Commencement Ceremony Participation



Commencement Ceremony

A commencement ceremony is a formal program to celebrate the academic achievement of graduates. The ceremony features a commencement address, student speakers, and conferral of degrees.



Participation Guidelines

  • Graduates who wish to participate in a commencement ceremony must submit an RSVP via the commencement web site (available at (opens new window)). See instructions below.
    • In order to RSVP, you must have your Graduation Application submitted to the Student Records department and/or an Approved Commencement Participation Exception to walk early submitted to the Student Records department. It must be processed and approved. If you do not meet one of these criteria, you will not be able to RSVP at this time and will need to wait to RSVP until you have met the criteria.  
  • Students must complete all degree program requirements before the scheduled ceremony.
  • Participation in commencement does not imply or guarantee conferral of a degree or diploma.
  • Graduates may only participate in one commencement ceremony per degree program completed.
  • Effective January 2018, a graduate may walk at any commencement ceremony location.



Exception Requests

Students who are enrolled in the final course(s) of their degree program may send an exception request to entitled, Commencement Ceremony Participation Request to walk early in a commencement ceremony.

  • If the student is enrolled in the final courses of their degree program, the exception request will be approved.
  • If an exception request is approved, the student must still RSVP for the ceremony.



WGU Commencement Decorum Policy

Please be advised any graduate or guest acting in a disruptive or disrespectful manner, as determined by WGU in its sole discretion, at WGU commencements may either not be allowed in the ceremony venue or may be escorted from the ceremony.

Take into consideration the following if decorating your cap for commencement: WGU does not allow content on caps that is considered, in WGU’s sole discretion, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, inappropriate, profane or that might disregard another’s copyright or third-party rights. All decorations must lie flat on the cap.



Graduate Name Book

Effective in January 2018, WGU will publish graduate name books twice per year. These graduate name books will take the place of the program books that have been distributed during commencement ceremonies in the past.


The graduate name book is a listing of graduate names and degrees completed during a 6-month cycle. The list of graduate names and degrees will be compiled from graduation applications processed during the 6-month cycle.

Note: These graduate name books will not be distributed at commencement. The graduate name book will be published on the WGU Alumni Community web site.


Complete the online order form (opens new window) to have a complimentary book mailed to you. Additional copies may be ordered for $5. 


How to Opt Out 

If you prefer to not have your name listed in the graduate name book, you have the option to opt out by sending an email to




Invitation Letters

Students who wish to invite guest(s) from other countries to attend the commencement ceremony may send an invitation letter request to entitled Commencement Invitation Letter Request.

  • Students must have met the participation guidelines or have received an exception approval.
  • The request must indicate the following information for all guests:
    • Name
    • Relation to student
    • Mailing Address
  • Any requests to include additional information by must be clearly stated in the email.

The Records department will fulfill all invitation letter requests by emailing a PDF of the signed letter to the student’s WGU email address, or to other email addresses upon request with a completed FERPA release.


For more information about commencement, visit WGU Commencement Website (opens new window), call 1.385.428.2085, or email


For more information about the services available for WGU alumni, visit (opens new window) or contact our Alumni Relations team.






Article Number: 20466, 1524