What’s the difference between the campuswide commencement and department graduations?

Commencement, the campuswide ceremony for all graduating seniors from all majors and their families, includes the Chancellor's address, keynote address, and most of the traditional pomp and circumstance. Departmental graduations occur separately within their discipline and are more personal, with each graduate walking across stage to receive a commemorative certificate. Some departmental graduations require tickets; others do not. Contact your department for the most up-to-date info on its graduation ceremony. Department graduations occur during the spring semester only. You can find more details and contact information on the departmental graduations page.

When and where is commencement?

Spring 2017 commencement takes place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 13 at Memorial Stadium; please read the stadium's new clear bag policy.

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

Commencement will last approximately 2.5 hours. 

How do I get tickets?

All graduates must have tickets for themselves and their guests. Tickets are complimentary for graduates, who can purchase up to 15 guest tickets; $10 for general admission (first-come, first-served) guest seats; and $10 for guest ADA seats. ($25 reserved seating tickets have sold out.) Purchase yours here by either logging into an existing account or creating a new one. If guest tickets are still available on the day of commencement, they will be sold in front of Memorial Stadium. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Please note that all sales are FINAL and there are no refunds. No exceptions.

How do I get my name listed in the program?

Register for commencement before the April 14 deadline to get your name printed in the program.

How do I get there?

California Memorial Stadium is on Piedmont Avenue between Bancroft Way and Stadium Rimway Road. We encourage you to take public transportation. Please consult the campus Parking and Transportation website for details. 

Where do I park?

Reserved parking is not available for commencement. Some spots may be available on campus but are not guaranteed. If you choose to drive, please consult the campus map for directions. Parking is available in the campus parking lots on a first-come, first-served basis. You may also park in the surrounding city parking lots. Rates and hours vary.  Please consult the campus Parking and Transportation website for more details. 

What sort of ADA accommodations are available?

ADA seats are clearly marked in the venue and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other guests in your party are welcome to sit in the bleacher seats behind the reserved ADA area. We can only ensure one companion seat per disabled guest, but we will do our best to seat your entire party together.

Do children need tickets?

Kids age two and younger get in free. Everyone else must have a ticket.

Will there be a photographer?

GradImages will photograph each graduate, with photographs available for purchase after the ceremony.

Will my name be read at the ceremony?

No, not at spring commencement. 

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

No. Attending commencement does not necessarily mean that you have actually graduated. Some students attend the ceremony for celebratory reasons only, even though they may not finish all of their degree requirements until a later semester. In addition, all undergraduate diplomas will be mailed approximately three-and-a-half months after the ceremony. Visit the registrar’s office for more information.

Will commencement be webcast?

Yes, spring commencement will be webcast.

Where can I find information about lodging and dining?

Contact the Berkeley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Is there some sort of commencement checklist for graduates?

There will be. Check back in early April and then download it, print it, keep it for your scrapbook. 

I am graduating in December but would like to walk in the May commencement ceremony. Is this possible?

Yes! You can walk in whichever ceremony you prefer. Simply sign up for the commencement ceremony of your choice when the tickets go on sale for that ceremony.​

What if I have more questions?

For general commencement, please contact us. For questions regarding the departmental ceremonies, please contact the appropriate department coordinator listed on the Department Graduations page