Berkeley Engineering grads at Commencement

Photo by Matt Beardsley

Engineering commencement

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Now it’s time to recognize and celebrate a job well done.

The Spring 2018 College of Engineering commencement will consist of two ceremonies, one for baccalaureate degree recipients and one for graduate degree recipients.  

Graduate Ceremony (Masters & Ph.D.)
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

9 – 11:30 a.m. 
Hearst Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley

Baccalaureate Ceremony
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
2 – 4 p.m. 
Hearst Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley

College of Engineering undergraduate and graduate students completing degree requirements during the summer and fall 2017, or spring, summer and fall 2018 semesters are welcome to participate in the spring 2018 College of Engineering commencement ceremonies.  Commencement registration will begin in early March 2018. 

Spring 2018 UC Berkeley university-wide commencement:  Separate from the engineering baccalaureate commencement ceremony, Berkeley’s commencement is a university-wide celebration, open to graduating seniors from all academic disciplines. The 2018 Berkeley commencement convocation will be held Saturday, May 12, at California Memorial Stadium. See the campus commencement website for details.

Please contact bears@berkeley.edu if you have a question.

GO BEARS!

Ticket, seating and guest information

  • Online registration for commencement will open in early March.  Graduates may purchase a maximum of 20 guest tickets; the ticket price is $5 each.  All guests (regardless of age) must have a ticket to gain admittance to commencement. 
  • The deadline to register is Friday, April 20. Graduates registering after the April 20 deadline are welcome to walk in the ceremony, but their names will not be printed in the program and they are not guaranteed the maximum number of guest tickets.
  • Tickets must be purchased by May 5; all commencement ticket sales are final. No refunds, no exceptions. Tickets should be treated like cash; they cannot be replaced if lost, stolen, damaged or otherwise rendered unreadable. Graduates must register to participate, but do not need a ticket. Graduates must be dressed in cap and gown for admission.
  • Purchased tickets will be distributed at the Zellerbach Hall ticket office -dates to be announced. The ticket office is located at the northeast corner of Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Box office hours are: Tues–Fri, Noon–5:30 p.m.; Sat & Sun, 1–5 p.m.; closed Mondays. Tickets will NOT be available for pick up at Zellerbach on the day of the commencement ceremony.
  • Disability accommodations for graduates and guests: If you or any of your guests require accommodations for disabilities (e.g., wheelchair seating, sign language interpreter, etc.), please complete the special seating request form. For questions, please contact bears@berkeley.edu.
  • Important note regarding seating at the Greek Theatre:  All seating is general admission, not reserved, on a first-come, first-served basis, and it is possible that guests may have to climb the steep steps to sit on the grassy hillside above the concrete bleacher seating. Once the concrete bleacher seating area has reached capacity, guests will be directed to the lawn by Greek Theatre staff.
  • The Greek Theatre is open to the elements, and you and your guests should be prepared for any kind of weather and a wide range of temperatures. There are no indoor, temperature-controlled areas at the Greek Theatre. It may be very cold on a foggy morning, becoming very hot if the sun comes out. Sunscreen is highly recommended, as are blankets and/or layered clothing. Guests and students should dress accordingly. Guests, especially those with heat or sun sensitivities, are encouraged to bring factory-sealed bottled water and umbrellas for shade (or rain if necessary). Commencement will take place rain or shine. 
  • The Greek Theatre/UCPD will be checking bags at all of the entrance gates. The following items are PROHIBITED inside the Greek Theatre:

    • Large bags or backpacks
    • Noise-makers / air horns
    • Balloons (may be tied-off at the entrance gates at own discretion)
    • Baby strollers (designated parking is available just inside the gate)
    • Glass bottles / aluminum cans
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Coolers / ice chests
    • Skateboards / bicycles / scooters
    • Musical instruments
    • Fireworks
    • Rolls of toilet paper
    • Signs / banners / flags
    • Tripods for cameras
    • Animals (with the exception of documented service animals)
    • Lawn furniture or chairs (small blankets, cushions, and low-backed stadium seats are OK)
    • Any items that can be perceived as weapons

Commencement webcast

The 2018 baccalaureate and graduate commencement ceremonies will be webcast live on Tuesday, May 15; they will also be archived online for future viewing. Video recordings and related social media coverage of the 2017 commencement ceremonies are available on our Commencement 2017 page. Coverage from the 2015 and 2016 Engineering commencement ceremonies is linked there as well; videos from previous years can be found on the Berkeley Engineering YouTube channel.

Letter of invitation to commencement for international family members (for visa purposes)

If you wish to invite relatives to the United States to attend your commencement ceremony we recommend that you follow the instructions provided by the Berkeley International Office on how to help family obtain a visitor visa or to come to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. Please note that Berkeley Engineering no longer produces letters of invitation for the purpose of inviting students’ family members to visit the United States. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please send us an email at bears@berkeley.edu.

Caps, gowns and honor cords

Students are responsible for providing their own regalia, including hoods for Ph.D. candidates. Caps and gowns may be purchased from the Cal Student Store. For more information regarding caps and gowns, graduation announcements and ordering yearbooks, please visit their website or store at 2560 Bancroft Way. Store hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.– 6 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m. Watch short videos on how to wear academic regalia on the Berkeley Engineering YouTube channel.

EOP graduation gown lending project
The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) graduation gown lending project helps to support first generation and low income UC Berkeley students with free rental of graduation gowns. Please consider donating any black graduation gowns you may own to EOP to help future first-generation and low-income students be the next cohort to celebrate commencement from Berkeley. To see how you can donate, please contact EOP at eop.gglp@gmail.com or (510) 642-7224.

Honor cords 
Details regarding honor cords will be posted in early March.

Transportation to commencement

Commencement Bear Transit Shuttle Service: Shuttles are a quick, easy and inexpensive way to commute to commencement. Shuttles are free for graduating seniors wearing cap/gown or with ID, as well as their families. Shuttles run approximately every 12-24 minutes, and all daytime shuttles are equipped with wheelchair lifts. We recommend you consider utilizing a shuttle when planning your transportation to commencement. From BART catch the eastbound Perimeter Line Bear Transit shuttle near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Shuttles stop at Addison/Shattuck and Hearst/Euclid. Exit the shuttle at the Greek Theatre.  View the BearTransit webpage for the Perimeter Line shuttle schedule and route map. 

Parking: During commencement, visitors may park in designated daytime campus parking lots on a first-come, first-served basis, for $10. The closest campus parking lots to the Greek Theatre are the Foothill Lot (Hearst at Highland Ave.) and Lower Hearst Structure - Level 2 (enter from Scenic Ave.).  Visitors may also park in lots designated for student parking ("S") for a $10 fee. Please read parking signs carefully.  

The Maxwell Garage, a public parking lot on the corner of Stadium Rim Way and Gayley Road, will be selling commencement parking for $25.  Parking is also available in the surrounding city public parking lots on the south and west sides of campus; rates and hours vary.  

Disabled Parking: All designated disabled spaces and non-reserved spaces will be available at $10 to disabled patrons with certified disabled placards or license plates on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a curbside drop-off area on Gayley Road just north of the Greek Theatre entrance for passengers with mobility challenges who prefer to minimize the travel distance to the Greek Theatre.

For more information about parking, see the Parking and Transportation website for commencement visitor parking locations for daytime commencement ceremonies at the Greek Theatre.

Commencement photos

The College of Engineering has made arrangements with GradImages Photo to photograph every graduate at the moment the scroll is given. For more information about ordering photos, visit the GradImages website.

Flowers

Orchid leis and floral bouquets will be offered for sale the day of commencement in front of the Greek Theatre.

Diplomas

Commemorative scrolls, not diplomas, are given out at commencement. Diplomas for undergraduate and graduate students will be mailed free of charge approximately four months after the end of the term to the diploma address you supplied to Bear Facts. If you have any questions or need more information, please visit the website for the Office of the Registrar

Blue & Gold Yearbook

You can purchase your copy of the Blue & Gold Yearbook, Berkeley’s official historical record, at the Blue & Gold website. 

Senior gift

As a graduating senior, you have an opportunity to join your classmates to make a significant impact on the college through the senior gift campaign! Your support is critical to maintaining Berkeley’s position as one of the top engineering schools in the world. Visit our senior gift page for more information.

Printed commencement program