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Graduation and Commencement Information

The information on this page is for students preparing to graduate. All graduates are invited (but not required) to participate in an upcoming commencement ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between commencement and graduation?
Commencement is the ceremony where we celebrate your accomplishment. The ceremony includes a processional and recessional march of candidates as well as individual recognition of each graduate and hooding of doctoral candidates. Graduation is the act of completing all required coursework and earning credits needed to complete your degree.

Where do I find commencement information?
For starters, you are invited to review the information on this page. Information for the next ceremony is found on the Provost’s webpage at Commencement. Further details are on the EdTech webpage Ceremony Details. The university provides real-time live streaming of the commencement ceremony. You can view the fall 2016 ceremony at: Fall 2016 Commencement to get an idea of what to expect.

Are online students invited to participate in commencement?
Yes! All of our students who have completed requirements for their degree and have responded to an invitation from the registrar’s office are welcome to participate in commencement.

How will I receive information about commencement?
All official university communication regarding commencement will be emailed to you by the Registrar. Students planning to graduate in December will receive information in about mid-October.  Those graduating in May will get information in about mid-March.  If you are planning to graduate and have not received information by the times noted above, contact the Registrar’s office by phone (208) 426-4249 or send an email to Degree Progress.

Will I receive an official invitation to attend?
Yes. About 6 weeks prior to commencement, you will receive an email inviting you to participate in the commencement ceremony. You must respond to that invitation and please also inform our department by sending an email to Dixie Conner at Dixie Conner if you plan to attend. We’d like to know who’s planning to come so that we can get the opportunity to meet and greet you!

When are commencement events held?
Two commencement events are held each year- in December and May. Specific dates for upcoming commencement events are available on the Commencement webpage.

Do I need to get tickets for family and friends to attend?
No. Tickets are not required, but we encourage family and friends to arrive early.  Seats are filled on a first-come first-served basis and thousands of guests attend the ceremony.

If I graduate during the summer, when do I attend commencement?
You will be invited to attend the December commencement ceremony.

If I completed a certificate but not a degree, can I participate in commencement?
No. commencement participation is limited to those who complete a degree.

Can I attend either the winter or spring commencement? 
Boise State policy requires students to participate in the ceremony immediately following completion of their graduation requirements. Summer graduates are welcome to participate in winter (December) commencement. There are accommodations for students when extenuating circumstances make it difficult or impossible to attend the appropriate ceremony. If this is the case for you, you may complete and submit the University Commencement Appeal Form.

Am I required to participate in commencement to receive my diploma?
No, participation in commencement is optional.

Will I get my diploma at commencement?
No, graduates are given an official university diploma cover at commencement. Diplomas are not issued until final grades are verified by the Registrar and Graduate College. Diplomas are mailed to all graduates approximately 6-8 weeks after grades are verified and will be sent to the mailing address you have listed on

What if my employer needs confirmation of my earning my degree before I receive my diploma?
Many students need to provide documentation of degree completion to their school districts before their diploma arrives. The registrar is happy to provide an appropriate letter based upon your needs. You may request a letter by calling (208) 426-4249 or by sending an email request to:

How do I verify that my name will be correct on my diploma?
The name on your diploma will be the name listed as your primary name on  If you need to make a change to your first, middle, or last name, you need to immediately complete a “student information update form” and mail it with a copy of one of the following pieces of information that verifies your name: driver’s license, social security card, marriage license, court order, or a dissolution of marriage/divorce decree.  You can access the update form and mailing information at Information Update form.

How do I request a copy of my transcripts?
You may order official transcripts online using Boise State Transcripts as well as other related actions.

How do I get a correction made on my transcripts?
The Registrar makes every effort to ensure that your transcript records are up-to-date and accurate. If you believe there is an error or an omission on your transcript, please contact the Registrar’s Office by phone (208) 426-4249 or by email:

Who do I contact for assistance with graduation forms?
Paul Castelin is our end-of-program adviser. His email address is:

Click on the following links for more information:

Commencement Ceremony Details
Parking, Accommodation, Food Service and More
Contact Information Regarding Commencement
Resources for Out-of-town Graduates