Commencement FAQs

Commencement Requirements

  • Question: What are the requirements for participating in the Commencement Ceremony?
  • Answer: A student may graduate from City College of San Francisco with the degree of Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.) by satisfying the requirements established by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, the Governing Board of the San Francisco Community College District, and the faculty of the College.
  • Students seeking the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science Degree must complete and submit a Petition for Graduation Form to the Admissions and Records Office on or before the dates specified in the Academic Calendar/Important Dates. Students should not petition for the Associate Degree until all the requirements are met or are about to be satisfactorily completed in the current school term. 
  • Students are strongly advised to review the completion of all requirements with their counselor or advisor prior to submitting the Petition for Graduation Form. Please read and review Things to Know About Graduating from CCSF for more information.
  • Students who would like to participate in the CCSF Commencement Ceremony may register if they are transfering to a 4 year institution and have met their two-year requirements and if they are receiving a CCSF A.A. or A.S. degree. Please read and review Admissions and Records Graduation Information for more information.
  • Graduates from Summer 2018, Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 are welcome to participate. Students completing certificate programs do not participate in Commencement but may participate in separate program-specific award recognition ceremonies.


Event Logistics

  • Question: When does the venue open? What are the seating arragements?
  • Answer: Doors open to all guests 60 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Guest seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A venue map, along with parking and driving instructions, will be provided in each student’s Grad Finale packet.
  • Question: I may need accommodations at the event. Whom do I contact?
  • Answer: If you are a person with a disability who needs reasonable accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of Vice Chancellor of Student Services (415) 452-5100 at least 15 days in advance of the ceremony. Please know that some accommodations (e.g. sign language interpretation) have already been arranged. Our special accommodations representatives will be on site to assist with any additional needs.
  • Question: How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?
  • Answer: The ceremony typically lasts approximately 3 hours.
  • Question: Can someone videotape the ceremony?
  • Answer:  Yes; the use of personal video cameras will be allowed to the extent that they do not obstruct the view of other guests in the audience. Tripods are not allowed.
  • Question: Will there be a place where I can store my valuables during the ceremony?
  • Answer: No; please leave your valuables and personal possessions with family and friends; CCSF will not have space to store these items and you will not be allowed to carry anything with you during the ceremony. CCSF is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal possessions.
  • Question: Is there a rehearsal for the ceremony?
  • Answer: No. Simply follow the instructions in your commencement package.




  • Question: When do I receive my tickets for family and friends to attend?
  • Answer: Your tickets will be included in your Commencement package given to you at Grade Finale.
  • Question: How many guest tickets may I have?
  • Answer: Tickets are dependent upon the size of the venue and its capacity limitations. Generally, 3-5 tickets per graduate, which will be included in the Grad Finale packet.
  • Question: Are extra tickets available?
  • Answer: If available, they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on TBA     in Conlan Hall, E207 (Ocean Campus).
  • Question: I am a participating graduate. Do I need a ticket?
  • A: No; participants do NOT require a ticket.
  • Question: Do children need a ticket to attend commencement?
  • Answer: Children, ages two and under, generally do not need a ticket if they can sit with an adult.
  • Question: Do non-graduating CCSF students need tickets for the Commencement Ceremony?
  • Answer: All guests, including non-graduating students, must have a ticket to enter the ceremony.
  • Question: If one of my guests is in a wheelchair, will a ticket be required?
  • Answer: Yes; since a wheelchair occupies the space as a chair, a ticket is required for individuals in wheelchairs.
  • Question: Are seats reserved?
  • Answer: No with the exception of seating for persons with disabilities.


Commencement Program/Special Recognitions

  • Question: Will my name be published in the Commencement Program?
  • Answer: Most students who have petitioned to graduate and who have registered for commencement are listed in the Commencement Program. If you do not register for the Commencement Ceremony by the deadline, your name will NOT be listed in the Commencement Program.
  • Question: What if I have a privacy protection on my academic records?
  • Answer: If at any time you have requested privacy protection for your academic records, your name cannot be published in the program by law unless you have indicated on your commencement registration form that you desire your name to be included in the program and if you agree to have the protectiion removed by the Admissons & Records Office.
  • A&R will verify that your name may be published in the Commencement Program.
  • Question: What if my name is not printed in the program? Can I still be recognized?
  • Answer: Although your name might not be included in the printed program, you will still be individually recognized by name as you cross the stage.
  • Question: How am I recognized if I am an honor student?
  • Answer: If you graduate with honors, a notation will be placed on your unofficial/official transcript. In addition, if you graduate with honors, a notation of the level of honor will be placed in the commencement program and you are eligible to receive an honor’s sash or cord. Go to Commencement Honors for more information about the levels of honors and eligibility.
  • Question:Do I wear a special sash or cord if I am part of a special group or program?
  • Answer: Some groups/programs offer distinguished slashes and cords. Please contact your program coordinator and the boostore for more information.


Course Completion (Degree Award)

  • Question: How do I find out the status of my degree?
  • Answer:  Questions concerning the status of your degree should be addressed directly to the Admissions & Records Office in Conlan Hall, Room 107.
  • Question: Will I receive my actual diploma at commencement?
  • Answer: No. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you once your petition is approved and processed.
  • Question: I’m completing a certificate program. May I participate in the ceremony?
  • Answer: Currently, the Commencement Ceremony is for students receiving their AA/AS/ADT Degree only. Please contact your program coordinator regarding certificate completion and award recognition ceremonies specific to your program.
  • Question: May I participate even if I don’t complete my coursework until the summer after the ceremony?
  • Answer: Contact the Office of Student Affairs & Wellness for clarification regarding your particular circumstances.
  • Question: When are diplomas mailed?
  • Answer: Diplomas are mailed approximately 8 (eight) weeks after your individual petition is processed.
  • Question: Can anything prevent the release of my diploma?
  • Answer: Yes;  diplomas will not be released for students who have outstanding financial obligations to City College of San Francisco or outstanding academic requirements.



If you have questions, please contact or visit our office.