Frequently Asked Questions

Please review answers to common questions about graduation and commencement below. If you can not find the information you are looking for, contact Jennifer Biggs.

Where is graduation located?

The ceremony will be held at Arizona State University, Desert Financial Arena, 600 E Veterans Way, Tempe, AZ 85281.

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony is expected to last 1.5-2 hours. Participants are expected to remain for the entire duration of the ceremony. Please plan accordingly. Medical personnel will be available in case of emergencies.

Do I have to RSVP for the Commencement Ceremony?

Yes, graduates must RSVP for the ceremony by April 14, 2024. This deadline allows for the commencement committee to make appropriate decisions and preparations to provide you with the best experience.

Do I need to participate in a ceremony to graduate?

No. If students choose not to take part in the ceremony and their academic requirements are met, similar to prior years, students will receive their diplomas in the mail.

You will be responsible for purchasing your own cap and gown through a 3rd party vendor, borrowing from a friend, etc.

If I don’t want to participate in the ceremony do I need to apply to graduate?

Yes, students must apply to graduate regardless of ceremony participation.

How do I purchase my regalia?

Purchase Cap and Gown from Balfour

Caps and gowns may be purchased through April 14, 2024. Regalia will be shipped to the address you provide. Please allow a minimum of 14 business days for your order to ship.

Regalia (cap, gown, and tassel): $12.65
Shipping: $12.95
Total for the student: $25.60

What do I wear?

All graduates should wear a royal blue cap and gown with a red tassel to participate in the ceremony. These can be purchased through the approved MCC vendor, an online retailer, or borrowed from a friend.

The ceremony will be indoors, and you will be standing and walking before and during the ceremony; comfortable footwear is recommended.

When is the deadline to apply for graduation?

  • Fall Graduation - November 1
  • Spring Graduation (including Winter Intersession) - March 1
  • Summer Graduation - June 1
    Applications submitted after a semester’s respective deadline will not be processed until the next semester.

The Online Graduation Application will remain open, however, submissions after March 29 will not be included in the commencement program. Review the Steps to Graduation for more details.

Do I need to pay a graduation fee?

No. There is no fee for applying to graduate.

What if I am not sure if I qualify for graduation?

Visit Academic Advisement to connect with your advisor prior to filling out a graduation application. They will help you determine if you are ready to apply.

When will I receive my diploma?

Your application for a degree or certificate will be reviewed and processed within 45 days after the semester in which you applied, if the following criteria are met:

  1. You met the graduation application deadline.
  2. Earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in the coursework (100 level and above) used to satisfy degree or certificate requirements completed in residence.
  3. You have completed the minimum amount of credits required at MCC.

Upon completion of your degree program, you will receive both digital and paper copies of your diploma through Parchment Services. Once the diplomas are issued, you'll receive an email from Parchment via your student email with instructions on how to obtain your diplomas in both digital and hard copy formats. You'll be able to share your diplomas on social media and reprint them at any time (fees may apply). Additionally, you can track them online. If you have any questions regarding your diploma, visit the Parchment website for FAQs and general information.

You will not receive your diploma at the ceremony, and participating in the ceremony does not guarantee or signify that you will officially graduate.

If you are inquiring about the steps to graduate or the commencement ceremony, please refer to our graduation website. Graduation is a two-step process. You must apply for graduation to receive your diploma, and must RSVP separately to attend the ceremony.

Will there be a rehearsal?

No. There is no rehearsal before the ceremony.

When do I check-in?

Check-in begins at 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. Participating graduates must check in at the southeast entrance of Sun Devil Stadium. All graduates must be checked in 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony or they may not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. Participants must wear MCC regalia.

Where do we put our personal items?

This area has no place for storing personal items. Please leave items with family and friends. Only participating graduates will be allowed in the graduate check-in area.

Will there be an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter at commencement?

Yes. ASL interpreters will be available.

Will there be a photographer?

Professional photographers will be taking pictures of all commencement participants during the commencement ceremony. These photographs will be available for purchase from GradImages.

Will the Commencement Ceremony be live-streamed?

Yes, the ceremony will be live-streamed. Visit our graduation page for more information and to watch the live stream.

Can I decorate my mortarboard/cap?

Yes, you may decorate your cap. However, you must refrain from using offensive or distasteful decorations. Mesa Community College will ask you to remove your cap if it deems the decorations to be objectionable.

Where do I park?

Parking for graduation events is free (available on a first-come, first-served basis). Parking lots are nearby for those driving to the stadium, including ADA parking. View a map of available parking options.

I graduated last year and/or I am graduating in the summer semester of this year, can I attend the Spring Commencement Ceremony?

Yes. Those that completed or will complete a degree or certificate during the current academic year or upcoming summer semester are welcome to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony. Students who submit an application to graduate for the current academic year will receive an email from with instructions on how to RSVP for the event. Students who apply for the summer semester after the spring ceremony will need to request an RSVP from

What is the breakdown for honor cords?

Honor cords are presented to students who participate at the in-person commencement ceremony. Honor Cords are distributed based on graduating GPA. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher as of the end of the fall semester receive cords to be placed around their necks to represent this academic honor designation.

  • Highest Distinction: Graduate has attained a graduation grade point average of 3.90-4.0, designated with a gold cord.
  • High Distinction: Graduate has attained a graduation grade point average of 3.70-3.89, designated with a red cord.
  • Distinction: Graduate has attained a graduation grade point average of 3.50-3.69, designated with a white cord.

Honor cords are for students who are applying for an associate’s degree. Certificate programs are not eligible.

How will I get my honor cord?

Honor cords may be picked up at Enrollment Services April 29-May 10, 2024. Honors cords will only be distributed to students participating in the ceremony on May 11, 2024.

Where do I get specialty stoles?

Please visit MCCCD Convocations for more information on other student speciality stoles and Convocation Ceremonies.

Phi Theta Kappa students should visit this site to order your stole prior to commencement.

Veteran students should contact MCC’s Veteran Services.

What is the difference between Commencement and Convocation?

Commencement ceremonies are the official awarding of degrees/certificates by MCC once it has been determined that you’ve completed your program requirements.

Convocation events are more intimate and culturally focused events designed to celebrate students from diverse communities and various interest groups.

Are convocations mandatory to attend?

No. Convocations are optional events.