Santa Clara University

2015 Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I order my academic attire?

You DO NOT to place an order for your attire. By submitting your Undergraduate Response Form, attire is ordered for you. You simply purchase your cap and gown at the bookstore beginning May 30, 2016. Included with your purchase of attire, the bookstore will provide you with a Commencement packet including: six (6) Commencement tickets for ground level seating, two parking passes - one for the graduating student and one for guests, your "name-to-be-read" card, and additional instructions.

How many people can I invite to the ceremony?

Graduates each receive six (6) Commencement tickets for ground level seating when they purchase their attire in the bookstore. General seating in the bleachers is available in the stadium for non-ticket holders.

Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?

No rehearsal is scheduled. When you purchase your academic attire, you will receive an envelope which contains:

  • Information and instructions on how the ceremony will proceed. This information is quite detailed, please read it carefully.
  • A card with your name and number on it. The number indicates your place in line. During the ceremony, you will hand this card to the announcer, just before you walk across the stage. The announcer will use this card to announce your name.
  • Any appropriate honor cords.
  • Parking permits and instructions.

When do I wear the academic attire?

You wear the academic attire only for the Commencement ceremony. Keep in mind the weather, cool in the mornings and evenings and warm during the day.

What do I receive when I cross the stage?

On stage, you will receive only your portfolio (diploma case). The diploma will be mailed to you by the Office of the Registrar once the completion of academic requirements has been verified. The mailings will begin in September for June graduates. Any questions about diplomas should be directed to Office of the Registrar at 408-554-4331 or

I am receiving two degrees, do I cross the stage twice?

Each student will walk across the stage one time. Students with two degrees will be listed under both departments, but will need to choose which department to walk with. Indicate which major you wish to walk with on the Undergraduate Response Form.

How do we line up?

Students are lined up by College or School (i.e., Arts, Business, Engineering, Sciences), then by Department (e.g., Art History, Accounting, Bioengineering, Anthropology), and finally in alphabetical order by last name.

Where am I sitting during the ceremony?

Graduating students are seated right to left when looking at the stage in the following order: Arts, Business, Engineering, Sciences. Names of graduates are called in this order as well.  

What do the hoods signify?

The hoods signify several things:

  1. The level of the degree received. The bachelor's hood is 3 feet long, the master's degree is 3.5 feet long, and the doctor's degree is 4 feet long.
  2. The college or university granting the degree. The satin lining inside the hood reflects the school colors, so SCU hoods are cardinal and white.
  3. The area of study. The velvet designates the field of study, white for arts, golden yellow for sciences, drab (tan) for business, and orange for engineering.

Who wears honor cords?

If you have completed your program, petitioned to graduate and have a grade-point average of 3.50 or better, you will receive a gold honor cord in your packet. Certain honor societies also offer their students honor cords and may be any color. Honor cords are worn during commencement around the shoulders.

What am I allowed to bring into the ceremony?

Santa Clara University is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for all those attending our Commencement exercises. Due to heightened security, all bags are subject to search. In order to facilitate entry and to avoid additional screening, we respectfully request that attendees bring only small bags and purses. By entering the stadium, you consent to such searches and waive any related claims that you might have.

To avoid considerable delay and last minute gate pressure, we encourage guests to plan accordingly knowing that our graduates process into the stadium at 8:30 a.m. Gates to Stevens Stadium - Buck Shaw Field open at 7:15 a.m. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

The following ARE NOT PERMITTED for guests to bring into the ceremony:

  • Any hazardous materials or objects
  • Coolers
  • Umbrellas
  • Bullhorns, whistles, and noisemakers 

Commencement Office | Walsh Administration Building, Lower Level
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
1-408-554-2326 |