FAQ - Graduation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

Graduation – when a student is awarded a degree or certificate once they have satisfied all requirements. Students do not officially graduate until all grades have been entered in their last attending semester. Upon verification from the Records Office, a diploma will be mailed to the graduate.

Commencement/Walking – a ceremony that allows students, family, and friends to celebrate the student's academic accomplishments. Participation in the ceremony does not mean the student has graduated (because final grades aren't due until after the ceremony date). Students do not receive their diploma at the ceremony – it will be mailed to the graduate upon verification of satisfied requirements.

Am I required to attend Commencement?

Attendance at Commencement is not mandatory. All graduates are strongly encouraged to attend so that Washington State Community College can recognize your achievements and your family and friends can share in your celebration.

Do my family/friends need tickets?

Yes, your guests need tickets to attend. Each graduate will be able to pick up tickets (up to five) for their guests in the Records Office prior to Commencement. Please check email dates for ticket pick up deadline. Seating is first come, first seated for ticketed guests. There will be an additional overflow room with a live stream of the ceremony for guests who do not have a ticket.

Do guest children need a ticket?

Yes. Every person who will be occupying a seat will need a ticket.

Is there a Commencement Ceremony rehearsal?

There is no rehearsal for the Commencement Ceremony. Instructions for the processional will be given at the time of check-in.

What time do graduates need to arrive and check in?

All students MUST check in in the Arts and Sciences building 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Instructions for the processional will be given at the time of check-in.

Must I wear a cap and gown (regalia)?

Yes, participation in the Commencement ceremony requires the college's cap and gown regalia.

What do I wear under my cap and gown (regalia)?

You should wear comfortable but appropriate attire, and comfortable shoes.

Where do I get my cap and gown regalia?

Caps, gowns, and announcements can be purchased through Barnes and Noble on campus. Honor and Veteran cords will be distributed to eligible students at check-in. PTK cords will need picked up with Brad Merritt prior to the Commencement.

How long do the Commencement Ceremonies last?

Each ceremony lasts around one hour depending on the number of graduates who participate.

Where can I park for commencement?

Parking is designated according to the ceremony. Please check parking signs on the WSCC campus to determine best parking for your ceremony time.

Are there special accommodations provided for guests?

All guests and/or graduates with limited mobility or special needs should contact the Records Office to arrange accommodations. A sign language interpreter will be available at each ceremony.

Will I have my photograph taken by an official, professional photographer at the ceremony?

No. Washington State Community College will be taking photographs for their website, however there is no guarantee that each graduate will be photographed.

When do I get my diploma?

You will receive your diploma via the U.S. Post mail approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester. You will need to update your address with the Records Office, as this is the mailing address where your diploma will be mailed. The Records Office will handle any questions regarding transcripts, graduation, diplomas, etc.

Are there any additional celebrations?

Yes! Graduates and guests are invited to the Main Building Commons for a free reception to celebrate your accomplishment.

How do I know which ceremony I am to attend?

Each program will participate in the following ceremony:

Arts and Sciences – 9:30 a.m.

  • Business Administration Transfer
  • Biological Sciences Transfer
  • Education Transfer
  • Fine Arts Transfer
  • Engineering Transfer
  • General Sciences Transfer
  • Geoscience Transfer
  • Liberal Arts Transfer
  • Mathematics Transfer
  • Physical Sciences Transfer

Business Technologies – 11:00 a.m.

  • Accounting Technology
  • Accounting Certificate
  • Business Management
  • Digital Technology
  • Office Administrative Service
  • Executive Office Assistant Certificate
  • Medical Coding Certificate

Engineering, Industrial Technology, Public Services, and Health and Wellness – 12:30 p.m.

  • Automotive
  • Chemical Operator Certificate
  • Criminal Justice
  • Police Officer Basic Academy (POBA)
  • Diesel Truck Systems
  • Drafting Certificate
  • Industrial Technology
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Health and Wellness
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Multi-Craft for Industry Certificate
  • Petroleum Industry Certificate
  • Social Services Technology
  • Social Services Transfer
  • Truck Maintenance Certificate
  • Welding Certificate
  • Associate of Individualized Study
  • Associate of Technical Studies – Cyber Security


If you have any questions regarding graduation or commencement, please call the Records Office at (740) 568-1904 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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