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Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement FAQs

Following is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Concordia University Commencement.

I missed my commencement. Did you record it?

We began live streaming (and recording) our ceremonies as of Fall 2014. To view past ceremonies you can watch them on-demand by clicking here.

When is commencement?

Click on the Schedule of Events link on the left side of the screen for the latest updates.                                                         

How long is the ceremony?

Ceremonies each last approximately one hour and will be followed by a reception in the Dining Hall.

Do I need tickets for my guests?

Yes, all guests 4 or older must have a ticket to attend. Children under the age of 3 years will not need a ticket if they can sit on the lap of an adult the entire ceremony.

When do I pick my tickets up?

All tickets can be reserved and printed online via our online Ticket Box Office. Tickets are made available a few months before each ceremony to allow for travel planning. To find when tickets will be available for the next commencement you can click here to visit the Schedule of Events page for details. 

I am not able to travel to Portland for the ceremony. May I still watch?

Yes. We live stream our ceremonies here for students, family & friends who are not able to attend in person.  You can also post congratulatory tweets to  #gotmydegreeatCUpdx or #proudofmyCUpdxGrad.

Do I (the graduate) need a ticket?

You will not need to keep one for yourself. Appropriate University approved regalia will act as your V.I.P. pass into the ceremony.

Does my baby need a ticket?

Children under the age of three years will not need one if they can sit on the lap of an adult for the entire ceremony.

How much do tickets cost?

We do not charge a fee for commencement tickets.

What if it rains?

The commencement ceremony is in the gymnasium on campus. Commencement is held rain or shine. 

How do I get my cap and gown? (Academic Regalia)

Everyone who participates in an academic ceremony on Commencement Day must wear a cap with tassel, gown and stole of the appropriate color and style, as approved by the University. Upon confirmation of eligibility you will be provided with information about how to obtain your Regalia (i.e. Cap & Gown) via email, but graduates can also click here to be directed to the order website. 

When should I arrive for the ceremony and where do the graduates meet?

Students are required to show up at least 45 minutes before the ceremony and meet in the main auditorium in the Student Events and Activity Center (SEAC), located upstairs in the Hagen Campus Center (#3 on the campus map).

What if my plans change with respect to participating in commencement?

Contact the Office of the Registrar immediately to discuss your options. Note: We live stream the ceremonies here if you want to watch.

Is there a commencement rehearsal?

In lieu of a rehearsal, Concordia staff members will instruct you on marching procedures and will be available to answer your questions. See below for general information about what to expect that morning:

Cap & Tassel: Tassel goes on the right side until the diploma is received and then it is moved to the left.

Hood: Graduate students place the right arm through the narrow end of the hood with velvet color towards the body. The hood will be placed over the student's head on the stage during the ceremony.

Stole of Gratitude: Is draped around your neck.

Check in: At the table as you enter the SEAC to receive your name card.  Proceed to your college area indicated by the corresponding color on your name card.

Personal items: Do not leave personal items in the SEAC. The room remains unlocked and is not a secure area.

Recommendation: During commencement, men remove caps for prayer, invocation, and benediction.

What should I do if I am late and arrive after the ceremony has started?

If you arrive as the graduates are going up to the stage to have their names read, then you only need to enter at the back and find one of the faculty marshals, who will direct you to where you can seat yourself. 

Can I leave the ceremony early?

No. Out of respect to your fellow graduates we ask all participants to stay until the end of the ceremony.

Will I be eligible to walk in the ceremony?

Students who wish to participate in a commencement ceremony must apply to graduate no later than April 1st for the Fall Commencement, and November 1st for Spring Commencement.  The online graduation application is available in your my.CU account.

To participate in the ceremony, all outstanding official transcripts from other colleges must be submitted to the Registrar’s office by the week of finals. If you are taking a course elsewhere during the term and an official transcript will not be available in time, please have your instructor send a letter to the Registrar’s mailbox before the last week of classes stating the end date for the course and your expected grade.

When will I receive my diploma?

All degree candidates participating in commencement will receive a blank diploma cover at the ceremony.  Your final degree requirements will be certified and your degree will be awarded 4-6 weeks from the submission of your final grade(s).  Your diploma will be mailed to the address indicated on your graduation application approximately six to eight weeks after your graduation date.  If your address has changed, contact the Registrar’s office immediately.

Warning: Your diploma may be held by the Registrar due to some of the following issues:

Outstanding library books - contact the library at 503-280-8507.
Outstanding bill - contact Student Accounts at 503-280-8503.
Outstanding official transcripts or incompletes - contact the Registrar's Office at 503-280-8510.
Outstanding CLEP exams - all exams should have been completed by mid-term, and all scores must be received before finals.

Please note: The diploma is a ceremonial document only and the receipt of a diploma does not, in itself, testify to completion of your degree.  The official record of degree completion will be stated on your academic transcript.

Am I eligible for Academic Honors?

Graduation honors are granted to undergraduate students as follows: Cum Laude to students with a minimum 3.50 GPA, Magna Cum Laude to students with a minimum 3.70 GPA, Summa Cum Laude to students with a minimum 3.90 GPA. Honors are calculated on the overall cumulative GPA on your transcript, including transfer credits, through the semester prior to commencement. Students achieving academic honors will receive an honors medallion.

Students fulfilling the requirements for a graduate degree are required to maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA. The hood and Master’s degree speak to the outstanding quality of work and high achievement of graduate students and therefore are not awarded academic honors.

Photography

Grad Images will be providing official photography for the Commencement Ceremony. Professional photographers take photographs of the entire ceremony including 2-3 photographs of each graduate receiving their diploma. These images will be available a few days after the event via their website at www.gradimages.com.

For Pre-Event Registration, click here to enter your email address and the email addresses of your loved ones who would like to view and order your photos. By submitting your information to us early, you can rest assured that photo proofs will be provided to you as soon as they are available after the event.

If you walk in the ceremony and are not contacted by Grad Images after graduation, please contact their customer service department at 800-247-3435.

How can I order announcements and a class ring?

Every October and February Jostens holds an ordering even on campus in the Hagen Center.  Graduating students have the opportunity to order graduation announcements and class rings.  Specific dates will appear on the “Schedule of Events” page of the commencement website. If you are unable to attend the event and wish to place an order, you can order directly online at www.jostens.com.  

Where should guests park?

Parking in designated areas on campus will be limited the day of commencement. Most are reserved for handicapped parking. However, street parking is available in the neighborhood. No RVs or campers are allowed in any university parking areas.

Are there special parking and seating accommodations for elderly and disabled guests?

Yes, there are accommodations for both parking and seating for elderly and disabled guests. Parking for elderly/disabled is in the parking lot next to the Gymnasium. If your guests require special seating accommodations, please contact the Registrar's Office at 503-280-8510 or registrar@cu-portland.edu to make arrangements prior to the day of commencement. 

When will I receive information about commencement?

All commencement-related information will be provided on this website and via e-mail to all students who have applied for graduation. The information provided is the best available at the time of posting but is subject to change. Please check back, especially as we get closer to the date of the ceremonies. Commencement information can be found at: www.cu-portland.edu/commencement/

How do I get a commencement program?

The commencement program, with the names of potential graduates and program details, will be distributed to candidates when they arrive for the ceremony. A program will be given to all guests who attend the ceremony. Students’ names will be listed in the program if they have applied for graduation by the appropriate deadline. Summer and Fall graduates have an April 1st deadline for inclusion in the program. Spring graduates need to apply by November 1st of the previous year to be included in the program.

Please note: The presence of your name in the program does not, in itself, testify to completion of your degree. The official record of degree completion will be stated on your academic transcript.

Where can I get more information?

The website for commencement is www.cu-portland.edu/commencement/ and will be updated, especially as we get closer to the day of the event. We have made every attempt to be thorough, but if there is something we have missed or you need clarification, please e-mail registrar@cu-portland.edu or call us at 503-280-8510. The Registrar’s Office is located in Luther Hall, 222.