Graduation FAQs

How and when do I get my official diploma?

The diploma will be mailed, to the diploma address provided in Self-Service, within two to three weeks after the commencement ceremony as long as all graduation requirements are verified as complete.

Does the ceremony require tickets?

Yes, each graduate will be allocated up to 6 tickets. Graduates may request their tickets between April 16th and May 11th. Please indicate whether you have a guest with a wheelchair or with other accessibility requirements and if you have a guest hooder when reserving your tickets. Any unclaimed tickets will be open to graduates on a first-come, first-serve basis starting May 14th. 

Additionally, open seating will be available in the Upper Balcony of the Capitol Theatre and in the 4th Street Theatre. 

When do I need to be in Yakima for commencement week?

See the Schedule of Events for details. Graduates are required to attend regalia distribution and have individual graduation photo taken, student loan exit session, rehearsal, and the class photo and commencement ceremony.

Will I need my student ID for anything when I return to campus for graduation week?

No, you do not need your student ID card for graduation activities; however, you will not be able to enter campus buildings after hours.

Can I keep my hood?

There is an option to purchase a souvenir hood at the time you order your rental regalia. The souvenir hood is for your personal use and is not to be worn at the commencement ceremony.

The rental regalia (tam, gown, and hood) will be worn for commencement and following the ceremony will be returned to PNWU staff for processing.

If you wish to purchase additional regalia for personal use in the future, please contact Oak Hall Cap & Gown.

What do I need to do before graduation?

All graduation requirements are outlined in the Graduation Application and on the Graduation Requirements portion of this website. For further information, please contact Enrollment Services, or 509.249.7888.

What if my guests require special assistance at the ceremony?

PNWU will try to accommodate guests with special needs. Please specify the needs of the individual in your party when filling out the Graduation Application. Guests requiring a wheelchair are advised to bring their own as the Capitol Theatre does not provide one.

Is wheelchair seating available?

The Capitol Theatre has limited wheelchair seating on the orchestra level. Request must be submitted on the graduation application and will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis along with one companion seat. If requests exceed the orchestra level seating or your wheelchair guest wants to sit with more than one companion, additional seating is available in the 4th Street Theatre for viewing via live streaming.  

Are children welcome to attend the commencement ceremony?

Yes, children are welcome at the ceremony. Out of respect for others in attendance, a children's area is provided on the lower level of the theatre. This room will be equipped with web casting capabilities for family members to continue to enjoy the ceremony. Please note, this room is not supervised and a family member must remain with the child in this room at all times.

Whom do I contact to make sure my official name is on my diploma?

Graduating students submit their diploma name on the graduation application. This name is also used in the commencement program.

What if I graduate with outstanding financial obligations to the University?

Your university account must be cleared in order to receive your diploma. Students may check their account balance and make payment on Self-Service

What if I have student loans?

All graduates who obtained federal student loans are required by the Department of Education to have an exit interview. The exit interview will contain information on loan amounts, rights and responsibilities, repayment options, loan consolidation, a repayment calculator, and more. You will be required to provide information including references and expected employer. Students who do not complete the exit requirements will have their diploma placed on hold.

A in-person student loan exit session is also required the Friday prior to the commencement ceremony.

Are there any services to help me manage my debt after graduation?

PNWU Enrollment Services is always available for questions and counseling regarding your loan debt. A group presentation will be held during the graduating student exit session, Friday before graduation. Graduates may view the time and location on the Schedule of Events page.

Whom do I contact for a change of address before and after graduation?

Students and alumni may update their addresses on Self-Service.

How long will my student ID card remain active?

Your student ID card will remain active through the weekend of graduation.

How long will I have access to my university email address?

As alumni, you will continue to have access to your email indefinitely, however, PNWU must change the licensing on Office 365 to reflect your alumni status and this will cause you to lose access to other services from your school account like SharePoint and OneDrive. You may have been synchronizing files from your laptop up to OneDrive or perhaps you saved files within OneNote up to your personal SharePoint site. Any files you wish to keep must be saved to another location before PNWU makes the licensing change or you will permanently lose access to them. In addition, this change may affect the copy of Microsoft Office you have installed on your laptop or mobile device if it was downloaded from Office 365 or if it is using your PNWU account for licensing. 

You can access your current files by logging into Office 365 then select OneDrive. There are several options for free cloud storage where you can move your files, Microsoft’s OneDrive Personal which includes 5GB and Google Drive which includes 15GB.

What is the dress code for the graduation activities?

  • Social, Luncheon, Exit Session, and Rehearsal; business casual
  • Open House and Award Ceremony; dressy casual
  • Graduates are expected to wear dress shoes with socks/stockings. Men should wear a shirt and tie; women should wear professional dress or separates. Dark colors are encouraged.
  • PNWU requires students to comply with professional dress standards, which include no modification of the tam, gown or hood.

Whom should I contact if I have further questions?

If your questions are not answered on the graduation webpages, please contact Enrollment Services, at or call 509.249.7888.

How can I stay connected?

The most important role for every member of the Alumni Association is to keep the University updated on your progress throughout residency and into your practice. The best way to keep us updated is by following the link to the Alumni Services webpage. Here, you can update your bio, submit residency or practice information, and access the Pulse.