What is Grad Fest? Grad Fest I and Grad Fest II are key Commencement-preparation events that provide you the opportunity to order regalia, have your portrait taken, order graduation memorabilia, as well as pick up regalia and tickets.

On this page:

Grad Fest I

Grad Fest outside University CenterWednesday and Thursday, March 11-12, 2020 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Hahn University Center Forum C

Students place orders for cap and gown, graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and other memorabilia at Grad Fest. Representatives from many university departments will be on hand to answer questions.

Grad Fest II

Friday, May 1, 2020 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
UC Forums A, B, C

Students pick up cap and gown at Grad Fest II. Cap and gown pick up continues at the USD Torero Store on May 2, 2020 during regular store hours. They may also place orders for graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and other memorabilia. Representatives from many university departments will be on hand to answer questions. 

January graduates and students who are not in the San Diego area may order your cap and gown online at the USD Torero Store. Online ordering begins March 16, 2020. If you no longer live in the San Diego area, please contact the USD Torero Store for more information on picking up your cap and gown at or call 619-260-4551.

Cap and Gown

Bachelors regalia

  • A cap and gown must be worn by every student at commencement
  • The fee is $25
  • Order your cap and gown at Grad Fest I on March 11 and 12
  • Beginning on March 16, you may order online or at the Torero Store during normal business hours.
  • Pick up and pay at Grad Fest II on May 1
  • Master's and doctoral students rent their cap and gown and deposit them in marked bins after the ceremony. 
  • Master's and doctoral students can purchase a souvenir mortarboard and/or hood.
  • Doctoral candidates have the option of purchasing their regalia.

If you miss either Grad Fest, contact the USD Torero Store

Additional regalia and personalization

  • Gold-colored regalia (stoles, cords, sashes, etc.) are reserved for Honors Program graduates
  • You may wear regalia denoting membership in an organization, club and/or society – in any color except gold
  • You may decorate the top of your cap, however cannot obstruct the view of others and offensive or improper decorations will be confiscated


Commencement ceremonies take place indoors at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Tickets are not needed to attend the graduate school ceremonies. Doors to the Jenny Craig Pavilion open one hour before each ceremony start time. Tickets are not needed to attend any of the Commencement Masses. 

Name Pronunciation

Graduating students are encouraged to record their names at Grad Fest and Grad Fest II to assist readers with name pronunciation at the ceremonies. Names can also be recorded at campus kiosks or online beginning at Grad Fest through May 9. You will need your USDOne login and password to record your name.

If you receive an email from ITS indicating that you should re-record your name, please check your recording. If it is clear and audible, you may disregard the email.

If you have difficulty recording your name or uploading the file, call the Help Desk at (619) 260-7900 or email

Please know that every effort is made to ensure that names are pronounced properly at commencement. These name pronunciation program has largely been successful; however, due to the high number of names read by each reader, mistakes sometimes happen.


Student posing for portrait.

DiFranco Photography will provide free portrait sittings at Grad Fest I & II.

  • No appointment necessary
  • No sitting fee
  • Cap and gown provided

Proofs are emailed to the student and there is no obligation to buy. If you have questions about your order, please email or call (866) 689-4329.

Ceremony Photography

Grad Images Photography take photographs of each graduate on stage during the commencement ceremonies. Graduates are sent proofs of the photographs via email and/or text after the event. Proofs will also be sent via postal mail. You will have the opportunity to purchase prints after you have seen your proofs. 

If you have any questions about your commencement ceremony photographs, please visit the Grad Images website or call (800) 261-2576.

Diplomas and Diploma Frames

USD Diploma frame

Graduates receive a diploma case during the ceremony. The actual diploma is mailed to the address indicated by the student on his/her petition to graduate. Diplomas are mailed 6-8 weeks after the degree requirements have been met and processed. Diplomas are mailed over the summer for May graduates. For students who graduate in January, diplomas are mailed at the end of February.

Masters and Doctoral students who have any questions or concerns regarding their diploma may contact the Graduate Records Office at or call (619) 260-2217.

To order a diploma frame, visit the USD Torero Store website

Flowers and Leis

Lei display

Orchid leis and roses are available for purchase before each Commencement ceremony. A percentage of all sales support ongoing university programs. Reserve online at Graduation Leis and pick up on Eagan Plaza in front of the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the day of the ceremony. For more information, contact or call (619) 268-1330.

Gifts and Memorabilia

Information about graduation gifts, diploma frames, regalia (cap and gown), announcements, class rings, and alumni merchandise can be found on the USD Torero Store’s website. The USD Torero Store is located inside the Hahn University Center, and will be open Saturday from 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Sunday from 7:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.

For more information on Grad Fest I, Grad Fest II, and cap and gown ordering and pick up, please visit the USD Torero Store website, call (619) 260-4551 or email