2019 Commencement Q&A

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The USC Bovard College Ceremony takes place on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. at Founders Park at USC’s main campus. No tickets are required, though we do require students to RSVP. The ceremony will last about 1 hour, with a reception immediately following for Bovard College graduates and their guests.

USC Main Commencement Ceremony (All candidates)
The 136th Commencement at the University of Southern California will be held on May 10, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. at Alumni Memorial Park. No tickets are required. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis. The ceremony is also live streamed on the USC website.

All graduates and their friends and families are invited to the main commencement ceremony, which lasts about 1 ½-2 hours. During the ceremony, President Austin awards honorary degrees, acknowledges our undergraduate salutatorians and valedictorian, and congratulates graduates.


Q: What is the timeline for Commencement?
A: The Bovard College Master’s Ceremony will begin at 4:00 p.m. Students will be asked to line up in full regalia between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. in Founders Park. Some students may choose to attend only the Bovard College Master’s Ceremony.

For the Main Commencement, candidates are to assemble promptly at 7:45 a.m. and all guests are required to be in their seats by 8:15 a.m. The Procession begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and the ceremony concludes around 10:00 a.m.  Students who plan to attend both will have some free time in between ceremonies.


Q: By when do I need to RSVP?
A: Students must RSVP by end of day Thursday, February 28, 2019. Even if you will not be attending, please still RSVP and indicate that on the form.


Q: How do I rent or purchase my cap and gown?
A: Students may rent or purchase regalia online by following the instructions here.

Q: How do I get my hood, and what color will it be?
A: A hood is included with your regalia rental order by indicating which degree you will receiving. Unless you purchase your hood, it must be returned. The hood color for USC Bovard College is white.

Q: If I have graduated from another USC school, can I wear my robe from that ceremony?
A: Yes, you may.

Q: Where and when do I return my rented regalia?
A: After the ceremony and reception, please return your rented regalia (excluding the cap and tassel) to the USC Bookstore (located just south of our reception area).  There will also be return bins located throughout campus.


Q: Will we receive tickets for our guests to attend commencement, and if so, how many?
A: Tickets are not required for either ceremony; we do not limit the number of guests that you may bring to the ceremony.


Q: How many guests may I bring to the ceremony?
A: We do not limit the number of guests you may bring to the ceremony. Be sure to inform your guests that they should allow plenty of time to travel to campus, park and walk to the ceremony.


Q: Will there be a photographer at Commencement?
A: Yes, there will be a photographer with USC Bovard College who will be capturing images of our students at both ceremonies. Those photos will be shared with students after the event. GradImages will also be taking photos of all students as they collect their diploma and exit the stage during the USC Bovard College ceremony. You may register with GradImages before the event to receive a discount on photo packages: https://www.gradimages.com/preregistration.


Q: Who will be the guest speaker at the USC Bovard College ceremony?
A: Our guest speaker will be Robert I. Sutton.


Q: What information does the Commencement Book include?
A: The Commencement Book is for the Main USC Ceremony and serves as a program. It includes the graduate’s name and previously earned degrees. The format is as follows: graduate name, current degree program, and previously earned degree(s). Your name will appear as it is indicated in University records.


Q: When should I expect my diploma to arrive and will it arrive in a hard cover?
A: Diplomas are mailed 4-8 weeks after the conclusion of your final semester; they are mailed in a cardboard envelope sent via first class mail.  Please log in to my.usc.edu and check in oasis to verify that your name and mailing information is correct by March 1st.

Q: How much do I have to pay for the shipping of my diploma?
A: There is no cost for shipping; diplomas are mailed to the student’s permanent address on file. Local students may come to campus to pick up their diploma. Contact the USC Diploma Department at 213-740-7070.


Q: Where can I purchase announcements, rings and diploma frames?
A: Students can purchase announcements, rings and diploma frames online at the USC Bookstore. These are optional purchases.


Q: What if I am unable to attend commencement?
A: The Main USC Ceremony will be live streamed on YouTube and Facebook, starting at 8:30 a.m. on May 10, 2019. However, the USC Bovard College ceremony will not be live streamed.

Q: How many times a year does commencement take place?
A: Commencement takes place once per year, in May.

Q: Are graduates required to attend the main USC Commencement Ceremony?
A: No, participation is optional.

Q: How much time will it take to exit campus after Commencement?
A: Allow approximately one hour to get off campus.

Q: What is the Baccalaureate Ceremony?
A: Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, inter-faith celebration open to all students and their guests. It is held in the evening on Thursday, May 9th and is optional to attend. For more information, click here.

Q: Where can I find a map to navigate my way around campus?
A: This map indicates the locations of the Main USC Commencement and USC Bovard College’s commencement ceremony. A map of the entire campus can be found here.

Q: Are there any fees or costs associated with Commencement?
A: There are no fees for participating in commencement. You only need to rent or purchase your regalia. A class ring, announcements, etc. are optional.

Q: Is parking complimentary for guests?
A: Parking for all official commencement events is complimentary. However, we do recommend alternative modes of transportation, such as Lyft, Uber, or public transportation. Parking is not guaranteed. Please allow plenty of time to travel to, park, and walk across campus.

Q: What should I wear?
A: You will likely be walking around campus before and after graduation, so we recommend dressing for comfort. Part of the ceremony may require walking through grass, so keep that in mind when choosing shoes.

Q: When should I get to campus?
A: For the USC Bovard College ceremony, plan to arrive at the west side of Founders Park between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. to line up. If you are planning to participate in the main USC ceremony, we recommend getting there well before 8 a.m. to line up and for your guests to get seats.

Q: What should I do with my personal items during the ceremony?
A: Please leave your personal items (purses, bags, backpacks, etc.) with your guests so that you do not have to wear/carry them walking into or during the ceremony. Ensure your guests are around early enough, so that you may give them your personal items before you line up.

Q: What if I have additional questions regarding commencement that are not answered here?
A: Please contact support@bovardcollege.usc.edu

We look forward to celebrating this major achievement with you!