FAQ

Updated December 7, 2018

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?

Winter 2018 commencement will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 9:30 a.m. at Haas Pavilion

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

Commencement lasts approximately two-and-a-half hours.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets for winter 2018 campuswide commencement are on sale now. All graduates must have tickets for themselves and their guests. Tickets are complimentary for graduates, who can purchase up to 15 guest tickets.  It is $10 for general admission (first-come, first-served) guest seats. Please note that all sales are FINAL and there are no refunds. No exceptions.

How do I get my name listed in the program?

Thew deadline to register for commencement in time to to get your name printed in the program has passed. If you missed 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. You may park in surrounding city and private lots on a first-come, first-served basis, but charges and hours vary.

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. 

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 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.