Submit Your Application for Graduation

The purpose of the application for graduation ("grad check") is to determine eligibility for graduation for Fall 2015, May 2016, or Summer 2016.  This takes place in the Records Office.  During the grad check you will be measured for your cap and gown, which is ordered for you.  The deadline for the grad check is February 12, 2016.

Students requiring attendance at Summer Sessions in order to meet all graduation requirements may not be deficient by more than nine (9) units.  An Application for Summer Graduation needs to be filed with the Records Office during the graduation check.

In order to be approved for participation in commencement, students must resolve any outstanding charges of fees or misconduct.  The university does not guarantee the awarding of a diploma.

Attend Senior Dessert/Grad Fest

This newly combined event is sponsored by the Alumni Association, Office of Strengths and Vocation, and our university's bookstore.  It will be held on Wednesday, March 16th from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the Alumni Lawn.  For more information, click here.

Second Chance Grad Fest

If you were unable to attend the Senior Dessert/Grad Fest event, there is one more opportunity to meet with several of our Commencement vendors.  This year it will be on Thursday, March 17th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Activities & Recreation Center (ARC).  Commencement tickets, graduation announcements, diploma frames, class rings, and our GradImages photographer for cap and gown photos will all be represented.  

Check Your Student Account

Your student account must be paid in full in order to participate in the commencement ceremonies and receive your diploma and official transcripts.  



Pick Up Your Cap and Gown (Regalia)

As a tradition, caps and gowns are worn by all participants at the commencement ceremony.  At the time regalia are picked up, you will complete and sign a diploma mailing request as diplomas cannot be mailed without a signature release.  Distribution schedule:

Wednesday, May 4 through Friday, May 6 - 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Located in the courtyard adjacent to the Records Office on the Point Loma campus.  The Records Office is the small white building immediately to your right after entering the campus.

Saturday, May 7 - Beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Located on the lower floor of Nicholson Commons (in the hallway down from the Bookstore).

NOTE: Caps, gowns, and hoods must be returned following the ceremony to the lower floor of Nicholson Commons (in the hallway down from the Bookstore) BEFORE 6 p.m.  While the tassel may be kept as a memento of the occasion, a penalty charge will be assessed for failure to return the cap, gown, and hood.

Tassels on the caps are worn on the right side.  Comfortable clothing under the robe is suggested, and it is especially important to wear comfortable shoes, since you will be descending and ascending unevenly spaced steps.  Out of respect for the occasion, graduating seniors should not wear tennis shoes or flip flops.

Honor Cords and Shawls

The gold honor cords are distributed to the students who graduate with honors during cap and gown distribution.  This cord is also a memento for those who have earned it.  Shawls are worn by international students, depicting their national origin.  Note: Only university provided cords and shawls will be allowed to be worn at the commencement ceremony.



Commencement Etiquette

For the ceremonies to be enjoyed by all and for everyone’s safety, we ask that guests comply with a few requests: 

Leave valuables with family members or guests prior to lining up for the academic procession.

Cell phones and other personal electronic devices should be turned off or silenced for the duration of the ceremony.  Before the ceremony, arrange a meeting place with guests for after commencement and please resist the temptation to send text messages during the ceremony.

 Air horns or other noisemakers are not allowed in the Greek Amphitheatre, since they detract from both the dignity of the occasion and the enjoyment of other guests. They will be confiscated by security personnel.

Balloons cannot be allowed in the Greek Amphitheatre since they can obstruct the view of those seated around you. They will be confiscated by the ushers. Please leave them at the Information Booth where they can be picked up after the ceremony.

Refrain from moving around at the end of the ceremony until the end of the recessional.    

The ceremony should last approximately one and a half hours.  If you should find it necessary to leave your seat, please notify one of the marshals for assistance.

Line-Up and Academic Procession

There is no rehearsal for commencement ceremonies.  Please plan on arriving in your cap and gown approximately 45 minutes prior to each ceremony on Peppertree Lane (the main street throughout campus).  You will see lists of names on stanchions in the street.  Commencement marshals will assist students with the line-up and provide instructions for the procession.  View a PowerPoint presentation of the details of the line of march.


The hooding process is one of the special features of the commencement convocation at PLNU.  As you are led toward the podium by a commencement marshal and stand in line waiting for your name to be announced to receive your degree, faculty will drape the university hood around your shoulders.  In so doing, the faculty will be investing you with the university colors.   Following the ceremony, the hood must be returned, along with the cap and gown.

In Case of Rain...

In the event of inclement weather, the undergraduate ceremonies will be moved to PLNU's Golden Gymnasium.  Only gold tickets will be honored for admission to the gym, equivalent to four (4) of the original twelve (12) green and gold tickets granted to each graduating senior.

While some outdoor services such as merchandise booths will be suspended, most of the programmatic features of commencement exercises will remain the same.




Since it is impossible to identify with certainty by commencement day the students who have completed all requirements, degrees are not posted until all final grades are received; then the diploma may be ordered.  As you walk across the platform and greet the president of the university, you will receive a diploma tube with a Diploma Mailing Request form inside for ordering the diploma.  Most graduates fill out the original request when picking up their cap and gown.  If, however, the address changes from the original request submitted or if the request is not filled out on commencement day, then the form in the diploma cover may be mailed.  Once the Records Office has confirmed that all requirements for graduation have been completed, the office will mail the diploma at your written request, to the address designated on the order form.

Saying "Good-Bye"

Students who are finishing all requirements for graduation on schedule will be withdrawn automatically from the university following the posting of their degree.  It is the student's responsibility to return library books and settle student accounts.  Failure to follow through on these details, including the return of rental caps and gowns will make it impossible for the university to release diplomas or official transcripts.

Alumni Benefits

As new members of PLNU's Alumni Association, graduating seniors are eligible to enjoy unique experiences and special benefits and learn ways to stay connected to classmates.  We invite you to visit the Alumni Association website.