FAQs for UC Davis Commencements

We know you may have specific questions related to commencement right now. To help address those questions, we've developed a list of frequently asked questions. We encourage you to check this FAQ often, as it may update often. Our plans are subject to change based on evolving direction from state and local public health officials.

For more information about applying to graduate or diplomas be sure to visit the Office of the University Registrar.

If you don’t see your question listed below, reach out via email or use the contact form. If you have a question about your in-person commencement processional time, tickets or confirmation, contact your college or professional school by email:

Commencement coordinators for each college and professional school are responding to an extremely high volume of emails in the order they were received. There’s no need to send your question in a duplicate or follow-up email, and doing so may slow down the process of receiving a response. Thank you for your patience.

FAQs for Fall Commencement

Information for Graduate Students

Information for School of Law

Information for School of Veterinary Medicine

 

  • I was a registered participant in the June 2022 Spring ceremonies and would like to register to walk in the December make-up ceremony. Can I still register even though it's past the registration deadline?
  • If you were registered for the Spring 2022 ceremonies and want to register for the December 10 make-up ceremony, please contact your respective coordinator.
  • 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
  • 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. *Note: The commencement team is aware of issues in the registration system where only one major is being displayed for those with 2+ majors.
  • I'm a faculty member/ administrative staff member participating in the ceremony. What do I need to know?
  • Please contact your commencement coordinator for your school or college to participate in the ceremony.
  • Is there a cost to participate in the in-person commencement?
  • There is no charge to participate in commencement.
  • How many tickets can I receive? What if I need more?
  • Each registered graduate is guaranteed up to 4 tickets and the quantity must be indicated on the online registration form.

    Registered graduates can also indicate if they would like to petition for up to 2 extra tickets (for a total of 6). These 2 tickets are not guaranteed regardless of a petition.

    Ticket allocation is predetermined based on the anticipated graduate attendance for each ceremony, and capacity of the venue. Likewise, the amount of extra tickets available (if any) for distribution cannot be determined until after the close of registration and final approvals of any late registrations.

    Graduating students who are registered to participate in the ceremony do not need tickets to enter as you will be checking in at a separate area (more information on this to come).
  • When will I receive my tickets? 
  • The ceremony tickets will be emailed directly to you from the Aggie Ticket Office on December 5. Please be sure to add aggietickets@ucdavis.edu to your approved senders. (Tickets are only issued to the graduating student who is registered for commencement. Non-registered students and guests cannot request tickets.) If you do not receive this email by December 7, please contact the ticket office to have it resent to you.

    The subject line of this email will read “Download your Commencement Ceremony Tickets” and include a link to access your digital tickets. This email can be forwarded to your guests.

    If you have issues with TICKET DOWNLOADING ONLY, please contact the box office directly at aggietickets@ucdavis.edu or at (530) 752-2471. The ticket office will reply during their regular business hours of Monday-Friday between 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. They are located at the UC Davis Health Stadium, by Gate 1, facing La Rue Road.

    DO NOT WAIT until the day of the ceremony to access your tickets, AND add your tickets to your phone’s virtual wallet or print a hard copy in case of connectivity issues.
  • Are children able to attend?
  • Tickets are not required for children ages 2 and under. Age determination is handled by ticket-takers and security. 
  • What if I need extra tickets?
  • Ticket allocation is predetermined based on the anticipated graduate attendance for each ceremony. Likewise, the amount of extra tickets available (if any) for distribution cannot be determined until after the close of registration. Extra tickets can be requested by the graduate when registering for commencement.

  • 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. However, face coverings are strongly encouraged indoors.
  • What if a guest can’t attend the in-person event?
  • For those who cannot make it to campus, all ceremonies are shown live (through the commencement homepage) and on-demand at Commencement Archives.

    Still celebrate! Your graduation weekend should be celebrated regardless of who comes to the ceremony.
  • Do I need a cap and gown? Are cap and gowns required?
  • Academic dress is mandatory for graduates and the university reserves the right to refuse admission to students who do not comply with this requirement.
  • How can I rent/reserve my cap and gown?
  • Fall Graduates (10 a.m.) only: Please visit the UC Davis Stores rental webpage for more details and to access the online ordering system.

    Spring Graduates (2 p.m.) only:
    Please refer to your registration confirmation for the link or email gradsupplies@ucdavis.edu
  • Will my name be announced? Do I get to cross the stage?
  • Each graduate will be announced on stage (name only), receive a certificate and return to his/her/their seat. (Please note that the format will be two concurrent lines coming from each side of the stage with graduates taking turns down the ramp at stage center.)

  • 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).

Day-of Information

  • What time should I arrive?
  • Graduate check-in starts at 9 a.m./ 1 p.m. (respectively) — during check-in, each student will pick up their own name card, which they will use when crossing the stage.
  • 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?
  • Graduate check-in starts at 9:00 a.m. at the lower levels of the southeast (SE) and southwest (SW) entrances of the University Credit Union Center (UCUC). Please note the guest entrance is also at the SE and SW entrance but on the upper level (all entrances open for 9 a.m. and  1 p.m.). Each graduate will pick up a personalized stage card, which will be used to identify you when crossing the stage, before entering the UCUC. Once inside, there will be an opportunity for photos and interaction with faculty before the ceremony begins. Graduates should take their seats at 9:40 a.m. and it is not a pre-determined order. You are welcome to sit with your friends and classmates.

  • 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 insideThe 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 https://www.propicsgrads.com/ucdavis, click on the link of their ceremony, and search by last name to order photographs. For any issues, please contact info@propicsusa.com.

  • How long will each ceremony last?
  • Each ceremony is estimated to last no more than 2 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.

    Permitted Inquiries: If it’s not readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work/perform tasks, then University employees can ask two questions ONLY:
    1) Is the animal required because of a disability; and
    2) What work/task is the animal trained to perform?

    Prohibited Inquiries: University employees may NOT ask about the nature/extent of the disability, may NOT require documentation that the dog is trained or is a service animal, and may NOT ask the dog to perform the work/task.

    Requirements for all Service and Assistance Animals:

    1) The handler, not the University, is responsible for the animal’s care and supervision.
    2) The handler must keep the animal under control in public areas – via a harness, leash, tether, or voice control, depending on the task/work performed.
    3) The animal must be free from offensive odors and display habits appropriate to the environment. For example, the animal must be house-broken.
    4) The animal may not engage in behavior that endangers the health or safety of others.
    5) The animal must comply with Yolo County codes, including requirements for vaccinations and licensing laws. Documentation may be required.

  • Will drones be allowed on campus?
  • No drone flights will be allowed over or near the commencement ceremonies. More information on our policy for unmanned aircraft systems is available on the Safety Services website.

Eligibility and Attendance

Spring 2023 Undergraduate Commencements

Per the UC Davis Academic Calendar, undergraduate commencements will be held June 16-18, 2023. More information will be announced as it becomes available.