Frequently Asked Questions 


Western Governors University
National Commencements 

Last updated: June 5, 2017

 Contact info: or
1-877-435-7948 x 2085

Note: Information marked with an *asterisk is subject to change with each commencement.






Q.  Are the date, time, and location of commencement the same every year?
A.  No. The date, time, and location of the national commencements are subject to change. The date, time, and location are posted on the commencement web site once it is available.

Q. When is the 2017 Winter Commencement?
A. The 2017 Summer Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Q. Where and what time do I report for commencement?
A.  Graduates receive a commencement guidebook in advance that provides the specific location, schedule, protocol, and maps. Please refer to your commencement guidebook for detailed information.

Q. How many guests may I bring to commencement?

Q. Are tickets required for the commencement ceremony?
A.  No, tickets are not required for the commencement ceremony. However, seating is first come, first served. Overflow seating will be available if needed.

Q. How long does the commencement ceremony last?

A. Generally, the national commencement ceremony may run from 2 to 2.5 hours.

Q. Will my name be announced at the commencement ceremony?
A. Only the names of graduates who attend the commencement ceremony in person are read as each graduate walks across the stage.

Q. Are there deadlines that I should be aware of?

A.  Yes, please keep these deadlines in mind for the 2017 Summer Commencement*.

May 12, 2017- Graduate Speaker Application
June 30, 2017 - Ceremony RSVP (required)
June 30, 2017- Cap and Gown Orders

Q. Will I or my guests with a small child be able to bring in a stroller?
A. Yes. Due to aisle space, strollers are not permitted in seating sections, or in the wheelchair cutouts.However, a space will be designated for stroller parking.

Q. Where can I put on my cap and gown for the ceremony?
A. Please arrive dressed in your cap and gown for the commencement ceremony. Due to the number of graduates and schedule, it is not practical to change into regalia at the venue.

Q. Can students request letters of invitation for family members living abroad to attend commencement?

A. Yes, students will need to send an email to the with the family member's full name, relationship to the student, and foreign address. Once provided, the records department will prepare documents on official letter containing information about the commencement and student's earned degree. These prepared letters will then be sent to the student so they may forward them on to the correct parties. It may take 5-10 business days for the letters to be mailed to the student.

Q. Is there a video of the ceremony for purchase?
A. No, but you may watch the commencement ceremony for free on the WGU YouTube channel.

Q. Do I need to rsvp for the ceremony if I already submitted a graduation application?
A. Yes, the ceremony rsvp form is a separate process from the graduation application. The completion of the ceremony rsvp form reserves your seat at commencement and generates your name card for the announcer.

Q. When and where can I find the commencement photos?
A. The commencement photos are usually available 2-3 weeks after commencement. Those photos will be available for viewing at




Q. Do I have to graduate before I can participate in the commencement ceremony?
A.  In order to participate in a commencement ceremony, a student must complete all degree program requirements before the scheduled ceremony. However, if a student is enrolled in the final course of his or her degree program, the student may send an exemption request to entitled, "Commencement Ceremony Participation Request." The records department will determine if the student is qualified to participate in a commencement ceremony prior to actual degree completion. If qualified, the exempted student must still RSVP for the ceremony via the appropriate commencement ceremony web site. Participation in commencement does not imply or guarantee conferral of degree or diploma. Source: Commencement Participation Guidelines, Article 1524, Student Handbook

Q. How do I know if I am eligible to attend a commencement ceremony?
A. Please review the commencement participation guidelines located in the student handbook, which outlines the eligibility for commencements.

Q. I am a student from the state of Missouri. May I participate in the national commencement?
A. Only graduates in the national student body of Western Governors University may attend the national commencement. Graduates in the state of Missouri participate in the WGU Missouri Commencement. Each WGU state-specific university separately holds its own annual commencement for its own student body. The same holds true for all WGU state schools. For more info, please review the commencement participation guidelines. Source: Commencement Participation Guidelines, Article 1524, Student Handbook

Q. How do I RSVP for the commencement ceremony?
A. Please visit the ceremony rsvp page which outlines the eligibility and instructions on how to access the ceremony rsvp form.

Q. I'm not sure if I submitted an RSVP for the commencement ceremony, how can I check?
A. After a graduate submits an rsvp form, a confirmation email is sent to the email address you listed on your rsvp form. Please check your junk box if you don't see a confirmation email of your rsvp.

Q. What if I can't participate in the winter commencement ceremony, may I participate in the summer or next winter?
A. Yes, a graduate may participate in one commencement ceremony per degree program completed.

Q. Can I delay or postpone walking at commencement?
A. Yes. There is not a time limit on when a graduate must walk in a commencement.

Q. Where do I order announcements to invite family and friends to commencement?
A. Please visit the “Graduate” page, which includes a link to Jostens who is the current provider for commencement announcements.


Q. What is the link to watch the 2017 Summer Commencement?
A. Here is the link to watch the webcast:

Q. Will my name be announced at the commencement ceremony?
A. Only the names of graduates who attend the commencement ceremony in person are read as each graduate walks across the stage.



Q. Which company sells WGU academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods)?
A. Oak Hall Cap and Gown is the official regalia vendor (caps, gowns, and hoods) for WGU. The official regalia color is navy.

Q. What kind of academic regalia do I buy for commencement ?

A. For those earning a bachelor's degree, you would order: cap, gown, and tassel.
    For those earning a master's degree, you would order: cap, gown, tassel, and a master's hood.

Q. How do I order my cap and gown for commencement?

A. Visit the WGU- Oak Hall Cap and Gown web site to place your order, or by calling 1-800-456-7623 and ask for the Web Department.

Q. Where can I get a tassel as a keepsake?
A.  You can order a tassel at the WGU-Oak Hall Cap and Gown web site, or by calling 1-800-456-7623 and ask for the Web Department.

Q. Can I wear honor cords?
A. Yes, WGU graduates affiliated with an honor society may wear society pins or honor cords on their gowns. Teacher graduates affiliated with the WGU chapter of the international honor society of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) may order honor cords at

Q. What hood do I purchase?
A. The following hoods are available for purchase at the WGU- Oak Hall Cap and Gown web site:
            Education - blue
            Business (all MBAs) - drab
            Information Technology (gold)
            Nursing (apricot)

Q. What side does my tassel go on?
A. Prior to the conferral of degrees, bachelor's degree graduates wear the tassel on the right side while master's degree graduates wear their tassel on the left side for the entire commencement ceremony.

Q. I already have a cap and gown from my bachelor's degree. May I wear that same regalia for my master's degree?
A. A graduate should wear academic attire appropriate to the awarded degree. The master's gown is different from a bachelor's gown. If you already have a cap and tassel, you can order a master's gown as an individual item on the WGU- Oak Hall Cap and Gown web site. Please note that the academic attire for a master's graduate includes: cap, tassel, master's gown, and hood.





Q. How do I apply for graduation?

A. Upon completion of a student's last course of study and as soon as the final grade(s) is posted on the Degree Plan, the student may apply for graduation. The student requests a graduation application form from the mentor and the mentor will recommend the student for graduation.  The student then receives an electronic graduation form to fill out and submit automatically to the Graduation Team. Students will be cleared for graduation and mailed a diploma and two copies of their transcripts within 10 working days of receipt of the form, assuming they do not have any outstanding financial obligations or state licensing requirements.  Students should make sure that all financial obligations have been met prior to applying for graduation.  Diplomas and transcripts will be held for students who have not fulfilled financial obligations and/or have remaining licensing requirements for their state.

Q. When do I get my diploma?
A. Graduates attending in person will be recognized individually at Commencement. Your diploma and official transcripts will be mailed to you within 2-3 weeks of receipt of your application for graduation, assuming you have no outstanding financial obligations. If you have any questions, please contact





Q. Is there an rsvp form for the program book?
A. No, the records department compiles the list of graduate names from processed graduation applications for the program book.

Q. How do I get my name listed in the 2017 Summer Commencement book?
A. The records department compiles the list of graduate names from processed graduation applications for the program book. The current program book cycle will automatically include names of those who graduated from  December 17, 2016 - May 26, 2017. Students who complete their degree program after May 26th will have their names printed in the next program book.

Q. Where can I request a commencement program book to be mailed to me?
A. After a commencement ceremony, a graduate may request a program book to be delivered by postal mail. To request a winter or summer commencement program book, please complete the program book request form.