• HONORS &



May 8 at 2 p.m.

The university commencement assembly is filled with pageantry,
recognition of honors, individual recognition, and the conferring of

Graduation & Commencement:

What's the difference?

Graduation is a step-by-step process leading up to the receiving of your
official degree.

Commencement refers to the ceremony, which is officiated by a University Official on a permanent basis, and provides an opportunity for the students to share the excitement and importance of their academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends.

Please note that there may be a difference between graduation date and  commencement date.  The graduation date is the semester when all degree requirements (including internships) are completed. Students can participate in a commencement program prior to the actual graduation date, if a graduation application has been submitted.  

Applying for graduation and registering for commencement are two separate processes. If you have questions about the commencement ceremony or regalia, please visit commencement.wsu.edu.

Questions regarding Master's or PhD degrees should be directed to WSU's Graduate School.

Caps and gowns will be available in The Bookie beginning March 23. If you are off-campus, you may reserve and pay for your gap and gown rental by calling The Bookie at 509-358-7860. Announcements may be ordered on line by going to Jostens website.


Undergraduate & professional students

To be eligible to graduate and receive your diploma, complete these steps.

One: Apply to graduate

In order to apply for graduation, you must have completed at least 90 credits and be certified in your major. However, if you have a little less than 90 credits or a special circumstance, it is possible to override that requirement.  Your academic advisor can send an email to WSU.graduations@wsu.edu asking for the online application to become available.

To graduate, you must first apply for graduation by completing an undergraduate and professional degree application available online through ZZUsis.

Name on your diploma

Be sure to complete the application with your name as you wish it to appear on your diploma. Your last name (surname) must match the last name on your official record. If you request any change to your name after filing your degree application, you also need to change your name with the Undergraduate Degrees Office.

Once your diploma is printed, your name cannot be changed or your diploma reprinted. An official name change is made through the University Name and Address File support unit of Payroll Services.

Degree and date on your diploma

Be sure to notify the Undergraduate Degrees Office if you change your degree or your major, so that your to-do list may be revised. Also be sure to notify the Undergraduate Degree office (509.335.7724 or WSU.graduations@wsu.edu) if you change your graduation date. It is not necessary to complete another application to change your date.

Two: Review your degree audit

After applying for graduation, review your degree audit in zzusis and report any diescrepancies to your academic advisor.

Please check your degee audit carefully. If you have questions about UCORE/GER requirements, contact Jane Summers (jane.summers@wsu.edu or 509.358.7537). For Honors requirements, contact the Honors College. If you have questions about the departmental requirements, contact your department.

Three: Meet graduation requirements

All requirements must be completed at the time of graduation. This includes University, General Education or Honors, and degree program requirements.

Remember to complete the Writing Portfolio, which is a university requirement for graduation. Contact the Student Academic Support Office, Academic Center 145, 509.358.7537 or jane.summers@wsu.edu for more information.

Make sure that you have registered for all the courses you need to graduate and have submitted any work for courses with incomplete grades and any work for correspondence courses in time for grades to appear on your transcript. Also be sure to have your transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions for any courses taken at another institution.

If your department will be waiving or substituting any requirements, check to make sure that your department has filed these changes, in writing, with the Undergraduate Degrees Office.

If you will be requesting the waiving or substituting of a university or General Education requirement, you need to request a senior petition or a college petition through the Undergraduate Degrees Office.

Four: Review student account

Review your Student Account in zzusis and verify that you do not have any outstanding charges that could result in a diploma hold. It is suggested that you should check your account 30 days after graduation, as there is a possibility that you may have incurred a charge that has not been billed to your Student Account as of Graduation Day. Any balance due on your Student Account will hold your diploma.

Five: Name & address

Name change

Please inform the Undergraduate Degrees Office (509.335.7724 or WSU.graduations@wsu.edu) if you have changed your name since applying for a degree. You will also need to submit a Request for Name Change form to the Student Affairs office.

The last name (surname) on your degree application must be the same as the last name (surname) on your transcript. Your diploma is prepared from the information on your application.

Contact the Student Affairs office, Academic Center 130, 509.358.7978 if you have any questions about updating your address or changing your name in university records.

Update home & permanent addresses

Update your address in zzusis. Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent home mailing address after degrees have been conferred, approximately two months following your graduation date. Make sure that you notify the Registrar’s office immediately if your address changes during that time.

Six: Complete your student loan exit counseling

Students who have borrowed Federal Stafford and/or Federal Perkins loan funds are required to complete an exit counseling session before graduating.

Federal loans

Students with Stafford loans need to complete exit loan counseling. Two live sessions will be held on the Spokane campus. Check important dates section for more information. Those who do not wish to attend the session in person may complete the required session on-line at www.studentloans.gov.

Students who have borrowed a Perkins, nursing or Health Professions loan will be emailed exit counseling information.

Students who have decided to postpone graduation should change their graduation date with the Registrar's Office to postpone their exit counseling requirements.

Seven: Degree verification & clearance

Candidate clearance

The Undergraduate Degrees Office will review your degree audit report and your academic records (including transcript and transfer credit report) when grades are available following your last term of enrollment. If you are cleared for graduation, your degree will be posted to your transcript approximately four to six weeks after your graduation date.

If you are not cleared for graduation, a deficiency letter will be sent to your permanent address by certified mail to notify you of remaining graduation requirements. You will have approximately two weeks to clear any requirements and remain in the graduating class.

Otherwise, you will need to change your graduation date or have your application classified as inactive. If your application is placed in the inactive file, you will have three years to complete remaining requirements. After three years, the file is destroyed and you would need to apply again.

Verify your degree

The best way to verify your degree for potential employers or graduate schools is to submit an official transcript of your academic record. Your degree will be posted to your transcript approximately two weeks following your graduation date (if all degree requirements are complete), then on a weekly basis until that class is closed. You may request a transcript before the end of the term and request that it be held until your degree is posted.

Letter of completion

If you need to verify the completion of your degree before it is posted to your transcript, you may request a letter from the Campus Registrar (509.358.7530 or spokane.registrar@wsu.edu), indicating that you have fulfilled all requirements. The letter will refer to you as a candidate for a degree who has completed all requirements.


Contact the Registrar in the WSU Spokane Student Affairs office at 509.358.7530 or spokane.registrar@wsu.edu if you have any questions about degree verification or clearance.


For masters & doctoral students

To be eligible to graduate and receive your diploma, complete these steps:

  • Apply for your masters degree or doctoral degree at least one semester before your final exam is scheduled. The Graduate School will then notify you of any final graduation requirements before enrolling for your last semester. The non-refundable $50 processing fee is paid online when you complete the application.
  • There is an additional $75 microfilming fee and an optional $45 copyright fee for doctoral students.  These can be paid in the Student Affairs Office. Be sure to keep the receipt, which you will submit it to the graduate school along with your thesis or dissertation.
  • Schedule your final oral exam. After your thesis is complete, your committee should submit the final examination scheduling form to the Graduate School, which will then schedule your final examination.
  • Submit your thesis/dissertation to the Graduate School, making sure that it is formatted in accordance with the Graduate School formatting guidelines. Doctoral students should check the Graduate School’s website for other forms that should be submitted along with your dissertation, including the Copyright Acknowledgement, Dissertation Agreement, and Survey of Earned Doctorates.
  • Update your address in zzusis. Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent home mailing address after degrees have been conferred, approximately two months following your graduation date. Make sure that you notify the Graduate School immediately if your address changes during that time.

Click here for complete list of Graduate School Forms and Guidelines.


Do you have family and friends coming for Commencement?

  • Please note: The ceremony will start promptly at 2:00 P.M. Guests not seated at that time will need to wait until after the graduate processional before being seated.
  • Parking is free on campus all day on May 8. Walking down the Centennial Trail or Spokane Falls Blvd. to the INB Performing Arts Center should take 10-15 minutes.
  • If you wish to drive to the ceremony, you can park in the parking garage between the Double Tree and the Convention Center. The cost is $5.00.
  • If you have guests who need wheelchair access to the ceremony, there is a drop-off area just outside the doors to the INB Performing Arts Center. There are limited wheelchairs available at the Guest Services kiosk just inside the doors.
  • Shuttle Service will be offered from the yellow parking lot on the south side of Spokane Falls Blvd. Please refer to this map (Shuttle Service Map) to see the circulation route and stops for both the shuttle with wheelchair lift and the ones without. Shuttles should run every 10 minutes from 12:30 to 2:00 P.M. and from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M.
  • The ceremony will be sign-interpreted.
  • If you or your guests need other accommodations, please contact Liz West at liz.west@wsu.edu.

Ceremony instructions for students

The celebrations begin Friday morning, May 8, 2015 with a commencement breakfast and awards ceremony on campus, sponsored by ASWSU Spokane for graduates and their families.


  • Commencement is Friday, May 8, at 2:00 P.M., at the INB Performing Arts Center (Spokane Falls Blvd.). Graduates will line up no later than 1:30 P.M.
  • WSU Spokane volunteers will help you check in. You should leave personal items with your family or friends as the lineup room may not be secure during the ceremony.

Check In

  • When you arrive in the lineup area, you will pick up a card that has your name and degree. During the commencement ceremony, you will give this card to the faculty presenter as you come on stage to receive your diploma. you will need to hold onto this card. If you think that the presenter may have difficulty pronouncing your name, please write it phonetically on the card.
  • Next, you will be directed to gather with other graduates in your degree program (signs will be posted). Staff will give you further instructions on how the ceremony will proceed at that time.


  • Faculty and students will proceed from the lineup room to the ceremony. Faculty will be seated on stage. Students will be seated in the front rows of the auditorium in degree order, so it is important to stay with others in your program and sit in the row you have been assigned. The ceremony will be outlined in the program you will receive.
  • The Chancellor presents each category of degree candidate to the University President, who confers the degrees (doctoral students first, then masters, then baccalaureate). After degrees are conferred, you will be invited to approach the stage by degree - Doctoral students first, etc. to receive your diploma.
  • Students in each degree program will go to the stage and a presenter will be at the podium at the top of the stairs. Hand your name card to that person and proceed across the stage, The president will hand you your diploma cover and shake your hand, and graduate students will be hooded by faculty on the stage. Proceed down the stairs and back to your seats.

Enjoy the day and your accomplishments!

Guest Seating

  • Doors will open at 1:30 P.M.
  • Sign language interpreters will be provided. The ceremony is wheelchair accessible.


  • A professional photographer will take pictures of graduates as they receive their diploma cover. A second shot will be taken as graduate students are hooded or as undergraduates leave the stage.
  • Only the official photographers will be allowed near the stage area. Personal pictures of graduates in caps and gowns should be take before and after the ceremony.
  • Order forms are available on this website and at the commencement ceremony. The photographer will have a display table in the Convention Center lobby with various order options. Photo order information (pdf) »

Academic Regalia

  • Caps and gowns will be available in The Bookie beginning March 23. If you are off-campus, you can reserve and pay for your cap and gown rental by calling The Bookie at 509.358.7860.

Commencement Breakfast Header

The Associated Students of Washington State University Spokane invite you to join us for the 2015 Commencement Breakfast.

Please join us for this annual tradition of celebration and reflection for graduating students and their families. Formal program will feature remarks by Chancellor Lisa Brown, ASWSU Spokane leadership, the WSU Alumni Association, and faculty and student award presentations.

Friday, May 8

9:00-11:00 A.M.

Breakfast at 9 A.M.

Formal Program to follow

Red Lion Inn @ The Park

303 W. North River Drive

Spokane, WA 99201

Ballrooms B & C

Courtesy of ASWSU Spokane, this breakfast is free to each graduating student and up to four of their guests.

Ticketing Information

Breakfast attendance is by RSVP only. Each attendee must present their ticket at the door. Families who woud like to attend, please contact your WSU Spokane student and ask them to RSVP when they receive the Commencement Breakfast Registration link in their student email during the month of March.

Questions regarding registration?

Contact Katie Gilsdorf (katie.gilsdorf@wsu.edu) or 509-358-7570.

Congratulations Graduates

If you are a person with disabilities requiring assistance, please email pat.montgomery@wsu.edu or call 509-358-7921. Advance notice is appreciated, and we will make the best possible accommodations for your needs.


WSU Spokane takes great pride in recognizing the outstanding achievements of its students. Please take a moment to nominate those students you feel are deserving of the recognitions listed below. Take note that you may nominate a student for one or more of the following honors. Be sure to check all boxes that apply when completing the nomination form.

The Chancellor’s Awards recognize outstanding graduating students each academic year. The awards are presented at the Commencement Breakfast. Any member of the WSU community may nominate a deserving WSU Spokane graduate or undergraduate student who will graduate in 2015 (spring/summer/fall).

The student who is selected for this award will have demonstrated:

  • Inquiry and Innovation–Capacity for thoughtful reasoning
  • Perseverance in academic pursuits, despite personal or situational barriers
  • Character and Integrity–Explain how this student fosters an environment that cultivates individual virtues and institutional integrity
  • Civic mindedness-Detail how the student is active in civic-minded service within the campus and/or larger community
  • Collaboration-A commitment to working collaboratively. Detail the ways you have observed the student working as a team member
  • Commitment to diversity
Student Commencement Speaker

Students with an inspirational message or compelling story can be nominated. If selected, they will be asked to deliver a short message to their fellow graduates during the commencement ceremony--approximately 3-5 minutes.

Student Spotlight for Commencement

Help us put the spotlight on a few of our WSU Spokane graduating students by sharing  their compelling story of overcoming great odds, dedication, sacrifice, and/or commitment. If selected, these students will be highlighted in the commencement ceremony and the media release prior to the event.

The deadline for nominations is 9:00 A.M., Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Please direct any questions to Judy Zeiger at judy.zeiger@wsu.edu or 509.358.7526.


For Graduates - Spring 2015

March 6

Last day to apply for a graduate degree ($50 fee) or graduate certificate ($25 fee).

March 6

Last day to apply for Teaching Certificate,

March 6

Last day to apply for undergraduate (bachelors) degree ($41 fee). After this date, an additional late fee of $75 assessed when applying for May 2015.

Beginning March 23

Caps and gowns will be available in The Bookie beginning March 23. If you are off-campus, you can reserve and pay for your cap and gown rental by calling The Bookie at 509.358.7860. Announcements may be ordered online by going to http://www.jostens.com/college/announcement-inserts.html.

March 30

Stafford loan Exit Counseling session from noon to 1:00 p.m. Email spok.sa@wsu.edu by 9:00 a.m. to reserve a lunch. This requirement may also be compleed online at www.studentloans.gov.

April 10

Recommended deadline to take final examination for advanced degree.

By April 17

Notify Student Affairs if you plan on attending Spokane Commencement by completing the RSVP for Commencement »

April 14

EWU Grad Finale at Phase 1 Classroom Building.

April 24

Last day to take oral examination for advanced degree.

May 1

Last day to apply for an undergraduate or professional degree for May 2015 with $75 late fee. After this date the late fee increases to $150.

May 4 – May 8

Final Exam Week - - Good Luck!

May 5

Stafford Loan Exit Counseling Session from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. E-mail spok.sa@wsu.edu to RSVP. This requirement may also be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.

May 8

WSU Spokane Commencement at the INB Performing Arts Center, 2:00 P.M.

May 9

WSU Pullman Commencement at Beasley Colliseum

  • 8:00 A.M.: College of Arts and Sciences
  • 11:30 A.M.: College of Business, College of Education, College of Communications
  • 3:00 P.M.: College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Engineering and Architecture, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Veterinary Medicine (BS, MS and PhD candidates)