FAQ

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 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 $10 for guests and complimentary for graduates, who can purchase up to 15 guest tickets. Check back in early Spring 2017 to purchase yours. 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 deadline (spring deadline TBA) 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.

You may park at the Underhill Parking Garage (Channing Way between Bowditch St. and College Ave.); a wheelchair-accessible shuttle for guests who need mobility assistance will operate between the Underhill garage and the stadium. (The shuttle will stop at both the Channing and Hearst entrances.) Please note that guest drop off will NOT be allowed at Gate 6; only designated shuttles will be allowed to stop there. 

Shuttle service is also available to guests around the Berkeley campus, free of charge for graduating seniors wearing cap and gown or with ID as well as their families. You may catch a Bear Transit shuttle eastbound near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Shuttles stop at Addison/Shattuck and Hearst/Euclid and run every 12–24 minutes. View the Bear Transit page for transit information, shuttle schedules, and route maps.

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 2017 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