Read the message from Chancellor Sandra Haynes to graduates regarding the postponement of the spring 2020 commencement ceremony to spring 2021.
Spring 2020 graduates should fill out the updated contact form to ensure information updates go to the right place.
WSU held its first WSU system virtual celebration on May 9 that recognized graduates from all WSU campuses.
The commencement ceremony celebrates the culmination of all of your hard work and the beginning of a new phase in your life. It is an important ceremony for you, your family, and your friends, and we will do everything possible to preserve this event for you.
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 2020 undergraduate or professional degree or certificate without incurring a late fee is Friday, March 6, 2020.
If you plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony in spring 2021, registration dates to RSVP will posted at a later time.
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!
WSU Global or Other WSU Campus Students
If you are planning to participate in the WSU Tri-Cities Commencement ceremony,
we’d love to have you join us. Registration dates to RSVP will posted at a later time.
participation | 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
WSU students are eligible to participate in commencement if:
WSU Tri-Cities student names will be listed in the WSU Tri-Cities Commencement Program and you will receive information from us if:
WSU Global and WSU Other Campus student names will not be listed in the WSU Tri-Cities Program.
Registration dates to participate in the WSU Tri-Cities Commencement will be posted at a later date. The Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2020, 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.
Students who will need accommodations during commencement need to contact the Access Services at 509.372.7352 no later than April 10, to make prior arrangements.
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.
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.
GradImages® is the official photographer for WSU Tri-Cities Commencement. Pictures may be ordered online, by phone, or by mail.
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.
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.
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.
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 (hood should not be worn at this time) 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.
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.
Information cards are used to assist our readers with the correct pronunciation of your name. Please note that any additional contact information provided by the student will also be shared with the official commencement photographer.
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).
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 will be made available at a later date. The honor cords will be awarded to those students participating in the May 2020 commencement who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher as of December 2019. This includes those that graduated in Fall 2019, or applied to graduate for Spring or Summer 2020 by the graduation application deadline.
Please visit WSU Commencement for information regarding regalia returns due to the ceremony being postponed.