Day at a glance

Commencement Tradition

By tradition, the commencement ceremony may include a processional, introductions, awards, a speaker and a recessional. Music for the processional and recessional will signal the beginning and end of the ceremony.

The processional will enter the commencement site from one direction, providing a colorful view of candidates and faculty in their full academic regalia. After arriving at your seat, please remain standing until the master of ceremony signals you to sit.

The ceremony typically will continue with a welcome and instructions from the Dean, followed by the recognition of outstanding candidates. SDSU President Adela de la Torre will confer the degrees. Following closing remarks by the dean, the master of ceremony will lead the recessional of graduates and dignitaries from the commencement site back to the assembly area. The commencement ceremony will last about two hours.

Find out more about commencement assembly and processional.


Guests should allow plenty of time to park and find their seats. You may want to arrive to campus early and walk the campus grounds and take photos of your graduate. 


Audience members should remain seated until the recessional ends and then meet their graduates at a pre-arranged site.