Commencement & Graduation Information

Our Commencement ceremony will be held:

SATURDAY JUNE 16, 2018 - UCSC East Field 
4:00 – 5:30pm
Graduation vs. Commencement
Graduation and Commencement are two separate processes.

Graduation is the receipt of your diploma once you have completed all of the requirements toward your degree. All students must graduate and should apply to do so (online) during the quarter they plan to satisfy their last requirement.

Commencement is participation in the Commencement (“Graduation”) ceremony. All students who will complete their degree requirements between Summer 2017 and Fall 2018 are eligible to walk in a Commencement ceremony. Please read Parts One and Two below before signing up.


Part I - Assessing your readiness to graduate

  1. Check Your Degree Completion Requirements
  • Check in with your major adviser to make sure you have fulfilled your major requirements.
  • Check your Academic Advisement Report in the Student Portal. Verify that you have satisfied (or will satisfy by December 2018):
    • All University Requirements (including American History and Institutions).
    • All General Education Requirements.
    • The Kresge College Core Course Requirement (this is waived for transfer students).
    • Completion of at least 179.5 credits.
    • No more than 25% of your UCSC credits taken for Pass/No Pass.
    • Minimum 2.0 UC GPA (cumulative).
    • 35 of the last 45 credits taken at UCSC or through a UC Study Abroad progam (see a Kresge adviser if you have questions).
  • Please see the full Bachelor's Degree requirements more information.
  • Meet with a Kresge Adviserif you have questions about your requirements or eligibility. Adviser schedule and availability can always be found here:
  1.  Apply to Graduate On Your Portal

You may apply for graduation beginning on the first day of the quarter in which you plan to finish all requirements. The deadline for Spring 2018 (without a late fee) is Friday, April 27. The late application deadline for Spring is Friday, June 15 ($75 fee will apply).

  • If you are currently enrolled and you have not previously applied to graduate, you may apply online via your eduportal. Here is a tutorial:
  • If you have applied to graduate in a previous term or cannot access the Apply to Graduate link via myUCSC, please use the paper form, located here:

If you miss this deadline but apply for graduation before the end of the term, you will be required to pay a late fee and your record might not be reviewed for Department honors.  You may also choose to apply for graduation for the following term at no charge (if by that quarter's deadline). If you have questions, contact Kresge Advising.

Note: The ceremony and degree/diploma process are not connected. Applying to graduate through the Student Portal DOES NOT SIGN YOU UP to participate in the Kresge 2018 Commencement Ceremony. Please continue to Part II for imformation on signing up to walk.


Part II - Register for the Ceremony 

  1. Commencement Participation Form for Kresge College - Fill Out and Submit On-Line

To participate in the 2018 Kresge College Commencement Ceremony you must:

 2018 Kresge Participant Deadline: Friday, May 4

PLEASE NOTE: If you are listed as NRI (Non-Release of Information), we will need you to approve your inclusion in the printed program and ceremony by going to myUCSC preferences and checking the box for Commencement 2018.

  1. Your Guests - Disability Accommodations

If you, your parents, relatives or friends are hearing-impaired and can benefit from an American Sign Language Interpreter or are physically challenged and have special accessibility needs you must:

  • Indicate this on your participation form and/or contact the Kresge College Programs Office (831-459-3925)by Friday, May 4, 2018 to discuss your needs.
  • You do need to confirm your request with an explanation of specific accommodations. Though we will make every effort, we cannot guarantee assistance if a request is made after the May 4th deadline.
  1.  2018 Commencement Committee - Be a Member

Wonder who the keynote speaker will be? Know a student(s) who would be a great senior speaker and/or performance?  Do you have artistic ideas/photographs for the Commencement program? Wish a favorite song could be included in the ceremony? If you answered yes to any of these questions or you are just interested, join the 2018 Commencement Committee - help plan your Kresge ceremony!

The committee consists of Provost Ben Leeds Carson, College Programs Coordinator Pam Ackerman and any interested graduating seniors. The first meeting will be in the Kresge Student Lounge on Tuesday, February 13   4:30 - 5:30pm.  Just show up! We only meet once a month. If you miss the February 13th meeting, you may still contact the College Programs Office and sign up to be on the committee and get our meeting emails. 

  1.  Senior Speaker/Performer - This Could Be You...

If you are interested in presenting a speech, poem, story or performance piece during the Commencement Ceremony, you may:

  • Submit a typed, double spaced draft of your speech or idea (if a performance piece) to the Kresge Programs College Office by Friday, May 4, 2018. 
  • Entries should be no more than 5 minutes long. 
  • Senior Speaker(s) will be auditioned and selected by the Commencement Committee.
  1. Favorite Professor and/or Teaching Assistant Invitations

Invite a faculty member to attend the ceremony. They can be hesitant to attend another graduation but a personal invitation fro you might make the difference between yes and a no! Nominations made in the online sign up process – you may nominate any faculty and/or lecturer from any department or college. Our Provost will send a personal invitation from you including why they made an impact. This opportunity has a tight deadline so submit your form now.

Invitation deadline: Friday, April 13, 2018

  1.  Honor Those Individuals Who Make Kresge Great!

College Commendations are awards for individuals who have worked to improve the quality of community life at Kresge. Please nominate a graduating senior, a staff and faculty member for the 2018 College Commendation Awards.

  • Fill out the College Commendation part of the online form by the deadline, Friday, May 4, 2018.
  • The Commencement Committee will determine final award recipients.
  1. Bay Tree Bookstore Graduation Center
  • Black Cap and Gown including your 2018 blue and gold tassel (optional)
  • Kresge Graduation Announcements (optional). Shipping takes 10 days so order early enough to mail out before June 16.
  • Diploma Frames and Alumni memorabilia (optional)

NOTE: The Bookstore hosts a Graduation Center Opening Sale April 17 - 20. With the purchase of announcements, the diploma frames, license frames and other graduation memorabilia are at a significant savings. There will also be a photographer on site 10am – 4pm  with regalia to wear in your shot. This free sitting with option to purchase allows you to include photos in your announcements. You may also use the Bay Tree Bookstore website as these items are available online. (No sale pricing online and online rental deadline is June 6th) - Graduation 

  1.   Two Parking Passes for Each Grad     **NO TICKETS REQUIRED**

Each graduate is allowed 2 parking passes for Saturday so you will need to squeeze, carpool, take the bus, walk or be creative, if you have a large group. Parking passes will be available for pick up starting Tuesday, May 8th and every weekday thereafter in the College Programs Office from 9:30am - 4:30pm (Next to the Owl’s Nest Café). Parking, shuttles, and graduate drop off information will be available soon. Please check our website for updates and I will email the update as well.

NOTE: Regular parking passes are not valid over commencement weekend.

PLEASE DO NOT ask for special parking privileges on the day of Commencement.

  1. Kresge Rehearsal - Last But Not Lease - Don't Forget

Due to the number of people involved, the complexity of the ceremony and the need to start on time, a brief (45 min.) Commencement rehearsal will be held on Thursday, June 14th at 4:00 p.m. at the UCSC East Field Commencement bleachers. We will go through the ceremony procedures and answer any last minute questions. Any extra parking passes will also be available at the end of this rehearsal. (Those students with overlapping  schedules should attend their finals – written ceremony instructions are available by request – 

Other Important Information



Accessibility Information for East Field Commencement Ceremonies


 UCSC No Pet Policy

UCSC has a "no pet" policy that is strictly enforced. (Animals utilized for disability accommodation as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act are allowed.) If you enter campus with a pet, you will be asked to leave. There are several "pet hotels" in Santa Cruz County equipped to board your pets. Check local listings or please leave your pets at home. Your pet thanks you!

Graduation Photos

Professional photographers have been contracted to take three individual photographs of each graduate, one formal standing, one on the stage as you receive your scroll from the Provost and another as you exit the stage. Within 48 hours of commencement, you will receive “proofs” at no cost or obligation to purchase via email. Only after seeing the proofs, do you decide whether buy.

Dinner Reservations for Local Restaurants

Restaurants are going to be very busy during commencement weekend.  BE PROACTIVE and make your reservations now.  Call your favorite restaurant and find out when they will begin accepting reservations for that weekend.  Commencement is scheduled for ninety minutes. Pease make your reservation time late enough to account for congratulations, last good-byes, getting back to your car and heavy traffic.

Hotel Reservations for Family and Friends

Again, local hotels are going to be full commencement weekend.  Making your reservations in advance will help to guarantee that your guests will have a convenient place to rest their heads Saturday night.  It is not too early to start calling NOW!  There are also accommodations available in nearby Scotts Valley. A useful website is