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 commencement. 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: May 17, 2022, 10:02 a.m.

For Everyone

How can I get a copy of the printed program?

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

What are the Class of 2022 Commencement plans?

An in-person, campuswide ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10 a.m. at California Memorial Stadium. 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 2.5 hours and includes a brief ceremony, keynote by 2013 Nobel laureate Dr. Randy Schekman, a speech from top graduating senior and University Medalist Anjika Pai, and the official conferring of degrees by Chancellor Carol T. Christ. Please note that individual names will not be read.

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

Are tickets sold out?

Yes. All guest tickets sold out on April 15, 2022, for the campuswide Commencement. If you need guest tickets, we suggest asking other graduates if they have spare tickets they would be willing to sell or give to you. The ceremony will be livestreamed on commencement.berkeley.edu.

Graduates can still register to participate at commencement.berkeley.edu/tickets. While the deadline to ensure that your name is printed in the program has passed (April 15), you can still register to join the ceremony.

Will Commencement be livestreamed?

Yes. Just log onto commencement.berkeley.edu on Saturday, May 14, and you’ll see it on the home page.

What can we bring into the stadium?

Commencement follows the same code of conduct as football games in Memorial Stadium. Visit calbears.com for info on security screening, clear bags, prohibited items, and other event policies.

What graduates can bring:

— Your phone.

— Your ticket, which was emailed as a PDF and says “GRADUATING STUDENT” on it. Email ato@berkeley.edu if you can’t find your ticket.

— Your regalia or other preferred attire. Prepare for the weather, and wear flat shoes.

— An empty soft plastic bottle to refill.

What guests can bring:

— Your tickets, which were emailed as a PDF to the individual who purchased them. Email ato@berkeley.edu if you cannot find them. The Cal Athletics Ticket Office, near Gate 2, will open at 7:30 a.m.

Visit calbears.com for info on umbrellas, hard plastic bottles, and other prohibited items, as well as info on security.

What are the parking arrangements?

As of May 9, prepaid parking spots have sold out. We recommend you take public transportation. Visit 511.org or call 511 for info on BART trains, AC Transit buses, and other transit options. If you need to drive, plan to park in City of Berkeley lots or streets instead. Visit Parking and Transportation for info on shuttle service, road closures, and more.

Please note that Piedmont Avenue will be closed from Bancroft Way to Stadium Rim Way from 7:30 a.m. until about one hour after Commencement ends. No cars, including Uber and Lyft, will be allowed to drive up to the stadium. Vehicles with reserved parking in the ADA-dedicated Stadium Garage cannot leave until the roads are cleared of pedestrians.

I have ADA guest(s) with non-ADA tickets. What should I do?

We will do our best to accommodate your ADA guests on Commencement day, but the wheelchair bays are small and seats without stairs are limited. Your group could consider watching the livestream, then meet you after the ceremony to celebrate. If they still wish to attend in person, the event staff will find the best available option. We recommend arriving when doors open at 8 a.m. Visit Parking and Transportation for info on shuttle service, road closures, and more.

How do I request an accommodation for disability access?

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.), or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, please call 888.UNIV.CAL (888.864.8225) or email events1@berkeley.edu seven to 10 days before the event.

Please note that general admission ADA tickets have sold out. We will do our best to accommodate your ADA guests on Commencement day, but the wheelchair bays are small and seats without stairs are limited. We recommend arriving when doors open at 8 a.m. Visit Parking and Transportation for info on shuttle service, road closures, and more.

Your group could consider watching the livestream, then meet you after the ceremony to celebrate.

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 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.

What are the current public health requirements?

California Memorial Stadium is mostly an outdoor venue and follows state and local public health requirements, which are subject to change.

As of April 1, 2022, proof of full vaccination is no longer required for entry. Facial coverings are strongly recommended for everyone indoors, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Facial coverings are optional for everyone outdoors.

UC Berkeley does not promise or guarantee that all patrons or employees on site are vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals may be present. None of these precautions eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Do children need tickets?

Yes. All persons 24 months and older must have a valid ticket to enter the stadium. Children under 24 months must be held in a lap to avoid interfering with other guests’ viewing of the ceremony. Guest tickets are sold out.

For Graduates

Getting Ready

Do I need to register for Commencement?

Yes. Graduates must register to participate in Commencement, and it is free. The deadline to ensure your name is printed in the program has passed (April 15). If you missed that deadline, you can still join the ceremony, but your name won’t be listed.

Do I need to buy tickets for my guests?

Yes. As of April 15, 2022, all guest tickets have sold out for the campuswide Commencement. If you need tickets for your family or friends, we suggest asking other graduating students if they have extra tickets you can use. 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 had to register by April 15 to list their names in the program. If you missed 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.

Where do graduates go and when?

Graduates must arrive at Maxwell Family Field between 8–9 a.m. Enter at Gayley/Piedmont and Stadium Rim Way. Lining up for the procession into Memorial Stadium will begin at 8 a.m. If you would like to sit with your friends during the ceremony, stand in line together. Be patient and follow staff instructions to keep the procession moving. If you requested an accommodation for disability access, please check in with the event staff so you can fully participate.

The procession and ceremony will last about 2.5 hours. Plan to meet your guests by the Campanile or on Memorial Glade and help keep the roads clear.

Will my name be called?

No. The campuswide commencement in the spring 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. All guest tickets sold out for the campuswide Commencement on April 15. If you need tickets, we suggest asking other graduates if they have extra tickets they will see or give to you. The ceremony will be livestreamed on commencement.berkeley.edu.

Where can guests stay?

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

Where do guests go and when?

The gates to Memorial Stadium will open at 8 a.m. Guests with reserved tickets should enter through Gates 3 and 4 on the west side. Guests with general admission tickets should enter through Gates 6 to 9 on the south side.

Guests with ADA tickets or who requested an accommodation for disability access should check in with event staff. We will do our best to accommodate your ADA guests and appreciate your patience and cooperation. If you are coming from the ADA-dedicated Stadium Garage, Gate 2 is the best entrance. Otherwise, Gate 6 is the best entrance. We recommend arriving early, as accessible seating is limited in the stadium.

The procession and ceremony will last about 2.5 hours. Plan to meet your graduate by the Campanile or on Memorial Glade and help keep the roads clear.

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.