Congratulations USC Price Class of 2020! We are proud of this year’s outstanding graduates, and we look forward to celebrating your achievements at commencement. Students and guests can find information on commencement ceremonies and graduation-related activities in this page.
We know how important an in-person commencement is to our seniors, other graduates, and their families and friends. You’ve been planning for years for the special moments of celebration and gratitude that commencement provides for friends, teachers, and loved ones. We also know how special commencement is at USC, bringing upwards of 65,000 to 80,000 people of all ages from around the world—Trojans together—to celebrate in joyful ceremonies and events across the university. That is why we are writing today to tell you that we have decided to postpone but not eliminate all USC in-person commencement 2020 activities. Given that our commencement is scheduled for May 15 – just eight weeks from today – an in-person commencement at that time won’t be possible. We are urging people to cancel travel plans and other arrangements they have made in order to attend commencement on that date. Here is what we are thinking for commencement 2020: to begin, we will hold a virtual conferring of degrees in May – comprised of a series of online events and speakers – and we will make sure you receive your diplomas by mail. We plan to have an in-person, on-campus celebration that will take place once travel and large group events become safe and permitted. Firm plans for the on-campus event will not be possible until more is known about the advance of the pandemic. We will continue to be in communication about this in the coming weeks and are determined to make this happen.
The University of Southern California’s 137th Annual Commencement exercises will be held Friday, May 15, 2020.
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.
All graduates are required to register for the satellite ceremony by Wednesday, April 1st, 2020.
In addition to Commencement-related questions, you will be asked a series of short questions to gain a better understanding of your career plans after you graduate. Please note: in order to avoid duplication, you will be able to fill-out this form only once. After the form is submitted, the system will not allow you to retake or resubmit your form.
Students who plan to graduate in Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, or completing their degree in Fall 2020, but walking early, should be in contact with their program advisor(s)/administrator(s) as soon as possible.
USC Price recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of graduating students such as academic excellence and community contribution. The ceremony takes place on Thursday, May 14. Students receiving awards will receive an invitation. Students are not required to wear regalia for the ceremony.
The USC Baccalaureate Ceremony will be held in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 14 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.
The Baccalaureate Ceremony is followed by a festive dinner (a pre-paid event, $40 per person) 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.
The USC Price Doctoral Hooding Ceremony for Ph.D. and DPPD candidates will take place during the Price satellite ceremony on Friday, May 15.
Processional begins at 8:30 AM
Faculty and Ph.D. students line up at Bovard Auditorium by 7:30 AM
All other Price graduates (Undergraduate, Masters, DPPD) line up by 8:00 AM at “Section A Line Up” on Trousdale Parkway next to Von KleinSmid Center (VKC).
Students are to assemble Friday morning, May 15, 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 USC 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
AM, following USC’s Main Ceremony
649 West Jefferson Boulevard at Royal Street, north of campus
Approximately 1 PM, following Price Satellite Ceremony
A reception for Price graduates and their guests immediately follows the satellite ceremony at McClintock Lawn, located at USC Village at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and McClintock Avenue. Find the Reception Map here.
Entrance #1 – Opens at 10 AM for Special Needs Guests
Entrance to the Shrine Auditorium is located on Royal Street at Jefferson Boulevard
When graduates register for the satellite ceremony they should note how many guests have special needs. Guests with special seating requests will be ticketed. One guest may enter with the special needs guest at the special needs entrance.
Entrance #2 – Main Entrance opens 10:15 AM for Guests
Entrance to the Shrine Auditorium is located on Royal Street at Jefferson Boulevard
Entrance #3 – Graduates and Faculty will enter at the Expo Hall entrance on 32nd Street
Graduates and Faculty will enter at the Expo Hall entrance to the Shrine Auditorium at 10:15 AM, immediately following USC’s main ceremony.
All graduates and guests will go through a metal detector to enter the Shrine Auditorium.
The following items are prohibited in the Shrine Auditorium: airhorns, backpacks, and balloons. These items will be confiscated at the door, no exceptions.
For more information on wheelchair accessibility for USC Main Commencement Ceremony, please visit Disability Information on main commencement website.
When graduates register for the Price satellite ceremony, they must note how many guests have special needs. Guests with special seating requirements will receive specific tickets.
The Special Needs entrance will open at 10 AM at ENTRANCE ONE. Any guests in wheelchairs or walkers, or with hearing impairments, should enter at this location.
For guests in wheelchairs who are able to get out of the wheelchair and sit in the regular seating area, we will store the wheelchair/walker in a stroller/walker/wheelchair parking area during the ceremony. Please check in walkers/wheelchairs that will not be used during the ceremony upon your arrival. Strict fire regulations prevent us from keeping them inside the auditorium during the ceremony.
This area is ticketed. When graduates register for the satellite ceremony, they must note how many guests will remain in wheelchairs. Due to space limitations, only one guest may enter with the special needs guest at the special needs entrance and sit with that guest in the wheelchair seating area. Upon arrival at the wheelchair seating area, please check-in with staff.
This area is ticketed. When graduates register for the satellite ceremony they should note how many guests are hearing impaired and require a Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter* for the ceremony. Due to space limitations, one guest may enter with the special needs guest at the special needs entrance and sit with that guest in the hearing-impaired seating area.
Please check in all strollers at the Special Needs entrance. Due to the Shrine Auditorium policy, strollers are not allowed in the theatre seating area. Graduates, please notify your guests of this policy so they can plan accordingly.
Once the procession begins, standing in aisles inside the main auditorium is prohibited by the fire marshal. We will have a photographer taking pictures of graduates as they go to the stage to accept a diploma cover. We ask that all guests remain seated during the ceremony. Guests may not congregate in the aisles or open spaces.
We will have large screens that will make it easier for families and friends to see graduates as they process to the stage.
Please return your Gown/Hood following the ceremony, keep the cap and tassel. See MAP for Return Locations.
This link will be updated through the Bookstore soon. Please stay tuned. You may also reach out to the USC Bookstore directly, if you choose to.
Most diplomas are mailed to the permanent address of record, six to eight weeks after a degree is conferred. For more information, please visit Registrar One Stop website.
USC Commencement Information:
Price Commencement Information: priceschool.usc.edu/students/graduation
Student Affairs Events Coordinator
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Ralph & Goldy Lewis Hall, 108
Phone: (213) 740-6842