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Commencement Ceremony:

Frequently Asked Questions: Graduates

Who is eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

Students who met any of the following conditions during the 2018-2019 academic year are eligible to participate in Commencement:​

  • Completed or will complete an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts for Transfer or Associate of Science for Transfer degree program
  • Completed or will complete a Certificate of Achievement program
  • Completed or will complete a full IGETC or CSU Certification program for a Certificate of Achievement

If I am completing a Certificate of Proficiency or a Certificate of Competency am I able to participate in commencement?

No, students completing a Certificate of Proficiency or a Certificate of Competency are not eligible to participate in Commencement.

Where is the Commencement Ceremony held?

The ceremony is held outdoors, at the Live Oak Terraces next to the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Graduates will be seated in chairs on the grass. Depending on the weather, you may be in direct sunlight so please dress accordingly.

How many guests can I invite?

You may invite as many guests as you wish. To ensure adequate seating for the ceremony and refreshments for the reception, graduates are asked to make your reservation to let us know if you plan to attend and approximately how many guests will join you.

How do I confirm I plan to attend the Commencement Ceremony?

Students who are eligible to participate in Commencement are asked to make your reservation online to confirm your attendance as well as the expected number of guests you plan to bring. Our online reservation service is available from April 19 to May 17.

Where can I purchase graduation announcements and cap and gown?

You may purchase announcements and cap and gown through the IVC Bookstore. 

What color tassel do I wear?

Certificate recipients will wear a white tassel and degree graduates/candidates will wear a blue tassel.

How much does a cap, gown and tassel cost?

The cost of a cap, gown and tassel is $36.00 plus tax. You may purchase the set or individual items as needed. Contact the bookstore for more information at 949-451-5258.

Where do Phi Theta Kappa, Psi Beta and Honors program students receive their cords or medallions?

Specific regalia for Phi Theta Kappa (cord), Psi Beta (cord), Honors Program (medallion) or other clubs/organizations are issued by those organizations. Contact your advisor for more information.

I’m a student who has earned an academic honor. How do I receive my tassel and/or cord?

If you’ve earned academic honors such as cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, you will be issued the appropriate tassel and/or cord at check-in. 

What is the criteria for honors recognition?

Honors are recognized for students completing degrees. IVC uses a cumulative GPA from all units taken at IVC and all work transferred to the college except basic skills courses.

Please note the following categories for honors and GPA level:

  • Cum Laude = 3.50 to 3.74
  • Magna Cum Laude = 3.75 to 3.99
  • Summa Cum Laude = 4.00

How do I know if I’ll be recognized during the ceremony for honors designation?

If you have an honors notation on the card you receive when you check-in at the commencement ceremony, you have received an honors designation.

What if I think I should have received the honors designation, but didn’t?

Unfortunately, time will not allow for questioning or changing any honors designation the day of commencement. However, you may ask the evaluator who is available at the check-in area at commencement to review your GPA after the commencement weekend.

Where can I park on the day of commencement?

Parking for students and guests is complimentary on the day of commencement. Parking permits are not required that day. For your convenience, we recommend that you park in the lots closest to the Performing Arts Center.

Where do graduates check-in on the day of commencement? What time does check-in start?

Check-in for commencement participants begins at 3 pm in the Student Success Center, which is located inside the Business Sciences and Technology (BSTIC) building on the first floor.

What time will students start lining up to enter the ceremony?

At 4:30 p.m. sharp, student participants will be asked to form two lines for the processional. If you are late, you will not be allowed to participate in the processional at the start of the program. You will be led in the processional to the ceremony area at Live Oak Terraces. Do not stop to talk to guests or to take photos. Keep moving until you are directed to your seat. At the end of the ceremony, or recessional, you will exit your seat in the same two-line formation and will be led away from the lawn area. You may meet your guests for our reception at that time.

How do I make sure my name is pronounced correctly during the ceremony?

At check-in, you'll receive a card with your legal name on it. Make sure it is spelled correctly. This is your official name on record with IVC. If necessary, we will write how your name should be pronounced correctly. Keep this card with you. You will present it to the representative announcing names as you cross the stage to receive your diploma cover.

Which side do I wear my tassels on?

Tassels should be worn on your right side. You will be asked during the ceremony to switch your tassel to the left, so keep it on the right until then.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony lasts roughly two hours. 

Is there a reception after the ceremony?

Yes, a dessert reception will be held after the ceremony for graduates and their guests. It will be held at the Student Services Center patio outside of the cafeteria.

What should I do with my personal belongings during the ceremony?

Please try to leave your personal belonging with your guests. You may also leave them in the Student Success Center as it will be secured during the ceremony. However, we ask that you retrieve these items immediately after the ceremony.

Are there any restrictions on what I can bring with me into the ceremony?

As a courtesy to all guests, we ask that attendees do not bring air horns, noisemakers or large objects that will obstruct the view of others such as balloons or streamers.

Will I have an opportunity to purchase images from commencement?

Yes, GradImages will be photographing all participants in Commencement. You will be contacted after the ceremony with information on viewing and ordering photos. You may also do Pre-Event Email Registration (optional) before Commencement at

How will I receive my diploma/certificate?

If you are a candidate, your diploma/certificate will be mailed to you. So please ensure that IVC has your current address. Diplomas that are returned will be held for an additional 90 days. After that time, students must request to have a duplicate diploma printed at an additional cost.

If you would prefer not to have your diploma mailed to you, please email your request to Gillian Patella. Be sure to include your name and student ID number on all communications to us. You may contact our evaluations unit at 949-451-5743 if you have any additional questions.

After my name is called and I walk across the stage, can I leave?

No, to preserve the integrity of the ceremony and out of respect for your fellow graduates, please return to your seat until all students have processed across the stage. Following the ceremony, you will recess out of the ceremony and then can meet up with your friends and family.