Portland State University has a formal cap and gown ceremony at the end of Sprint term in the Moda Center (formerly Rose Garden arena). As their names are read, each student crosses the stage to receive University-wide recognition and his or her diploma folder. Official diplomas are available later in the summer. The ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours and is a ticketed event.

“Graduation” and “Commencement” are terms of art at PSU. “Graduation” means actually fulfilling your degree requirements resulting in a diploma. In other words, “Graduation” is the technical obtainment of credits to receive a degree.

“Commencement” is the symbolic ceremony marking the closing of your academic career where you receive commendation for your hard work at PSU. It is an opportunity for you, your family, friends, and the PSU community to celebrate your accomplishment.


Official and unofficial student transcripts display PSU degree information once the graduation certification process is complete (four to six weeks after final grades are posted). Note that this is prior to the diploma being prepared. All degree recipients are notified by mail of diploma availability. Student may pick up their diploma in the Degree Requirements Office or have it mailed. Diplomas are usually available at the end of the term following the graduation term.