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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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An SDSU graduate waves into the crowd at Viejas Arena during the university's 2022 commencement ceremony. (SDSU) An SDSU graduate waves into the crowd at Viejas Arena during the university's 2022 commencement ceremony. (SDSU)

Everything You Need to Know About SDSU Commencement 2023

Join us in celebrating our graduates from different communities. At SDSU, our diversity gives us power and benefits every single member of our community.
By SDSU News Team

Over the next two weeks, more than 11,500 San Diego State University degree candidates have the opportunity to graduate from student to proud SDSU alumni as part of the Class of 2023.


Here’s everything you need to know about attending the 2023 Commencement ceremonies including the day at a glancehow to get tickets and where to buy commencement apparel. For more information, visit SDSU's dedicated commencement information page:

Ceremonies by college



Location: Viejas Arena


Friday, May 12, 2023

8:30 a.m. College of Sciences

1 p.m. College of Arts and Letters

5 p.m. College of Graduate Studies (master's, doctoral and terminal degree)


Saturday, May 13, 2023

8 a.m. Fowler College of Business

1 p.m. College of Health and Human Services

5:30 p.m. College of Engineering


Sunday, May 14, 2023

9 a.m. Education/Undergraduate Studies (IS3D)

1 p.m. College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts 


SDSU Imperial Valley 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

7 p.m. Imperial Valley

Location: Rollie Carillo Quad



View ceremony broadcast / online


All ceremonies will be broadcast online on the SDSU and commencement sites. All ceremonies will also stream on Facebook live through the San Diego State University Facebook page



Valid ID Required


Due to stringent security measures, all students participating in commencement are required to present their SDSU RedID card (preferred) or a valid, government-issued picture ID in order to be admitted to Viejas Arena.


Students who do not bring a valid ID to Viejas Arena will not be allowed to participate in commencement.



Viejas Arena Assembly 


Please check the schedule of commencement ceremonies for the appropriate date and time. 


Assemble in Lot 13, across from Parking Structure 12, north of the arena. 


Arrive at least 45 minutes before the processional start time, unless otherwise noted for your college. See Ceremonies by College.


College representatives will help to organize you in the correct processional line according to your major.



Commencement Tradition


By tradition, the commencement ceremony may include a processional, introductions, awards, a speaker and a recessional. Music for the processional and recessional will signal the beginning and end of the ceremony.


The processional, led by the grand marshal carrying the college banner, and directed by faculty marshals, will enter the commencement site from one or two directions, providing a colorful view of candidates and faculty in their full academic regalia. After arriving at your seat, please remain standing until the grand marshal signals you to sit.


The ceremony typically will continue with a welcome and instructions from the dean of the college, followed by the recognition of outstanding candidates. SDSU President Adela de la Torre will confer the degrees. Following closing remarks by the dean, the grand marshal will lead the recessional of graduates and dignitaries from the commencement site back to the assembly area. The commencement ceremony will last about two hours.



Family and Guests

Find helpful information for families and guests, such as where to stay and special travel discounts.    

Guests should allow plenty of time to park and find their seats. You may want to arrive to campus early and walk the campus grounds and take photos of your graduate at their favorite campus landmarks. 





Audience members should remain seated until the recessional ends and then meet their graduates at a pre-arranged site. Students and guests are encouraged not to exit the arena until the entire ceremony has concluded. Please avoid congregating in the immediate area of Viejas Arena to eliminate congestion as guests arrive and depart from other commencement ceremonies.


Bag Policy & Prohibited Items 


To expedite your entry into Viejas Arena it is recommended that you do not bring a bag. If you must bring a bag, we highly suggest a clear plastic, vinyl or PVC tote bag. This is to reduce staff contact with guests' belongings. Bags can be no larger than 16"x 8" x 16". No backpacks are allowed.


Please arrive early and be patient as we work to ensure a safe environment. All bags are subject to search prior to entrance and inside the facility.


Prohibited items include, but are not limited to large bags/backpacks, strollers, umbrellas, banners and signs larger than 20”x20”, balloons, weapons, alcoholic beverages, glass containers, noisemakers of any kind, non-service animals, skateboards and roller shoes. Visit the Viejas Arena A-Z Guide for more information.



Parking and Transportation




To Viejas Arena: Because some ceremonies may fill the arena to its capacity of 12,000 people, we suggest several alternate approaches and make use of a range of parking locations.


Please allow at least 20 minutes to reach the arena from any parking area east of College Avenue.


From east of College Avenue: Take I-8 west to College Avenue, then proceed south on College Avenue. At the first intersection of College/Alvarado Road, turn right onto Canyon Crest Drive, then west to Parking Structure 12


From south of Montezuma Road: Take Route 94 or another east/west route to College Avenue north, then left on Montezuma Road, then right on 55th Street to Parking Structure 7.


From west of College Avenue: Take I-8 to College Avenue south, then right on Canyon Crest Drive to Parking Structure 12.


Alternate Route: Take I-8 to Fairmount Avenue, east on Montezuma Road to 55th Street, then left on 55th Street to Parking Structure 7.





Campus parking is free at all parking lots and structures. Parking attendants and police officers will be stationed around campus to help direct traffic. Visit Transportation for directions, shuttle information and a campus map.


Please do not park in residential neighborhoods. We suggest carpooling with family members and arriving early (remember to note which lot you are in before leaving your car). 





Candidates or guests with SDSU or disabled parking permits may park in any legal stall on campus. There will also be a limited number of wheelchairs available for guests to use at no charge at the beginning of each commencement ceremony. Visit Disability Access for more information on disabled parking/shuttles, wheelchairs and other accommodations. 




Guest tickets


Graduates will be able to transfer their guest tickets beginning Monday, May 8, at 3 p.m. Tickets can be transferred to one guest or individual guests. Guests will be prompted to create a GoAztecs account to receive tickets transferred to them. Once guests have received their tickets, tickets should be uploaded and saved onto the guests’ smartphone wallet. 


Please review these step-by-step instructions on transferring and accepting guest tickets:



Graduates and guests can contact the Viejas Arena Ticket Office at with questions regarding guest tickets. 


On the day of commencement, guests are welcome to visit the Viejas Arena Box Office to see if any additional tickets are available. There is no guarantee that additional tickets will be available, however.





GradImages Photography will take photographs of each graduate on stage during the commencement ceremonies. Each graduate will be sent no-obligation proofs of the commencement photographs via email and 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. 


Prior to the ceremony, graduates can also pre-register by visiting GradImages and using the “Pre-Event Email Registration” link. There you will enter your email address and up to six (6) email addresses for others to view and order your photos.


If you have any questions about your commencement ceremony photographs, please visit GradImages or call toll-free 1-800-261-2576.




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