2018 Commencement held Friday, May 11



Watch the USC Arch 2017 Commencement Ceremony video HERE


The University of Southern California's School of Architecture satellite ceremony will be held at Founders Park with a reception to follow at Watt Hall Courtyard.

USC Main Ceremony Information

Visiting USC


On this page:


Note on Commencement Day Weather:

The USC School of Architecture’s Commencement satellite ceremony will occur rain or shine, and will not be covered. As a reminder, the ceremony will still take place outside, at Founders Park. In the event of rain, please prepare for yourself and your family with raincoats and ponchos, but notes that unfortunately umbrellas will not be permitted.


Where is the University’s main ceremony?

The main University ceremony will be located at Alumni Park, facing the Doheny Memorial Library. If you intend on participating in the 

main ceremony, candidates for degrees are to assemble by 8 a.m. along the back side (north side) of  The Von KleinSmid Center (VKC) as labeled in the assembly point map below (Assembly Point A).

Please look for School Marshals TBA. The processional will take place at 8:30 a.m., and the commencement ceremony will start at 9 a.m., lasting about 1 hour 15 minutes. This main ceremony is optional.


Following the ceremony, the Marshals will lead you to the School of Architecture’s satellite ceremony.



Where is the School of Architecture’s ceremony?

Our satellite ceremony will be held at Founders Park, where Trousdale meets Hellman Way on the north side of Bovard and the south side of Taper Hall.




The satellite ceremony will begin 11 a.m., immediately after the main ceremony at Founders Park (see map). This ceremony should end close to 1 p.m.

The speakers for the USC Architecture commencement ceremony are:
Welcome — Dean Milton Curry 

Address — TBA 


At 10:30 a.m. or immediately following the main ceremony, please assemble at Founders Park to line up for the School of Architecture ceremony. 


*There will be no commencement rehearsal.


About USC Architecture Commencement Address Speaker:




How do I get to Founders Park?

Since many of the normal paths and shortcuts will be blocked by other commencement ceremonies and vendors, it is best to walk from Watt Hall east down Bloom Walk and then north along Trousdale to get to the site, just past Bovard Auditorium to the north.


If you would like to familiarize yourself with the ceremony location, by the evening of Thursday, May 10, the site should be set up. Feel free to go over and look if you are curious.



Where do I line up?

Once at Founders Park, look for the area adjacent to the seating area (to the west). Look for the School of Architecture staff.  It will be hard to miss the line of robed architecture grads.



Information for family and guests

Seating is available beginning at 7 a.m. and is on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are not required for seating at the School of Architecture ceremony, but please be considerate of your fellow classmates and their family/friends who will be in attendance.


Please be courteous and refrain from reserving too many continuous seats.


Keep in mind, there is plenty of seating.


Being that the ceremony is outdoors and on a grassy field, here are some tips:


- Watch out for uneven ground and roots as. (Thin heels could also sink into the grass, so be careful.)

- Family members may want to have ball caps, sun hats, sunglasses, sunblock or other protective-wear in the event that it is particularly sunny and hot. The site is not tented.

- Trees may drop leaves. Don’t be startled.

- There is no rain contingency so look at weather reports and dress accordingly.

- A wheelchair area is available. Ask staff for assistance.

- Strollers need to be parked in the designated area south of Founders Park, closest to Bovard Auditorium.



Photography information

Official photographers from Grad Images will capture all degree candidates as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma from the dean. They require some basic information to be filled out on an information card the day of the ceremony. We have pre-filled out the majority of information, but you will need to look it over to make sure it is correct when we are lining you up. If you did not complete the online commencement survey earlier in the semester you will be asked to fill out the card in its entirety.


There is no guest photography permitted in the aisles due to fire marshal regulations. Family members wishing to get closer may exit the seating area and take photos from outside the fence on the northwest corner of the site. In addition to the stage photo, students will be photographed once more by Grad Images as they step off the stage.



Reception information

A light reception will follow the satellite ceremony at the Watt Hall Courtyard. Join us!


Reminders about regalia

Regalia (caps and gowns) are available to rent in the USC Bookstore on the third floor according to the dates provided on the University’s commencement page.


Rented regalia must be returned on immediately after the conclusion of commencement exercises to the bookstore, except for the tassel, which is retained by the graduate.


Masters degree candidates: Please make sure your hood color is blue violent, and not any other shades of blue or purple.




There is no rehearsal, but you will receive more information later regarding the logistics of assembling and lining up for the School of Architecture satellite ceremony.



Honor cords

Undergraduates who have earned a minimum 3.5 university grade point average at the end of the Fall 2017 semester are eligible to wear the official University honor cords at commencement. Eligible students will be contacted by Eric Moore.


Note: Eligibility to wear honor cords is not an indication that academic honors (cum laude, etc.) will be designated on your diploma/record since these honors will be awarded after final grades are determined after commencement.




Contact Eric Moore               






Do I have to purchase tickets to the main ceremony?

No, anyone can attend the main ceremony, which is held at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Memorial Park.



Are tickets required for the School of Architecture satellite ceremony?

Tickets are not required for seating at the School of Architecture ceremony, but be considerate of your fellow classmates and their family/friends who will be in attendance.  Please be courteous and refrain from reserving more than one contiguous row. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.



What is the difference between the main ceremony and the satellite ceremonies?

The main ceremony is for all undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in commencement. USC President C. L. Max NIkias will address the students during the main ceremony, where students will then be asked to move their tassels from the right side of their cap to the left — the traditional sign of graduation.


The satellite ceremony is where the student will proceed across the stage and receive commendation on their achievements.



What time should we arrive for the University’s Commencement Ceremony?

The procession begins at 8:30 a.m. and the ceremony at  a.m., but we recommend guests arrive by 7 a.m. to secure parking and seating.



Where should we park?

Parking is free on commencement day and on the day prior.  However, parking is extremely limited on campus, and due to the large crowd expected at commencement, parking facilities will fill up early. The University Parking Center — on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Grand Avenue — is recommended for all degree candidates, their families and guests.  We also suggest the Menlo Lot, just off of Exposition Boulevard by the Natural History Museum. If your guests arrive late and all campus parking facilities are filled, you may park for free at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is accessible off of Exposition Boulevard.



What services are available to help guests with disabilities?

If you would like to drop off guests with disabilities on campus, please enter campus through Gate No. 2, located on Figueroa Street, and drop off in front of the Widney Alumni House. Vehicles will then be directed to park at Parking Structure 1 on the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard (enter the structure off of Flower Street).


There are a limited number of wheelchairs available for checkout free of charge in front of the Alumni House for those in need of this service. Checkout begins at 6 a.m. All wheelchairs must be returned by 5 p.m


At the main ceremony, there is reserved seating at the front of Alumni Park for guests with disabilities, including those requiring sign language interpretation. Because space is limited, we can only allow one escort per disabled guest. The entrance to the disability seating area is on the south side of Doheny Memorial Library. Because the center of campus is crowded very early, it is recommended you access the entrance by circling behind Doheny.


The School of Architecture satellite ceremony will also have designated seating for guests with disabilities. You may ask staff for assistance on the day of. Guests who need to utilize the wheelchair area are permitted to sit with one additional guest only.


Will there be a live video stream of the ceremony?

Video Streaming
We plan on offering a live stream of the USC Architecture Commencement Ceremony. Tell any of your friends and family who cannot join you in person, that they can watch in realtime through Facebook. Starting around 11am the feed will begin until when the ceremony comes to a close around 12:30pm. We will let you know if this changes.

Video Online After Commencement 
After the ceremony we will make the recorded version of the event available here on the page in the coming days for your friends and family to watch at their leisure.



Where can I rent/purchase my cap and gown?

Graduates may rent academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods) in the Pertusati University Bookstore, third floor, from May 1-11.  Regalia must be returned on the day of commencement, at the conclusion of commencement exercises, to the bookstore, except for the tassel, which is retained by the graduate. Any updates of regalia and rental information can be found here: 


Bachelor’s degree (black cap and gown only)   $59.99

Master’s degree (black cap, gown and hood)    $79.99

Doctoral degree (cardinal cap, gown and hood): $99.99



Master's hood trim color is blue violet (NOT purple, NOT lilac)


The inside of the hood will be gold satin with a cardinal chevron.



To check on your commencement-related information, visit the Degree Progress website:

You can review the information that will be printed in the commencement program and on your diploma, verify the handling and mailing instructions for your diploma, and review the diploma mailing address that is in the university’s database.



Grad Fair

Grad Fair is your one-stop way to get all the information you need about commencement. All soon-to-be graduates are encouraged to stop by Grad Fair for answers to questions, or to purchase commencement-related products.


The 2018 Grad Fair will be held in the ballroom of the Tutor Campus Center (RTCC).


Wednesday, Feb. 14, and Thursday, Feb. 15  (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)



Baccalaureate ceremony

Taking place in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 10, the university’s baccalaureate ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and runs about one hour. Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, interfaith celebration open to all students and their guests.


The highlight of the 2018 ceremony will be an address by TBD. The participation of numerous university dignitaries, as well as the religious directors who work with our student groups adds luster to the occasion. The service itself features music and readings from a wide range of religious traditions, and concludes with a benediction over the graduating students.


There are no reservations necessary for the ceremony, but seating in Bovard Auditorium is available on a first come, first served basis, and the 1,200 available seats always fill up quickly. Students do not need to wear regalia for the ceremony.


Baccalaureate dinner

Baccalaureate is followed by a festive dinner for graduates and their families. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. This beautiful dinner hosts 1,200 students and families under an enormous canopy on Pardee Way.


The cost is $40 per person, which includes tax, gratuity and wine or other beverage. There is no limit to the number of tickets you can buy, but tables will be seated in groups of 10 (i.e. if you buy 11 tickets, we will have to split your party among two adjacent tables).


Cancellations may be made at any time, but we can only offer full refunds through April 7. Cancellations made between April 8 and April 23 will be given a 50 percent refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after April 21.


Reservations for the baccalaureate dinner will be taken starting Feb. 7.



Congratulations Class of 2018!




FUN FACT: Founders Park is beloved for its magnificent trees, among them a redwood honoring the memory of USC’s second president, Joseph P. Widney, who led the university from 1892 to 1895.