UCSC East Field at 4:00 PM

To participate in the commencement ceremony, please contact Veronica Larkin.

    Regalia Rental

  • Participants are required to wear cap & gown; the deadline to order regalia is April 22.

    Order regalia through the bookstore by 4pm on April 28th (late charges apply thereafter).

    The Bookstore's Commencement website has information about ordering regalia, as well as announcements and other commencement-related items. 

  • 2017 Commencement Speaker

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    J. Josh Guevara, Ph.D.

    J. Guevara is the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Manager and Municipal Broadband and Right-of-Way Manager, and Ph.D. in Literature. He specializes in business recruitment and retention, leading broadband internet development, and solving business issues while being an effective change agent within local government. Guevara has led the City of Santa Cruz's Fiber-to-the-Home efforts since 2014, establishing best practices to support a competitive internet marketplace while ensuring community benefits and social equity for fast and affordable internet to confront the digital divide. He spearheaded the creative strategy for ChooseSantaCruz.com, redefining what a local government website can achieve through an authentic brand, sustained by an in-house creative team. Directly connecting his 2012 UCSC Ph.D. in Literature with his research on the cultural studies of the bicycle, Guevara is helping to bring a 250-bike bike share system to the City of Santa Cruz by the summer of 2017 through a public-private partnership at no cost to taxpayers. Guevara earned his MA in Literature in 2009 from UCSC and his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University in 2002, where he was the College of the Humanities Hood Recipient and the Creative Writing Honors Student of the Year. He lives with his wife and two sons on the Westside and provides professional headshots to local politicians, academics, and creatives at jguevara.photography.

  • Student Information

  • On the Day of Commencement

    • * Plan to arrive with your regalia at the East Field between 3:15 and 3:30 pm. 

      * Tell friends and family to arrive at UCSC between 3:00 and 3:30 in order to find parking and get to the East Field. Because of the number of graduates, only students and faculty will be allowed in the East Field House. Please ask your family and friends to go directly to the seating area on the field.

      * Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Bring your sunglasses and sunscreen if you are sun sensitive - there is limited-to-no shade in the stands. The walk to the commencement site from the East Field House where the procession forms is about 1/4 mile. The late afternoon sun can be hot, and the ground uneven for those with high heels. 

      * We will have water stations available. 

      * Doctoral candidates should make sure that their chosen professor will be present for the hooding ceremony, or arrange for a substitute. 

      * Staff will help students and faculty with the line up and regalia. 

      * The East Field House will be locked shortly after the procession leaves; students should plan to leave their personal belongings with family, friends, or in their car.

      * To be courteous and show respect for fellow graduates, students are expected to stay for the duration of the ceremony, and march out in the academic processional. Please silence cell phones, pagers, etc.

      * The Baytree Book Store will provide a location next to the ceremony site where you can drop off your rented regalia after the ceremony.

    Participation Instructions:

    • Assemble at the East Field House beginning at 3:15 pm.

      Name cards: Outside the East Field House, go to one of the tables set up by degree to pick up the prepared name card, which will be used by the announcer to introduce you on stage. Included is a space for a phonetic spelling of your name to aid in pronouncing it correctly. Please review and make any changes you think necessary. Pens will be provided at the sign in tables.

      Line-up and robing:  Participants will line up by degree; look for the signs posted or ask a staff member to assist you. Masters candidates should wear the hood.  PhD candidates should carry the hood.  The tassel is placed on the left side of the mortarboard to signify the award of an undergraduate degree.  It does not get moved to the right side at any time during the ceremony. Staff will be available to assist you.

      Marching and seating: There will be two lines marching together to the seating area and then splitting to enter the bleachers on either side of the stage. Staff will direct you at strategic points in the processional.

      Awarding degrees: Graduates will be called to the stage by degree: MA, MFA, MS, DMA and Ph.D. Students will proceed up the ramp to the stage and hand the name card to the announcer. (If your name is difficult to pronounce, you can pronounce it for them while you are waiting to cross.)

      Master’s candidates: When your name is called, walk to the center of the stage where the Chancellor will present you with a graduation certificate and shake hands; you then continue across the stage, down the stairs on the other side and return to your seat.

      Hooding of Doctoral Candidates: The faculty member who is hooding you will join you on stage. Hand your hood to the Emcee, who will pass it on to the person hooding you. After the hooding, Chancellor Blumenthal will present you with your certificate and shake your hand. Proceed down the stairs and around the back of the stage to your seat.

      Photographs: Professional photographers from Grad Images will take two pictures of each graduate. The first picture is taken at the bottom of the ramp before you go on stage, posed in front of a UCSC banner. The second picture is taken on stage as you receive your certificate or hood.

      When all the students in each degree have been announced, Dean Miller will ask each group to rise and the Chancellor will announce the conferral of the degree. You will then be seated for the rest of the ceremony.

      At the conclusion of the ceremony, the academic processional will leave the field in the following order: stage party, graduates, and faculty. Staff members will direct you.

  • Photography

  • Professional photographers from Grad Images will take two pictures of each graduate. The first picture is taken at the bottom of the ramp before you go on stage, posed in front of a UCSC banner. The second picture is taken on stage as you receive your certificate or hood. Proofs will be available 5 to 7 days after the ceremony. 

    Pre-register your own email address, as well as those of your friends and family email who would like to view and order your photos . Graduation Images will contact them just as soon as their photos are available for online viewing and ordering.

    Click here to register your email to get $5 off orders of $25 or more

    View your photos after the event at the Grad Images UCSC Custom Landing Page.

  • General Information for Students, Faculty and Guests

  • Seating and Parking

    • Seating is usually plentiful and no tickets are required. Some audience seating will be canopied; if you are sun sensitive, please plan to arrive early to secure shaded seats.

    • Parking for participants and guests will be available in the East Remote lot. Permits are not required.

    • Shuttle buses will be available to and from the East Field for those guests who prefer not to walk to the site.

    • Students, faculty or guests with hearing, sight or physical disabilities who may need special assistance should contact Veronica Larkin at vlarkin@ucsc.edu.

    Hotel Reservations

    • Reserve early as hotels and motels fill up well in advance of commencement.

      Dinner after the Ceremony: Students and their families wishing to eat at a local restaurant after the ceremony are urged to plan ahead and reserve early; make reservations for 7:00 PM or later. Be prepared for heavy traffic, both on the highway and surface streets.

      For information on lodging and dining, visit the Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors’ Center http://www.scccvc.org


  • Guest & Visitor FAQ's

  • 1. Is there a limit to the number of guests who can come to commencement? NO

    • UC Santa Cruz recognizes that our students reach graduation day because of the support of many individuals. Therefore, we do not limit how many people each graduate can invite to the ceremony.

    2. Do I need a parking pass? NO

    • Graduates and their families and guests should park at the East Remote Parking Lot below the East Field.  A parking permit is not required, but we encourage carpooling to reduce traffic in and around campus. A shuttle service will be available to take you directly to the Field, or you may walk the distance of about a 1/3 of a mile.  Shuttles will also run after the ceremony.

    3. Is the ceremony site accessible for those with disabilities? YES

    • Graduation parking is in the East Remote Parking Lot. This lot will be served by campus shuttles for those who cannot or do not wish to make the short walk to the ceremony. These shuttles may not be wheelchair accessible. Graduates or their guests who have special parking needs or who require a wheelchair-lift-equipped shuttle should contact Veronica Larkin (vlarkin@ucsc.edu) for instructions. All shuttles drop off at the same place on the East Field. Distance from the drop off point to the seating area is about 100 yards.

    4. How long is the ceremony? Approximately 1-½ hours

    • The ceremony is scheduled to begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. and last about an hour and a half. If you are considering dinner afterwards, it is never too soon to make your reservations for this popular weekend.

    5. Will I be able to get close to the stage to take a picture as my student walks across? NO

    • Only graduates and participating faculty are allowed around the stage area during the ceremony. As in past years, Grd Images, a professional commercial photographer, has been contracted to take individual photographs of the graduates as each receives a commemorative certificate. Within 10 days after graduation, students will receive a "proof," at no cost or obligation to buy.

    6. Is there a reception afterwards? NO

    • As there are department events as well as private celebrations planned for shortly after the ceremony, the Graduate Division is not sponsoring a reception after the commencement.

    7. Is smoking allowed on campus? NO

    • A friendly reminder to our guests that, as of January 1, 2014, the University of California is a Smoke & Tobacco Free environment.

  • Faculty Participants

  • Regalia & Robing

    • If a student registered for commencement and listed you as a “hooder” you will receive an email from the graduate division.

      Regalia Rental: You are responsible for ordering your own regalia. Please see the Bookstore web site for details. 

    Assembly & Marching

    • Assemble at the East Field House beginning at 3:30 p.m.  At the Field House, your student will pick up a pre-printed card with his or her name and major, as well as your name, which will be used to introduce you. Staff will be available to assist with regalia and answer any questions. The student-faculty procession will leave the East Field House at approximately 3:55 p.m.
    • Water stations will be available for all participants at the gym and behind the stage. Please bring your own sunscreen.
    • The procession will be led by the Chair of the Academic Senate; followed by the Stage Party, Faculty and Graduates. Faculty other than the Stage Party will be seated in the front rows of the audience. Staff will direct you to your seats.


    • Doctoral students will be lined up by department. As you face the stage, the graduates will enter the stage from the right and the faculty will come on stage using the stairs on the left side. Approach the stage shortly before your student’s turn and join him/her center stage. Student will hand the hood to Prof. Brenneis, who will make sure it is open and facing the correct way and pass it to you. Hood the student as your name is read. The student will then proceed over to the Chancellor to receive a handshake and certificate; then you both exit by the stairs. Please return to your seat right away to avoid congestion around the stage area.

      If you are hooding more than one candidate, stay on stage and follow the same procedure for each student; leave the stage when all your students have been hooded.

      If you are one of two faculty who will be hooding a student, we suggest that you both discuss with the student ahead of time how they wish the hooding to be arranged.

*Separate commencement ceremonies will be held on the weekend of June 16-18 at UCSC’s ten colleges, the School of Engineering, and the Division of Graduate Studies. 

Students who earned graduate degrees since the 2016 Commencement Ceremony are invited to participate.