Special Events: Graduate & Undergraduate Commencement


The Spring 2021 Commencement event will be virtual for this academic year. The tentative scheduled date for commencement is April 23rd 2021. For more information, please email commencement@ggu.edu.

See also:
The following process must be completed by February 29, 2020, in order to participate in the commencement ceremony:
You must first Apply for Graduation

Applying for graduation lets us know that you intend to complete all your degree requirements soon. Graduating from the University is not associated with any additional fees. Graduation applications are valid for three consecutive terms, beginning with the term for which a student first applies. For example, if a student applies to graduate in Fall 2019, the application will be valid for Fall 2019, Spring and Summer 2020 terms. If students do not complete their academic program requirements within those three terms, their applications will expire and they will be required to reapply for graduation.

Once you have applied for graduation, you must Register for Commencement.

Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates your graduation. You will not receive your diploma at the ceremony. You can participate in the ceremony even if you have not completed all of your requirements for graduation, but you do need to be close to completing all of your requirements. Please see section below for more information.

To participate in the commencement ceremony you must pay the $100 commencement fee. This is a non-refundable fee. Only those that have registered and paid for Commencement will be allowed to participate in the ceremony. This must be completed by February 29, 2020.

NOTE: Fees for commencement paid by credit card will be charged a 2.75% fee.

When you register for commencement, you will be asked to indicate your height and weight so that we can order the correct regalia (cap and gown) for you. Everyone must order regalia. You may not wear robes from a previous commencement ceremony. The regalia are rentals and will need to be returned after the ceremony.

Students who do not register for commencement by February 29, 2020, deadline are not guaranteed a spot in the commencement ceremony.

If you are allowed to participate you will have to pay an additional $50 late fee for a rush order for regalia and you will receive just four tickets for your family and friends.


Students who have completed their course requirements in Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Spring 2020 AND students with a maximum of 12 units remaining to complete their degree and plan to complete those requirements in Summer 2020 may participate in the commencement ceremony.


Missing the graduation and commencement deadlines means that you may not be able to participate in the commencement ceremony. If there is extra space, we may be able to squeeze you in, but your commencement fee will include a $50 late charge and you will receive just four tickets for your family and friends.


If you can’t come to the Grad Fair to pick up your regalia and tickets it’s okay, online students have two options:

Have it Delivered: Starting April 13th, regalia and tickets can be delivered to your home for a nominal fee ($13.50). You will need to call the bookstore at 415-442-7277 to arrange for home delivery. 

Pick It Up the Day of the Event: You can pick up your tickets at the Will Call table and the regalia at the bookstore tent in the student check-in area.

There is no rehearsal for this ceremony, however, instructions will be provided the day of the event on the Student Check-In table.

Watch the ceremony online as it happens!

Streaming begins at 9:30 am PST on Saturday, April 25, 2020.


Golden Gate University is seeking a Student Speaker to deliver an address at the 2020 Commencement Ceremony on behalf of the graduating class.



Robert Patterson, Director – Worldwide Tax & Trade Controller, Microsoft

Robert joined Microsoft in September 2015 to build the framework for an innovative function within Internal Audit as Program Manager for Tax & Trade. In this role, Robert has worked with many of the tax leadership team’s members in the tax department and their stakeholders across the company to assist the tax department within identifying controls and mitigating risk for Microsoft. In his new role, Robert will work across all teams within the Tax leadership team and external auditors, as well as other stakeholders in the Business and Finance around the globe to ensure internal control over financial reporting amongst all functional areas (e.g. Tax Provision, Int’l Tax, Treasury Tax, M&A Tax, Indirect Tax, Alternative Tax, Trade Exports, Trade Customs, Trade Sanctions, Tax, and Trade Technology).

Prior to joining Microsoft, Robert was a tax practitioner, having been involved with tax initiatives related to global and domestic tax compliance and policies in roles with the Big 4 at PwC, the M&A National Office for Ernst & Young in the Washington D.C. area and working in key tax roles for multinational enterprises at Wal-Mart (Tax Planning & Policy) and American Express (Tax Controversies). Robert also worked at the State of Kansas within the Legal Services Bureau where he handled corporate tax appeals and participated in the drafting of tax legislation. Robert obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Pacific Lutheran University; M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Morehead State University; Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville; Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University; Graduate Certificate in State & Local Taxation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and he completed coursework in law at Washburn University’s School of Law. Robert is currently a Seattle Area Advisory Board Member at the Braden School of Taxation for Golden Gate University.


Regalia are the robes worn during the commencement ceremony -- this includes cap, gown, hood, and tassel. When you register for commencement, you will be asked to indicate your height and weight so that we can order the correct regalia for you. Everyone must order regalia. You may not wear robes from a previous commencement ceremony. The regalia are rentals and will need to be returned after the ceremony.



Regalia can be delivered to your home for a nominal fee ($13.50) on or around April 13, 2020. You will need to call the bookstore at 415-442-7277 to arrange for home delivery.


Grad Fair
April 10, 2020; 4:00 - 7:00 pm
University Center, 6th Floor
536 Mission Street, San Francisco

View a Video on How to Wear Your Cap, Gown, and Hood


Of course, you want to celebrate with your friends and family! In order to attend the ceremony, your friends and family will need tickets (you don't need one).

All graduates will receive five tickets. Look for an email with information about the tickets the first week of April.

Children are welcome to attend commencement; however, graduates and their guests should consider that the event lasts approximately two hours. If the child will occupy a seat, he/she will need a separate ticket.

If your family members need an official invitation letter for a visa interview to come to the commencement ceremony, please Submit the Letter Request Form.

Balloons are not allowed at the venue.



There are many public transportation options. To find the best one for you, use this Google Map to get directions.

  • The Paramount Theatre is 500 feet from the 19th Street BART Station. Take the "20th Street Exit" stairs up from the station, and walk NORTH on Broadway toward 21st Street. For routing information, select "19th Street, Oakland" as your destination on this BART Trip Planner.
  • Plan a trip to the Paramount via public transportation and find transit routes and services on the 511.org Trip Planner.


  • Go east across The Bay Bridge
  • Bay Bridge becomes I-80 East
  • Take the I-880 South ramp towards Alameda / Airport / San Jose
  • Take the W. Grand Ave exit
  • Head east on W. Grand Ave
  • Turn right on Broadway Ave
  • The Paramount Theatre will be located on your right at 2025 Broadway
  • FROM MARIN, I-580 E/Richmond San Rafael Bridge puts you on I-80 West
  • From I-80 West take 580 East to 980 West
  • From 980 West take the 18th Street Exit
  • Merge onto Brush Street
  • Turn left onto 17th Street
  • Turn left onto Broadway
  • The Paramount Theatre will be located on your left at 2025 Broadway
  • Take I-680 South to Hwy 24 West ramp towards Oakland / Lafayette
  • Merge onto Hwy 24 West
  • After going through the Caldecott Tunnel, Hwy 24 becomes I-980 West
  • From I-980 W. take the 27th Street exit towards W. Grand Avenue
  • Merge onto Northgate Avenue
  • Turn left onto W. Grand Avenue
  • Turn right onto Telegraph Avenue
  • Turn left onto 20th Street
  • Turn left onto Broadway/Broadway Auto Row
  • The Paramount Theatre will be located directly ahead
  • Take I-880 North towards Oakland
  • Take the Broadway exit towards Downtown Oakland
  • Stay to the right at the fork in the ramp
  • Merge onto Broadway
  • Broadway becomes Broadway / Broadway Auto Row
  • Stay on Broadway to 21st Street
  • The Paramount Theatre will be located directly ahead


There are several major parking facilities near The Paramount Theatre:



Lodging in the San Francisco Bay Area

Honors are awarded to master's degree graduates who maintained cumulative grade point averages in GGU courses as follows:
  • With Honors: 3.800 - 3.899
  • With High Honors: 3.900 - 3.999
  • With Highest Honors: 4.000
Honors are awarded to bachelors degree graduates who maintained cumulative grade point averages in GGU courses as follows:
  • Cum laude : 3.50-3.749
  • Magna cum laude: 3.750-3.899
  • With Highest Honors: 3.900-4.000

All graduates receiving honors status (as designated above) will receive an honor cord to wear with their regalia. Honor cords will be distributed to those who met the honors criteria at the end of the Fall 2019 trimester only.

Honor cords will be made available at the Grad Fair on April 10, 2020. If you do not attend the Grad Fair, honor cords will automatically be mailed to the address we have on file.

Honor designations do not apply to certificate programs or Doctoral degrees.

Honors is noted on your diploma will be based on your GGU GPA after all courses have been completed.


Students must arrive by 9 am to check in, line up and make sure they have properly put on their graduation regalia. Please see Student Check-In information.

Family and friends may not wait with students while they check in, line up and proceed to stage. Family and friends will be permitted into the auditorium at 9 am. Guests who have notified us they will need accommodated seating will be permitted to enter through a separate entrance and encouraged to take their seats between 8:45 and 9 am. Please fill out the Special Accommodation Form by clicking here.

The ceremony will begin promptly at 10 am and will last between 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Please stay seated during the entire ceremony unless instructed to do otherwise.

NOTE: Balloons are not allowed at the venue.


GradImages will take professional pictures of the ceremony. Guests must remain in their seats and maintain the safety and dignity of this very important event. GradImages will take student photographs as they walk across the stage. On the back of the name card that students receive at check-in, they can indicate a mailing address or e-mail address. GradImages will mail or e-mail students a proof of their picture, which can then be purchased online.


Please complete the Special Accommodation Form. If you have additional questions, e-mail commencement@ggu.edu or call 415-442-7288. We have requested certain seating arrangements to meet the needs of the guests. If your guests arrive on the day of the event without prior arrangements, we cannot guarantee accommodations.



When you arrive, you will be instructed to check-in based on your last name. You will receive a card with a label on it. The label will include your name and degree information. Please confirm that this is correct. On the back of the name card is information from the photographer. Please fill out the necessary information on the back of the card.

The label will also include information to help you line up for the procession into the ceremony. There will be a line letter and number on the label. The letter indicates which line you should get in (A, B, C or D) and the number indicates your place in the line. For example, you may see A37 -- this indicates that you are in line A and are 37th in the line.

Please hold on to this card until you hand it over to the name reader during the graduation ceremony.


After check-in, you will be directed to the robing area. Staff will be available to help you with your regalia. Please bring safety pins and bobby pins to secure your cap and gown as necessary.

  • It is best to have your regalia ironed and ready to go when you arrive.
  • Please wear sensible shoes as you will be walking up and downstairs.

View a Video on How to Wear Your Cap, Gown, and Hood


There is no place to put your personal belongings in the check-in area. Please bring to the check-in area only what you intend to wear as you walk across the stage, and have your family and friends hold on to any other personal belongings. The staff is not responsible for any lost or left behind items.


The processional will form at 9:30 am. Graduates will line up in separate lines according to degree and program. Within each degree, the students will be lined up alphabetically by using the number labels on their cards. Students are to follow the directions of the marshals. The marshals will direct you into your lines, take you down the stairs and seat you. When it is your turn to receive your degree, the marshals will escort you up to the platform. You then will walk up the stairs, hand your card to the name reader, walk across the stage, shake hands with the faculty standing on stage, receive your diploma cover, and walk off the stage and down the stairs on the opposite side of the podium. When you are off the platform, the marshals will again direct you back to your seat. Please show respect for your classmates who receive their diplomas after you by remaining quiet and orderly as you leave the stage and are guided back to your seat. You must return to your seat until the recessional.


The Bookstore will be collecting the rental gowns and hoods at the conclusion of the ceremony. Graduates will be returning their gowns and hoods in the reception area. Your school account will be charged $250, if the bookstore does not receive your gown and hood by Monday, April 27, 2010.



An announcement informs the recipient of Golden Gate University's commencement ceremony date, time, and location. Tickets allow guests to attend the commencement ceremony. Please note that announcement and tickets are not the same thing.

Announcements are optional. However, if you would like to order personalized announcements, you may order them by visiting Herff Jones.

Please remember it will take at least 2 to 4 weeks for Herff Jones to process your personalized announcements. You will want to order them as early as possible so that you may receive them in time to send out at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance of the ceremony.

Receive 10% discount on frames at the Grad Fair!


Class rings can be purchased online by visiting the school's vendor, Jostens, or you may place an order at the Grad Fair with a Jostens representative on April 10, 2020.

For questions regarding commencement:





Commencement Ceremony
Student Affairs 415-442-7288 commencement@ggu.edu
Diploma / Certificate Processing
Records and Registration 415-442-7278 graduation@ggu.edu
Graduation Clearance
Academic Advisor See Academic Advising Web Page
Degree Verification
Enrollment Services -- Records 415-442-7200 records@ggu.edu
Financial Holds on Transcripts / Diplomas
Student Financial Services 415-442-7839 finaid@ggu.edu
Enrollment Services -- Records 415-442-7200 records@ggu.edu