FAQ

Updated May 22, 2019

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, where 2020 ceremonies will begin to be publicized in January.

When and where is commencement?

Winter 2019 commencement will take place Saturday, December 21 at Haas Pavilion. Check back for start time, ticketing link, and more.

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

Commencement lasts approximately two-and-a-half 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 per transaction. It is $10 for general admission (first-come, first-served) guest seats. Children age two and younger are admitted free. Check back for ticketing link. 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 program deadline to get your name printed in the program; check back for deadline and registration/ticketing link. If you miss the deadline, your name will not appear in the program but you will still be registered to walk.

How do I get there?

We encourage you to take public transportation. If you choose to drive, please consult the campus map for directions.

Where do I park?

Reserved parking is not available for commencement. Some spots may be available on campus but are not guaranteed. 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. 

What sort of ADA accommodations are available?

ADA seats for the December 2019 ceremony are located at sections 9, 13, 19 and 22, and are first-come, first-served. 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. We recommend that you drop off guests who need mobility assistance at the intersection of Bancroft Way and Dana Street. From there, it is a short walk to the entrance of Haas Pavilion. There is a ramp located at Gate 1 that will be labeled "Special Accommodations." Please enter using these doors and you will be directed to the elevators to reach the ADA seating areas. ADA parking can be found in designated spots on the street, or in campus and public lots. Information can be found on the Parking and Transportation website. Please see the map linked here for directions and let us know if you have any further questions.

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?

Names are read at winter commencement but not at the May commencement ceremony. They will be read at the May department ceremonies.

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?

Winter commencement is not webcast; the spring ceremony is webcast on the UC Berkeley Live channel.

Where can I find information about lodging and dining?

Contact the Berkeley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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.