The information below describes last year’s Commencement – 2019.
This page will be updated with 2020 Commencement information in January.

Find these answers along with many other topics in the MyUCLA FAQ Search feature.

Commencement - General Information

Am I eligible to participate in the College Commencement ceremony?

Please visit the College Commencement web site, Planning Checklist page, Eligibility section for complete details.

What are the differences between the College Commencement and the Academic Department ceremonies?

At UCLA, there are three types of Commencement activities:

  1. Ceremonies (degree conferring)
  2. Departmental Graduations
  3. Graduation Celebrations
Commencement ceremonies are the top-level, degree conferring events. This means ceremonies are hosted by the schools that comprise the university – the College, Anderson, Engineering, TFT, etc. The ceremonies are where/when the duly appointed designate (either the Chancellor or Dean) bestows upon degree candidates by the virtue of the authority vested into them by the Regents of the University of California, their academic degrees with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

Graduations are held by departments (or sometimes divisions, like Humanities) within the schools, such as English, History, or Physics. No degrees are conferred at departmental graduations. They are held so that departments may individually recognize their graduates in a more personal way than is usually possible at large degree-conferring ceremonies. This is usually by calling their name, having them walk across a stage and shake hands with professors, and by being able to hand out more tickets/seats so that more family/friends can attend (since tickets are more limited for the ceremonies). Some graduates may receive a certificate at a graduation from their department – it is not a diploma. And some departments may reenact the tassel-turning – but the official event is the school’s degree conferring ceremony. The graduation is additional recognition.

Celebrations are held by non-academic entities, such as cultural groups, to again recognize their graduates in a more personal way than is usually possible at large degree-conferring ceremonies. …and to allow more family and friends to attend.

Are tickets required to attend events?

For the College of Letters and Sciences, guest tickets are required to attend the Friday College Commencement Ceremony, and the Academic Department Graduations on either Saturday or Sunday.  Visit Ticket Ordering and Academic Department Graduations pages for details.

When and how will I receive information regarding Commencement?

Information regarding College Commencement is provided through MyUCLA Notices. Beginning in February, check MyUCLA on a regular basis.

Are parking permits required for Commencement events?

Parking permits are required to park at UCLA. More information can be found on the Ticket Ordering page.

College Commencement Ceremony

Is there a difference between the 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. College Commencement ceremony?

The two (2) ceremonies are identical in every way, so either ceremony may be requested during the Time Preference Submission period prior to the Ticket Ordering period in late April. Each College division (Humanities, International Institute, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences) will have a set number of student seats allocated for each ceremony time. A graduate may choose either ceremony time unless the venue capacity is full for that Division. Please visit Ticket Ordering for complete details on the ordering process.

Graduates with majors in the International Institute (see list  ) attend the 2:00 p.m. ceremony only.

Two important items to remember as you are making your plans

While your family may prefer one ceremony over the other, you are encouraged not make plans to that end until the tickets have been requested and secured during the Time Preference Submission and Ticket Ordering periods in the Spring Quarter.

Second… It is strongly recommended that you and your family do not schedule flights on the day of the ceremony. Accounting for ceremony length and Los Angeles traffic – especially near and on-campus, the travel time to the airport, even for night flights, cannot be guaranteed.

For the College Commencement Ceremony, which ceremony do International Institute majors attend?

Students with majors in the International Institute (see list ) attend the 2:00 p.m. ceremony only.

For the College Commencement Ceremony, how is the Keynote Speaker selected?

A committee, comprised of representatives from the College Faculty Executive Committee – including professors and students – reviews a list of notable alumni and provides the College with several recommendations. Speakers are then invited and scheduled according to their availability.

For the College Commencement Ceremony, how are the Student Speakers and Singers selected?

Graduating seniors in the College of Letters and Science submit an application, and then audition for a committee comprised of UCLA staff, faculty, and students. For additional information, visit Student Speakers & Singers.

Ticket Ordering Process

How do I obtain a letter of invitation for my family members who live overseas to attend College Commencement ceremonies?

Unfortunately, letters can no longer be obtained for family members. The U.S. Department of State does not consider invitation letters when determining whether to issue or deny a visa. 

Students who would like to write their own invitation letters can use the sample invitation letter provided by The Dashew Center.

To access the template:

  • Visit the Dashew Center website here
  • Under 'F-1 Students,' select 'Currently Enrolled'
  • Under 'Click below to get started,' select 'Additional Services' 
  • Finally, select the fourth option, 'Invitation Letter'

For College of Letters and Science ceremonies, how do I order tickets?

Visit Ticket Ordering for more information.

I requested wait list tickets. When will I know if I get them?

Wait list requests are not guaranteed. All requests are reviewed after the MyUCLA order period closes, and decisions are based on venue capacity. Wait list decisions will be sent via a MyUCLA notice before order distribution begins.

What do I do if I have a religious conflict on Friday evening or Saturday?

For religious conflicts on Friday, the procedure is being reviewed.  Once determined, it will be posted to the College Commencement home page.

For religious conflicts on Saturday, you can contact departments whose ceremonies are scheduled on Sunday. To view the UCLA Commencement Schedule, visit the UCLA Commencement   home page, and then click on the Schedule link.  You will need to coordinate your own arrangements with the alternate department.

Can their tickets be picked up by a designated individual?

No. Only the student who ordered the tickets (and parking permits) can pick up the order. However, the student can request that the order be mailed out. Visit Order Distribution for more information.

I ordered and/or picked up the wrong parking permit. How do I get the correct one?

Pick up and take the incorrect parking permit(s) to Parking Services in the Strathmore Building (southwest corner of Westwood Plaza and Strathmore Place). At the Cashier window, the incorrect permit(s) will be exchanged for the correct one(s).

• If a DP (disabled person) permit was purchased and a standard permit is needed, you will need to pay the difference.

• However, if a standard permit was purchased, and a DP was needed*, no refund will be issued.

*Note: A standard Commencement permit can be used in conjunction with a DP placard for the same parking privilege as a Commencement DP permit (with DP placard).

I ordered and picked up my tickets. How/when do I pay for them?

Payment for Commencement charges is processed through BruinBill. Visit Billing for more information.

I ordered too many tickets. How do I get a refund?

Once ordered, students are charged for guest tickets and parking permits whether or not they are picked up. (Once a wait list request has been approved and processed, it becomes a billable order.)
NO refunds are issued.

College Commencement Program

Under the listing for Degrees conferred, are minors included?

No. In the College Commencement Program, the degrees listed reflect only major degrees.

Department Ceremonies

When is my Academic Department ceremony scheduled? How long is it expected to last?

To view the UCLA Commencement Schedule, visit the UCLA Commencement   home page, and then click on the Schedule link.  On this page, once the link has been added, by clicking the department name, you will be taken to the department's Graduation page for event details.

Cap & Gown, Portraits, Announcements, Latin Honors Braid

How are Latin Honors determined?

Visit the UCLA Registrar Office Honors web page to view eligibility requirements and GPAs.

Where do I purchase the Latin Honors braid, or fourragère?

The honors braid, or fourragère, can be purchased at Graduation Etc. – Ackerman Union A-level.

What are announcements, and do I need to buy them?

Graduation announcements are exactly what the name implies. They announce a student's graduation from college. It is personal preference whether they are ordered or not. They can be ordered at Graduation Etc. – Ackerman Union A-level.

Helpful Hints for the Ceremony

Does a child need a ticket?

This question is answered on the UCLA Commencement FAQ page –
Do I need a ticket for a child or baby?

Are dogs allowed at Commencement?

This question is answered on the UCLA Commencement FAQ page –
Are dogs allowed at Commencement?

How should I dress for my ceremony?

Graduates should arrive in the event assembly area already attired in their cap and gown.
It is recommended that comfortable shoes are worn.

Are there provisions for guests with disabilities?

Yes. Visit Disability Access at UCLA for more information.

UCLA Registrar's Office - Student Records links

UCLA Registrar's Office – Student Records links

  • Personal Information - use MyUCLA to update personal information such as address or legal name, and to request a preferred first name
  • Student Rights and Privacy - FERPA grants students rights to inspect records and restrict the disclosure of information.
  • Academic Transcript - a comprehensive, chronological, certified record of student academic progress.
  • Verification Transcript - certifies registration, enrollment, and degrees.
  • Diplomas - details can be specified before the end of the degree-expected term. Diplomas become available about three months after degree award.

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