Current Students

Student Resources

Graduation and Commencement

    Ask BTC

Commencement Forms

Important Dates

  • Caps, gowns and tassels available at the Campus Store
  • After May 11, 2016
  • Commencement Participation forms must be submitted
  • May 13, 2016
  • Guest Tickets Available for Pickup
  • May 11, 2016
  • Rehearsal
  • June 21, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
  • Commencement Ceremony
  • June 21, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Commencement application

If you are completing your program and wish to receive a degree or certificate, you must complete and submit a Graduation Application.

Processing this Graduation Application allows the College to review your certificate or degree requirements, determine your final completion, and provide a diploma. There is NO COST for processing the application. Following verification of completion, you will be sent your certificate or degree diploma.

Participation in Commencement is reserved for students who complete the requirements for a two-year degree or a Certificate of Completion of 45 or more credits from Fall Quarter 2015 through Summer Quarter 2016.

Graduation Application DUE: By the end of the second week of the quarter in which you plan to graduate.

Commencement Application DUE: No later than May 13, 2016

Graduation Application (includes Commencement Application)

Commencement Ceremony Information

Ceremony Date: June 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham.

Guest Tickets (no charge) are required for the Commencement Ceremony. Four (4) tickets for each participating graduate. Graduates will pick up their ticketsWednesday, May 11, in G 102 J; ID required. After May 11, tickets can be picked up at the Information Desk in College Services until June 10th.

All Students who will complete a program of 45 credits or more by the end of Summer quarter 2016 are eligible to participate in the June 21, 2016 Commencement Ceremony.

Black Cap and Gown are required. Cap and gown can be purchased through the BTC Campus Store, beginning in May. Cost of cap, gown, and tassel is approximately $37.00. Tassel only is $8.00.

Information on Commencement Ceremony photographs is available at

    Ask BTC

Commencement Forms

Important Dates

  • Caps, gowns and tassels available at the Campus Store
  • After May 11, 2016
  • Commencement Participation forms must be submitted
  • May 13, 2016
  • Guest Tickets Available for Pickup
  • May 11, 2016
  • Rehearsal
  • June 21, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
  • Commencement Ceremony
  • June 21, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Commencement FAQ

When is the Commencement Ceremony?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
7:00 p.m.

Where is the Commencement Ceremony?

At the Mount Baker Theatre. The entrance is at 104 N. Commercial Street in downtown Bellingham. This is BTC’s 22nd (since 1994) Commencement Ceremony to be held at the theater. There is seating for 1500 graduates, friends and family, including plenty of seating for guests with disabilities. Metered parking in the downtown area is free after 5:00 p.m., and pay parking is available in The Parkade, located two blocks away at 1300 Commercial Street.

Who can participate?

All students who have completed a two-year degree or a certificate of 45 or more credits. Students must also submit a Graduation Application (including a Commencement Application) before the May 13, 2016, due date.

Do GED recipients participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

No. A special June event is planned for completers of the General Educational Development (GED) tests. All GED completers will receive an invitation.

How long does the ceremony last?

About two hours. You must stay for the entire duration of the ceremony.

Do I need to attend the rehearsal?

Rehearsal is optional, but strongly encouraged. Rehearsal will start at 2 p.m. on June 21 at the Mount Baker Theatre and will last about an hour. Please come prepared to pay for parking. Do not park in the lots behind MBT. Those lots belong to private businesses and your vehicle will be ticketed or towed. Instead, use The Parkade at 1300 Commercial Street.

What if I miss rehearsal?

Be at Mount Baker Theatre by 6:15 PM at find the other graduating members of your program. Use the backdoor entrance behind MBT.

Do I have to wear a cap and gown at Commencement?

Yes, you must wear a cap and gown. Graduates of one-year certificate and two-year degree programs wear black. Caps and gowns are available at the Campus Store beginning in May.

Can I rent a cap and gown?

New caps and gowns are only available for purchase. Used gowns may be found at second-hand stores. You can purchase a tassel at the Campus Store for used caps. You may also check with the Admissions & Student Resource Center about renting used caps and gowns.

What is the cost to participate in Commencement?

The only cost to participate is the purchase of a cap and gown for approximately $37 from the BTC Campus Store. Caps, gowns, and tassels will be available for purchase in mid-May. Purchase your gown before Commencement day because it will need ironing. Campus Store hours are Monday–Thursday 7:30 AM– 7:00 PM and Friday 7:30 AM– 3:30 PM; closed all college holidays.

Can I march at Commencement in June if I am not completing my program until August?

Yes. If you are within 12 credits of graduation at the end of Spring Quarter and plan on completing those credits summer term, you can participate in the June Commencement.

Can I march at Commencement in June if I can't graduate until the end of Fall Quarter?

No. You must plan on completing your degree by the end of Summer Quarter 2016 in order to participate in this year's commencement.

I'm earning more than one degree or certificate. How will that be recognized at Commencement?

We call the name of each graduate once, and each graduate walks across the stage only once. When you opt to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, you will be asked to state the degree for which you want to be recognized. The printed Commencement program, however, may identify all of the degrees and/or certificates you have earned (or for which you have applied) for the current academic year.

What is the deadline for me to decide if I'm going to participate in Commencement?

Commencement Participation Forms must be submitted by May 13, 2016 in order to have your name included in the Commencement program.

Will my name appear in the newspaper?

Your name will be published in the newspaper and in the Commencement program unless you have submitted a Request for Non-Disclosure of Student Information. For more information about the Request for Non-Disclosure, contact the Registration & Enrollment Office at 306.752.8350 or by e-mail at

What is the marching order for graduates?

Graduates are grouped by academic program and march with others graduating from their program.

I want to sit next to a friend who is also graduating. Do I have to follow this marching order? Are there any exceptions?

There are no exceptions. Graduates who have a documented disability may be seated in a different location from others in their program. For example, a graduate in a wheelchair may be seated for easy access to the stage, but they will cross the stage with others in their program.

What if I need a disability-related accommodation?

Sign language interpreters and assistive hearing devices will be available at the Commencement Ceremony.

  • Students: If you require an accommodation for Commencement, it is in your best interest to contact Accessibility Resources (AR) when you submit your Application for Graduation. AR will work with you to determine the appropriate accommodation for your specific disability challenge. Please call AR at 360.752.8576 or email
    • Guests: When you arrive at the Commencement venue, a college representative from Accessibility Resources will be happy to assist you. There will be reserved seating for our guests with mobility challenges, as well as seating up close for our deaf, hard of hearing, and vision-impaired guests. Seating may be limited, so please arrive early.

    How many guests may I invite to Commencement?

    Each participating graduate is eligible to receive four (4) guest tickets. Guest tickets are free and are available in May at the commencement kick-off.

    Who needs a guest ticket?

    The theater requires that each person entering the theater must have a ticket. The only exception is lap infants under two years of age who do not need their own seat. Mount Baker Theatre is part of the Bellingham Public Facilities District and is subject to policies of the BPFD.

    Where do I pick up my tickets?

    Tickets will be available on May 11, 2016 at the Commencement Kickoff in building G. After May 11, tickets can be picked up at the Information Desk in College Services until June 10.

    Can I get extra tickets?

    The best way to get extra tickets is to talk to other students who are graduating but who do not need all of their tickets. Because of limited space, Registration will not issue extra tickets.

    May I reserve seats for my guests?

    No, seats cannot be reserved. There will be reserved seating for our guests with mobility challenges, as well as seating up close for our deaf, hard of hearing, and vision-impaired guests. Seating may be limited, so please arrive early.

    Are seats assigned once my guests are in the Theatre?

    Aside from the area where graduates will sit, accommodated seating, and a small VIP section at the front left of the Theatre, seating will be first come, first served.

    Will there be a photographer at Commencement?

    Yes. The photographer is GradImages. A "formal" photo of each graduate will be taken, as well as one of the graduate crossing the stage. Cost of pictures are available from the photographer. You can view your photos at:

    What happens during the Commencement Ceremony?

    The ceremony includes the following:

    • Processional
    • Messages from the college president, member of the Board of Trustees, keynote speaker, faculty speaker, and ASBTC president
    • Recognition of scholastic achievement
    • Presentation of degrees, certificates
    • Tassel movement and Recessional

    What time should my guests arrive?

    The front doors open at 6 PM. The Ceremony begins at 7 PM. Encourage your guests to arrive early to get the best seats.

    What time should I arrive?

    6:15 PM. Use the back door entrance behind Mount Baker Theatre. Do not be late! The check-in process includes picking up your reader card, honor cords (if applicable), Veteran cords (if applicable), getting pictures taken, and finding your place in the marching order. This process can take some time!

    If I participate in the Commencement Ceremony, does that mean I have graduated?

    No, you have not graduated until your degree or certificate is awarded and posted to your transcript. To begin this process, complete a Graduation Application and submit it to the Registration Department. After all program requirements are completed and final grades are posted, the verification process will begin. The verification process typically requires eight to ten (8-10) weeks for processing.

    Who is eligible for honor cords?

    There are four different types of honor cords.

    • President's List honor cords are given to students during Commencement Ceremony check-in along with their reader card. To be eligible for President's List honor cords, students must be enrolled full time in a degree or certificate program of 90 credits or more with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher at the completion of all degree/certificate requirements.
      • Veteran honor cords are given to all graduating veterans during Commencement Ceremony check-in.
        • Phi Theta Kappa honor cords and other regalia can be purchased by PTK members on the PTK website. All PTK regalia are optional for PTK members.
          • ASBTC Executive Officers wear honor cords signifying their student leadership status.

          Who is eligible for a Certificate of Merit?

          Full- or part-time degree/certificate program students who demonstrate academic and/or program excellence in their program may be awarded the Certificate of Merit at program completion by the program faculty. One Certificate of Merit will be awarded per full-time program faculty per academic year per cohort of graduates. It is awarded at the discretion of the program faculty only upon completion.

          Will I receive my diploma at Commencement?

          No. Your diploma is mailed to you after we certify that you have met graduation requirements for your degree or certificate.

          When will my diploma arrive in the mail?

          Allow eight to ten (8-10) weeks after final grades post for transcript review/degree audit and mailing of diploma. Some delay may be experienced after Spring Quarter due to volume. If there is a hold on your account, you will not receive your diploma until the hold is cleared.

          Where is my diploma sent?

          Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provide on your Graduation Application. Please keep in mind that diplomas are mailed eight to ten (8-10) weeks after final grades are posted. Please provide an address which will be good at that time. Please phone 360.752.8348 if you need to update your address for diploma mailing.

          If I participate in Commencement and then complete my program requirements in a later quarter, do I need to do anything to get my diploma (degree/certificate)?

          Yes. You must submit a new Graduation Application to let BTC know that you have completed your requirements. A final degree audit will be performed to certify that you have met graduation requirements. After you have been certified as graduated, we will mail your diploma.

          How do I get my degree?

          Submit a Graduation Application . Graduation Applications are due by the end of the second week of the quarter in which you plan to graduate.

          What should I do if I need proof of one-year certificate or two-year degree graduation before receipt of my diploma?

          Order an official transcript at Make sure to select the appropriate box indicating that you want your transcript to be held for posting of the degree. Your transcript will be mailed after your graduation date and credential earned have been posted. If needed, a letter can be provided to you to verify completion for potential employers. Contact the Registration Office at 360.752.8350.

          If I lose my diploma can I get a new one?

          Yes. The cost is $5 for the diploma and mailing. A form is available at the Registration & Enrollment Office and on our website