USC Price School of Public Policy



Welcome to the USC Price Graduation Web site!  We are proud of this year’s outstanding degree candidates, and we look forward to celebrating your achievements at commencement.  Students can find information on ceremonies and activities related to graduation and the USC Price satellite ceremony.

Save the Date!

The University of Southern California’s 133rd Annual Commencement exercises will be held Friday, May 12, 2017.

USC’s commencement consists of one main ceremony for all students graduating in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters of any given academic year. The main ceremony is followed by smaller satellite ceremonies for individual schools and programs throughout the day.  We look forward to seeing you and your family at these special occasions.

Registration for Price Satellite Ceremony

All graduates are required to register for the satellite ceremony by April 15, 2017:

Doctoral Students
Ph.D. and DPPD students should notify their program administrator of the intention to complete a degree in May 2017 or August 2017. Please provide Julie Kim (Ph.D.) or Ashley Coelho (DPPD) your full name, accurate listing of previous degrees and colleges/universities, name of Dissertation/Planning, Design and Development Project Committee Chair, and title of dissertation/Planning, Design and Development Project.

Undergraduate Students
Students who plan to graduate this academic year, (Fall 2016, Spring or Summer 2017), should be in contact with Jim Lee (BS-PMPL and BS-PPD) or Russ Sommer (BS_RED).

Commencement-Related Events

USC Price Awards Ceremony
USC Price recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of graduating students such as academic excellence and community contribution. The ceremony takes place on Thursday, May 11, and students earning awards will receive an invitation. Students are not required to wear regalia for the ceremony.

Baccalaureate Ceremony
The USC Baccalaureate Ceremony will be held in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 11 at 5:00 PM. Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, interfaith celebration open to all students and their guests. There are no reservations required for the ceremony, but seating is available on a first-come/first-served basis (the 1,200 available seats always fill up quickly!). Students are not required to wear regalia for the ceremony.

Baccalaureate is followed by a festive dinner for graduates and their families. The dinner begins at 6:30 PM and reservations are required. Please RSVP early, as seats are available on a first-come/first-served basis.

USC Price Doctoral Hooding Ceremony
The USC Price Doctoral Hooding Ceremony for PhD and DPPD candidates will take place during the Price satellite ceremony on Friday, May 12.

Commencement Ceremonies

— USC Main Commencement Ceremony —

Alumni Park
Processional begins at 8:30 AM
Faculty and PhD students line up at Bovard Auditorium by 8 AM
All other Price graduates line up by 8:00 AM at “Section A Line Up” on the north side of Von KleinSmid Center (VKC): Map of Seating and Procession Assembly Points »

Commencement ceremonies are held once a year during the month of May. The main ceremony is for all graduates and their families. Students are to assemble Friday morning, May 12, by 8:00 AM, at their line-up points (see above). The processional will take place at 8:30 AM; the Commencement Ceremony will start at 9:00 AM and last for about an hour. All 8,000 graduates march in under their school’s heraldic flag before receiving their degrees as a class. This ceremony features performances by the USC band, brief speeches by the valedictorian, keynote speaker, and the university president.

There is no registration required for students to walk in the main ceremony, and guest seating is available on a first-come/ first-seated basis. Please note at the main ceremony each guest may only hold or reserve two additional seats.

Students are officially designated graduates of the university at this first/ main ceremony, but they do not walk across a stage, receive a diploma cover, or take a photo until they attend their school’s satellite ceremony. The ceremony concludes at approximately 10:15 AM.

Quick Link: USC Commencement


— Price Satellite Ceremony and Doctoral Student Hooding Ceremony —

11:00 AM, following USC’s Main Ceremony
Shrine Auditorium, 649 West Jefferson Boulevard, north of campus

The Satellite Ceremony will be followed by a Reception immediately following the ceremony at approximately 1 PM:
Located on Leavey Library Lawn
On the north side of Leavey Library on 34th Street near Parking Structure D (PSD)

Entrance to the Shrine Auditorium is located on Royal Street off of Jefferson Boulevard.

Entrance #1: Opens at 10 AM for Special Needs Guests
Entrance #2: Main Entrance opens 10:15 AM for Guests
Entrance #3 – Located next to the Box Office: Opens for Graduates – following the main ceremony at approximately 10:30 AM; Faculty line up at 10:45 AM.

If you have guests with special needs, please have them notify a staff person for assistance to the main floor of the auditorium when they enter at Entrance #1.

We will have a reserved seating area on the Auditorium floor for guests who will remain seated in wheelchairs during the satellite ceremony. Due to space limitations however, only one family member may sit with the disabled guest in the reserved seating. Upon arrival at the wheelchair seating area please check-in with staff.
For guests in wheelchairs who are able to get out of the wheelchair and sit in the regular seating area, we will keep the wheelchair in the stroller parking area during the ceremony.

Due to strict fire regulations, we are unable to accommodate strollers in the Auditorium. We will hold strollers in the lobby and store them in a stroller parking area. Please let you guests know in advance so they can be prepared to bring what they need into the Auditorium.

Balloons and noise makers will not be allowed into the Shrine Auditorium.

Standing in aisles at any time is prohibited by the fire marshal. Please let your families know that we will have a photographer taking your picture as you accept your “diploma cover”. We ask that all guests remain seated during the ceremony and we cannot allow guests to congregate in the aisles or open spaces.

We will have large screens that will make it easier for families and friends to see you as you process to the stage.

The lot next to the Shrine Auditorium on the west side will not be open.

Please look at the attached map for parking lots close to the Shrine Auditorium. Parking is free on campus on commencement day.

  • Parking Structure X (PSX) located at McCarthy Way on Figueroa Street, with entrance from
  • Parking Structure 1 (PS1) located at Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street, with entrance from Flower Street
  • Parking Structure 2 (PS2) behind the Radisson Hotel with entrance from
    Flower Street
  • Parking lots on campus will fill up early. The Parking Center, located on the other side of the 110 Freeway is recommended for guests who will arrive after the main ceremony begins at 8:30 AM.

Regalia should be returned to the Bookstore or to bins that are placed on campus.

USC Commencement Information »

Price Commencement Information »

2017 USC Price Commencement Speaker

In addition to celebrating our graduates’ many accomplishments, we are excited to welcome this year’s commencement speaker, Julián Castro.

Julián Castro was first elected into office in 2001, serving as City Councilman representing San Antonio’s 7th District. In 2009, he ran and won the San Antonio’s Mayoral election, making him the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city. Castro spent his time as Mayor focusing on improving education and making San Antonio a leader in the 21st century global economy.

During his tenure he established Café College, a one-stop center offering high-quality guidance on college admissions, financial aid and standardized test preparation to any student in the San Antonio area. In November 2012, Castro led a voter-approved public referendum that will expand high-quality Pre-K services to more than 22,000 San Antonio four-year-olds over the next eight years.

Under Castro’s leadership, San Antonio ranked No. 1 on the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities list, graded A+ for doing business by Forbes and ranked as the nation’s No. 3 new tech hotspot by Forbes.

He also has brought a sense of urgency to revitalizing the city’s urban core, including the underserved East Side of San Antonio, by initiating the “Decade of Downtown” and approving a series of incentives to encourage inner city investment. These efforts have spurred plans for the construction of more than 2,400 housing units in the center city by 2014. This leadership is how Castro emerged as a nation leader in urban development.

In the summer of 2014, Julián Castro was named Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He oversaw 8,000 employees and a budget of $46 billion, using a performance-driven approach to achieve the Department’s mission of expanding opportunity for all Americans.

In 2010, Castro was named to the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics.

Castro received a B.A. from Stanford University in 1996, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2000. He and his wife, Erica, have a daughter, Carina and a son, Cristian. His twin brother is U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX 20).

USC Price Commencement Coordinator

Christine Wilson
Director of Student Services
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Ralph & Goldy Lewis Hall, 108
Direct: (213) 740-6842