We encourage you to check this FAQ frequently, as it will be updated often. For more information about applying to graduate or diplomas, be sure to visit the Office of the University Registrar.
FALL UNDERGRADUATE COMMENCEMENT
- Who is eligible to participate in the Undergraduate 2023 Fall Commencements?
- Undergraduate students who have completed 140 units of degree-applicable credit as of the end of Summer quarter (2023) and who have not already participated in an undergraduate commencement ceremony are eligible to participate.
- Do you have to file to graduate in order to register for commencement?
- Participating in a commencement ceremony doesn’t mean you completed your degree. To officially graduate and receive your diploma, you must file a graduation application online between October 23, 2023 - December 1, 2023 for Winter Quarter.- through the Office of the Registrar.
- How do I register to participate in the Fall 2023 Undergraduate commencement ceremony?
- You can register for Fall 2023 commencement ceremonies at this link, where you will be asked to log using your UC Davis credentials. Registration will open September 26 at 12:00 p.m. PDT and will closes Monday, December 4 at 11:59 p.m.
- I tried to register for the commencement ceremony, but I got an error message saying I don’t have enough units to continue. What do I do?
- Students who don't yet meet the minimum threshold of 140 units can come back after Fall Quarter grades are posted to register to participate in Fall commencement.
- What if I am graduating in more than one major?
- Graduates need to only choose one major at registration. There will not be seating assignments based on college/major, nor will majors be announced/displayed as graduates cross the stage.
- Is there a cost to participate in the commencement?
- There is no charge to participate in the commencement ceremonies. However, regalia, or academic dress, is required and there is an associated cost for the rental. Please visit the UC Davis Stores rental webpage for more details and to access the online ordering system.
- Do I need a cap and gown? Are cap and gowns required?
- Yes! A cap and gown, also referred to as regalia or “academic dress”, is mandatory for graduates and the university reserves the right to refuse admission to students who do not comply with this requirement. Rentals will be available to secure starting October 1 through December 16. Please visit the UC Davis Stores rental webpage for more details, dates and to access the online ordering system.
- I am graduating with honors. How can I get an honors cord?
- Cords may be purchased at UC Davis Stores.
- Honors = Cum Laude= Blue/Gold
- High Honors= Magna Cum Laude= Silver/Silver
- Highest Honors = Summa Cum Laude = Gold/Gold
- Are stoles (gold sashes) required as part of the regalia?
- No, stoles are not a required part of your academic dress. However, they are a keepsake that many graduates choose to purchase, as it is yours to keep. You can view your options at the UC Davis Stores.
- Will my name be announced? Do I get to cross the stage?
- Each graduate’s name will be announced as they cross the stage. Graduates will receive a certificate (not their diploma), their photo will be taken as they shake hands with Chancellor May, and then they will return to their seat.
- Will honors be recognized at commencement?
- Honor designations are not called at commencement, but it will be on your diploma and transcript, and you can purchase a cord from the bookstore based on your ranking. The cords are honors/cum laude (blue/gold), high honors/magna cum laude (silver/silver), and highest honors/summa cum laude (gold/gold).
- What if a guest can’t attend the in-person event?
- All ceremonies are shown live on the commencement homepage and on-demand on the UC Davis YouTube page and at our Commencement Archives.
- What COVID-19 precautions are being taken?
- Commencements will follow all university, county and state public health guidelines, which are subject to change. At this time, there are no public health requirements for this public event.
- Do graduates need tickets?
- Registered graduates participating in the ceremony do not need tickets to enter and will be checking in at a separate area.
- How many guest tickets can I receive? What if I need more?
- Each registered graduate is guaranteed up to four tickets and the quantity must be indicated on the online registration form. Students may petition to request up to 2 additional guest tickets. Petitions will be reviewed up to December 6, 2023. Graduating students who are registered to participate in the ceremony do not need tickets to enter.
- When will I receive my guest tickets?
- The ceremony tickets will be emailed directly to registered graduates a few days in advance of the ceremony dates. Tickets are only issued to the graduating student who is registered for commencement. Non-registered students and guests cannot request or receive tickets.
- Do children need guest tickets?
- Tickets are not required for children ages 2 and under.
- What time should I arrive and where?
- Graduate check-in starts at 9:00 a.m., one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. During check-in, each student will arrive with their printed-out name card which they will use when crossing the stage. Please follow the signage to graduate check-in when you arrive to the University Credit Union Center.
- Do I need to claim a seat?
- Guest tickets are considered “general admission.” This means there are no assigned seats and seating is first come, first served. Doors will open one hour prior to the start time for each ceremony and guests should plan to come early to secure their seats.
- Where should I park? Are there shuttles? What about rideshares?
- Visit the Transportation Services commencement page for info on parking and transportation.
- What accommodations are available for guests with limited mobility?
- Information on mobility shuttles and disabled parking is available on the Transportation Services website.
- Where are graduates lining up?
- The entrance for graduates opens one hour prior, 9:00 a.m., to the start of the ceremony. Graduates should arrive at the University Credit Union Center with their printed grad card and follow signs to go to the check in gate (specific gate yet to be determined - check back soon). Graduates are required to have their gowns unzipped prior to arriving at the security check. Graduates will make their way through the tunnel to the main floor where seating is first come, first served. They will cross the stage in the order they are seated.
- What is a grad card and why do I need to print one?
- All graduates are required to have a printed physical grad card, which has your name and will be used to announce your name as your cross the stage. You must have it printed out prior to arriving at the University Credit Union Center. To print, log into the UC Davis Commencement Registration site and click the blue button on the top left corner labeled ‘Print Grad Card’. You may print on regular white printer paper. Do not lose, tear or write on the card.
- Can my guests bring food or drinks?
- Outside food will not be allowed. Guests may bring sealed, unopened water bottles or empty bottles for refilling inside the venue, as long as they fit in an allowable clear bag. Some exceptions will be made for diaper bags, strollers and medically necessary bags and equipment, but guests should plan additional time for inspection.
There are drinking fountains and one hydration station inside. The post-commencement celebrations in the ARC Ballroom will also feature some free refreshments.
- Will flowers or other gifts be available at the event?
- Guests can pre-order flowers online for pickup on the day of commencement. Flowers may be available to buy on the day of while supplies last; commemorative T-shirts and sweatshirts will also be available.
- Will there be a professional photographer? Can my guests take photos of me?
- Pro Pics is the official photographer for the commencement ceremonies to take portraits of graduates. On-stage photos and individual portraits will be available for purchase from Pro Pics following the graduation ceremonies. Register online to identify your photos and receive proofs. There is no cost to have your photo taken and no obligation to purchase.
Photos taken by family or friends will be permitted from their seats or from the designated photo areas available during the ceremony. Tripods will NOT be allowed into any of our commencement venues.
After commencement, graduates can go to www.ucdavisphotos.com, click on the link of their ceremony, and search by last name to order photographs. For any issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How long will the ceremony last?
- The ceremony is estimated to last about two and a half hours and will include short addresses by the Chancellor, the conferring of degrees, and the recessional.
- Will there be a rehearsal?
- Further instructions will be sent to registered students at least 2 weeks prior. There will not be a rehearsal in advance. Staff will be on-site to guide graduates through the ceremony experience.
- Can I bring a cooler or other large bag? What is the bag policy?
- Please view the UC Davis Undergraduate Commencement Clear Bag Policy
- What is the service animals policy?
- For students and visitors, only Service Animals are permitted in areas where dogs are not otherwise allowed. A Service Animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
Animals NOT permitted: The following are NOT Service Animals: 1) non-dog animals, except in some cases miniature horses; 2) animals that solely serve to deter crime; 3) emotional support, comfort, & companion animals.
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