Graduate FAQ

Four master's degree recipients cheer loudly as they celebrate their graduate at the SPU Graduate Commencement Ceremony.

I have family members who live out of town and won’t be able to attend the high ceremonies. Can they watch them online?

Yes! The Graduate Commencement ceremony will be recorded for livestreaming purposes and will be viewable on our livestreaming page. The recordings of the ceremony will also be posted on this page, but may not be available until a week or so afterward. No other videographers are allowed in any aisle or near the platform. Graduate Hooding ceremonies will not be livestreamed.

My guests are coming from out of town. Where should they stay?

There are many hotels in the area, in close proximity to SPU. Additionally, see here for more recommendations on how you can spend your time while visiting Seattle.

Where should we eat?

You can explore Seattle restaurants by neighborhood and make reservations for your group.

Will there be any campus dining and retail options open on Saturday, June 11?

Academic Perks (Student Union Building, behind platform) will be open from 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The SPU Bookstore will also be open 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

Graduate Commencement is an outdoor ceremony. What happens if it rains that day?

We have a rain plan in place. It will go into effect if there is a forecast for severe weather, including heavy rain and/or thunder and lightning. Students will receive a notification if the rain plan is put into action. Please refer to the rain plan page for more information.

I have guests who have difficulty with mobility. Where is the best place to drop them off near Tiffany Loop?

We recommend pulling into the Ross parking lot, directly behind Subway (off of 3 Ave. W.) to drop off your guests before parking your car.

Is there ADA seating available in Tiffany Loop, for the Graduate Commencement ceremony?

If you have a guest who uses a wheelchair or walker, or who needs a seat close to the sidewalk, please contact We can make arrangements for a few companion seats as well.

I have a guest with a hearing impairment. Will there be sign interpretation or captioning?

There will be sign interpretation at the Graduate Commencement ceremony. If you have a guest that needs to be seated close to the interpreter, please contact

Is there a place to buy flowers or leis?

There is no official flower vendor, but frequently there is someone selling flowers and leis on the sidewalk near the opening to Tiffany Loop. To be safe, we recommend purchasing flowers in advance, before you come to campus.

What shall I do with my purse or personal belongings during the ceremonies?

There is no place to lock up, secure, or leave personal items and purses during either of the ceremonies. You must either leave items with one of your guests or carry them with you.

Will there be a way to purchase official photos of me graduating?

Grad Images is the official photography company for Commencement. They will take a photograph of each graduate receiving his or her diploma, and graduates will receive a proof in the mail shortly after the ceremony. You can contact the company at 1-800-628-4509, or by visiting No other photographers are allowed in any aisle or near the platform.

If I am not scheduled to graduate until Summer or Fall, can I still participate in the Commencement ceremony?

If you will be a 2022 Summer or Fall graduate, have already applied for graduation, and wish to have your name in the Graduate Commencement program and participate in the Graduate Commencement ceremony, you must register for Summer Session for all needed requirements and have approval of your graduate program coordinator no later than May 1.

When do I receive my actual diploma after I graduate?

Diploma covers, without diplomas, are distributed at Commencement. You will receive your diploma once all requirements are completed, your grades have been posted for your degree, and all financial obligations to the University (i.e. fines) are met. Spring Quarter graduates should receive diplomas by mid-September and summer graduates by mid-December.

How can I connect with my fellow graduates?

You can do so on the SPU Commencement Facebook Page.

What are the current COVID-19 guidelines and policies?

SPU plans to follow applicable legal requirements for COVID-19 during Commencement weekend.  It is our understanding that the applicable rules do not require masks, proof of vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test at this time.  However, people are welcome to wear a mask if they wish.  Also, if the rules change, or if the Tacoma Dome adds any requirements that are specific for the venue, we will follow those updated requirements.

Unanswered questions?

If you still can't find your answer there, call the Office of the Provost at 206-281-2125 or email