Graduation Information and Checklist for Sacramento Grads

Important Dates

Graduation Info Night
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Location: On Campus, Room 211 or 212
Notes: You MUST have a head shot picture (Hi-Res) & Graduation Questionnaire submitted by then (grad questionairre will be sent out in early 2016).
Grad Dinner
Date & Time: Friday, July 29, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Location: Creekside Church Event Room
Notes: Invite family and friends!  Tickets will be available for purchase through Eventbrite closer to the event (each graduate will receive two free tickets).
Date & Time: Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 8:00 am
Location: Creekside Church Sanctuary
Notes: Attendance is mandatory
Date & Time: Saturday, July 30, 2016 from 10:30am to 11:30am
Location: Creekside Church Sanctuary
Notes: Doors open for guests at 10am
Light Reception
Date & Time: July 30, 2016  After ceremony
Location: Creekside Church Lobby
Notes: Light hors d'oeuvres served



General Graduation Requirements

Students may complete their programs of study and be certified for degree completion during any semester of the year. There are guidelines, however, which must be carefully followed. Failure to follow the established procedures will postpone graduation by one semester or longer.

  1. Give evidence of orthodox belief, genuine Christian character, and conduct consistent with a God-given call to a position of leadership.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to use the English language with precision in both speech and writing.
  3. Complete the prescribed course of study within the time limitation and achieve the required grade point average as outlined in the catalog.
  4. Remove any admission provisions.
  5. Complete at least 30 residential credit hours.   
  6. Settle all financial obligations, including payment of the graduation fee.  Students who have not made satisfactory financial arrangements will not have access to any student services, including transcript, diploma, or enrollment for a second degree.
  7. Receive the recommendation of the Faculty and approval by the Board of Trustees for graduation.
  8. File all graduation information with the Registrar’s Office no later than the first day of the last semester of enrollment, or by December 15 of the academic year in which the student plans to graduate (whichever comes first).
  9. Attend the annual commencement exercises. An Academic Petition must be filed at least six weeks prior to commencement to request permission to graduate in absentia.   Such permission is normally granted only when it would cause serious hardship for the student to attend.

Additional Graduation Requirements

Additional graduation requirements for specific degrees are listed in the degree sections of the catalog and in the program handbooks.

Academic Catalog

Requirement Due Dates

All graduation requirements must be completed by the last day of the semester in order to graduate that semester: December 12, 2015; April 18, 2016; August 12, 2016.  Some requirements are due well prior to the end of the semester. If a student completes a graduation requirement (e.g. turns in an assignment) after these dates, he or she will graduate at the end of the following semester (i.e., the official degree date on the diploma and transcript will be the last day of the following semester).


Students are accountable for library fees and graduation fees.

Masters  $195
Dual Degree in Same Academic Year   $195 plus additional $30
Certificate/Diploma/Partners in Ministry (wives)    $30

Note:  GSD students who opt to participate in commencement will be charged a $195 grad fee. GSC students do not participate in commencement.

Graduation fees are not reduced or waived for masters or diploma of divinity students who successfully petition to graduate in absentia.  A processing fee of $20 may be assessed if a student changes his/her declared graduation date and expenses are incurred (i.e. a new diploma is needed). 

Regalia and Diplomas

We will provide all regalia you will need for commencement; there is no extra regalia fee in addition to the graduate application fee (see above).

Caps, Gowns, and Tassels Graduate stands next to president Randy Roberts while holding his diploma.

We will order your cap and gown using the height and weight that you provide on your Application to Graduate. In order to minimize graduation costs for you, we order a nice quality, but not the finest available. 

You will need to pick up your regalia (including tassel) from the office about a month prior to commencement. Please iron your gown and bring all regalia with you to the rehearsal.

Your cap and gown will be yours to keep. However, if you do not have any use for your regalia after commencement, please feel free to donate it to Western Seminary.  We maintain a supply of extras for faculty, and guests of the seminary, and for special needs of students.  We will gratefully collect donated regalia immediately after the commencement ceremony when you turn in your hood.


Hoods are very expensive, so to keep your graduation fee as low as possible, the seminary maintains an inventory of hoods for the various degrees. We will loan you a hood the morning of commencement, which must be returned immediately after the ceremony.  If you wish to purchase a hood, please let us know by May 1 so we can help you make the order.  It will take up to two months for Jostens to make and ship your regalia. Hoods range between $100-150. You may also choose to purchase your own fine quality cap and gown for the commencement ceremony instead of using one purchased for you by Western Seminary.  Please contact Student Services if you would like to purchase any regalia other than that which will already be provided.

Your hood will be black with gold and blue satin lining (Western’s "official" school colors), Family hugging student in regalia.with either:

  • Red velvet band for theological degrees
  • White velvet band for MA in Marital and Family Therapy 

Receiving Your Diploma

If you graduate in Fall or Spring semester, you will receive your diploma during the Commencement Ceremony in August, provided the following conditions have been met:

  • All of your final grades have been submitted by faculty and your degree has been certified.
  • Your account balance has been cleared with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the Finance Office.
  • You have completed the Financial Aid Exit Interview if you’ve received federal loans.

Using Your Legal Name

Like your transcript, your diploma will be an official document.  Therefore, we will be using your full, legal name.  If you legally change your name before you graduate, you must submit a Name Change Form prior to the last week of the semester in which your degree will be certified.

MFT Graduates 

MFT Graduates are required to complete an Exit Interview during their last semester. This interview must be completed in order for your degree to be certified. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your interview and receive a list of paperwork to submit. 

Once your degree is certified you have 90 days to apply for your Intern number without experiencing a lapse in claimable hours. You may order your official transcript through your SIS accountThe registrar’s office will mail both your official transcript and your Form B in sealed envelopes.  Do not open the envelopes.  It may take up to two months to receive your Form B.  So, you will want to complete your intern application so that you can submit your application as soon as you’ve received your official transcripts and your Form B. 

Photography and other small details

Two graduates smile while posing for a photograph.Individual Photographs

During the ceremony, the photographer will take a picture of you shaking hands with our president Randy Roberts as well as a posed picture prior to the ceremony.

Group Photographs

The photographer will also take a group picture of all the graduates.  You will receive a link of all photos including Friday night's event.


Since your will be photographed several times during the Graduation Dinner and throughout Commencement, you should wear nice attire.


The commencement ceremony location will be held at Creekside Church on Saturday morning, August 1 at 10:30am.  Creekside is Western Seminary Sacramento Campus' host church so the directions are the same as those to campus.


The location can hold approximately 10-15 guests per grad (based on the number of grads at this point).  If you plan on less guests celebrating with us, please let the Student Services team know so that we might be able to allow others to bring more.


Guests often wonder what attire is appropriate for the commencement ceremony.  Most people wear either nice pants or skirts/dresses.  It’s a dressy occasion, but not formal.


We encourage guests not to bring children under five, or older children who might have difficulty sitting quietly for the entire ceremony (approximately 60 minutes).  Mothers of nursing infants are invited to bring their babies, but they’re encouraged to sit in the back of the room or in the lobby, which will have the event live streamed.

Cell Phones

Please turn off cell phones, and please remind your guests to do the same so as not to disturb others during the ceremony.

Light Refreshments

We will be having a light hors d’oeuvres reception following the commencement ceremony in the Church Lobby and Event Room until 1pm.  Enjoy visiting and taking pictures with family, friends and faculty.


We know this is a plethora of information. To make it as easy as possible, please follow the following checklist to make sure you do everything you need to as you prepare to celebrate what you have done and what God has done and will continue to do through you!

Checklist for Grads
  Fall Grads Spring Grads  Summer Grads
Graduation Application
Aug. 14 Nov. 15 Nov. 15
Invite Family and Friends to Graduation Weekend Now Now Now

Complete Grad Questionairre (coming soon)

Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 1
Pay Fees on SIS Account Dec. 1 Apr. 1 Jul. 1
Finish all coursework Dec. 12 Apr. 18 Aug. 12
(MFTs Only) Exit Interview  Dec. 1 Apr. 1 Jul. 15
(Optional) Purchase Announcements (link coming soon) Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr.15
(Optional) Purchase Regalia (Cap, Gown, and/or Hood) May 1 May 1 May 1
Purchase Tickets to Grad Dinner
June 1 June 1 June 1

Please be sure to mark your schedule for the events at the top of this page.

Commencement Day Timeline - July 30, 2015

Graduates arrive. Please bring your cap, gown (ironed), and tassel to the rehearsal.  We will provide you with the hood that morning.   8:00 am
Doors open for guests to enter the Lobby and Worship Center. 10:00 am
Commencement ceremony begins. 10:30 am
Commencement ceremony ends. 11:30 am
Reception with light refreshments offered in church lobby. After ceremony
Reception ends. 12:30 pm

Important:  Everyone who walks in the commencement ceremony must attend the rehearsal at 8:00 am.  Please plan accordingly. Guests will not be permitted to enter the worship center until 10:00 am.