Class of 2024 - Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

When is commencement?

California Northstate University (CNU) will hold one, single, unified university commencement on Saturday, May 18th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Students from the College of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, College of Psychology, College of Graduate Studies, and College of Health Sciences will be graduating together during this time.

Where will commencement take place?

CNU’s Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony will be held at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center, located at 1301 L St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

Should I order regalia?

Yes; all students participating in the Commencement Ceremony must purchase regalia through Balfour. The link to order regalia is provided below. Be sure to complete and submit your order at one time, because you will be unable to reenter the site once your order is started. Please contact your Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for any questions related to regalia. The deadline to order regalia is April 1st, 2024.

If I miss the deadline to order regalia, what should I do?

If you missed the deadline to order regalia, please contact your college’s Office of Student Affairs for further guidance.

How many tickets is each graduate allotted?

Each graduate who RSVPs will be given the number of tickets requested, up to a maximum of seven physical tickets, which will be available for pick-up at your Office of Student Affairs closer to the date of graduation. Please RSVP using the RSVP link sent with your invitation and select the number of tickets you desire (up to a maximum of seven tickets). If you RSVP and select that you are not attending graduation, you may give your tickets (up to 7 tickets) to a classmate. To do so, please email the Office of Student Affairs with the student's name to whom you want to donate your tickets.

Is alcohol permitted or will it be sold at the Commencement Ceremony?

Commencement is an alcohol-free event. To maintain a safe environment, no alcohol is permitted nor will it be sold at the SAFE Performing Arts Center. Any individual arriving to the event intoxicated will be promptly escorted out of the building and unable to participate in or attend the Commencement Ceremony.

Is there assigned seating for guests attending the Commencement Ceremony?

No; seating is on a first come, first serve basis. All tickets are for general admission seating only. The printed rows and seat numbers on the tickets do not apply.

If a graduate’s guest does not have a physical ticket, can they attend graduation?

No; the security at SAFE Performing Arts Center will not let anyone in the building without a physical ticket. Photos or digital copies of tickets will not be accepted by SAFE Performing Arts Center.

As a graduate, will I need a ticket?

No; graduates do not need a ticket to enter the building but will need to enter through the stage door entrance, which is located at the 14th Street entrance.

If I do not need 7 tickets, can I give them away?

For those participating graduates who RSVPed and do not need all seven tickets allotted, they are more than welcome to give their tickets to another graduate. To do so, please email your Office of Student Affairs informing them of who you will be donating your tickets to.

Do children need a ticket?

Children greater than two years old will need a seat in the auditorium and a physical ticket for graduation.

What should I bring to the ceremony?

Please bring your regalia and essential items only (e.g. emergency medications, car keys, phone (please silence)). Any additional items you choose to bring must fit under a chair in the backstage area.

Is seating available for those needing accommodations?

Yes; The Performing Arts Center is accessible for those needing accommodations, as well as seating. Please contact the SAFE Performing Arts Center to discuss any accommodation requirements.

Will the ceremony be live-streamed?

No; live-streaming will not be available.

Will there be a program for the ceremony?

Yes; a digital program will be available for the ceremony and will be posted on California Northstate University’s main webpage at: Also, QR codes will be posted at the entrance to the SAFE Performing Arts Center. Please note, this download will use your cellular data connection, as no WiFi is available in the building.

Will we have a graduating class photo?

Yes. More information about the date and location of your class photo will be sent to you soon.

Where should graduates, hooders, and other ceremony participants enter?

All ceremony participants (graduates, faculty, stage guests, VIPs, administrators, and hooders) should enter through the main entrance of the building. A list of ceremony participants who do not require a ticket will be provided to the ushers.

Where is parking for graduation?

Parking is available at several parking garages near the SAFE PAC. To decrease cost and confirm availability, we strongly encourage you to reserve a parking space in advance of commencement. You may reserve a parking space up to about 4 weeks prior to the event. Please note, a Volleyball Tournament is occurring the weekend of graduation, which may limit parking options.

When will doors open for the Commencement Ceremony?

Doors will open for guests at 12:00 PM and will close at 12:50 PM, ten minutes prior to the ceremony start time, to enable time to line-up for the academic procession. Guests arriving after 12:50 PM will not be permitted to enter the auditorium until after the academic procession has occurred.

Are balloons, noise makers, etc permitted in the Performing Arts Center?

No; balloons and any type of noise makers are not permitted inside the Performing Arts Center.

Will I have to go through security before entering the building?

Yes; all students and guests should expect to go through SAFE Performing Arts Center security measures. To expedite the check-in process, smaller bags are encouraged. Onsite security will also be provided during the ceremony.

Will food and drinks be available at the Performing Arts Center?

Yes; food and drinks will be available for purchase at the concession stand located in the lobby from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Please note, only water is permitted in the auditorium.

Will we have a rehearsal prior to the ceremony?

No; In lieu of rehearsal, the Office of Student Affairs will provide detailed ceremony instructions to the graduate at the time of ticket pick-up to prepare them for the ceremony.

For any additional questions or inquires, please contact your college’s or program’s Office of Student Affairs.