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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

    Graduation is the completion of degree requirements and the official conferral of the degree(s). A student's graduation date is the day their degree requirements are completed, not the date of the commencement ceremony.

    Commencement is the formal event that celebrates the completion of degrees for that academic year at Whitworth. Students do not receive diplomas at the ceremony, nor is it their official degree completion date.

    Please see the graduation requirements in the Whitworth catalog.

  • Who is eligible to participate in commencement?

    In order to be eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony, a student's coursework at Whitworth must be completed before the start of the next academic year. For the May 2024 commencement ceremonies, a student's coursework at Whitworth needs to be completed before September 2024. Please see the graduation requirements in the Whitworth catalog.


  • Can family and friends who cannot attend watch the commencement ceremony online?

    The ceremony will be livestreamed for anyone out of town or unable to attend. 

  • Where and when will the 2024 Whitworth graduate commencement ceremony take place?

    The ceremony will be held on Whitworth's campus in the Pine Bowl on Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. Tickets will not be required to attend.

  • What is appropriate attire for commencement?

    Commencement will be held outdoors in the Pine Bowl, rain or shine. Please dress appropriately for the weather as there is no cover in the Pine Bowl or the surrounding areas. Guests and graduates will also walk on a variety of surfaces (grass, pavement, gravel, turf) and should choose appropriate footwear. Guests and graduates may not wear high heeled shoes as they can damage the turf field. 

  • What shouldn't I bring to commencement?

    Please do not bring the following:

    • Food and drink, besides water: With the exception of water, no food or drink is allowed as it can damage the turf. 
    • Umbrellas: Even if it is raining, umbrellas may not be used in the Pine Bowl as they will obstruct the view for other guests. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and opt instead for a hood. 
    • Large purses, bags or backpacks: If you must bring a bag, please limit yourself to a small handbag. Larger bags will be subject to inspection. 
    • High heeled shoes: Heels are not allowed on the turf. Please wear flats or wedges instead. 
    • Tripods or large photography/videography equipment: These can obstruct aisles and other guests' sightlines. A professional photographer will be capturing photos of the graduates as they cross the stage and a video of the ceremony will be available for purchase. 
    • Weapons will not be permitted per Whitworth's regular policies.





With additional questions or concerns, please email