April 13, 2020: The 2020 June Commencement has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic in our county and the state of California.

Our division will be looking into alternative commencement options and will communicate directly with graduating students.

    Ceremony Site Information

  • UCSC East Field


    Our ceremony is held outdoors on the campus' East Field, a site with beautiful views of the Monterey Bay. The weather in Santa Cruz can be foggy in the morning and become hot as the day goes on. Guests should dress in layers, and bring sun protection, including hats and sunscreen.

    Live Video of the Ceremony

    For guests who are more comfortable viewing the ceremony indoors, the ceremony will be live-streamed in a classroom on campus, and is also viewable on the Internet. 

    Use this link to view the ceremony: https://specialevents.ucsc.edu/commencement/live-streaming.html


    • Six (6) electronic tickets will be issued per student for guests. However, every graduate participant will be issued only two parking passes (paper passes). Cars displaying a Grad Division Commencement parking pass will be directed to our designated East Remote parking lot.
    • Each student registered for the Grad Division ceremony can pick up their two parking passes from their program office or from the Graduate Division in Kerr Hall, room 283 between June 1 - 13, 2019.
    • We have a limited number of extra tickets. If you would like to request more than six (6) please email vlarkin@ucsc.edu.
    • Guests may shuttle (or walk) from the parking lot to the ceremony site.
    • Shuttles will run continuously from the parking area and drop guests off near to the ceremony site. A limited amount of walking will be required to get from the drop off area to the ceremony site.
    • Please see below for disability services (parking, seating).

  • Commencement Speaker

  • Student Information

  • On the Day of Commencement

    * Plan to arrive with your regalia at the East Field Gymnasium between 8:00-8:30 AM. 

    * Tell friends and family to arrive at early to find parking; highways are typically congested on commencement day, so plan extra time if you are driving from out of town (at least one hour extra).

    * Please ask your family and friends to go directly to the East Field seating area.

    * Wear comfortable clothing and shoes; the ground is uneven for those with high heels. 

    * We will have water stations available, please bring a reusable water bottle if possible.

    * 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. 

    * Students should plan to leave their personal belongings with family, friends, or in their car; there is no place to securely store these items.

    * 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 phones and devices during the ceremony.

    Participation Instructions:

    • Check-in starts at 8:00 AM. Assemble beginning at 8:30 AM.

      Name cards: 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: Procession will start around 8:55 AM. There will be two lines marching together to the seating area - chairs in the very front rows of the audience section. Master's graduates will be placed on the left (as you face the stage), Ph.D. graduates will be placed to the right. Staff will direct you at strategic points in the processional.

      Awarding degrees: Graduates will be called to the stage by degree: MS, MA, MFA, DMA and Ph.D. You will proceed up the ramp to the stage and hand the name card to the announcer. If you wish, you can pronounce your name for the announcer 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 to pose for one more picture. Then you will 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 pose for one more picture. Then you will return to your seat.

      When all the graduates in each degree have been announced, you will be asked - by group - to rise so that the Chancellor may 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 amphitheater in the following order: stage party, graduates, and faculty. Staff members will direct you.

  • Regalia Rental

  • Participants are required to wear cap & gown (regalia). Orders for regalia will be open March 1st, due April 26 before late fees apply.

    Pick up regalia at the UCSC Bookstore, hours posted at slugstore.ucsc.edu

  • Photography

  • Professional photographers from Best Grad Photo will take three pictures of each graduate. The first picture is taken before you go on stage. The second picture is taken on stage as you cross the stage. The third picture will be taken after you cross the stage and exit. Proofs will be available 5 to 7 days after the ceremony.

    We will provide a link to view photos on this webpage a few days after the commencement ceremony. 

  • General Information for Students, Faculty and Guests

  • Seating and Parking

    • 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 required. Two permits will be permitted per participant handed out at the Graduate Division office in Kerr Hall room 283 (9-5pm, Monday through Friday until June 13, 2020). Please pick them up in person or contact your program staff advisor to see if any are available there.

    • Shuttle buses will be available 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. Please see further details below.

    • Pets Not Allowed on Campus: UCSC has a "no pet" policy that is strictly enforced. Service animals (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are welcome; emotional support animals are not allowed unless previously authorized. If you enter campus with a pet (non-service animal) or non-authorized emotional support animal, you will be asked to leave campus.

    Hotel Reservations

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

      Meals 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. 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? YES

    • For the first time, UC Santa Cruz will be utilizing ticketing for each of the ceremonies on the schedule.

      Each graduate will receive 6 tickets to distribute to their family and friends for attendance, as well as 2 parking passes. Unless a guest has a ticket, they will not be able to join us on campus for commencement. We will offer live-streaming for each commencement ceremony so individuals who are unable to join us in person can still cheer their grad on from afar.


    2. Do I need a parking pass? YES

    • Participants should request their two (2) parking passes from the Graduate Division or academic department.

    • Graduates and their families and guests should park at the East Remote Parking Lot below the East Field.  We encourage carpooling to reduce traffic in and around campus. A shuttle service will be available to take you directly to Quarry, 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 are not 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. Both shuttles and vans drop off at the same place near the East Field. The benefit of a disability pass is that the lot is serviced by UCSC vans that have wheelchair-lift capabilities. Please obtain a disability pass for guests who:
      • Use a wheelchair or electric scooter, or
      • Are physically unable to board the steps up into a campus shuttle, or
      • Will be driving themselves and are unable to walk from a parked car to the parking lot shuttle stop (those that are not driving themselves can be dropped at the internal shuttle stop and wait while the driver parks).
      • Guests with a regular commencement pass can shuttle from their designated parking area and will disembark in the same location as the vans from disability parking.
    • The wait for a shuttle from the main parking area is significantly shorter than the wait at the disability lot (because there are far more shuttles than disability vans), which is why a disability lot permit should only be acquired in the above circumstances. Thank you!
    • Wheelchair accessible seating: There is a limited amount of wheelchair accessible seating available. Please help us accommodate everyone's needs by:
      • Noting in your registration form if you or your guest will need wheelchair accessible seat, and
      • Please plan to have no more than 1-2 people accompany a guest in a wheelchair in the accessible seating area


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

    • The ceremony is scheduled to begin promptly at 9:00 AM. and last about an hour and a half.


    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. 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 & Procession

    • Assemble beginning at 8:00 AM. At the Registration Area, your graduate 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 at approximately 8:55 - 9:00 AM. 
    • 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 behind the seated graduates and hooders. Staff will direct you to your seats.
    • Water stations will be available for all participants at the gym and behind the stage. Please bring your own sunscreen and water bottle.



    • Doctoral students will be lined up by department, and hooders will walk in the procession and sit with their graduates. Graduates will hand the hood to Prof. Lau, 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. 

    • 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.

    • There will be two photo booths where the graduate's pictures will be taken before and after crossing the stage. The pictures are meant to be of the graduate only. You may stand to the side to wait for the graduate's portrait to be taken and return to your seats together.

Students who have earned graduate degrees since the 2019 Commencement Ceremony are invited to participate.