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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Ceremony Instructions

The following instructions will help the commencement ceremony move smoothly and in an orderly fashion. 

RSVP Deadlines

Psychology Graduates:

  • Opens - February 12, 2024
  • Closes - April 5, 2024

Education Graduates:

  • Opens - February 12, 2024
  • Closes - April 22, 2024

To-Do List

  1. RSVP and create your graduate profile in MarchingOrder. (A link to MarchingOrder will be emailed to eligible grads starting February 12, 2024.) 
  2. Rent or purchase your regalia from Herff Jones by the deadline. 
  3. Purchase your honor cord, if eligible.
  4. Attend one of three commencement informational webinars on January 24, February 13, or March 28, 2024.


  • Provide your full, preferred name. This is the name that will be read aloud at graduation and displayed on the screen. Please carefully proofread your name to check for any typos or accidental autocorrections. 
  • Provide a phonetic spelling of your name.
  • If you wish, you may also provide a voice recording of you saying your name to better help the voice actor nail the pronunciation. 

Student Arrival

  1. Bring your regalia with you to commencement.
  2. Head to student check-in near the pond on Alumni Park. At check-in, you’ll receive your name card and honor cord, if purchased. You must have a name card in order to cross the stage. 
  3. Visit the robing tent to receive staff assistance in putting on your regalia.
  4. Graduates, please do not bring purses, backpacks, bags, and other non-essential items to the graduation ceremony, as there will be no place to securely store them.
  5. Find a seat in the staging area. Grads must sit in their academic program section but do not have to be in alphabetical order. Doctoral candidates will be seated in the front rows, followed by master degree programs.
  6. The line of march will be organized by academic program. Please remain in order as you are ushered to the graduation area. No one may enter the line of march after it leaves the staging area. Watch staff ushers for cues during your march into the graduation area.
  7. The graduation area may be warm and there is no shade, so be sure to wear sunscreen.

Receiving Your Diploma

  1. The Dean will ask the respective doctoral candidates, and later in the ceremony, master’s candidates to rise.
  2. Remain standing until your degree has been formally conferred by the president, then sit in your chair.
  3. When instructed by the staff ushers, your row will stand and you will march forward to the stage to receive your diploma. Take your name card with you to the stage.
  4. Enter the stage on the right, present your name card to the name reader, shake hands with the president, exit to the left, and return to your seat.  Be aware of the photographers who will take your picture upon receipt of your diploma cover and when you exit the stage.

Graduation Recessional

  • Following the benediction, the platform party will exit, followed by the graduates, and then the faculty.

After Graduation

  1. Before you leave campus, please deposit your rental gown at the Herff Jones table in Alumni Park. The cap and tassel are yours to keep, as well as the honor cord or sash if you purchased them in advance.
  2. On the lawn in Alumni Park, graduates may take this time to introduce their family and friends to the faculty and administration.

Guest Tickets

  • In order to efficiently welcome guests onto our Malibu campus for the 2024 Graduate School of Education and Psychology Commencement Ceremony, Pepperdine is implementing an entrance pass reservation system for all attendees. Please note this system does not restrict the number of guests each graduate can invite to attend commencement. However, each guest must possess and display their individual pass to enter campus and attend the ceremony on May 18th.  Passes are emailed to graduates to disseminate to their guests. 
  • In the event of inclement weather, graduates will be notified and instructed on guest information. 

Please email gsepgrad@pepperdine.edu with any additional questions.