Southern & Northern Commencement FAQ's
If I cannot attend Commencement, what are my options?
I am finishing my coursework in the Fall I session after Commencement; can I still walk in the ceremony?
What does dual degree mean? Can I walk for more than one degree in a given year?
How do I get a Commencement program and how much do they cost?
How do I obtain a letter of invitation for a family member traveling from another country?
Send an email from your Brandman email account to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name (the graduate), student ID, degree program, the name(s) of the family member(s) traveling, and the consulate mailing address. You should receive a response from a commencement team member within 5 business days.
Please be aware the letter provided by Brandman is not a guarantee that your family member will be approved to travel, per their respective consulate.
Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?
There are no rehearsals for the Southern and Northern Commencement ceremonies. Graduates will receive instructions via their Brandman email account the weeks leading up to Commencement. On the day of, there will be Brandman Marshals leading the procession and directing all graduates where to go.
How can I be considered for the student speaker position at the Southern or Northern ceremonies?
The nomination process is currently open for the Southern and Northern ceremonies. The deadline for submitting your nomination packet is Monday, March 11, 2019. Information regarding the 2019 student speaker process, packet requirements, and criteria is available on the nomination form below.
Students can work directly with their Academic Advisor on this process or they can self-nominate by emailing their completed packet and nomination form to email@example.com with 'COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER NOMINATION' in the subject line.
Cap and Gown
Will the Bookstore be open at my ceremony?
How do I wear my cap and gown?
Can I purchase my cap and gown the day of my ceremony?
Where do I purchase my cap and gown?
What shoes are appropriate for Commencement?
Is the stole (aka sash) required for my cap and gown?
What do I wear?
If you are receiving your undergraduate degree, your regalia will consist of a black gown, mortar board cap, and gold/maroon tassel. There is also a Brandman stole and a Veteran’s stole (or sash), that are available for purchase but are completely optional.
If you are receiving your master degree, your regalia will consist of a black master’s gown, mortarboard cap, gold/maroon tassel, and a master’s hood.
If you are receiving your doctoral degree, your regalia will consist of a doctoral gown with black velvet panels and bars, doctoral hood, and black velvet tam with attached gold tassel. For doctoral regalia only, graduates will have the option to rent or purchase their commencement attire. If selecting to rent, your gown will be black with black velvet trimmings. If selecting to purchase, your gown will be apple red with black velvet trimmings and BU logo.
How do I know if I am eligible to wear an Honors cord?
Only Bachelor candidates are eligible for Latin honors and honors cords. Purchasing or wearing honors cords at commencement does not guarantee that the student will earn Latin honors, which are determined at the time of degree conferral.
To be eligible for Latin honors, the student must have a Brandman grade point average and cumulative grade point average, including all transfer work, at or above the specific honors category. A minimum of 54 credits must be Brandman coursework taken for a letter grade. Categories of honors are cum laude (3.500–3.699 GPA); magna cum laude (3.700–3.899 GPA); and summa cum laude (3.900+ GPA). Any students who have met these requirements by Fall II may order an honors cord. Please view your academic catalog or contact your Academic Advisor for any questions.
For students who have not completed their program requirements by the order deadline, but would like to wear an honors cord at commencement, please work with your Academic Advisor to determine if you are on schedule to complete your degree with Latin Honors. Any students who have not completed their program requirements and are on schedule to graduate with Latin Honors, may order an honors cord.
When do the doors open for my family and friends?
Will a commencement DVD be available?
A DVD will not be available for purchase, however your family and friends from around the globe can view the ceremony via livestream on the Brandman Facebook page.
How long is my ceremony?
May I leave the ceremony as soon as I cross the stage?
What time do I need to be at Commencement for the line up?
Will the ceremony be live streamed on the internet?
What do I do if I lost my boarding pass the day of my ceremony?
Where should I meet my family and friends after the ceremony?
How can I make sure my name is pronounced correctly?
What should I do if I did not receive my boarding pass?
What should I do if I cannot print my boarding pass?
Will photos be taken of me as I cross the stage?
How many guests may I invite and will they need tickets?
For our Southern California ceremonies, guest tickets are not required for admission and seating is first come, first served.
For our Northern California ceremony, tickets will be required for guests. Additional information regarding ticket allotments, wait lists, and deadlines will be available on the Northern Commencement page.
At both ceremonies, once the ceremony begins any empty seats must be made available to guests who are seeking seats, so that everyone may be accommodated. Guests are requested to remain seated during the ceremony so that everyone may have an unobstructed view of the proceedings. At the Southern ceremony, all seating is outdoors, in folding chairs and on artificial turf. Alternate viewing locations are available in the south, for those that need to move indoors. Information on guest seating for those with physical challenges can be found in the Accommodations tab of the FAQs.
What if it rains or is hot?
Where do we lineup? How do we lineup?
For the Southern CA ceremonies, the student lineup will take place inside the Hutton Sports Center on the Chapman University campus. For the Northern ceremony, the student lineup will take place on the lawn on either side of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. Directional signs will guide graduates where to go.
Graduates are lined up by their degree level (beginning with Associates and ending with Doctoral graduates), then by degree program alphabetically by school. This will be done by your line up number, which is provided on your boarding pass. Directional signs and Commencement Team Members (wearing maroon polo shirts) will help guide you to your line up location.
What should I bring to Commencement?
If I RSVP for commencement, will I automatically receive my diploma?
When do I receive my diploma?
Once coursework is 100% complete and your student account is up to date, you will begin the conferral process. You will receive an email to your Brandman account with instructions on how to submit a Diploma Form. Once you submit your Diploma From and any student account holds are cleared, you should expect to receive your printed diploma in the mail within 2-4 weeks via USPS. For more information, please visit the Degree Conferral page on MyBrandman.
What size will my diploma be?
Brandman diplomas are 11”x14”. Souvenir diploma frames are available for purchase on the Chapman Online Bookstore. Be sure to select a Brandman University Diploma Frame when ordering, to ensure the correct size opening for your diploma.
Maps and Parking
Is there a fee for parking?
Where should I park?
When can I RSVP for commencement?
Students who are eligible to participate in Commencement will receive an email to their Brandman email account in early February to RSVP to their assigned Commencement location. If you believe you should be eligible to participate in Commencement and you did not receive this email notification by late-February, it is recommended that you contact your Academic Advisor.
How can I get my name in the printed program?
What special accommodations are available for me as the grad?
Are wheelchairs available at Commencement?
What special accommodations are available for my family and friends?
At the Southern ceremony, guest seating is at field level and there is no designated seating for guests in wheelchairs. Wheelchairs may be placed on the outside edge of a row next to the rest of the family. Specific field entrances/exits will be ADA. For guests with hearing impairment at the Southern ceremony, captioning will be available on the large screens near the stage.
At the Northern ceremony, a section of seats will be available for family members with physical challenges. However, in order to accommodate everyone with special seating needs, we can only allow up to 3 guests per graduate in this section. We recommend that guests needing these designated seats arrive 15 minutes prior to doors opening and wait just outside the main entrance at the top of the handicap ramp. A Commencement Team Member will greet you early and assist you with locating a seat that suits your needs.
Guests with questions regarding special accommodations not covered above may email firstname.lastname@example.org with their inquiry.