Students Graduation

Graduation Information and Checklist for San Jose Grads

Graduation Information and Checklist for San Jose Grads

Important Dates

Graduation Banquet
Date & Time: Friday, July 13, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: TBA
Notes: Each graduate receives two tickets (for the graduate and one guest). Additional tickets may be available for purchase. More information to follow. 
Date & Time: Saturday, July 14, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

 Christ Community Church Milpitas

1000 South Park Victoria Dr. 

Milpitas, CA 95035

Notes: Graduates are required to arrive by 8:30 a.m. for rehearsal. Class photo will be taken at 9:00 a.m.  Doors open for guests at 10:30 a.m.  Refreshments/light snacks will be served following the ceremony.



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 the minimum residential credit hours for your degree program.   
  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 end 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.  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  $200
Dual Degree in Same Academic Year   $200 plus additional $40
Certificate/Diploma/Partners in Ministry (spouses)    $40

Note:  GSD students who opt to participate in commencement will be charged a $200 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). 

Academic Regalia

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

We will order your cap, gown, hood, and tassel 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. The regalia is from an eco-friendly line of gowns, reusable, and yours to keep. 

Your hood and tassel will be one of two colors: 

  • Red is for master's level theological degrees: MA(BTS), MAML, M.Div.
  • White is for the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree. 

You can pick up your regalia at the campus about two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony. Student Services will contact you via email and provide you with the pickup information.

Please plan on steaming/ironing your gown rior to the commencement. You may also iron the hood, if needed, but do not iron the velvet portion of the hood as it may damage it. 


It usually takes the Registrar's Office 6-9 weeks to confirm and ship diplomas post graduation. Graduates will receive their diplomas by mail, provided the conditions below have been met:

  • All final grades have been submitted by faculty and degree has been certified.
  • All account balance has been cleared with the Finance Office.
  • Completion of the Financial Aid Exit Interview for those who 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 have legally changed your name prior to graduating, you must submit a Name Change Form prior to the last week of the semester in which your degree will be certified.

Photography and other odds and ends

A professional photographer will be taking pictures during the graduation banquet and commencement ceremony. A class photo (group picture of all the graduates) will be taken during rehearsal, prior to the commencement ceremony. Each graduate will be photographed while being hooded by the faculty and shaking hands with Western Seminary President, Dr. Randy Roberts. Student Services will provide graduates with a link to the photos about 2 weeks following graduation. You can download photos and purchase prints from the website.

Two graduates smile while posing for a photograph.

Commencement Day Timeline

Time Activity
8:30 a.m.  Graduates arrive for rehearsal. Please bring your graduation regalia. 
9:00 a.m.  Graduates will take class photo.
10:30 a.m.  Doors open for guests to enter the sanctuary.
11:00 a.m.  Commencement ceremony begins.
12:15 p.m.  Commencement ceremony ends. Refreshments/light snacks will be provided in the lobby area as well as outside the worship center.

Important: Graduates participating in the commencement ceremony are required attend the rehearsal at 8:30 a.m. Please plan accordingly. Guests may wait in the lobby and will not be permitted to enter the sanctuary until 10:30 a.m.