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

A livestream of the in-person ceremonies at Petco Park will be made available on the SDSU Commencement site. In addition, SDSU will provide a virtual ceremony option to accommodate students and families unable to attend in person. 

Students who received a degree in December 2020 or applied for May or August 2021 graduation by the February 2, 2021 deadline, will be eligible to participate in the May 2021 ceremonies. Master’s and doctoral students should visit the Graduate Studies website for information on applying to graduate. Class of 2020 graduates (December 2019, May 2020 and August 2020) are also invited to participate in the May 2021 ceremonies.
Yes, you will be able to participate in the May 2022 commencement ceremonies. Please contact the SDSU Commencement Committee with this request.
The state of California still actively discourages travel from out-of-state unless individuals first self-quarantine, or are otherwise fully vaccinated. It is important that all guests abide by both this and any of their local travel guidance before making plans.
The situation with the pandemic is very fluid. If San Diego County moves back into the purple tier (the most restrictive tier), the state and county guidelines prohibit gatherings of any size. If the county regresses to the purple tier, the in-person ceremonies will be postponed to a future date when it is safe for everyone to gather. In their place, the university will still offer the virtual ceremonies by college. 

Petco Park Ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies will comply with Commencement and Outdoor Stadium Live Performance guidance by the California Department of Public Health. Petco Park's Health and Safety Guidelines are available on their website.
Physically distanced ceremonies by college will take place at a limited capacity. Graduates will attend based on their college’s designated date and time. SDSU President Adela de la Torre and university leadership will present and confer degrees at this ceremony. Remarks will be given by the dean of each school. 
Yes, graduates will have their names read aloud as they cross the stage. A live video of each graduate crossing the stage will appear on the jumbotron along with their name, degree and honors if applicable.
GradImages Photography will take photographs of each graduate after they cross the stage during the Petco Park commencement ceremonies. Graduates will be allowed to remove their face covering for the professional photo, but will need to immediately put it back on directly following.
No. The personalized graduate slides will be available on the individual college recognition websites available on the virtual ceremonies page. Students can also download their slides and share them on social media.
You may log back in to your MarchingOrder account and change your image or message for your slide by Tuesday, May 4. After May 4, you cannot make any changes to your graduation slide.
Please visit Accessibility Accommodations for more information regarding disability-related accommodations.
The list of COVID-19 guidelines can be found online. These guidelines include required facial coverings for all guests.
Petco Park is offering parking in two lots for SDSU commencement ranging from $15-$20. For a map and more information, visit the parking page on the SDSU Commencement site. 

Guests are also encouraged to use public transportation. With Petco Park ideally located at the hub of San Diego County's public transportation network, taking the trolley, coaster or bus to the ballpark area is a convenient way to go. Public transportation details are available online.

There will only be two gates open at Petco Park during commencement for guests and graduates to enter and all other gates will be closed. The Home Plate Gate is located at Park Boulevard and Tony Gwynn Drive. The Park Boulevard Gate is located at 10th Avenue.

Gates open one-hour prior to the ceremony start time. There will be multiple lanes open at each gate and specific lanes will be marked for “Graduates.” 

Commencement ceremonies will take place as scheduled, rain or shine. Graduates and guests are advised to plan for extreme weather conditions, including high heat. Guests and graduates should plan to arrive an hour prior to the ceremony start time and should dress accordingly for sitting outside in the sun. 

Ticketing

Due to state and county public health guidelines, the number of guest tickets are limited. The SDSU Commencement Committee has worked diligently with Petco Park to provide the maximum number of guest tickets in accordance with physical distancing guidelines and state and local regulations. 
 
Graduates within the following colleges will receive 4 guest tickets per graduate.

  • College of Education/Faculty Advancement and Student Success (IS3D)
  • College of Arts and Letters
  • College of Engineering

Graduates within the following colleges will receive 3 guest tickets per graduate.

  • College of Sciences
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
  • Fowler College of Business

In compliance with social distancing guidelines, Petco Park has reduced attendance levels and has created assigned seating pods to allow six feet between groups. You may notice empty rows and seats in between groups to help maintain proper distancing.

SDSU is not able to offer additional tickets, and the university does not authorize the sale or exchange of complimentary tickets.

Yes, guests will be required to have tickets to attend the in-person commencement at Petco Park. Tickets will be mobile and will need to be presented on the MLB Ballpark app to enter the stadium. Additional ticketing information can be found online.

Petco Park offers complimentary admission to children under 36 inches in height, provided they are accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. These children must sit in the lap of the accompanying adult and not occupy an additional seat. Children under 2-years-old do not have to wear a face covering.

Due to the assigned seating pods and COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place, we are at the maximum allowable capacity. Also, additional tickets cannot be obtained. Please do not contact the SDSU Commencement Committee for additional tickets, as the university is not able to provide additional tickets. 
Ticket allocation is based on current health guideline density limits. Due to the assigned seating pods and COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place, we are at the maximum allowable capacity and additional tickets cannot be obtained. Please do not contact the SDSU Commencement Committee for additional tickets, as the university is not able to provide additional tickets. 

Regalia and Other Graduation-Related Items

In observance of tradition, all participants in commencement ceremonies will wear full academic regalia, consisting of a traditional gown with SDSU medallion and a mortarboard with red and black tassel. All master’s degree candidates will wear black tassels. Doctoral candidates will wear gold tassels. Regalia, announcements and other graduation-related items may be purchased online or at the SDSU Bookstore.

Fresh orchid leis and flower bouquets will be available to purchase at the SDSU Commencement ceremonies at Petco Park. You can also pre order flowers from The Commencement Group to be picked up at any floral kiosk at Petco Park the day of your ceremony.

During commencement, graduates and guests can visit the SDSU Bookstore kiosk located in section 101 on the Field Level Concourse. Graduates will be able to purchase caps, tassels, stoles and diploma frames. There will also be a selection of SDSU apparel and gifts for sale.

Class of 2021 graduates (December 2020, May 2021 and August 2021 graduates) will receive a GradPack by mid May which will include their diploma cover. The GradPack will also include an SDSU Alumni face covering which can be worn at the in-person ceremonies.

Class of 2020 graduates (December 2019, May 2020 and August 2020) were already mailed their diploma cover. All Class of 2020 graduates registered to participate in the in-person ceremonies at Petco Park or SDSU Imperial Valley’s CARmencement will also receive an SDSU Alumni face covering mailed to them by mid May. 

Yes, the letter specified a gold honors cord would be mailed in May to those receiving summa cum laude honors designation. The honors cord will arrive in the GradPack being sent to all Class of 2021 graduates by mid May. Class of 2020 graduates were already mailed their cord.

Virtual Ceremonies

Beginning on Monday, May 24, graduates will have the opportunity to view their virtual commencement ceremony via individual college recognition websites. Please visit this page to access the recognition website links. The ceremonies will be available for unlimited on-demand viewing.

In addition to remarks by SDSU leadership, the ceremonies will include honors and military recognition and the formal conferral of degrees. Each college recognition website will also include the shareable digital MarchingOrder slide for each graduate. Graduates have the opportunity to personalize their graduate slide by submitting a photo and personal message to fellow Aztecs, family and friends. The deadline to submit a photo and message is Tuesday, May 4.

Please contact your department directly regarding any virtual school-specific ceremonies or events.