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We hope all students look forward to Commencement. Commencement ceremonies are exciting and momentous events where the University formally awards degrees and celebrates our students for their academic accomplishments.

Graduation Alerts

Graduation alerts will occur when a student has completed 75% and 90% of the degree requirements in DegreeWorks. The alerts instruct a student to schedule an advising appointment with their advisor or department chair. The alerts will continue to appear until the department sets a code in the system to indicate the student has been advised as to what courses they must take to graduate at the appropriate time. This process will make sure there are no last minute notifications that a student is missing requirements with no time to take corrective action. 

At the undergraduate level, in addition to the required course work a student must meet these requirements:

  1. A minimum 2.00 overall GPA (some majors may require higher);
  2. A minimum of 120 earned credits not counting developmental courses (some majors may require more credits); and
  3. Incomplete grades (“I” on transcript) must be satisfied or they will turn to an “F” which could prevent graduation.

At the graduate level, a student must complete the required course work and possess:

  1. Overall GPA of at least 3.00 with no incomplete or failing grades on the transcript (unless repeated with a passing grade); and
  2. Met departmental requirements when applicable (residency, comp exams, non-course requirements).

Apply to Graduate

Please be aware that graduation is NOT automatic. All students must apply to graduate online via the VIP Portal during the semester that they intend to complete final degree requirements.

If students do not apply by the University’s graduation application deadline posted each semester, we can NOT guarantee inclusion in any official graduation correspondence and commencement-related materials. 

Graduation Requirements

Become acquainted early with the graduation requirements for your program of study. The time period during which you must apply to graduate is posted on the academic calendar and campus-wide reminders are sent at the start of each semester. All credentials for graduation, including application for teaching certificate and transcripts of credits from other institutions, must be submitted on time. Graduation may be delayed if your record is incomplete.

Students should become acquainted with the graduation requirements for their program of study. Students are responsible for meeting all graduation requirements and for submitting all required forms on time. Graduation may be delayed if a student’s record is incomplete.

All financial obligations to the University must be paid in full before a transcript or diploma is issued.

Conferring of Degrees

Degrees are conferred in January, May, August, and December. However, commencement is held only twice a year, in May (January and May graduates) and December (August and December graduates). Diplomas and official University transcripts record the date of graduation as the month and year in which the degree was conferred.

Attendance at commencement exercises is appropriate, unless unusual circumstances warrant graduation in absentia. Only under extenuating circumstances (such as deployment, international moves, childbirth, severe health situations, etc.) will students be permitted to participate in a ceremony if it is before or after their intended semester of graduation. If a student intends to “walk only” at commencement, he/she is required to contact the appropriate dean's office to request formal permission.

Honors at Graduation

Please review the undergraduate Honors at Graduation policy for guidance on requirements.

Academic honors are awarded to graduating students who have earned at least 60 credits at California University in a baccalaureate degree program and achieved the required GPA:

  • Highest Honors (Summa Cum Laude): 3.750 to 4.000
  • High Honors (Magna Cum Laude): 3.500 to 3.749
  • Honors (Cum Laude): 3.250 to 3.499

Honors designations for the distribution of honors cords at commencement and for the listing in the commencement program are based on the earned cumulative GPA the semester prior to graduation. Final honors designations will be listed on diplomas and on official transcripts.

Honors cords are given to students who complete their associate degree programs with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.250. Associate students will not be recognized in the commencement program as receiving academic honors and an honors designation will NOT be listed on diplomas and transcripts.

Honors cords are given to students in graduate degree programs who complete their program with a cumulative minimum 3.75 QPA based on the semester prior to graduation. Graduate students will not be recognized in the commencement program as receiving honors. The graduate school policy for Honors at Graduation provides additional information. 


Find more important information about Commencement including event details, yearbook portraits and ceremony photos, cap and gown orders, FAQs and more.

Graduation Fair!

Visit the University Bookstore on Monday, October 26, 2015 from 11a.m to 5 p.m. for our Graduation Fair to meet campus and vendor representatives and order your graduation supplies.

  • Order announcements and diploma frames online here.

  • Order your Cal U class ring here.

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