For Guests

photograph of a happy crowd at commencement ceremony

Commencement isn’t just for graduates. It’s for loved ones as they celebrate their student’s achievement and witness them step more fully into adulthood. To ensure you have an easy, memorable day, visit this page for the latest on what you need to know.

Winter 2022 Ceremony
Dec. 17, 2022
10 a.m.
Other Details

This time could change. Other details TBD.

FAQs for Guests

Where can guests stay?

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

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.

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

Do children need tickets?

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

Will Commencement be livestreamed?

Yes. Just log onto 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.

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.