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Graduating from CityU

Our commencement ceremonies are held every June and allow us to commemorate the accomplishments of our students and congratulate them on completing their degrees. Several City University of Seattle sites worldwide hold Commencement ceremonies and CityU students studying outside the U.S. may choose to attend the U.S. ceremony, held in Seattle.


43rd Commencement Ceremony

The 2018 Commencement Ceremony will be held Saturday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m. in the Seattle Center Key Arena at 305 Harrison St. Seattle.

There is no admission fee for Commencement. Tickets or invitations are not needed for guests.

To confirm your attendance at Commencement, please send us an email and provide us with your full name and student ID number when leaving your confirmation.

Ceremony Overview
The Key Arena opens at 11 a.m. for students. Graduates may follow the signs for graduate and undergraduate assembly areas, and to pick up their name cards.

The ceremony includes remarks from the president, a keynote speaker and a student speaker. Following the remarks, the students will walk across the stage as their names and degrees are announced. On stage, the students will receive a diploma cover, have their pictures taken with the President, then leave the stage to return to their original seats. Once all students have received on-stage recognition, some concluding remarks are given. The entire ceremony lasts a little more than two hours.

For students in Asia and Europe, please watch for additional information.

Apply for Graduation

1. Apply to graduate:
To participate in Commencement you must first apply to graduate. This can be done online. Once you have applied online or sent in the paper application to the Registrar, your academic record will be audited to determine eligibility to graduate and thus, eligibility to participate in Commencement. A fee will be charged for the audit.

  • Deadline to apply:
    The initial deadline to apply in time to ensure eligibility to attend Commencement is February 23, 2018. Students who apply any time after April 20, 2018 will not have their names printed in the Commencement brochure due to printing deadlines, unfortunately, but they may still participate in the ceremony if the degree audit indicates that they are eligible.
  • Results of degree audit:
    As mentioned above, once you have applied to graduate, the Registrar’s Office audits your academic record. The results of the degree audit, along with an updated program plan, are then emailed to you. In addition to any impediments to program completion, the degree audit states clearly whether you are eligible to participate in Commencement.

2. When you receive your audit results and are notified that you are eligible, contact the Registrar’s Office  to let them know you plan to attend Commencement. In your email include your full name and student ID.

Please Note: If you do not contact us after receiving your degree audit, we will assume that you do not plan to attend, and will not print a name card for you or include you in future updates about the ceremony.

If you have questions, contact the Registrar’s Office by email or by phone  at 1-888-422-4898.

3. Once you confirm your attendance, place your cap and gown order. Jostens typically opens for orders in early January. Get information on how to place your order.

Commencement Eligibility

Eligible for Commencement

You may be eligible if you are a student…

Completing your degree during the current academic year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for an undergraduate program, or 3.0 or higher for a graduate program.

Who has graduated earlier than July 1, 2017 and did not attend a previous CityU commencement.

Who will complete all but one or two courses of their degree program by June 2018.

Who has no more than two courses left, or plans to complete all remaining program requirements during the Summer 2018 term.

Who has completed the academic requirements for a degree but has outstanding financial obligations may participate in Commencement. However, no diploma or transcript will be issued until your financial account has been cleared.

Note: while you may be eligible, the Registrar must complete an audit and declare your eligibility. If you have questions, email the Registrar’s Office.

Not Eligible for Commencement

Students completing only a certificate program, and not a degree-granting program, are not eligible to participate in Commencement.

**Students in unusual circumstances who are not eligible to participate may explain their situation to the Registrar and request an exception.**

Definition and Awarding of Graduation Honors

Honors awards are given by merit and by degree level at City University of Seattle. There are two types of awards given, which are: President’s honors and Latin honors.

The President’s honors is only given to eligible master’s degree candidates, and the Latin honors is only given to eligible bachelor’s degree candidates. There are no honor awards given to students graduating at the doctoral, certificate, or associate degree level.

President’s honors are awarded if the student has graduated with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.90 or higher at the master’s level. This honors is noted on the student’s final transcript under the graduation date and is noted on their diploma, with an “honors” label.

Latin honors are awarded to students graduating with a cumulative GPA in the top of the class in their school or division at the bachelor’s level. Latin honors are designated summa cum laude (with highest honor – top 3.900 or above), magna cum laude (with great honor – 3.800 or above) and cum laude (with honor – 3.700 or above).
Latin honors are noted on the student’s final transcript under the graduation date and on the student’s diploma with a special label showing the specific honor.

Honors cords will be distributed to the students who have earned them during the check in at Commencement. If you are awarded either of these honors and choose to walk in CityU’s Commencement, you may elect to wear your honor cord to the ceremony where your specific honors award will be announced alongside your degree earned.

Schedule & Instructions

Announcement Order*
*Subject to change

Graduates must be lined up by 12:30 p.m. and will be seated by school and by degree.

  • School of Arts and Sciences
    • Associate of Science in General Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology
    • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
    • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Science in General Studies
    • Master of Arts in Counseling
    • Master of Counselling
  • Albright School of Education
    • Bachelor of Arts in Education
    • Master of Education
    • Master in Teaching
  • School of Applied Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Leadership
    • Master of Education (Adult Education)
    • Doctor of Education in Leadership
  • School of Management
    • Associate of Science in Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in Management
    • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems
    • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
    • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
    • Bachelor of Science in Project Management
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Professional Accounting
    • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
    • Master of Science in Computer Systems
    • Master of Science in Information Security
    • Master of Science in Project Management
    • Doctor of Business Administration

Caps and Tassels

Caps are worn during the ceremony and can be ordered through Jostens. Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap until your degree is conferred then moved to the left side.

Key Arena

  • Disabled parking is available in the First Avenue North garage-Lot 3, and in the Second Avenue garage-Lot 6. Limited wheelchair seating is available throughout the Key Arena.
  • The Key Arena does not provide food or beverage during Commencement.
  • To obey fire regulations only graduates and CityU staff will be allowed on the floor before and during the ceremony.

Commencement Speaker

To be announced.

Cap & Gown

Order your cap and gown online at college.jostens.com or through the consumer call center at 1.800.854.7464 (starting January 5, 2018).

  • The deadline for cap and gown orders is May 10, 2018. All orders placed after this date will incur an additional rush shipping charge.
  • All cap and gown orders will ship directly to you, at the address that you provide, upon placing your order. Orders usually ship within four weeks.
  • The final day for express shipping orders is May 10, 2018. Students may order after this day, but must make special arrangements with Jostens for delivery/pick-up.
  • Any students ordering after May 10, 2018 may call the Customer Service number, 800-854-7464 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Central Time. We cannot guarantee delivery after the deadline due to lead times.
  • A limited number of items may be purchased on the day of the ceremony at the CityU Regalia Desk. However all items are first-come, first-served.


Please go to college.jostens.com for pricing for the following items:

  • Associates cap, gown, tassel, and zipper pull
  • Bachelors cap, gown, tassel, and zipper pull
  • Masters cap, gown, tassel, zipper pull, and hood
  • Doctorate tam, gown, tassel, zipper pull, and hood

Hood Degree Colors:

  • MA in Counseling/Master of Counselling: White
  • MA in Management: Drab
  • MA in Leadership: Drab
  • MBA: Drab
  • M.Ed.: Light Blue
  • M.Ed. (Professional School Counseling; School Counselling): Light Blue
  • MIT: Light Blue
  • Master of Professional Accounting: Drab
  • MS in Healthcare Administration: Peacock
  • MS in Computer Systems: Gold
  • MS in Project Management: Gold
  • MS in Information Security: Gold
  • MS in Technology Management: Gold
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership: Light Blue
  • Doctor of Business Administration: Drab

Students graduating with two degrees will need to purchase a second Master Hood.

Canadian students will be responsible for customs/duty fees. To avoid customs/duty fees you can have your cap and gown shipped to Seattle for pick-up at the Graduation Help Desk at the Key Arena on the day of the ceremony. All orders of this nature must be made in the student’s name. Notify commencement@cityu.edu that your cap and gown has been shipped for pick-up, and provide your name, contact number, and a copy of the shipping order confirmation number.

Use the following address for shipping:

521 Wall Street, Seattle, WA 98121

Attn: Cap and Hood


Diploma covers are presented to all graduates during Commencement.

The diploma is ordered when the degree is posted and mailed during the term following the conferral date, after all financial accounts are clear.

Students who have completed the academic requirements for a degree but have outstanding financial obligations will not be prevented from participating in Commencement; however, no diploma or transcript will be issued to such students until their financial account has been cleared.

Students who do not wish to attend the ceremony should still submit their applications and the $100 fee two quarters prior to completion of their degree program. The degree and diploma fee is strictly an administrative fee and does not cover the cost of Commencement.


Professional photography and a photo booth will be available onsite.

Live Video

The CityU commencement ceremony will be streamed live.

Connect with us on Social Media at Commencement

Use #CityUGrad to share your commencement experience!

Upcoming Events

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