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Pepperdine | Seaver College

Graduation FAQs

  Is Seaver graduation postponed?

Yes, in line with recommendations from multiple governmental and health agencies, limiting the number of people at gatherings, the University is postponing all commencement ceremonies scheduled for the spring. Nonetheless, graduating students who complete their coursework will receive their degrees as scheduled and should be assured that commencement ceremonies will take place on the Malibu campus at a future date. Please check the Seaver Graduation website for updates.

   Do I still need to get cleared to graduate?

Yes, in order to receive your diploma you need to be cleared through OneStop. The link to the intent to graduate form can be found here.

  What are the academic receptions the day before graduation?

The academic receptions are a time to mingle with families, students, and professors from the division. Part of the reception is unscheduled time to enjoy refreshments. There will be a short "program" where outstanding students will be recognized for each major.

→ For more information about the academic receptions, go to https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/graduation/schedule/

  What is the Baccalaureate ceremony? Is it required?

Baccalaureate is a worship service for students and their families to celebrate this special time in their lives and to take the time to pray for continued blessing and thanks. This is a special event where faculty wear their regalia and march into the Firestone Fieldhouse. There are often student performances (Won by One, choir, or something similar), and the message is often given by a faculty member. Attendance is not mandatory and there are no RSVPs for the event. 

  How many Graduation Ceremony tickets am I allowed to have for guests?

 There are no tickets for the outdoor graduation ceremony in Alumni Park, and seating is available on a first-come first-served basis.

In the event of rain on the day of graduation, the ceremony will be moved to Firestone Fieldhouse. Regardless of the anticipated weather on graduation day, each graduate may receive 2 Rainy Day tickets. After the last Wednesday convocation of the spring semester, all graduates are encouraged to pick up their 2 tickets at OneStop on the second floor of Thornton Administrative Center. A photo ID and signature will be required to pick up these tickets. It is not possible to "purchase" or request extra rainy day tickets. Students are welcome to coordinate with friends who expect fewer guests. Graduates' additional guests are strongly encouraged to view the ceremony via live stream from the convenience and comfort of their preferred off-campus location.

   What time does graduation start and end?

10:30am, ending at approximately 1:00pm 

  What is a good time to arrive on campus to find good seating for graduation? 

9 a.m.

   What time do the graduates have to arrive to the Alumni Park?

Students picking up honors cords should arrive by 9am, and all other students should arrive by 9:30am at the latest. 

   Is parking free?

Yes, but can become limited. We stress carpooling, and early arrival! By 9am is probably best!

   Will the ceremony be available to watch online?

 Yes. Livestream Link

  Is there a graduation ceremony rehearsal? 

 There's not technically a rehearsal, but we ask graduates to arrive no later than 9:30am at the latest the morning of graduation so that they can be instructed as to how the ceremony is going to proceed and what they need to do/know.

   What are your accommodations for handicapped guests?

 Parking lot P is designated for handicapped/elderly people. From this parking lot, there are two options for ceremony seating:

inside the air-conditioned Firestone Fieldhouse where Commencement will livestream on the large screen;
and in Alumni Park in a designated handicapped seating area, open and uncovered with spaces for wheelchairs next to chairs. Each guest in a wheelchair can bring one person to sit with them in this area. There will be golf carts coming back and forth between parking lot P and Alumni Park to do pick-ups and drop offs. Another option would be to pull up next to Alumni Park, drop off the handicapped guest, and park elsewhere. Graduation hosts will greet handicapped guests as they enter the graduation arena and assist with seating.

Info on handicapped accommodations can be found on our website here: https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/graduation/services/handicap.htm

   Are wheelchairs available for disabled guests?

 No, there will be one wheelchair used to help transport guests from their transportation to their seat, but there are not wheelchairs available to use for the duration of the day.


   Can I reserve a spot in sun sensitive seating?

No; due to the limited amount we are able to provide, sun sensitive seating is first come, first served for a fairly small space. But this year there is another seating option -- inside the air-conditioned Firestone Fieldhouse where Commencement will livestream on the large screen.

  Are there any foreign language/ASL offerings?

Not typically, but we may be able to make special arrangements for an ASL interpreter if given enough advance notice from a student or a guest. Requests may be directed to the Office of Student Accessibility: student.accessibility@pepperdine.edu ; 310.506.6776. (Closed Captioning will be available by accessing a related a link on the Graduation APP, available in coming months.)

  Is there a dress code for graduation/related events?

There is no dress code. However, graduates/guests may wish to wear something that is nice yet casual (e.g. what one would wear to Sunday service at church). Layering is recommended for the day of graduation, as it is likely to be chilly in the morning but warm by the end of the ceremony.

  Where are the closest restrooms?

There are restroom trailers on your left when you are facing the stage/ocean.

  How would I order flowers/leis for a graduate?

 Guests may purchase bouquets and floral leis before and after graduation. They can also be bought online ahead of time and picked up at their booth. We prefer that they not be given to the graduates until after the commencement exercises. We request that flowers not be carried during the graduation ceremony.

   Are animals allowed at the ceremony?

 Consistent with university policies, pets are not allowed at commencement services except for guide, service, or signal dogs.

   Will food/beverage be available at the ceremony? Is outside food/beverage permitted?

Water is available, and coffee & small snacks will be available for purchase. Attendees are permitted to bring small snack items like granola bars and water. Receptacles will be throughout the premises for waste & recycling. 

  Is there a Lost and Found after the ceremony? 

Yes, located at the info booth!

   Do you have any recommendations for overnight accommodations for our out-of-town guests attending graduation?

A list of nearby hotels is offered on our Parents Program page.

  Do students have to apply for graduation? If so, when is the deadline?

 Yes, students must complete and submit their Intent to Graduate form to OneStop. They should follow the emailed instructions for the priority deadline, but the College continues to receive and process applications until the week before graduation. Students who apply for graduation late in the semester risk not having their names in the program and they will be seated at the end of the graduating class.

  How does a student know if they are graduating? 

 At the Winter Grad Fair there will be a list of students who have been cleared to graduate this spring as of that week, if students want to check their clearance. If they are not on the list or if checking after the grad fair in early February, please encourage them to contact OneStop/their academic advisor.

  Can I walk in the commencement ceremony if I'm still taking classes over the summer? 

Students must be within 12 units of graduation by the end of the spring semester and must be pre-registered for these units in the following summer term. As there are many additional eligibility requirements, please reference page 75 of the Seaver 2019-2020 Academic Catalog: https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/academics/content/2019-seaver-catalog.pdf

  Who can I call regarding questions I have about my orders placed at the Winter Grad Fair? 

Senior portraits: Grad Images customer service department: 800.261.2576; email giservice@gradimages.net

Regalia rentals, announcements, thank-you notes, class ring, diploma frame: Herff Jones customer service department: 877.454.7231

  What do I do if I missed the Winter Grad Fair? 
  • Will there be another day that the photographer is on campus to take announcement photos?
    • No. Winter Grad Fair dates/times are the only days we bring Grad Images on campus to take graduation announcement photos. Grad Images does not have a separate studio for make-up pictures. However, these photos are not required. You could also arrange a photo session at your convenience with another photographer or a friend if you would like senior photos to distribute. The photographer will be here on the day of graduation to take photos as you graduate.
  • How do I reserve my cap and gown?
  • I wasn't able to reserve my gown before the deadline! Will I still be able to get one?
    • We rent enough gowns from Herff Jones so that all students who graduate will be able to wear one; there just won't be one ordered to your specified height (which is okay because there will be a variety of sizes...and graduation regalia isn't exactly form fitting).
  When can I pick up my reserved cap and gown the day before graduation?

 Please check back in early 2019.

   I can't make it to pick up my reserved cap and gown the day before graduation. How else can I get it?

 You can send a friend to pick up your cap and gown as long as they have your photo ID and know your height and what degree you will be getting.

  What are the qualifications for cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude? 

Cum laude honors recognize those who achieve a 3.5 grade point average over their entire undergraduate career. Magna cum laude honors recognize those who achieve a 3.7 grade point average. Summa cum laude honors recognize those who achieve a 3.9 grade point average.

  • Do you round up for academic honors (cum laude, etc.)?
    • No.
  • Can I wear any cords other than my cum laude honor cords?
    • No. The only approved additions to regalia are the Pepperdine honor cords.
  Are graduation sashes required?

 Yes. They are available for $34.95 (plus tax) during Winter Grad Fair and are included in all regalia packages.

  Are academic honors conferred automatically, or do students need to apply for them?

Academic honors as listed above are determined by Registrar staff once all grades are in for the semester. Summer graduates will not have their official honor noted until completion of summer work are conferred by each division. Students should contact OneStop/their academic advisor with any questions.

  Are graduate students eligible for academic honors?

No. (But they do get a fancier robe!)

   If I'm a double major, do I get two diplomas?

 No, Pepperdine presents one diploma per degree level (e.g., BA, MA, etc.). Your diploma will reflect all majors and minors you completed.

   When do I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed to your address on file approximately 90 days after your degree posted date. Make sure you have a valid mailing address on file with OneStop to ensure you receive your diploma.