Commencement 2017

Traffic advisory: Roadwork on Highway 17 this week will cause traffic delays. Plan accordingly if you are driving to UC Santa Cruz from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit for current highway conditions.

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

Friday, June 16

Ceremony Time Location
Division of Graduate Studies 4:00 PM East Field

Saturday, June 17

Ceremony Time Location
Porter College 9:00 AM West Field
Merrill College 9:30 AM East Field
Rachel Carson College 1:00 PM West Field
Cowell College 1:30 PM East Field
Oakes College 5:00 PM West Field
Kresge College 5:30 PM East Field

Sunday, June 18

Ceremony Time Location
Crown College 9:00 AM East Field
College Nine 9:30 AM West Field
Stevenson College 1:00 PM East Field
College Ten 1:30 PM West Field

Other commencement celebrations

Friday, June 9th

Time Event Ceremony Location
3:00 to 5:00pm Sociology Rachel Carson College: Red Room

Wednesday, June 14

Time Event Ceremony Location
2:00pm - 5:00pm Women's Center Granary

Thursday, June 15

Time Event Ceremony Location
2:00 PM GLBT Rainbow Merrill Provost House
3:00 PM Literature Kresge Town Hall
4:00 PM LALS Merrill Provost House
4:00 PM American Indian End Year Bay Tree: Cervantes Valasquez Room
4:00 PM Music Department Recital Hall

Friday, June 16

Time Event Ceremony Location
9:00 AM Anthropology TBD
10:00 AM Environmental Studies Farm
10:00 AM History Stevenson Event Center
11:00 AM Psychology (REQUEST) Media Theater
11:30 AM Linguistics Stevenson Lounge
12:00 PM Community Studies Oakes Learning Center
1:00 PM Physics ISB Courtyard
1:00 PM Feminist Studies Humanities 1 Room 210
1:30 PM Politics/Legal Studies Merrill Provost
1:30 PM Economics Stevenson Event Center
1:30 PM International Graduates Humanities Quad
2:00 PM Asian American/Pacific Isl Music Recital Hall
2:00 PM History Art & Visual Culture Porter Koi Pond
2:00 PM Film & Digital Media Communications
6:00 PM African American Recital Hall
7:00 PM Theater Arts Main stage
7:30 PM Film & Digital Showing Media Theater

Saturday, June 17

Time Event Ceremony Location
3:00 PM Earth & Planetary Sciences E&MS B206

Sunday, June 18

Time Event Ceremony Location
4:30 PM Chicano/Latino East Field
5:30 PM Engineering West 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.