Congratulations! You are close to completing your degree.

To participate in the Commencement Ceremony and to have your diploma scheduled for processing, please review the below steps:

  1. Review your final requirements with your advisor
  2. Enroll in your final courses and successfully complete your degree requirements
  3. Keep your e-mail and mailing address current

Important Commencement Ceremony Information

Your final semester is: Your commencement ceremony will be in:
Fall 2015 Late May 2016
Spring 2016 Late May 2016
Summer 2016 Late May 2016
Fall 2016 Late May 2017
Spring 2017 Late May 2017
Summer 2017 Late May 2017

MA / MFA / MARCH Final Review

Read the Final Review Requirements.

Graduation & Commencement

Commencement Exercises: The Graduation Ceremony

Academy of Art University Commencement Exercises is the graduation ceremony where degrees are symbolically conferred. It is a time to share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, friends, directors, and faculty.

Be sure to declare your graduation in accordance with the deadlines to insure your eligibility to participate in this celebratory event. You may only participate in the Commencement Exercises ceremony of your declared last semester.

Please be aware that graduation venues are limited in San Francisco and guest seating will be limited.

  • Graduation dates
  • Ordering graduation announcements
  • Professional photography services
  • RSVP
  • The commencement pack distribution dates. The commencement pack will include:
    • Cap
    • Gown
    • A limited number of guest tickets
    • A limited number of invitations
    • Please note that caps and gowns are required to participate in the commencement Exercises and all guests must have a ticket. Students residing outside the San Francisco Bay Area may contact the Office of the Registrar at to make alternative arrangements to pick up their caps and gowns, tickets, and invitations.

  • Rehearsal
  • Graduation Day Check-in
  • Accessibility (To request accommodations related to a disability, including sign language interpreting, contact Classroom Services at 415.618.3775 or

Your Diploma

Graduation & Commencement Academic Resources

Graduation is contingent on completing all academic requirements for your degree. Your degree becomes official when it is posted to your transcript, not by your participation in the graduation ceremony. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you 4 months after the Registrar has confirmed that you have met all academic requirements and settled all financial obligations.

Your diploma will be sent to the HOME address on file, or the MAILING address if you have specified one on file, at the time that the diploma is processed.

It is advised that you confirm your addresses at the time that you enroll in your final courses and make any necessary updates until you receive your diploma. As an alumnus, continue to keep your addresses up-to-date to ensure that you receive invitations to special events and the Alumni newsletter.

Keep current!

Log into Self Service
Student Self Service > Personal Portfolio > Address | E-mail Address

Financial Aid Student Exit Interview

It is a federal requirement that all federal student loan borrowers receive Exit Loan Counseling when the borrower graduates. Students may complete the Exit Loan Counseling at The Financial Aid Office will also mail you an Exit Loan Counseling packet. You may complete the packet in lieu of the online tutorial.

Important Information for International Students

If you are here in F-1 status (I-20), and have completed your degree requirements, you have 60 days from the day you complete your studies to do ONE of the following four things:

  • Leave the country
  • Apply for a change to another immigration status
  • Transfer to a new school or a new Academy of Art program, get a new I-20 for that program and begin attendance in that program in the next possible semester.
  • Begin Optional Practical Training (Note that you must apply for OPT before you complete your degree requirements.) Click here for OPT information and an application.

International students who require invitation letters for family or friends to attend the commencement ceremony must request that letter here.