Graduation Information and Checklist for Sacramento Grads

Important Dates

Date & Time: TBD due to COVID-19
Location: TBD
Notes: Attendance is mandatory
Date & Time: TBD due to COVID-19
Location: TBD


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: See academic calendar for exact date. 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  $250
Dual Degree in Same Academic Year   $250 plus additional $40
Certificate/Diploma/Partners in Ministry (spouses)    $40

Note:  GSD students who opt to participate in commencement will be charged a 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 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 found in your SIS account

You will need to pick up your regalia from the office as soon as you can prior to commencement. Please iron or steam your gown and bring all regalia with you to the rehearsal.

Your cap, gown and hood will be yours to keep. The regalia is from an ecofriendly line of gowns and is reusable. While it is not considered "fine regalia" it is very nice and may be appropriate to reuse if you are working in education or preach in a formal setting. 

Hoods and Fine Regalia

Regalia is very expensive and we do our best to keep costs down. However, you may also choose to purchase your own fine quality cap and gown to use for the future. (We ask you use the one provided to help us keep a consistent look for commencement.) 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), with either: 

  • Red velvet band for theological degrees
  • White velvet band for MA in Counseling

Receiving Your Diploma

It usually takes the Registrar's Office 6-9 weeks to confirm and ship diplomas post graduation.  Fall, Spring, and Summer graduates will receive their diplomas through the mail after the semester in which they graduate, provided the conditions below have been met. All graduates must meet the following conditions:

  • All of your final grades have been submitted by faculty and your degree has been certified by deadline.
  • Your account balance has been cleared with the Finance Office.
  • You have completed the Financial Aid Exit Interview if you’ve received federal loans.


Many graduates are curious about whether or not they'll be graduating with honors. Honors are determined by your final grade point average (GPA).

RankFinal GPA
Honors 3.60 - 3.74
High Honors 3.75 - 3.89
Highest Honors  3.90 - 4.0

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.

MAC Graduates 

You are required to complete an Exit Interview toward the end of your last semester.

Please provide (*Submit copies only!  Keep your originals.):


  • Copies of your Experience Verification form(s) (one per site/supervisor) showing at least 325 hours -- 225 direct client contact (280 for LPCC students), 45 clinical supervision, 30 personal psychotherapy, and 35 client-centered advocacy or training.
  • Proof of personal psychotherapy.
  • Confirmation that required paperwork has been submitted for CNS 530, 531, 530, and 539 (if applicable).

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your interview.

Once your degree is certified you have 90 days to apply for your Associate number without experiencing a lapse in claimable hours. During these 90 days, the BBS will allow you to log your hours as an Associate.

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; rather, submit them to the BBS with your Associate registration packet. 

Photography and other odds and ends

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 via email from Student Services.


Since your will be photographed several times throughout Commencement, you should wear nice attire. Most people wear either nice pants or skirts/dresses.  It’s a dressy occasion, but not formal.


Creekside Church is Western Seminary Sacramento Campus' host location so the directions are the same as those to campus.


The location can hold approximately 15-20 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. If you would like more seats, they can be requested through Student Services as well. 


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.

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.


We will be having a light snacks in an informal reception following the commencement ceremony in the church lobby until 12:30 pm.  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 - Watch for 2020 updates coming soon
Fall Grads Spring Grads  Summer Grads
Graduation Application
Jul. 15 Nov. 15 Nov. 15
Invite Family and Friends to Graduation Weekend 2019 2019 2019

Complete Grad Questionairre (coming soon)

Mar. 15 Mar. 15 Mar. 15
Pay Fees on SIS Account Dec. 1 Apr. 1 Jul. 1
Finish all coursework See Academic Calendar See Academic Calendar See Academic Calendar
(MAC/MFTs Only) Exit Interview  Dec. 1 Apr. 1 Jul. 1

(Optional) Purchase Announcements, Diploma Frames, Rings, etc.

jostens logosmall

Feb. 1 Feb. 1 Feb.1
(Optional) Purchase Regalia (Cap, Gown, and/or Hood) Jan. 1 Jan. 1 Jan. 1
Purchase Tickets to Grad Dinner
May 1 May 1 May 1

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

Commencement Day Timeline 

Graduates arrive. Please bring your cap, gown (ironed), hood, and tassel to the rehearsal.  9:00 am
Doors open for guests to enter the Lobby and Worship Center. 10:30 am
Commencement ceremony begins. 11:00 am
Commencement ceremony ends. 12:00 pm
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 9:00 am. Please plan accordingly. Guests will not be permitted to enter the worship center until 10:30 am.