I want to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. What do I need to do?
  • Register for the ceremony, starting April 4th.
    • RSVP no later than May 16th.
  • Order your cap and gown, they are required
  • You will be assigned a day and time to check-in and participate
  • Tell your family and friends to join you for the celebration
  • Show up and celebrate
What will the celebration include?

At the time designated for your division, you will arrive with your guests and check-in at the welcome point on the north side of the New PE building. You will receive a card with your name. Do not lose your card, it will be used to read your name on stage.

After you check in enjoy the music, photo opportunities, and time to celebrate with your loved ones. This ceremony is designed to keep you and your loved ones together so you can celebrate as a group throughout the event.

At the designated line-up time (which will also be announced aloud) proceed with your guests and line up according to the instructions provided and at the direction of the faculty marshals for the processional to the stadium.

When you arrive at the stadium you will walk across the stage and hand your card to the reader who will read your name aloud while you receive your diploma cover and shake hands. On the other side of the stage, you will have your photograph taken by a professional photographer.

Your loved ones will stay on the field and walk parallel to you in front of the stage as you cross the stage. They will be close and have an excellent view of you on stage. They may pause to take pictures of you on the stage receiving your diploma cover. They will meet you after the professional photograph is complete. 

You and our guests will then exit the stadium.

When will I know exactly what day and time I can participate in the in-person event?

After the RSVP deadline, we will know how many people will be participating. We will finalize the celebration schedule at that time. We will email graduates and post the schedule on the commencement website. We expect to have that information out to grads by late May, so you can plan accordingly with your family.

What if I need additional accommodations?

Graduates in need of disability-related accommodations in order to participate in the ceremony need to provide details of their needs at the time they register to attend the ceremony. 


What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?

Graduation and Commencement are not the same. A student graduates from WOU after applying to graduate and after the Office of the Registrar determines that all university academic requirements have been met. Students may graduate at the end of any academic term. Diplomas are mailed each term to fully graduated students.

Commencement is WOU’s annual ceremony in June that recognizes graduates and those close to completing their degree. Those that attend commencement will have their names called at the ceremony and they will walk across the stage to receive a diploma cover.

Not all students who graduate choose to participate in Commencement and not all students that participate in Commencement graduate.

What do the different honors levels mean?

The faculty at WOU recognizes scholarship by conferring honors distinction on undergraduate students who have completed at least 45 credit hours through WOU and earned a cumulative WOU grade-point average of 3.50 or higher as follows:

  • Cum Laude: 3.50-3.64
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.65-3.79
  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.80-4.00

All grade-point averages used for commencement are calculated at the conclusion of the previous winter term. Grade-point averages are recalculated when all coursework is completed and the degree is conferred.

How do I stay in touch with the university after I graduate?

Graduates may join the WOU alumni organization free of charge. Registering as an alumnus or alumna comes with multiple advantages, including updated communications from the university, a subscription to the alumni magazine, Western Edge, and discounts at places such as the WOU Bookstore, among others. To register as an alumni, visit the Alumni Registration page.

Can I get some WOU gear at the Wolfstore?

The Wolfstore will be open 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. for purchases by graduates and/or family members and guests.

Will there be restrooms available?

Portable restrooms will be available. Restrooms in the stadium will also be open to the public.

Contact us

University Registrar  |  registrar@wou.edu  |  503-838-8327  |  Location: Administration Building