Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

To help our graduates and their guests more fully enjoy the commencement celebration, we have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Please select from the list of topics below:

Seating & Tickets
Academic Questions
Disability Assistance
Commencement Ceremony Details
GCU Services


Seating & Tickets

When will I receive my requested tickets for the commencement ceremony?

As a graduate candidate attending the ceremony you will not need a ticket. However, your guests will need a ticket. You can select up to 6 tickets from the list below. Children age 3 and younger will not need a ticket but will be required to sit on a lap of a fellow guest.

Issuing of Guest Tickets - Guest tickets will not be mailed out. Beginning the week of March 10, 2014 you will need to pick up your guest tickets in person at the campus. You can pick up your tickets from the GCU Arena Box Office Monday, March 10, 2014 through Friday, March 14, 2014 between the hours of 10AM - 5PM or, on the day of your ceremony.

Note: On the day of the ceremony, there will be an unused ticket exchange table by the GCU Arena Box Office. If you are in need of additional tickets, you can check this table for extra tickets. We will not have any available information on unused tickets prior to the ceremony date.

Can someone else pick up my ticket for me?
The person picking up the tickets will need to provide identification, as well as your name, ceremony participation date and your degree program.

Do graduate candidates need a ticket?

Is there an age limit for tickets?
Attendees three years of age and younger do not need a ticket. However, we request they be seated on the lap of a ticketed guest.

What if I would like to receive more tickets than what is allotted?
There will be no exceptions made to this rule, as we have capacity limitations. You can check in the day of your ceremony to see if any unused tickets have been turned into the GCU Arena box office.

What if I have more guests attending then tickets allotted to me?
We do have overflow seating at Ethington Theatre on campus to watch the ceremony via a live web stream. There will also be a reserved waiting area on the grass lawn in front of the Arena. If seating does open up in the Arena due to attrition, we will allow this waiting area additional entry into the arena (on a first come - first serve basis).

What if I cannot use all the tickets I have requested?
Please turn additional tickets back to the GCU Arena box office prior to your ceremony.


Academic Questions

Will I receive my diploma at the commencement ceremony?
No. You will receive your diploma after you have filled out your graduation application with your Academic Advisor.

When will I receive my diploma?
You will receive your diploma six to eight weeks after submitting your graduation application through your Academic Advisor. Please contact your Academic Advisor for further details.

Will I be receiving an honor cord?
Please contact your Academic Advisor for further details.

I would like a name change on my diploma.
Please contact your Academic Advisor to make the correction.

Will my degree list any honor statuses?
Please contact your Academic Advisor for further details.


Disability Assistance

What should I do if I need assistance during the commencement ceremony?
Please contact the University's Disability Services Office. Please note that all requests for assistance need to be made at least seven days prior to the event.
Phone: 602-639-6342

What if a friend or family member needs assistance during the commencement ceremony?
Please contact the University's Disability Services Office. Please note that all requests for assistance need to be made at least seven days prior to the event.
Phone: 602-639-6342


Commencement Ceremony Details

What do I need to remember to bring to my commencement ceremony?
Please remember to bring your regalia (cap and gown). If you did not have time to purchase these items prior to the deadline, our regalia vendor will be on site the day of the ceremony.

Do I need to arrive wearing my regalia?
No, there will be time for you to change into your regalia after you check-in.

How long will the ceremony last?
Approximately two hours.

Where do I park?
There will be plenty of parking available throughout the entire campus. Please see detailed parking map for entrance locations and parking lot details.

What do I do once I arrive on campus?
As the graduate, you will need to enter through your corresponding entrance and proceed to check-in. Once checked in, you will dress in your regalia and then make your way to the arena bowl floor to be seated.

Can we sit anywhere as a graduating student?
No, there is assigned seating according to your degree and degree level. If you have fellow classmates within the same degree who you would like to sit with, we recommend you enter the arena bowl floor together so that you'll be ushered to seats next to each other.

Will I be standing for a while at any point during the ceremony?
You will be standing during the check-in process, which should take no longer than five to ten minutes. There will be plenty of seating for you to sit and rest if needed.

Are cameras and/or video cameras allowed?
Yes, as long as you do not block others' view.

What time do I need to arrive?
We ask you to arrive at least two hours prior to the start of the ceremony which will allow you to check in, to dress in your regalia and mingle with fellow classmates and faculty.

Can I bring food into the arena?
No outside food or beverage is allowed in the arena unless medically necessary. There will be bottled waters available to all graduating students in the regalia changing area inside the arena.

How much time should I allot to travel to campus?
Depending on where you are coming from within the valley, please allow the following time travel constraints:

  • Coming from East Valley (Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler) 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Coming from NE Valley (Scottsdale, Peoria) 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Coming from West Valley 20 minutes.

How should I dress?
Business causal is preferred. Wear comfortable shoes.

Can I meet up with any of my GCU Grad Team?
You will want to arrange a day and time outside of your commencement ceremony timeframe as it will be a busy day full of activity. You can also arrange a meeting spot on campus to visit with your Grad Team after the ceremony.

What about my instructors?
Faculty members are invited to participate in the commencement ceremonies. You can contact your instructor directly to see if they will be attending and visit with them in the regalia changing area.

Is the GCU Arena air conditioned?
Yes, your guests may even want to bring a light sweater.


GCU Services

Are there any travel discounts available to students and family members?
Please visit our Where to Stay page. We have negotiated special rates at several hotels and with popular car rental companies.

Will the GCU bookstore or team shop be open?
Yes, both will be open through commencement week as well as the day of your ceremony.

Will there be any opportunities to buy food or drinks during my commencement ceremony?
The first floor arena concession stand will be open for food and beverage purchases. No outside food is allowed unless medically necessary.

Is there anywhere on campus to grab a bite to eat?
Yes, the Student Union and Thunder Alley will be open for you to enjoy after or prior to your commencement ceremony.