Graduation Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement, the campus wide ceremony for all graduating seniors from all majors and their families, includes the Chancellor's address, keynote address, and most of the traditional pomp and circumstance. College/departmental graduations occur separately within their discipline and are more personal, with each graduate walking across stage to receive a commemorative certificate. Contact your department for the most up-to-date info on its graduation ceremony. University graduation commencement occurs during the spring semester only.

College of Engineering hosts one ceremony for all Engineering majors and only for College of Engineering students. Aviation & Technology Department is the only department that hosts a separate ceremony following the main Engineering ceremony.

Yes, all details and signup information are posted on the College of Engineering website under the events section. For Fall graduation the information is posted by the end of October, and for Spring graduation the information is posted by the end of March.

Yes, College of Engineering hosts an Engineering Graduation Recognition Ceremony each Fall and Spring Semester. The University-wide commencement ceremony is only held in the Spring semester.

The following students are eligible to register:

  • Students graduating in the Spring semester (meaning all your coursework is completed in Spring) are eligible to participate in the Spring Graduation Ceremony.
  • Students graduating in the Fall semester (meaning all your coursework is completed in Fall) are eligible to participate in the Fall ceremony.
  • Students graduating in the Summer semester (meaning all your coursework is completed in Summer) are eligible to participate in the Fall Ceremony.

No, the university does not provide the official diploma at the graduation. It can take up to 6 months for you to receive your actual diploma after your last semester at the university. Contact the Registrar about actual diploma questions.

There is paperwork that you will need to fill out to officially graduate from the university. You can find the forms to fill out here:

College of Engineering Recognition Ceremony is only for Engineering students. You can participate in the ceremony the semester of your graduation.

During the initial phase of graduation registration process (until deadline) each student may purchase up to 4 guest tickets. After the registration deadline each semester any unsold tickets will be released, and students may return and purchase additional tickets upon availability. Extra tickets are not guaranteed.

Yes, a student ticket is not the same as the guest ticket. Please read this information carefully so that you understand the difference.

Student tickets - Students who register will receive their ticket with the confirmation email that will automatically be sent to them after registering. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours, check your spam folder. Flag this email as ‘Important' because it is your ticket to participate in the ceremony. You will need to bring a printed ticket in order to enter the event center and participate in the ceremony.

Guest tickets - Any guests of registered participating students must purchase tickets to attend the ceremony. These tickets are inexpensive and they help us to plan for the event. Tickets will be available at the Event Center ticket window starting mid-October. Guest tickets can only be purchased in person, and are not available for purchase online.

Students must register for the ceremony before going to purchase guest tickets at the Event Center. Within two business days of registering, students can begin purchasing up to 4 guest tickets. Students need to bring a photo ID when purchasing guest tickets.

**Please note: Guest tickets are NOT guaranteed. Also, be aware that the graduation ceremony does sell out and we encourage you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible.

Registered graduates can purchase up to 4 tickets between mid-October and December 12th. On December 13th, any unsold tickets will be released for registered graduates to purchase additional tickets. You may return and purchase additional tickets at that time, based on availability.

**Please note: Extra tickets are NOT guaranteed. In previous ceremonies we have sold out of guest tickets by the registration deadline. The venue has limited seating. If tickets are sold out, no more tickets will be available. Guests will not be admitted without a guest ticket.

Ticket cost

  • 23 months or younger do not require a ticket and entrance is free
  • Ages 2 and older require a ticket. Age 2 through 12: $2
  • Age 12 and above: $10

Tickets are available at the Event Center Box Office, which is open Monday through Friday 12pm-4pm

The Event Center has designated wheelchair seating areas in each section, which are on the upper level of the event center. Follow these instructions:

  • Wheelchair guests can be dropped off by the fountain, which is in front of the Event Center.
  • The driver should proceed to park the car in the 7th Street parking garage.
  • Wheelchair guests can enter the Event Center in the entrance located by the Sports Club. The event staff at the entrance will allow the person in wheelchair to enter through there. One of your guests should accompany the guest with the wheelchair through this entrance and the rest of your guests should use the main guest entrance on the upper level.
  • Once inside, proceed to the elevator which will be straight ahead. Go to the upper level and look for wheelchair access areas in each section. There will be plenty of event staff on hand, so if you have any questions, you can ask any of the staff.
  • All guests may enter only after the doors are open for entry.
  • We do not have the capacity to provide staff to escort your guests. Please allow enough time for you family to help each other to attend.

The college will no longer provide letters for visa requests. Per the U.S. Department of State, such letters are no longer necessary when requesting visitor visas to the U.S. Most universities have discontinued offering this service, including SJSU. Per the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website, "invitation letters provided by Universities are not necessary and have no effect on visa issuance... Therefore, effective immediately, the IPS Office will no longer provide invitation letters to students for use in inviting relatives to visit them." Rather than write letters, ISSS provides a template for students to write their own letters, should they wish to do so.

The DOS Visitor Visa Website states:

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.

Yes the graduation recognition ceremony will be streamed live on our graduation website.

Yes, there will be a professional photographer taking pictures of each graduate. You will be able to purchase these photos after the ceremony. Make sure that you fill out the name card entirely since that information is used for contacting you when it's time to purchase your photos.

Graduation recognition ceremony will last approximately 2.5 hours.