Graduation Frequently Asked Questions

[expand title=”Graduation Procedures and Policy” tag=”h4″]

[expandsub1 title=”What do I need to do to graduate?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Please refer to the college catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements. To verify graduation requirements have been met, students must also complete a Graduation Request Form to receive their diploma.


[expandsub1 title=”What is the Graduation Request Form?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

The Graduation Request Form is the form on which a student obtains clearance from departments on campus to graduate. This includes paying any outstanding debts to the Library or Equipment Room, completing an Exit Interview with Career Services, FA, Bursar’s Office, and your Program Director. The Graduation Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the last day of your last term in order to receive your diploma. You should receive a Graduation Request Form through email within the first two weeks of your last term.

If you do not receive the graduation request form through email, you may pick one up at the Student Services Reception Desk, or download one here:

Graduation Request Form PDF

Important Notes
1) Contact your Program Chair to schedule an Exit Interview time or to notify they you will be dropping by their open office hours.

2) Complete an Exit Interview with Career Services.
Contact your CS Advisor if you have not already met with them or have not scheduled your Exit Interview. Visit their website for more information: http://students.expression.edu/careerservices. You must meet with your designated CS Advisor for your Exit Interview. Another CS Advisor cannot sign off on your Request Form.

3) Complete an Exit Interview Workshop with Financial Aid.
To schedule your Exit Interview, please speak with the Financial Aid Receptionist or email financialaid@expression.edu.

[expandsub1 title=”Is there a graduation ceremony?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Yes, there is a graduation ceremony. Graduation ceremonies are typically held every May and October. Students are eligible to participate in the ceremony once they have completed all graduation requirements and have registered for graduation online.


[expandsub1 title=”Where can I find information about a specific ceremony?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

This graduation website will have information on the current graduation. Each page will have information about that specific ceremony and important times and dates. Brief information about the next ceremony will be on the Future Graduations page. The overall procedures for graduation are the same, such as ceremony start time, tickets allotted, where check-in is. If you require specific times, such as your class photo, please feel free to contact an Office of Student Affairs Representative. Please see Ceremony Details below for general information about the ceremony.

[expandsub1 title=”Difference between my graduation and ceremony dates?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Your graduation date will be emailed to you; please know that all ceremonies will be combined with multiple classes. i.e. class 122, 123, and 124 might all walk at the same ceremony.

[expandsub1 title=”When will I be notified about the graduation ceremony?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Graduates will receive a graduation notice the first week of their last class with registration instructions and the reel guidelines.

[expandsub1 title=”Where can I find my ceremony date before I am notified?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]


[expandsub1 title=”How do I ensure I am included in a graduation ceremony?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

If you are scheduled to participate in the ceremony, you must register for graduation with the Office of Student Affairs at http://students.expression.edu/gradregistration by the given deadline in the graduation notice.

[expandsub1 title=”What if I fail my last class?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

If you are scheduled to graduate, but you fail your last class, you will be rescheduled for the next available ceremony. You will not be allowed to walk early (meaning in the ceremony you were supposed to be in).

[expandsub1 title=”Can I walk in a different ceremony?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Students who wish to walk at an earlier ceremony must obtain signed approval from the Registrars and Office of Student Affairs. Please visit the Registrar’s Office to acquire the appropriate form.

Students who wish to walk at a later ceremony date must contact a Student Affairs representative.


Those graduates (if in good standing) may be given the option to walk in an earlier or later ceremony along with another class in their same program.

Consolidated students on academic probation will be automatically scheduled to participate in a later ceremony.


[expandsub1 title=”When are submissions for the reel due?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Reel submissions are typically due the last class day of your last class. For example, if you are a Sound Arts graduate, your reel submission is due the last day of Studio Etiquette. Reels are submitted to a folder on StorageEMY.

[expandsub1 title=”What are the reel submission guidelines?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Reel submission guidelines are available here. Program specific guidelines are subject to change based on the ceremony.

[expandsub1 title=”Are students recognized for academic achievements?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

The graduate with the highest GPA in his or her graduating ceremony is named Valedictorian. The graduate with the second highest GPA in his or her graduating ceremony is named Salutatorian. One Valedictorian and Salutatorian are chosen for each graduation.

Graduates who complete their program with a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or above will graduate with Honors and receive a gold Honor cord at graduation. They will also be inducted to and become lifetime members of the Delta Sigma Chapter of California Chapter of the Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society. Alpha Beta Kappa members are given ABK honors at the ceremony; a certificate of membership is mailed with his or her diploma. For more information about Alpha Beta Kappa, please visit their website www.abkhs.org.

[expandsub1 title=”How are the Valedictorian and Salutatorian selected?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

  • One valedictorian and one salutatorian are determined for each graduation.
  • Graduates must have completed all required coursework in order to be eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian.
  • Title of valedictorian is awarded to the student with the highest GPA in his/her graduating ceremony along with other contributing factors determined by Program Chairs and the Administration.
  • Title of salutatorian is awarded to the student with the second highest GPA in his/her graduating ceremony along with other contributing factors determined by Program Chairs and the Administration.
  • Valedictorians must have GPA of 3.00 or above.
  • There must be a valedictorian with a GPA of 3.00 or above in order for there to be a salutatorian in a given graduation. If no student has a 3.00 GPA or above, there is no Valedictorian or Salutatorian for that graduation.


[expandsub1 title=”Recognizing academic achievement for early/late walkers?” rel=”Policy-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Graduates requesting to walk earlier than their scheduled ceremony or graduates walking earlier due to school-initiated consolidation:

  • If the current GPA indicates honors, they will get an Honor cord and be indicated in the program as “graduating with honors.”
  • Since final grades for that class are not in, they will not be eligible for the Valedictorian or Salutatorian awards (and therefore will not be indicated in the program as such.)
  • Upon completion of their program and final grades being in, the Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be mailed their certificate with their diploma.

Scheduled graduates choosing to walk later:

  • Students choosing to walk later are not recognized at the later ceremony. Their valedictorian or salutatorian award will be mailed with their diploma.
  • If they graduate with honors, they will receive an Honor cord at the ceremony and be indicated in the program as “graduating with honors.”

Graduates choosing to walk later due to school-initiated consolidation:

  • If they graduate with honors, they will receive an Honor cord and be indicated in the program as “graduating with honors.”
  • Since final grades are in, they will be awarded Valedictorian or Salutatorian of their class at the ceremony.
  • We would potentially have two Valedictorians and Salutatorians from different classes in one ceremony.
  • They will be included in the program as Valedictorian or Salutatorian of their class and be given the opportunity to address the ceremony if they so choose.


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[expand title=”Tickets, Cap and Gown, and Guests” tag=”h4″]

[expandsub2 title=”What is the cost of the cap and gown and guest tickets?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Caps and gowns and guest tickets will be provided free of charge for each student who registers for graduation. Graduates may keep their cap and gown and are free to alter or decorate caps and gowns to their liking.


[expandsub2 title=”When and where can I pick up my cap and gown?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Caps and gowns and guest tickets may be picked up from the Office of Student Affairs from the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday-Friday. Pick-up start dates are generally posted on the Tickets, Caps and Gown page, or on the Upcoming Graduation page, depending on whether your ceremony is current or upcoming. Caps and gowns may be picked up anytime up until the day of the ceremony.

[expandsub2 title=”How many tickets does each graduate get?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Graduates are allotted five tickets.

There is a Will Call table available for graduates to leave tickets for their guests. Please leave tickets at Will Call before checking in.

Tickets reserve a seat. Seating for ticketed guests starts at 3:00pm. It is open seating. Guests in wheelchairs will not need a ticket unless they would like a chair. There is room for along the outside aisle for guests with wheelchairs.

Children will need a ticket if they require a seat. Strollers may be parked on either the far right or left aisles. The middle aisles need to be clear for the procession.

If you have elderly, disabled, or any guest requiring early seating or special accommodations, please contact the Office of Student Affairs to make arrangements at studentaffairs@expression.edu.

[expandsub2 title=”How do I request extra tickets?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Graduates may request extra tickets if they need more. Requests can be made any time, but are due one week before the ceremony. Requests are fulfilled first come, first served. Graduates will be notified the Friday preceding the graduation as to how many and when extra tickets may be picked up. Ticket requests may be submitted to studentaffairs@expression.edu.

[expandsub2 title=”Where can out of town guests find accommodations?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Please visit the Guest Accommodations page for travel and accommodation options.

[expandsub2 title=”Can my guests bring balloons or other gifts or props?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Your guests are welcome to bring balloons, signs, noisemakers, or signs. Please keep balloons tied to a person or a chair at all times. Large balloon bouquets should be tied to a chair or other stable object. Please keep balloon bouquets to the left or right of the stage so it does not block anyone’s view. Please no silly string, blow horns, or mega phones.

[expandsub2 title=”What’s a good restaurant to go to for dinner? What time should we make the reservation for?” rel=”Tickets-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Please visit the Dining page for suggestions for dinner. The ceremony will last 1 to 1.5 hours, so a dinner reservation of 6PM or 6:30PM is suggested.

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[expand title=”Ceremony Details” tag=”h4″]

[expandsub3 title=”Where is the graduation ceremony and how long does it last?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

The graduation ceremony is held off campus – locations TBD depending on graduation date.


[expandsub3 title=”What is the program for the ceremony?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

The ceremony will follow the following program:

Welcome of guests

Showing of Student Work

Achievement Awards

Awarding of Degrees

Closing Remarks

[expandsub3 title=”What time do graduates need to be there?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

A graduation overview will be included with the graduation packet (along with cap, gown, tassel and tickets). The Overview lists a time for graduate check-in as well as when to show up for class photos. This information will also be emailed to graduates a week prior to the ceremony.


[expandsub3 title=”What time do guests need to arrive? When does seating begin?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Seating for ticketed guests starts at 3:00pm.

[expandsub3 title=”What are the parking options?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Parking info will be emailed to your student along with venue location .

[expandsub3 title=”I thought graduation was off-campus.” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Graduations have switched to off campus in 2016 and are held twice a year.

[expandsub3 title=”Will the ceremony be recorded?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

No, the ceremony will not be officially recorded. Guests are welcome to set-up video cameras. Please be sure not to obstruct any other guests’ view or block any other aisles.

[expandsub3 title=”Are there photographers at the ceremony?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Photographers will be at graduation to offer class photos. Guests are allowed to take photos of their graduate during the ceremony as long as they do not impede the graduates from departing from the stage or obstruct the view of other guests.

Photos will be available for viewing and purchase approximately 2 weeks after the ceremony at http://expressioncollege.smugmug.com.


[expandsub3 title=”Does Ex’pression offer announcements?” rel=”Ceremony-highlander” tag=”strong”]

Ex’pression does not have personalized announcements. However, guests may create an announcement with photos from the graduation ceremony. More details are available on the Announcements page.

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[expand title=”Diplomas” tag=”h4″]

[expandsub4 title=”What is the full wording for my degree?” rel=”Diplomas-highlander” tag=”strong”]

SAE Ex’pression College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in the following programs:

Animation & Visual Effects

Digital Filmmaking

Game Art & Design

Graphic Design & Motion or Motion Graphic Design

Interactive Audio

Sound Arts


[expandsub4 title=”Will I get my diploma at the ceremony?” rel=”Diplomas-highlander” tag=”strong”]

No, you will not receive your diploma at the ceremony. Instead you receive a scroll to symbolize the degree.

Once your Graduation Request Form has been received and approved, your diploma will be prepared for you. You may either pick-up your diploma from the Registrar’s Office or have it mailed to you. Please follow the mailing instructions on the Graduation Request Form to have your diploma mailed to you.

[expandsub4 title=”Who do I contact directly regarding my diploma?” rel=”Diplomas-highlander” tag=”strong”]

You may contact Robin Garcia in the Registrar’s Office at r.garcia@expression.edu.

[expandsub4 title=”I still have questions about graduation. Whom can I contact?” rel=”Diplomas-highlander” tag=”strong”]

You may contact Sean Rodriquez in the Office of Student Affairs at s.rodriquez@expression.edu


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[expand title=”Deadlines” tag=”h4″]

Listed below are final terms of future graduates. Please click on your last term to see the important deadlines associated with your graduation ceremony.

*These dates are subject to change.


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