Commencement Checklist

View the complete schedule of commencement events.


Ongoing Ensure that your contact information is up-to-date in the MySanDiego portal.
Tues., March 1, 2016

Go to the CalBar website to register for the 2016 California July Bar Examination. If you are planning on taking a bar exam in another state, please contact Academic Services Advisor Janet Madden.

Tues., March 1, 2016

The APPLICATION TO GRADUATE opens. You must complete each of the following mandatory steps in order to be approved to graduate:

  1. Apply to Graduate: In the MySanDiego portal, access the Law Student page, Academic Records Tools channel, and complete the Apply to Graduate process. If you experience any technical issues accessing the Apply to Graduate link, please contact the Office of the Law School Registrar as soon as possible.
  2. Complete an Exit Interview: Complete this survey to provide important commencement and diploma information, as well as feedback about your law school experience: 2016 Exit Interview. If you have questions about the exit interview, please contact the Office for Law Student Affairs.
  3. Complete the Graduate Employment Survey (JD Students ONLY): You are required to complete the Graduate Employment Survey accessible via the “Profile” tab in your Symplicity account. The ABA and NALP require all law schools to collect this information, which is reported anonymously in order to protect graduates’ privacy. If you need assistance accessing your Symplicity account or the survey, please contact the Office of Career and Professional Development. For guidance on answering the survey questions, please refer to the NALP Graduate Employment Survey FAQs.

Failure to complete these three steps by March 31 may result in a delay in processing your approval to graduate. Please be sure to contact the appropriate department if you have questions or concerns.

Wed.-Thurs., March 9-10, 2016 GradFest. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (USD Torero Store). Students can place orders for caps and gowns ($25.00 rental fee), graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and other memorabilia during Grad Fest at the USD Torero Store (Hahn University Center). Students may order their caps and gowns online beginning Friday, March 11, 2016. When ordering your regalia, please be sure to select the appropriate degree program to ensure that you get the correct regalia. 
Thurs., March 31, 2016
  • Deadline to complete the Application to Graduate process.
  • Last day to order cap and gown (either online or at the Torero Store (Hahn University Center)) ($25.00 rental fee).
  • Last day to notify the Office for Law Student Affairs if a member of your immediate family (spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling) is a USD Law alum and you would like them to participate on stage at commencement. Participation in the Commencement Ceremony entails relative sitting on stage and presenting student with their diploma during the presentation of candidates. Please note that this process must be initiated by the student
Fri., April 1, 2016 Last day to submit your JD concentration application to the Office for Law Student Affairs, Warren Hall Room 218. LLM in Comparative Law students should submit their concentration application to Graduate and International Programs, Warren Hall Room 207.
Mon., April 4, 2016
  • Deadline to apply to be the student commencement speaker. If you would like to represent the class of 2016 as the student commencement speaker, email a written draft of your proposed commencement speech to SBA President Keith Van Wagner. The speech may be no longer than 10 minutes when delivered. The graduation committee will review all submitted speeches and choose up to five finalists who will be invited to give their speech before the committee. The committee will select the student commencement speaker from those finalists. (If you are interested in being the student commencement speaker, please email your interest to SBA President Keith Van Wagner by March 18).  
  • Deadline to apply to be the student national anthem singer. If you would like to sing the national anthem at the 2016 commencement ceremony, please email the Office for Law Student Affairs. In your email, include your name, email, and a contact phone number. Auditions will take place the week of April 18 and will be in front of a panel of administrators and graduating students.
Mon., April 11, 2016
  • Application deadline for membership in the Order of Barristers. All graduating JD students are eligible to seek membership in the prestigious Order of Barristers. This is an excellent opportunity for students who have demonstrated exceptional skills in oral advocacy and brief writing. Refer to the March 7 email from Law Student Affairs for more information and application instructions. Students may contact Professor Jean Ramirez with questions.
  • Application deadline for Community Defenders Award. Graduating JD students who have a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense are invited to apply for the Community Defenders Award. Refer to the March 10 email from Law Student Affairs for more information and application instructions. Students may contact Professor Jean Ramirez with questions.
Tues., April 26, 2016 Last day to submit your Pro Bono hours to the Office for Law Student Affairs.
Before Mon., May 2, 2016
Thurs., May 5, 2016 GradFest II. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Degheri Alumni Center). Pick up cap and gown. Stop by and pick up your cap and gown while enjoying food, music, and a festive atmosphere. If you are unable to attend GradFest II, caps and gowns can be picked up in the Torero Store (Hahn University Center) beginning Friday, May 6, 2016 during regular bookstore hours. Please refer to the Law School Regalia Information page (PDF) when picking up your regalia to ensure that you are receiving the correct regalia. 
Thurs., May 12, 2016 Attend the Student Bar Association Grad Bash. Stone Brewing Liberty Station-Building 122816 Hisoric Decatur Road #116, San Diego, CA 92106. Tickets are $10. Payments accepted through Venmo (@USD-SBA).
Fri., May 13, 2016 Attend the law school commencement mass at 4 p.m. in Founders Chapel. If you are interested in volunteering at the mass, please contact the Office for Law Student Affairs.
Sat., May 14, 2016 Attend the commencement ceremony from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. No tickets necessary. Arrive for line-up by 8 a.m. Reception follows in the University Center, Forums A, B and C. The commencement ceremony will be webcast live and replays will be available for one week following the ceremony.
July 2016
  • Diplomas will be mailed to your mailing address on file; Concentration certificates and Honors Brochure will follow mid-summer.
  • Order commencement photos from the May 14, 2016 ceremony online from Grad Images.
August 2016

If you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, you will remain enrolled in the policy period for which you have remitted payment for. Please note the coverage dates below:

  • Fall Plan (December 2015 Graduates - Domestic Students Only): 08/15/2015 - 12/31/2015
  • Annual Plan (May 2016 Graduates - Domestic Students Only): 08/15/2015 - 08/14/2016

Please look for an email from in late May with information on the insurance coverage options that are available after you graduate.  

For questions about this page, please email the Office for Law Student Affairs.


Law Student Affairs
Warren Hall, Room 218
Phone: (619) 260-4651
Fax: (619) 260-7715


M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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