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 2017 College of Engineering commencement will consist of two ceremonies, one for baccalaureate degree recipients and one for graduate degree recipients. 

Register now

Graduate Ceremony (Masters & Ph.D.)
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
9 a.m. - 11 a.m. 
Hearst Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley

Baccalaureate Ceremony
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. 
Hearst Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley

College of Engineering undergraduate and graduate students completing degree requirements during the summer and fall 2016, spring 2017, and summer and fall 2017 semesters are welcome to participate in the spring 2017 College of Engineering commencement ceremonies.  Online registration will be available beginning March 15 at 12:00 p.m.

Spring 2017 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 2017 Berkeley commencement convocation will be held Saturday, May 13 at California Memorial Stadium. See the campus commencement website for details.

Ticket, seating and guest information

  • Online registration for commencement will be available 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 21. Graduates registering after the April 21 deadline are welcome to walk, 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.
  • 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 live webcast

Both the 2017 baccalaureate and graduate commencement ceremonies will be webcast live on on Tuesday, May 16. Videos and social media coverage from the 2016 Engineering commencement ceremonies are archived on our Commencement 2016 webcast page. 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 a short video 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 
Summer and fall 2016 and spring 2017 B.S. and B.A. degree candidates who have an overall Berkeley GPA that ranks them in the top 20 percent of students will be eligible to purchase honors cords at the Cal Student Store for the 2017 commencement ceremony. For the academic year 2016–17, the minimum GPA required for honors (as determined by the Office of the Registrar) for B.S. candidates is 3.693; the minimum for B.A./ORMS degree candidates is 3.724. Due to pending grades, summer and fall 2017 B.S. and B.A. degree candidates are not eligible to purchase honors cords for the 2017 commencement ceremony. To confirm that your cumulative Berkeley GPA through the fall 2016 semester meets the cutoff requirement, please visit Bear Facts.

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.

Department receptions

Each College of Engineering department will host a complimentary commencement reception for graduates and their guests. Reception locations and times will be announced in April.

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

The names of summer and fall 2015 candidates were announced during the 2015 ceremony, but will be printed in the 2016 program. After June 1, 2016, if you would like to receive a copy of the spring 2016 commencement program, e-mail your name, address and the number of copies you are requesting to bears@berkeley.edu. Or PDF versions of commencement programs from 2012 to the present are available for download and printing.