FAQs for UC Davis Commencements

FAQs for Fall Commencement

    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.

    Graduate and Professional Student Spring 2023 Commencement Information

    Information for Graduate Students

    Information for School of Law students

    Information for School of Veterinary Medicine students

    Information for School of Education students

    Information for Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing students


    FAQs for Spring 2023 Undergraduate Commencement

    • When are commencement ceremonies held?
    • UC Davis Undergraduate Commencements are held every June (weekend after Spring Quarter finals end) and every December (weekend after Fall Quarter finals end). There are no commencements at the end of Winter and Summer quarters. Spring 2023 Commencements for undergraduates will be held Friday, June 16 - Sunday, June 18.  For December 2023 Fall Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, December 16 at the University Credit Union Center on the UC Davis campus in Davis. Registration information for Fall 2023 will be available in late August.
    • Why are the ceremonies moving from Davis to the Sacramento Golden 1 Center?
    • In 2022, Chancellor May asked 10 members of the campus community — five of them student leaders — to form the Undergraduate Commencement Advisory Committee with the charge to consider the best location and structure for the Spring 2023 ceremonies. A survey was sent to 7,500 students regarding their preferences for Spring commencement. Of the students who replied, 53% indicated their preference to move the ceremonies indoors to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. You can see the survey results here.
    • Who is eligible to participate in the Undergraduate 2023 Spring Commencements?
    • Undergraduate students who have completed 140 units of degree-applicable credit as of the end of fall quarter (2022) 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 have filed a graduation application online between January 17, 2023 and March 10, 2023 through the Office of the Registrar.
    • What if I am graduating in more than one major?
    • Graduates need to only choose one ceremony 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.
    • How do I choose my commencement ceremony date? 
    • You must register to participate in one of the commencement ceremonies. When registering, you will be asked to choose a ceremony date from the five options below. Ceremony dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so register as soon as possible. Be sure to check the dates and times of any cultural or heritage ceremonies you would like to attend before confirming your commencement ceremony date. Please note that June 9 at 11:59 p.m. PDT is the last day to register for commencement or to request any changes to the ceremony date. 
    • What do I do if I didn’t get the ceremony date I wanted or I need to change my date?
    • If you didn’t get your first ceremony date of choice or you have an emergency need to change the date, please contact us. We will do our best to accommodate your request.  Please note that no ceremony change requests will be accepted after June 9.
    • How many guest tickets can I receive?
    • Each registered graduate is guaranteed up to six tickets for guests. Graduating students who are registered to participate in the ceremony do not need tickets to enter
    • When will I receive my guest tickets? 
    • Instructions on how to access 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. 
    • How do I claim my guest tickets? 
    • To claim and download your guest tickets go to this Golden 1 Center ticket website. Follow these easy instructions and be sure to use your UC Davis email address. If you have any issues claiming your tickets contact the Golden 1 Center Box Office Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at 916-701-5401 or email at boxoffice@kings.com (note: phone is the faster option).
    • How do the guest tickets work? 
    • The Golden 1 Center is a paperless ticket venue and tickets are ceremony specific. All guest tickets are considered "general admission" and seats are first come, first served. A smart phone will be required to scan tickets upon entry and one guest may load multiple ticket for their family and friends as long as they enter the area together. 
    • Do children need tickets?
    • Tickets are not required for children ages 2 and under. 
    • How can I request more guest tickets? 
    • At this time, there are only a limited number of extra tickets available. Graduates may  request up to two additional tickets for their registered ceremony HERE. Please do so by no later than Monday, June 12 - 11:59 p.m. PDT.  For additional ticket requests we are able to honor, you will receive an email notification sent by Wednesday 5 p.m. PDT.
    • 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”, from the UC Davis Bookstore is mandatory for graduates and the university reserves the right to refuse admission to students who do not comply with this requirement.  Note that caps and gown rentals are custom to UC Davis, so one from a past event or purchased through a different retailer won’t meet the requirement. Please visit the UC Davis Stores rental webpage for more details and to access the online ordering system. Book your regalia rental between March 1 - April 23. A price increase of $15 will start April 24 and the last day to order online is May 23 at 9 p.m.
    • I need financial help covering the cost of my regalia rental
    • You can apply for an award from the Student Foundation (Aggies Helping Aggies) that assists graduating seniors who can’t afford to rent a graduation cap and gown from the bookstore. More information about how to apply here https://ucdavis.academicworks.com/opportunities/6952.
    • 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) and then will return to their seat.
    • What is a grad card and why do I need to print one? 
    • All graduates are required to have a printed physical grad car, 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 Golden 1 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. 
    • 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).
    • 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. There will also be more communication for employees and faculty who want to participate closer to the commencement ceremony dates - check back on this webpage often. 
    • 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 encouraged indoors. 
    • Will the ceremonies be live streamed?
    • Yes! All undergraduate ceremonies are shown live on the commencement homepage and on-demand on the UC Davis YouTube page and at our Commencement Archives.


    Day-of-Event Information 


    • What time should I arrive?
    • Graduate check-in starts at 7:30 a.m. for 9 a.m. ceremonies and at 12:30 p.m. for 2 p.m. ceremonies. Doors open to guests at 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. respectively.
    • How and where do I park? 
    • Reserve parking in advance at the Golden 1 Center directly through SacPark where you will select a parking lot and get a parking pass. Passes must be printed out or loaded on your phone before you arrive to park. For more parking info, including directions and a map, visit the Golden 1 Center’s parking web page.
    • Are there rideshare drop-offs? 
    • The Golden 1 Center has designated rideshare drop-off points. Visit the Golden 1 Center’s website for more information. 
    • Are there drop off zones for anyone that has an accessibility need? 
    • Yes! ADA accessible drop-off and pick-up is located at 4th Street & J Street (see the below map). Parking for the duration of an event is not permitted. More information about ADA and accessibility information are available on the Golden 1 Center’s website https://www.golden1center.com/visit/ada-accessibility-info
      A map showing the location of the Golden 1 Center. a blue handicap symbol is on the intersection of 4th and J street, indicating the accessibility drop off point. A dotted blue line shows the route from the acceesable drop off point and the front entrance of the Golden 1 Center.
    • Will there be shuttles available from Davis for students and families?
    • At this time, shuttles will not be provided between UC Davis campus and the Golden 1 Center. If you need help getting to commencement, please contact our planning team
    • 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 about two and a half hours.
    • Will there be a rehearsal?
    • There will not be a rehearsal in advance. Staff will be on-site to guide graduates through the ceremony experience.
    • What is the bag policy at Golden 1 Center?
    • Please note that Golden 1 Center is a bagless venue. Clutches and wallets smaller than 8” x 6” x 1” will be permitted and are subject to security inspection. Please do not bring any bags larger than this size or you will not be permitted to enter the arena. Bags deemed and accepted as medical bags must be searched and tagged by a security supervisor. Backpacks are prohibited inside Golden 1 Center. Visit the Golden 1 Center bag policy for more information https://www.golden1center.com/about/faqs. We also recommend that you review the prohibited items list for the Golden 1 Center to ensure entry into the arena.
    • What is the service animal policy at Golden 1 Center?
    • Service animals are welcome at Golden 1 Center. In keeping with ADA regulations, guests with disabilities may use a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the guest. The work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the guest’s disability. As such, animals that provide emotional support or companionship to a guest will not be permitted inside the arena.
    • What are the accessibility accommodations at the Golden 1 Center? 
    • The Golden 1 Center has thorough accessibility accommodations. Learn more and coordinate with their staff about your needs on their site at https://www.golden1center.com/visit/ada-accessibility-info
    • What is the policy for signs, banners, posters and flags at Golden 1 Center?
    • You can read more about the Golden 1 policy for signage at https://www.golden1center.com/about/faqs. 
    • Can I bring balloons, flowers and and gifts into the Golden 1 Center? 
    • We recommend that you review the prohibited items list for the Golden 1 Center to ensure entry into the arena.
    • Is Wi-Fi available at the Golden 1 Center?
    • Free Wi-Fi, courtesy of Comcast, is offered to guests during all Golden 1 Center events. To connect, access the following network: #xfinitywifi@Golden1Center. 


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