Male student wearing black cap and gown smiling big after recently graduating from WSU Tri-Cities

Three Important Steps:

Apply to Graduate

Students submit their graduation application for both undergraduate and professional degrees online through the myWSU student center. For more information on applying for graduation, please follow this link. The deadline to apply for a May 2018 undergraduate or professional degree or certificate without incurring a late fee is Friday, March 02, 2018.

RSVP to Walk

If you plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5, 2018, please RSVP your intent to walk by completing this form.

The Commencement ceremony will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. and is expected to last approximately two hours. No tickets are required. Please invite your family and friends to join you at this exciting event!

Attend Grad Fair

Your regalia can be rented through the Bookie, located in the East building, during a week-long Grad Fair the week of April 2-6. Listed below are the prices for regalia rentals:

– BA PKG Rental – $51 (+tax)
– MA PKG Rental – $77 (+tax)
– PHD/EDD PKG Rental – $97 (+tax)

If you are a Global Campus Student and would like to participate in the Tri-Cities Commencement ceremony, we’d love for you to join us. Please complete this form prior to March 2, 2018. This will ensure you receive commencement information and your name is included in the program.

submit your RSVP to walk | disability access for graduating students | family & guests | the ceremony | photographs
after the ceremony | returning regalia | when to be where | general ceremony info | the march
honors & honor cords | regalia rentals & souvenir items | new changes for academic year 18-19

Submit your RSVP to Walk

Please complete this form if you plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5, 2018, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

The commencement ceremony is different from the actual graduation process. Commencement refers to the ceremony, which is an opportunity for students to share the excitement and importance of their academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. Graduation is the process of paying a fee to get your actual degree and finish your requirements. Participation in the commencement ceremony is not a guarantee or an indication of degree completion. To officially graduate from WSU, students must satisfy all university, college, and departmental requirements for the specific degree. Your degree becomes official when it is posted to your transcript, not by your participation in commencement exercises.

Disability Access for Graduating Students

Students who will need accommodations during commencement need to contact the Access and Student Support Services Coordinator at 509.372.7352 no later than April 13, to make prior arrangements.

Families and Guests

Seating is available based on a first-come first-serve basis. Guests will enter the Toyota Center through the main entrance doors.  Doors will open at noon for the public.  Guests should go directly to the commencement seating area and be in their seats 45 minutes before the ceremony starts. The commencement ceremony begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.  Seating for guests is in sections P through Z on the main concourse. Commencement assistants will direct guests to the various seating areas.

Seating for disabled guests is located in Section R with additional seating on the floor. Toyota center staff will be available to assist guests to the designated area. However, it is strongly recommended that guests needing extra time to be seated, should plan to arrive by 12:30 p.m. Guests who will need seating on the floor will not be allowed to enter during the academic procession.

Guests are not permitted in the graduates’ seating area during the ceremony. It is suggested that you make arrangements to meet your graduate after the ceremony in a pre-arranged location.

Guests are asked to turn off all cell phones and remain at their seats until the commencement ceremony is concluded and all graduates have left the seating area.

Guests may NOT bring food and/or beverage items into the Center during events. This includes outside food, drinks, open and/or sealed water bottles, and candy. Guests must dispose of the unauthorized items prior to entering the Center. Guest Services will not check – in or store any food or beverage items. Guests with specific /special dietary needs due to medical conditions or religious requirements should contact the Guest Services department.

Helium balloons are not allowed in the Toyota Center.

The Ceremony

After the commencement address, each row of students will be directed to the platform by an usher. Do not take anything with you except your information card. You will give the information card to the assistant at the edge of the stage and your name will be announced as you walk across the stage. You will stop in front of the University leader on the stage, extend your left hand to receive your diploma cover, and shake hands with your right hand. (Graduate students will be hooded prior to receiving a diploma cover.) Next you will shake hands with other dignitaries. Once everyone in your row has reached his or her original seat, then your row will be seated all at once. The ceremony will last about two hours.


A professional photographer will take a photo of each graduate receiving his or her diploma cover. Photographs will be available later by mail on an optional basis at reasonable cost.

An area will be designated in sections A and N to allow guests to take photos during the ceremony. Please remind your guests that once they have taken the picture, they are to return to their original seats.

After the Ceremony

During the recessional, administrators, dignitaries, faculty and graduates, by row, will be ushered out single file back through the Public Skating area and up the stairs to the main concourse level. After the recessional has concluded, you may greet your guests on the main concourse level.

Returning your Regalia

Once the commencement ceremony has concluded and you have finished taking photos with friends and family, please stop by the regalia return tents located outside the Toyota Center. Graduates will need to return their gown and academic yoke before leaving the venue to avoid full purchase fees. The cap, tassel and cords are for graduates to keep.

When to be Where

Toyota Center 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA (see map of the Toyota Center.)

Graduates need to arrive by noon in their caps and gowns – eat lunch first and travel light, as there is not a secure area for personal items.

Undergraduates: Be in your cap and gown and report by 12:00 p.m. to the south side of the lower level at the Public Skating area. Commencement assistants will be available to direct you to the correct location. Your tassel should be on the right side of your cap. Signs with individual disciplines will be posted along the lower level hallway. Find your degree title on the sign (i.e., Business, Education, etc.) and stay there for further instructions. You will be seated according to discipline, but you may march and sit by anyone within your degree unit.

Graduate Students: Be in your cap and gown and report by 12:00 p.m. on the north side of the lower level at the Public Skating area. Commencement assistants will be available to direct you to the correct location. Your tassel will be on the left side of your cap. You will be marching according to discipline. Find the appropriate sign for your degree and stay there for further instructions. You will be given verbal instructions for the hooding ceremony on stage.

General Information for the Ceremony

You will complete an information card when you line up. If you are a Veteran student, please ask for a label to be added to your information card, designating which area you served in. You will hand this card to an announcer who will read it as you cross the stage to receive your diploma jacket. Keep this card with you until you reach the announcer. Do not take a commencement program with you during the processional as one will be waiting for you on your seat. Remember to leave purses, cameras and other valuables with your guests. If you have any questions while at the event, please look for one of the commencement assistants.

The March

The academic procession begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. Again, please don’t bring anything with you except your information card—no purses, cameras, etc. The graduate students will lead the procession, followed by the undergraduate students and then the University administrators, faculty and dignitaries. Everyone will proceed single file. Students will be directed by ushers to the appropriate seating in front of the stage. When you reach the seating section, remember to move all the way over into the row of chairs so that your entire row of chairs is full. We ask that everyone remain standing until after the National Anthem has been sung (men should remove their caps during the Anthem).

Honors and Honor Cords (Undergraduates Only)

Candidates must have completed at least 30 hours of graded work (grades in which grade points are awarded) at Washington State University in order to be considered for honors.

Cumulative GPA of:

3.90 or higher = summa cum laude
3.70 – 3.89 = magna cum laude
3.50 – 3.69 = cum laude

The appropriate Latin phrase will be printed on the undergraduate diploma and on the final transcript.

The Office of Academic Affairs at WSU Tri-Cities will be providing the honor cords to qualified undergraduate candidates free of charge. Honor cords can be picked up after March 26, in the West Building, Room 263F. The honor cords will be awarded to those students participating in the May 2018 commencement who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher as of December 2017. This includes those that graduated in Fall 2017, or applied to graduate for Spring or Summer 2018 by the graduation application deadline.

Regalia Rentals and Souvenir Items

Regalia can be rented through the Bookie, located in the East building. They are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students who live out of town may contact the Bookie at 375-1084 or The Bookie will host their week-long Grad Fair during the week of April 2nd. During this week, students will be able to pay for and pick up their regalia package, purchase souvenir tassels, and check out an array of custom diploma frames.

Regalia Rental Prices:

BA PKG Rental – $51 (+tax)
MA PKG Rental – $77 (+tax)
PHD/EDD PKG Rental – $97 (+tax)

The Associated Students of Washington State University Tri-Cities (ASWSUTC) would like to commend you by reimbursing the regalia rental cost. Due to limited funds, reimbursement will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis and is not guaranteed. In order to qualify for reimbursement, you must be an S&A fee paying WSUTC student, and you must be walking at the WSUTC commencement on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

The 2018 Reimbursement form can be downloaded here.

Diploma Frames and Souvenir Tassels:

Crimson & Gray Tassel – $12 (+tax)
Single Color Tassel – $11 (+tax)
USA Tassel – $14 (+tax)
C&G with Year Date – $17 (+tax)
Stole of Gratitude – $33 (+tax)
Yoke (purchase only) – $78 (+tax)
Custom WSU Diploma Frames – $130-$230 (+tax)

Find Washington State University Tri-Cities, Richland, WA yearbooks, class rings, announcements, apparel, and much more at the official Jostens school store.

In recognition of all your hard work and success – congratulations. Go Cougs!

NEW Changes for AY 18-19

WSU Tri-Cities students who participate in commencement ceremonies are considered “candidates” for graduation. Although participation in the commencement ceremony is not a guarantee or an indication of degree completion, it’s important that we celebrate only those students who have submitted their application for both undergraduate and professional degrees and are on schedule to finish their requirements to graduate. Students who will be allowed to participate in the 2019 commencement ceremony include the following:

  • Students who completed all degree requirements in Fall 2018
  • Students expected to complete all degree requirements in Spring 2019
  • Students with no more than 6 credits left to complete all degree requirements, who are enrolled in pertinent courses by the deadline to register for the 2019 commencement.

For Commencement 2019, the ceremony registration will be open from March 13 – April 17. To ensure your name is listed in the program, commencement registrations need to be received no later than 5pm on April 17, 2019.