The University of Washington Tacoma holds one Commencement ceremony each year, at the end of spring quarter. Students who have graduated the previous autumn or winter quarter, along with students who have applied to graduate in spring or summer quarter, are encouraged to participate.
What's the difference between Commencement and graduation?
Commencement: Commencement is a formal ceremony that celebrates your achievement. However, participating in Commencement does not mean that you have officially graduated. You do not receive your actual diploma during the ceremony.
Graduation: Graduation occurs when an audit of your academic record determines that you have successfully completed all university and degree requirements, and you are entered in the computer as having graduated in the month you met the requirements. Once your degree has been granted — within a few days to a few weeks after grades are submitted — your name will be printed on a diploma, and it will be mailed to you. The whole process can take 12 - 16 weeks.