FAQ

Updated August 28, 2021

What are the commencement plans for the Class of 2020?

On Sunday, August 29, 2021, we will hold three in-person, campuswide ceremonies at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. at the Greek Theatre. All undergraduate and graduate students who graduated in spring, summer, or fall 2020 were invited. Each event will last approximately 2.5 hours and include a brief ceremony, the reading of names, and the conferring of degrees. Registration is now closed. Graduates attending in person can purchase a maximum of three guest tickets for $5 each, and all graduates were invited to customize a slide that will be displayed during the accompanying livestream.

What do graduates need to know?

Assemble at Maxwell Family Field 1.5 hours before your ceremony begins (7:30 a.m. for 9 a.m. ceremony, 12:30 p.m. for  2 p.m. ceremony, and 5:30 p.m. for 7 p.m. ceremony). GradImages will be taking photos, and a help desk will be set up to troubleshoot any issues with your registration, name pronunciation, etc.

You may wear regalia (available at the Cal Student Store), business casual, or cocktail attire. Stoles, leis, and other meaningful items welcomed. Wear sensible shoes for the tricky terrain, and bring water and sun protection to beat the heat.

Bring your phone fully charged. You must show your MarchingOrder GradPass to walk across the stage and have your name read.

Check your slide on MarchingOrder and listen to your name recording. If you need to change it, visit the help desk at Maxwell Family Field on Sunday to pick up a gold card for corrections.

What do guests need to know?

Visit Parking and Transportation for details on available Cal lots, pricing, and ADA dropoff. The Stadium Parking Garage at 2175 Gayley Rd. is the closest public lot. If you take BART, there are no shuttles from the station to the theater, so allow extra time to walk or order a ride-hailing service.

Log in to tickets.berkeley.edu to print your tickets, or have them ready on your phone; there is no will call window. The ticket email came from confirmations@tickets.berkeley.edu.

Doors will open one hour before each ceremony (8 a.m. for 9 a.m. ceremony, 1 p.m. for 2 p.m. ceremony, and 6 p.m. for 7 p.m. ceremony). Please arrive early to allow time for the security check. Guests will enter through the north gate and sit in the upper bowl seats. (Graduates will be seated in the orchestra.) There is no assigned seating.

You may bring personal seat cushions, water bottles, and small bags. Be prepared for hot or cool, foggy weather, depending on the ceremony time. Please refrain from bringing noisemakers (e.g. airhorns or claves), as well as balloons, signs, umbrellas, or other large items that would restrict views of the stage.

If you have limited mobility or use a wheelchair, please ask a volunteer to escort you to the accessible seating area. One companion may sit with you in the accessible area.

What are the current public health requirements?

The Greek Theatre is an outdoor venue. According to current local public health guidelines, proof of a vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test is not required. To help make commencement a safer experience for everyone, we recommend the following measures:

  • Face coverings are required indoors (e.g the restrooms) and optional but recommended outdoors.
  • Allow 6 feet between your party and other commencement guests when possible.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you’re coming from outside of the Bay Area, please review the CDC travel recommendations.
  • Stay home and watch the livestream if you or anyone in your party is immunocompromised, ill, or experiencing fever or chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Where can we watch the livestream of the ceremonies?

There are two ways to view the ceremonies — either through MarchingOrder, or through YouTube (9 a.m. ceremony2 p.m. ceremony, and 7 p.m. ceremony). 

Questions?

For general commencement questions, please contact us. For questions about departmental ceremonies, please contact your coordinator listed on the Department Graduations page.