Frequently Asked Questions

commencement stage with flags in foreground, speakers waiting in background

Commencement is a big day — and there’s a lot to know! This FAQ primarily covers the campuswide ceremonies in May and December. Visit the Department Graduations page to contact your group about its spring plans. Still have questions? Fill out the contact form.

This FAQ was last updated: June 2, 2022, 4 p.m.

For Everyone

What are the Class of 2022 Winter Commencement plans?

An in-person, campuswide ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, at Haas Pavilion (details pending). Every student, in every school and college, who has graduated or will be graduating between summer 2021 and fall 2022 can participate. The event will last approximately two hours and includes a brief ceremony, keynote speaker, student speaker, and the official conferring of degrees by Chancellor Carol T. Christ.

We’re sorry, but this is not a makeup event for students who graduated in spring 2021 or earlier.

What is the difference between the campuswide Commencement and department graduations?

The university sponsors the campuswide Commencements in May and December. These ceremonies are open to all undergraduate and graduate students, in every school and college, and last approximately two hours. They include a keynote speaker, student speaker, and the official conferring of degrees by the chancellor. (The May student speaker is the top graduating senior — the University Medalist — and the December student speaker is chosen by audition.) Graduate names are not read at the spring campuswide event.

Many departments and student groups hold smaller, more personal graduations during the spring semester only. They typically occur over a two-week period and differ according to each group’s plans. Registration and tickets are handled separately through each group. Visit the Department Graduations page to contact your group directly.

Whether graduates attend the campuswide Commencement, department graduation, or both is up to them. We encourage them to coordinate with their friends and family.

How can I get a copy of the Spring 2022 printed program?

Download a copy or contact us to make arrangements to pick one up.

Will Commencement be livestreamed?

Yes. Just log onto commencement.berkeley.edu on Dec. 17, and you’ll see it on the home page.

How do I participate in social media?

Use the hashtag #CalGrad in your social media posts, whether you’re a graduate sharing a favorite memory, a proud parent congratulating your child, or an alum offering sage advice. You can also upload photos and videos directly into the Social Media page.

For Graduates

Getting Ready

Do I need to register for Commencement?

Yes. Graduates must register to participate in Commencement, and it is free. Registration for the winter 2022 ceremony will open this fall.

Do I need to buy tickets for my guests?

Yes. Guest tickets for the winter 2022 ceremony on Dec. 17 will go on sale this fall. For guests who are unable to attend in person, the ceremony will be livestreamed on commencement.berkeley.edu.

How do I get my name in the program?

Graduates must register to participate in Commencement and get listed in the program. Registration for the winter 2022 ceremony will open in the fall, at which time we will communicate the deadline for getting listed. If you miss that deadline, you can still join the ceremony, but your name won’t be listed.

Commencement Day

What do I wear?

Regalia is optional, and you may purchase it at the Cal Student Store. You can also dress in business casual or cocktail attire. Stoles, leis, and other meaningful items are welcomed. The university does not provide these items for the campuswide ceremony.

Will my name be called?

Graduate names are called during the winter ceremony only.

The spring ceremony is too large to call out every graduate’s name. However, many departments and student groups hold smaller, more personal graduations during the spring semester only that may include the calling of names. Visit the Department Graduations page to contact your group directly.

Will I receive my diploma at Commencement?

No. The Office of the Registrar mails diplomas four months after graduation. (Visit their website for information on transcripts, diplomas, and other academic records.) Graduates receive a commemorative certificate at most department graduations.

For Guests

Do guests need tickets to attend Commencement?

Yes. Guest tickets for the winter 2022 ceremony on Dec. 17 will go on sale this fall. The ceremony will be livestreamed on commencement.berkeley.edu.

Where can guests stay?

There are several nearby hotels. Start planning your travel now.

Contact us

Questions about the campuswide commencement? Fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you ASAP. If you have a question about the smaller graduations hosted by individual departments and student groups, visit the Department Graduations page to contact them directly.