Commencement 2018

Commencement Checklist

The commencement checklist provides a rough outline of the actions a student must take, in advance, in order to attend and participate in the commencement ceremony.

Commencement is not the same thing as graduation. Graduation is the official acknowledgment that a student’s course of study is complete and, with that, a degree conferred. Commencement is the celebration that graduation has, or will soon occur.

Graduation Checklist

More information about graduation

View of commencement at East Field

Commencement Ceremonies

Thursday, June 14

Ceremony Time Location
Division of Graduate Studies 4:00 PM Quarry

Saturday, June 16

Ceremony Time Location
Porter College 9:00 AM East Field
Oakes College 10:30 AM Quarry
Cowell College 12:30 PM East Field
Rachel Carson College 2:00 PM Quarry
Kresge College 4:00 PM East Field
Merrill College 5:30 PM Quarry

Sunday, June 17

Ceremony Time Location
Crown College 9:00 AM East Field
College Nine 10:30 AM Quarry
Stevenson College 12:30 PM East Field
College Ten 2:00 PM Quarry

Other commencement celebrations

Friday, June 8

Time Event Ceremony Location
2:00 PM Sociology Rachel Carson College: Red Room
3:30 PM Global Engagement Namaste Lounge

Wednesday, June 13

Time Event Ceremony Location
2:00pm Women's Center Granary

Thursday, June 14

Time Event Ceremony Location
2:00 PM GLBT Rainbow Merrill Provost House
1:00 PM Literature and Creative Writing Program Humanities 1, 210
4:00 PM Latin American and Latino Studies Viva's Restaurant, Merrill College
4:00 PM Music Department Music Center Recital Hall
4:00 PM American Indian Year End Ceremony  UCSC Barn
7:30 PM Film & Digital Showing Media Theater

Friday, June 15

Time Event Ceremony Location
9:00 AM Anthropology UCSC Arboretum
10:00 AM Environmental Studies UCSC Life Lab (farm) amphitheatre
10:00 AM History Stevenson Event Center
11:00 AM Psychology Department Media Theater
11:00 AM  Film and Digital Media Communications Building Courtyard
11:00 AM Linguistics Stevenson Fireside Lounge
11:30 AM Feminist Studies  Humanities 1, 210
12:00 PM Community Studies Oakes Learning Center
12:00 PM History of Art and Visual Culture Porter Koi Pond
1:30 PM Politics and Legal Studies Merrill Provost House
2:00 PM Asian American and Pacific Islander Music Recital Hall
3:00 PM PBSci Physics Department Earth and Marine Science, B206
5:00 PM Engineering East Field
6:30 PM Black Grad Quarry
7:00 PM Theater Arts Department Mainstage Theater

Saturday, June 16

Time Event Ceremony Location
3:00 PM Earth & Planetary Sciences Earth and Marine Science, B206

Sunday, June 17

Time Event Ceremony Location
4:00 PM Chicano/Latino East Field

Check with your department or organization to find out about additional graduation celebrations.

Students having fun at commencement

Transportation, Parking, and Accessibility Information

Each graduating student is provided only two parking passes for a total of two cars per graduate to park in the designated lot.

Commencement transportation and parking information

Walking to commencement event on the East Field

Resources and Amenities

Commencement sites have a Programs & Information tent, a Disability Support tent, and a First Aid tent. Drinking water is provided free of charge. UCSC Catering offers light refreshments for purchase (cash preferred). Restrooms are available in close proximity to the commencement seating areas.

Clothing Recommendations for Guests / Sun Protection

Weather on the UC Santa Cruz campus can change dramatically in a very brief span of time. A chilly, foggy morning may quickly change to a hot, sun-filled day. While rain is unlikely in June, there have been commencements that have experienced unexpected rain — so check on weather predictions and dress accordingly. For these reasons, it is advised that guests dress in layers that can be easily put on or taken off as temperatures change over the course of the day.

Most importantly, flat, comfortable shoes, rather than heels, are recommended due to the soft lawns upon which the commencement ceremonies are held and the terrain of campus. Sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are recommended.

The UC Santa Cruz campus is deeply committed to sustainability. You are invited to bring a refillable water bottle – one that you will take with you at the end of your time on campus. Complimentary water stations will be available at the commencement sites. The campus prefers that plastic, disposable water bottles not be brought to campus.

What NOT to bring to commencement


ADA Service animals are the only animals visitors may bring to campus. Pets are not allowed on campus grounds nor can they remain in vehicles for the duration of a commencement ceremony. You will be turned away from campus if you arrive with a pet. There are many kennels, animal day care operations and similar in Santa Cruz.


Drones are not permitted during commencement ceremonies.

No Smoking

All UC campuses are smoke- and tobacco-free. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, e‑cigarettes and other nicotine products are strictly prohibited. This policy will be strictly enforced.

No Confetti, No Noise-makers

Confetti, loud noise-makers, and other items that produce litter or disruptive noise are not permitted.

Single-Use Water Bottles

UCSC strongly supports sustainability efforts. It is greatly appreciated if you bring a reusable water container instead of disposable plastic bottles.

Taking a photo at commencement

UCSC Memorabilia

The Bay Tree Bookstore will sell souvenirs and flowers at the commencement sites. The Bookstore offers opportunities to purchase class rings, books, and many items to remember this special day.

Once a Slug, Always a Slug

The Banana Slug Network does not end after graduation, it is a life long community. Young alumni & recent graduates make up more than half of our entire UC Santa Cruz alumni population (a total of over 100,000 alumni). Stay connected, find out more regarding the perks of being a Banana Slug Alum, and be a volunteer to help shape our growing alumni program.

Natural Bridges beach in Santa Cruz

Lodging and Restaurants

The Santa Cruz area offers a wide range of guest accommodations and restaurants. Given the thousands of commencement visitors please plan ahead and make your reservations early, as accommodations and dining reservations are in short supply during this busy commencement week.