​Commencement Checklist

View the complete schedule of Commencement Events and Frequently Asked Questions for additional commencement information.

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


Update Contact Information

Ensure that your contact information is up-to-date in the MySanDiego portal.

MARCH 1, 2019

Register for the Bar Exam

Go to the CalBar website to register for the 2019 California July Bar Examination.

If you are planning on taking a bar exam in another state, please refer to the Academic Success and Bar Programs websites. 

MARCH 1, 2019

Apply to Graduate


The APPLICATION TO GRADUATE will be open March 1-31. 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, contact the Office of the Law School Registrar.
  2. Complete an Online Exit Survey: Complete this survey to provide important commencement information, bar exam preparation information, and feedback about your law school experience. Select your program's corresponding online exit survey below. If you have questions about the online exit survey, contact the Office for Law Student Affairs.
  3. Complete the Graduate Employment Outcome Survey (JD Candidates ONLY): You are required to complete the Post-Grad Employment Outcome Survey in your #HireUSDLaw account. The Survey is accessible via the Jobs and Job Offers Tab in #HireUSDLaw. From the Jobs and Job Offers Tab, look for the Post-Grad Employment section and select Report Status. Once you have chosen Report Status, please select the appropriate after graduation outcome for you and complete the accompanying survey questions. The ABA and NALP require all law schools to collect this information, which is reported anonymously in order to protect the graduates' privacy. For guidance on answering the survey questions, refer to the NALP Graduate Employment Survey FAQs. If you need assistance accessing your #HireUSDLaw account or have questions about the survey, contact Assistant Director of Alumni Advising and Employment Reporting Marti Worms.
  4. Complete a One-on-One Bar Exam Meeting (JD Candidates ONLY): Complete a mandatory 15-minute bar exam meeting to discuss your bar exam preparation plan. Use the following links to schedule your appointment with Kevin Sherrill or Kate Bolus. Upon scheduling, please specify if you require a phone appointment. Your appointment must be scheduled by March 31 and completed by April 26. If you have questions about the One-on-One Bar Exam Meeting, contact Academic Success and Bar Programs.
    • Appointment with Kevin Sherrill (Director, Academic Success and Bar Programs): Sign Up Here 
    • Appointment with Kate Bolus (Assistant Director, Academic Success and Bar Programs): Sign Up Here 

Failure to complete these steps by Sunday, March 31, 2019 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. 

MARCH 13-14, 2019

Attend GradFest I

GradFest I
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Hahn University Center, Forum C

Graduating students can place orders for regalia (see regalia specifications and rental fees below), graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and other memorabilia during Grad Fest.

While at GradFest I, be sure to check in with Assistant Director for Law Student Affairs Laurie Keller at the law school table. She will be available to answer your questions about the application to graduate, commencement checklist, and regalia. 

The first opportunity to order your regalia is at GradFest I. Students may also order their regalia online beginning Friday, March 15, 2019. When ordering your regalia, please be sure to select the appropriate degree program to ensure that you get the correct regalia. See the GradFest I flyer (PDF) for more information.

Items Included with Standard Regalia Rentals and Fees:
LLM Regalia (Rental Fee: $48.00)

  • Doctoral Gown with purple velvet sleeve bars and purple velvet front panel
  • Doctoral Hood (purple)
  • Doctoral Tam (black)
  • Tassel (gold)

JD Regalia (Rental Fee: $48.00)

  • Doctoral Gown with black velvet sleeve bars and black velvet front panel
  • Doctoral Hood (purple)
  • Doctoral Tam (black)
  • Tassel (gold)

MSLS Regalia (Rental Fee: $25.00)

  • Master's Gown with purple velvet trim
  • Masters Hood (purple)
  • Mortarboard (black)
  • Tassel (black)

Note: The gown, hood and tam/mortarboard must be returned after the graduation ceremony. Students keep the tassel. If students would like to keep their hood or tam/mortarboard cap, they may be purchased separately. Regalia cannot be charged to a student account.

MARCH 31, 2019


  • 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)).
  • Last day to notify the Office for Law Student Affairs if a member of your immediate family (spouse, parent, grandparent or sibling) is a USD Law alum and you would like them to participate on stage at commencement.
    • Participation in the commencement ceremony entails the relative sitting on stage and presenting the student with their diploma during the presentation of candidates.
    • Please note that this process must be initiated by the student.

April 1, 2019  |  5 p.m.

Student Commencement Speaker Application Due

If you would like to represent the class of 2019 as the student speaker at commencement, email a written draft of your proposed commencement speech to SBA President Kaitlyn Forbes at usdlawpres@gmail.com.

The speech may be no longer than ten minutes when delivered and must be written so that the graduation committee may review it. The graduation committee will review all submitted draft speeches and choose up to five finalists who will then be invited to give their speech before the committee. The committee will select the commencement speaker from the finalists.

Student National Anthem Singer/Musician Application Due

If you would like to perform the national anthem at the 2019 commencement ceremony, please email the Office for Law Student Affairs. In your email, include your name, email and a contact phone number. This opportunity is open to all USD Law students. 

Note that there may be some space limitations on types of instruments.

Auditions will take place the week of April 15, 2019 and will be in front of a panel of administrators and graduating students.

April 1, 2019

Concentration Applications Due

Last day to submit your JD concentration application to the Office for Law Student Affairs (Warren Hall, Room 218).

LLM in Comparative Law students and MS in Legal Studies students should submit their concentration application to Graduate and International Programs (Warren Hall, Room 207).

MS in Legal Studies students should submit their concentration application to Graduate and International Programs (Warren Hall, Room 207). 

April 4, 2019  |  6 p.m.

Attend the San Diego Alumni Reception

San Diego Alumni Reception
6-8 p.m.
Seasons 52, The Headquarters at Seaport District, 789 W. Harbor Dr., Ste. #134, San Diego, CA 92101
Hosted hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and a signature cocktail

Graduating students are invited to join USD School of Law San Diego alumni for a reception hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations. RSVP today. See the event page for more information. 

April 15, 2019  |  12 p.m.

Order of Barristers Application Due

Each year, a few graduating students are selected for membership in the prestigious Order of Barristers. You may be eligible to receive this honor, which recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in oral advocacy and brief writing. If you think you are eligible for membership in the Order of Barristers, you should submit this brief statement of your qualifications. No other materials will be considered. Please write in bullet points, not narrative form. Your statement of qualifications is due by noon on Monday, April 15, 2019. 

Please submit your statement of qualifications to Professor Jean Ramirez, either in hard copy or by email (ramirezj@sandiego.edu). Applications will be reviewed by a nominating committee of faculty members. 

Community Defenders Award Application Due

Each year, a graduating student receives the Community Defenders Award for his or her demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense. If you think you might be qualified to receive this award, please submit your application as a single PDF to Professor Jean Ramirez (ramirezj@sandiego.edu) by noon on Monday, April 15, 2019.

Please read the memo for the list of requirements you must submit in your Community Defenders Award application. 

April 15, 2019

Pro Bono Hours Due

Last day to submit your Pro Bono hours for recognition pursuant to the Pro Bono Service Recognition Policy and Process. Contact the Office of Career and Professional Development if you have any questions.

April 24, 2019

Commencement Cord Pickup Begins

Student organization, journal, and pro bono cords are now available to be picked up in the Office for Law Student Affairs (Warren Hall, Room 218).

Before Wednesday
May 1, 2019


May 2019

Review Health Insurance Coverage

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 2018 Graduates - Domestic Students Only
    • 08/15/2018-12/31/2018
  • Annual Plan
    • May 2019 Graduates - Domestic Students Only
    • 08/15/2018-08/14/2019

You will receive an email from USD Student Wellness in late April with information on the insurance coverage options that are available after you graduate.

May 3, 2019  |  10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Attend GradFest II

GradFest II
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Hahn University Center (Forums ABC)

The first day to pick up your regalia is at GradFest II. After GradFest II, beginning on Saturday, May 4, pickup is available at the Torero Store during regular business hours.  

At GradFest II, check in with Assistant Director for Law Student Affairs Laurie Keller after picking up your regalia. She will ensure you received the correct regalia and can answer questions about the Commencement Checklist or upcoming Commencement events.

Student organization, journal, and pro bono cords will be available for pick up at Grad Fest II with Laurie at the Law School check-in table.

At GradFest II, you will also have the opportunity to:

Date TBD
May 2019  |  Time TBD

Attend Grad Bash

Check back for more information.

May 16, 2019 | 5 p.m.

Last Day to Pick Up Commencement Cords

All student organization, journal, and pro bono commencement cords must be picked up in Warren Hall, Room 218 by close of business (5 p.m.). Be sure to bring your cord with you to commencement as there will be no cord pick-up the day of the ceremony, and we will not have any extra cords on hand.

May 17, 2019

Commencement Mass

Attend the Law School Commencement Mass at 4 p.m. in Founders Chapel.

If you or your family are interested in volunteering at the mass, please contact the Office for Law Student Affairs.

May 18, 2019

Commencement Ceremony

  • Attend the Commencement Ceremony from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion
  • Tickets are not required.
  • Students arrive for line-up by 8:15 a.m.

The commencement ceremony will be webcast live and the video will be available online following the ceremony.

Commencement Reception

  • The Commencement Reception follows in Eagan Plaza, directly outside of the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Light refreshments will be served.

Summer 2019

Diplomas and Commencement Photos

  • Diplomas will be mailed to your mailing address on file; Concentration certificates and Honors Brochure will follow mid-summer.
  • All graduates who participate in the commencement ceremony will have their photos taken by Grad Images at various times as you cross the stage. You will receive information on how to order your photos from Grad Images following the ceremony. There is also an opportunity for you and your family to pre-register and save 20% off your order of $50 or more (PDF). More information on how to pre-register for your commencement ceremony photos can be found here (PDF).