​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.

Ongoing

Update Contact Information

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

Sunday
MARCH 1, 2020

Register for the Bar Exam

Go to The State Bar of California website to register for the 2020 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. 

Sunday
MARCH 1, 2020

Apply to Graduate

MANDATORY REQUIREMENT FOR ALL GRADUATES

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 plans, 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 outcome for what you plan to do after graduation (after taking the Bar exam) and complete the accompanying survey questions. If you need assistance or your employment status changes any time after you initially complete the survey but before graduation, please contact Emily Hirsekorn. The ABA and NALP require all law schools to collect this information. The agencies later publish the information merely as collective statistics, not tied to any particular graduates’ names to protect your privacy. For guidance on answering the survey questions, please refer to the NALP Graduate Employment Survey FAQs
  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 22. 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 
      • NOTE: You must complete the Online Exit Survey (step two) BEFORE you attend your mandatory scheduled One-on-One Bar Exam Meeting.

Failure to complete these steps by Tuesday, March 31, 2020 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. 

Wednesday-Thursday
MARCH 11-12, 2020

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), commencement cords, 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 and commencement cords is at GradFest I. Students may also order their regalia and cords online beginning Friday, March 13, 2020. 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. The deadline to order regalia and commencement cords is Friday, April 24, 2020. 

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 and cords cannot be charged to a student account.

Commencement Cords

Commencement cords for participation in student organizations, journals, and advocacy groups will be available to order through the regalia order form. Cords do not need to be returned after the graduation ceremony and can be kept by the student. Note: Pro bono cords will be distributed by the Office of Career and Professional Development to those students who meet the pro bono requirements to receive recognition at the commencement ceremony. 

Thursday
March 26, 2020  |  6 p.m.

Attend the San Diego Alumni Reception

San Diego Alumni Reception
6-8 p.m.
The University Club Atop Symphony Towers
750 B St, Ste 3400, San Diego, CA 92101
Hosted hors d'oeuvres, wine, and beer
Self Parking $10, Valet Parking $15

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. Visit the event page for more information. 

Tuesday
MARCH 31, 2020

Deadlines

  • Deadline to complete the Application to Graduate process.
  • 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.

Wednesday
April 1, 2020  |  5 p.m.

Student Commencement Speaker Application Due

If you would like to represent the class of 2020 as the student speaker at commencement, email a written draft of your proposed commencement speech to SBA President Madison Lathem 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 a select group of 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 Performer Application Due

If you would like to perform the national anthem at the 2020 commencement ceremony, please fill out and submit the National Anthem Performer Application form. 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 in mid-April and will be in front of a panel of administrators and graduating students. Contact the Office for Law Student Affairs if you have any questions. 

Wednesday
April 1, 2020

Concentration Applications Due

Last day to submit your JD concentration application. Contact the Office for Law Student Affairs if you have any questions. 

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

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

Wednesday
April 15, 2020  |  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 Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 12 p.m. 

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 their 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 Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 12 p.m.

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

Wednesday
April 22, 2020

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.

Friday
April 24, 2020

Deadlines

  • Last day to order cap and gown (either online or at the Torero Store (Hahn University Center)).
  • Last day to order commencement cords for participation in student organizations, advocacy groups, and journals (either online or at the Torero Store (Hahn University Center)). 

Before Friday
May 1, 2020

Deadlines

May 2020

Review Health Insurance Coverage

If you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), you will remain enrolled in the policy period for which you have remitted payment. Please visit the SHIP Benefits and Features webpage for more information on the specific coverage dates for domestic students and international students

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.

Friday
May 1, 2020  |  10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Attend GradFest II

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

The first opportunity to pick up the regalia and commencement cords (for participation in student organizations, advocacy groups, and journals) which you ordered is at GradFest II. After GradFest II, beginning on Saturday, May 2, pickup of regalia and commencement cords will be available at the Torero Store during regular business hours

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

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

  • Shop for your graduation announcements
  • Get a free portrait sitting in a cap and gown, with option to purchase prints
  • Shop for a palm medallion satin stole (optional addition to regalia) and a graduation lei
  • View and order the USD class ring
  • Order a diploma frame for 20% off and get free shipping in the continental U.S.

Pro Bono Cords and Certificates

The first opportunity to pick up your pro bono cord and certificate will be at GradFest II at the law check-in table. After GradFest II, beginning on Monday, May 4, pickup of pro bono cords and certificates will be available in the Office of Career and Professional Development (Warren Hall, Room 113) during regular office hours. The deadline to pick up your pro bono cord and certificate is Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m. You will receive an email from the Office of Career and Professional Development in late April if you completed the requirements necessary to receive the pro bono cord and certificate. Contact the Office of Career and Professional Development with any questions. 

Date TBD
May 2020  |  Time TBD

Attend Grad Bash

 
Check back for more information.

Friday
May 15, 2020 | 4 p.m.

Commencement Mass

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

If you or your family are interested in volunteering at the mass, please email Associate University Minister Mary Kruer.

Friday
May 15, 2020 | 5 p.m.

Last Opportunity to Pick Up Regalia and Commencement and Pro Bono Cords

  • Deadline to pick up regalia and commencement cords (for participation in student organizations, advocacy groups, and journals) at the USD Torero Store (Hahn University Center). 
  • Deadline to pick up pro bono cord and certificate at the Office of Career and Professional Development (Warren Hall, Room 113). 

All commencement and pro bono cords must be picked up by Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m. Be sure to bring your cord(s) 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.

Saturday
May 16, 2020

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 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 2020

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).