For Guests

Tickets and Attendance

Q: Do we need tickets?
A: All guests are required to have a ticket for entrance into Royce Hall. All seating is general admission and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: What will the weather be like?
A: June in Los Angeles is usually quite warm, with daytime highs in the upper 70s to mid-80s. Mornings can be chilly with the typical Southern California “late night and early morning low clouds”. The campus at UCLA is fairly large and we recommend wearing comfortable shoes. You should dress in layers or wear a light jacket or wrap that can be easily removed as the temperature rises. Please visit www.atmos.ucla.edu for current weather conditions.

Q: What should I wear?
A: There’s no dress code for this event though we suggest that guests dress for comfort and for weather changes.

Q: Are there any security concerns?
A: Although UCLA does not anticipate any security problems during Commencement, we are constantly monitoring the events to protect the safety and security of our guests. Please observe the following restrictions for our Commencement Activities.

  • No large bags, back packs, large purses or items larger than 12 x 12
  • No firearms, knives, explosives or other weapons
  • No cans, coolers and other containers except in cases of medical need, as certified by a physician
  • No artificial noise makers, air horns or megaphones may be used
  • No large signs, flags, poles, banners, or laser pointers
  • No promotional items with commercial slogans or identification
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the individual commencement venues
  •  Inspections of small receptacles (bags) might be required as you enter event venues

These policies are subject to change without notice

Parking and Accessibility

Q: Will there be lots of traffic to/from campus?

A: You can count on it so we ask that you allot extra time to travel to UCLA. Undergrads will be moving out of the dorms AND there will be other graduation ceremonies and celebrations occurring so many guests will be arriving throughout the day – and most won’t be familiar with campus.

Q: Can I drop-off my passengers before parking?
A: Yes, provided space is available. Drop-off spots may be even more accessible and much closer to many of the venues. Vehicles cannot park at drop-off spots longer than required to load or unload passengers. The Royce Quad drop off spot is off Dickson Plaza on Portola Drive by the flagpole. Out of consideration to others we ask that drivers not use this area as a parking space. Once your passengers are safely unloaded please move onto your parking destination.

All Commencement venues are ADA-Compliant and wheelchair seating is available at all Commencement venues.

Q: Where is the closest parking lot?
A: We recommend parking in Lots 2 and 3, the closest lots to the ceremony. Parking permits may be purchased on a first-come, first-serve basis.  All parking lots and structures on the UCLA campus will be open and staffed throughout Commencement Weekend. Parking is $12 per vehicle. Oversized vehicle parking is available at Lot 36 at the corner of Wilshire and Veteran Boulevards. Pre-paid parking permits may also be purchased in advance either from the UCLA Central Ticket Office (CTO) or from UCLA Parking Services.

Don’t forget to take note of the parking lot and level that you parked on. UCLA has many parking lots and structures and all structures are multi-level complexes. We suggest that you write down the lot and level number of where you parked. Or better still, take a photo from your smartphone of the area. This will help you find your way back to your car.

Q: Are there provision for guests with disabilities?
A: Yes, All Commencement venues are ADA-Compliant and wheelchair seating is available at all Commencement venues.  Wheelchair-bound guests may sit at the end of rows. There will be house staff on-site who can assist at the ends of rows to facilitate accessibility.

Signers will also be available to interpret the ceremony for those who are hearing impaired. They will be stationed on the “audience right” (as you face the stage). Audience members who would like an interpreter should be directed to sit towards the front of the right-hand side of the audience (as you face the stage).

Q: Can I rent a wheelchair?
A: While Royce Hall is reasonably close to Parking Structure 2 and 3, it may be a bit too far for those with mobility issues so guests may want to consider using a wheelchair. UCLA does not provide wheelchair loan-outs but these two companies may be able to assist you:

  • Horton & Converse, about a mile from campus, has wheelchairs available for rent: 11600 Wilshire Blvd. (at Federal Ave.), 310 478-0801, www.hortonandconverse.com
  • Pico Medical Rentals, a little bit further away, also has wheelchairs available for rent: 6035 W. Pico Blvd (near S. Crescent Heights), 323 936-4104, www.picomedical.com.

Ceremony

Q: When do I need to be Royce Hall?
A: We ask that guests be seated no later than 8:30 a.m. The processional of our graduates will start shortly thereafter with the ceremony itself beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding by 11:00 a.m.  If you arrive during the processional, you will not be permitted to sit until after the processional is completed.

Q: Is there reserved seating?
A: Aside from a roped-off section for our VIP guests, grads and dignitaries, all seating is general admission and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: Can I bring balloons?
A: While balloons are allowed at outdoor venues, they are not permitted in Royce Hall.  We understand that balloons are festive and celebratory; perhaps they are better presented at dinner or at home.

Q: Can I bring my pet with me? She’s really cute!
A: Sorry but pets are not allowed at the ceremony. They can however watch it live from the comfort of their bed from our live broadcast here.

Q: Will there be anything to drink? Can I bring alcohol?
A:  Food and drink is not permitted in Royce Hall.  There will be water dispensers and cups available throughout the campus for no charge that may be enjoyed before or after the ceremony.   Bottled water (as well as soft drinks and snacks) may be purchased at one of the UCLA Store locations throughout the campus.

There will be a reception immediately following the ceremony for all attendees just outside of Royce Hall at Royce Quad.  We will provide non-alcoholic beverages and a few nibbles for you to enjoy.

And while we understand that the consumption of alcohol may help liven up the celebratory tone of the day; it is not allowed at our ceremony and is best left at home.

Q:  Are there restrooms in Royce Hall?
A: Yes. There will be restrooms located in the building right after you walk out of the auditorium on the first floor.

Q: Can I bring a stroller?
A: Why yes. Out of consideration for others however, we ask that strollers not be left in aisles or walkways.

Q: Can I have more programs?
A: Each family will be provided with one program from the house staff when they arrive. You’ll be welcome to take any extras after the ceremony ends.

Reception

Q: What will you be serving at the reception afterwards?
A: Guests will be able to toast to their grad’s success with non-alcoholic beverages and nibble on an assortment of crackers, cheeses, veggies and other appetizers.

Q: How long does the reception last?
A: There is no formal structure to the reception and guests may leave when they wish though many start making their way to their cars around 11:30 – 11:45 a.m. to continue the celebrations elsewhere.

Photos and Video

Q: Can I photograph and videotape the event?
A: Why of course! All we ask though, for fire and life safety reasons, is that you not bring tripods.

Professional photographers from GradImages, Inc. Photography, will be on hand to photograph each graduate at the ceremony. They will email each graduate within a few days with links to their website where pictures will be available for purchase.

We think you’ll be impressed with the quality of these professional photographs so there’s no need to squeeze past the student seating area to take that one special photo. We insist.

Q: Can I get a copy of the ceremony?
A: Sorry, but copies of the ceremony are not available for purchase nor download. It will be available for viewing up to one year afterwards on our website. There is also a vimeo link on that web page to share the video with others.

For Students

Cap and Gown

Q: Where do I get my cap and gown?
A: Commencement ceremony regalia (caps, gowns, hoods and tassels) are available through Graduation Etc. They will take orders through graduation day; however, it is best to have student orders placed by mid-May. Students can order their regalia through the Graduation, Etc. website or by visiting Graduation, Etc. at Ackerman Union, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

It is important that you order the correct regalia for your degree and department — there are separate models for master’s and Ph.D. candidates, and each department (Public Policy, Social Welfare, Urban Planning) is different as well.

Regalia must be returned to Graduation, Etc. after the ceremony. There will be stations for returning caps and gowns at Royce Hall, and if you choose to keep your regalia a little longer (for family photo sessions, etc.) you must return them to Graduation, Etc., in Ackerman Union. The deadline for returning caps and gowns is 5:00 p.m. June 12th, or a $50 late fee will be assessed.

For other questions, you may contact the UCLA Store at (310) 825-2587 or 206-2884.

Q:  What should I wear underneath my gown?
A:  There’s no dress code for commencement (other than your cap, gown and hood). After the ceremony concludes you should turn your gown and hood back to Grad Etc., so make sure you’re wearing something appropriate underneath for the reception afterwards.

Q:  What side does my tassel on?
A:  Your degree tassel is always worn on your left side. When in doubt, remember that you wear your degree over your heart.

Q:  Where do I return my gown and hood after the ceremony?
A:  Regalia must be returned to Graduation, Etc. after the ceremony. There will be stations for returning caps and gowns at Royce Hall, and if you choose to keep your regalia a little longer (for family photo sessions, etc.) you must return them to Graduation, Etc., in Ackerman Union. The deadline for returning caps and gowns is 5:00 p.m. June 12th, or a $50 late fee will be assessed.

Tickets

Q:  Do my guests need a ticket for the ceremony?

A:  All guests are required to have a ticket for entrance into Royce Hall. Departmental graduate advisors will distribute guest tickets to students.

Photos and Video

Q: Where can I get graduation photos or video of the ceremony?
A: Individual photos will be available through GradImages, which will take each graduate’s picture as they cross the stage. To receive proofs of your photos, you must fill out the address information that will be on the back of your name card on the day of the event. Filling out a card and receiving proofs does not obligate you to purchase photographs.

Group class photos will be taken prior to the ceremony. Please arrive early and be prepared in order to facilitate this in a timely manner.

Photo coverage of the day of the event will be available on this site.

A video of the entire ceremony will be available through live video simulcast.

Q:  Do I need to wear my cap and gown for the class photo?
A:  Absolutely. You will be lining up for the processional immediately following the photo and there will not be any time to prep in between.   And speaking of photo op: Please note that you will be facing into the sunlight for your class photo so try to adjust your eyes by removing your sunglasses before the photo is taken.

Q:  Why can’t I find my graduation photos from GradImages?
A:  GradImages will email you based on the information provided on your reader card so make sure you print clearly. Log into the GradImages website and type in your last name where asked followed by UCLA and 2016 in the lower sections and you should see your photos.

Q:  Can I get a copy of the ceremony?
A:  Sorry, but copies of the ceremony are not available for purchase nor download. The broadcast will be available for viewing up to one year afterwards on our website. We also plan to have a vimeo link on our web page to share the video with others.

Parking and Transportation

Q: Where can graduates and guests find parking on the day of the ceremony?
A: Parking will be in Parking Structures 2 and 3. Commencement parking is $12 per day. UCLA Parking Services will staff lots according to ceremony times and locations. Pre-paid Commencement Parking Permits are available for purchase ($12 per permit) in the Parking & Commuter Services Lobby (in the Strathmore building adjacent to Parking Structure 8) or through the UCLA Central Ticket Office (adjacent to James West Alumni Center and Pauley Pavilion).

If you wish to take transit and avoid traffic headaches on Commencement Day, LA Metro hasinformation about local bus lines. More information is available at UCLA Transportation & Parking.

Q:  Will there be a lot of traffic that day?
A:  You can count on it!   Please allot extra time to travel to campus. Undergrads will be moving out of the dorms AND there will be other graduation ceremonies and celebrations taking place so many guests will be arriving throughout the day – and most won’t be familiar with campus.

Q:  Can I use my parking permit that day?
A:  Yes, as long as you have paid for the month of June you’ll be fine.

Processional, Ceremony and Reception

Q:  I won’t be finished with my studies until Fall; can I still participate?
A:  Students may attend commencement in the audience, but they cannot walk with that graduating class if they have not completed the required coursework prior to graduation.  Only those who have completed their required classes and units may participate in commencement.  Those who finish in the summer or fall are invited to walk with the graduating class of the following year (the academic year that corresponds with their quarter of completion).

Q:  When do I need to be at Royce Hall?
A:  Graduates need to be at Royce Hall in their full regalia no later than 8:15am. Please don’t arrive to Royce with your regalia still wrapped in the Grad Etc. package. Take a steam iron to it at home then carefully get dressed in it when you exit your vehicle at campus.  We will be taking class photos in the morning so please arrive ready to take this photo and line up for the processional.

Q:  Where will we line up for the ceremony?
A:  At 8:30am, the SAO of your home department will line you up for the class photo and processional in the side hall and/or patio of Royce.   Each department will be in its own line, except for Social Welfare, which will be split between the two lines. Look at the signs.  Don’t get in the wrong line!

Q:  Do we walk in alphabetical order?  By height?  Can I stand with my friends?
A:  We want you to enjoy your day so get in line with the classmates you want to sit with. Just make sure you’re in the same line as the rest of your class!

Q:  People say my name is hard to pronounce.  What should I do?
A:  If you are concerned about the pronunciation of your name, please be sure to print your name phonetically and legibly in the appropriate section of the reader section that was provided to you by your department. 

Q:  Can I walk across the stage with my child?  My parents?  My pet?
A:  We understand what an integral role family members, friends, and perhaps even pets may have played in your journey to this day, but they are not allowed to cross the stage with you.  For everyone’s safety, please accept your diploma and cross the stage solo and honor their role in getting your degreeafter the ceremony.

Q:  Is there any way that friends or family that cannot attend the ceremony may watch?
A: There will be a live broadcast here.    This ceremony will also be available online for viewing for about a year following your graduation date.

Q: What if someone in my family needs wheelchair seating or sign-language interpretation?
A:  If graduates have questions or need assistance for family members and guests, please contact theOffice for Students with Disabilities, A-255 Murphy Hall, at (310) 825-1501. They have limited wheelchairs available for loan (reservations required) and volunteer wheelchair pushers. Pico Rents is offered as an alternative source of wheelchairs for rent. Students who need special assistance may give that information to their graduate advisors and we will make needed accommodations. Signers will also be available to interpret the ceremony for those who are hearing impaired. They will be stationed on the “audience right” (as you face the stage). Audience members who would like an interpreter should be directed to sit toward the front on the right-hand side of the audience (as you face the stage).

Q:  What time will the ceremony end?
A:  The ceremony should end around 11:00am.  Afterwards everyone is welcome to a reception at Royce Quad to celebrate your success.

Q:  What will be served at the reception following the ceremony?
A:  Guests can toast to your success with non-alcoholic beverages and nibble on an assortment of crackers, cheeses, veggies and other appetizers.

Q:  How long does the reception last?
A:  There is no formal program for the reception and guests may leave when they wish though they are encouraged to start making their way to their cars around 11:30 – 11:45am to continue the celebrations elsewhere.

Q:  When do I get my diploma?
A: 
The Registrar’s office will mail out diploma information approximately six weeks at the end of your degree term (winter graduates will receive their information in June; spring graduates will receive their information in August). Diplomas can be picked up in person at the Registrar’s office approximately three months after you graduate (winter graduates can pick up their diploma in June; spring graduates can pick up their diploma in September/October). If you would like your diploma mailed to you, go to http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/forms/diplomamailreq.pdf, download and print out the form. Fill in the required information and send it to the address on the form along with your choice of payment options.

Additional Questions

Q: Where can I get more information about my questions?
A: There are many ways!

Contact your graduate advisor:

Visit the University website at commencement.ucla.edu

Contact Tammy Borrero, UCLA Luskin Events Manager, tborrero@luskin.ucla.edu