Overview

The information included in this page is intended to serve as an overview of the information students in the Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Program should consider as they prepare to graduate. Students are encouraged to contact the Public Affairs Undergraduate Student Services Office to review their degree progress and address any questions/concerns regarding their eligibility to graduate and participate in the commencement ceremonies 

You can access the UCLA Commencement website here.

You can download a pdf copy of the Public Affairs Guide to Graduation here.

Graduation and Commencement: What’s the difference?

While most students use the terms “graduation” and “commencement” interchangeably, the terms have very different definitions. “Graduating” refers to the act of completing all degree requirements. The quarter you complete all degree requirements is called degree candidacy term or degree expected term. “Commencement” refers to the ceremonies reserved for students who are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremonies during that academic year. For example, if you are completing all degree requirements in Summer 2021, you are graduating September 2021 and participating in the June 2021 commencement ceremonies. 

Commencement ceremonies are optional and attendance is not required in order to obtain your diploma. Because departments and student organizations host ceremonies for their respective student populations, a UCLA undergraduate student can participate in several ceremonies during commencement weekend.  

Graduation Checklist

Commencement Checklist

After Final Quarter Checklist

Graduation Checklist

Your degree candidacy term (or, degree expected term) refers to the quarter you plan to complete all degree requirements. You can view your degree candidacy term on your Degree Audit Report (DARS) in the top left section of the DARS header. If you have not declared your degree candidacy, you will see a blank entry in DARS. You may declare or correct your degree candidacy term on MyUCLA > Academics > “Declare Candidacy Term.” 

DEADLINE TO DECLARE 

In order to graduate you must declare your degree candidacy term on MyUCLA through Friday of week 2 of the quarter you are completing all degree requirements. After Friday of week 2, you must submit a Declaration of Degree Candidacy Form to the School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Student Services Office via MyUCLA Message CenterBe aware that late changes may jeopardize your access to commencement processes. 

 

FEES 

There are no fees for declaring your degree candidacy term prior to completing 160 units (refer to the “Minimum 180 Units” module on DARS). There is a $15 fee for declaring/changing your degree candidacy after you complete 160 units and no later than Friday of Week 2 of the quarter you are graduating. There is a $35 fee for declaring/changing your degree candidacy term after Friday of Week 2 of the quarter you are graduating.  

The fees for declaring your degree candidacy term have been waived for the 2020-2021 academic year.  

Beginning week 4 of your degree expected term, confirm the spelling of your name as it should appear on your diploma by submitting your diploma request on MyUCLA > Academics > Diploma Request. This feature allows you to edit your name and to add special accents and punctuation.  

Check and confirm your privacy restrictions on MyUCLA > Settings > Privacy Options.   

 Be advised that your name cannot be included in the Commencement bulletin if you choose “Selected” for the FERPA Restriction Status, or choose “Do Not Release” for the All Public Information Privacy Option. Having these restrictions may also restrict UCLA from providing degree confirmation to future employers and/or graduate programs. If you have a FERPA restriction and would like to change it, you must contact the UCLA Registrar’s Office 

 The deadline to update your privacy restrictions for the 2021 commencement ceremony is Monday, March 22, 2021.  Please note that this deadline is intended for commencement purposes only. You can update your privacy restrictions at any time.  

Public Affairs majors are encouraged to schedule regular appointments with a Public Affairs academic counselor to discuss your progress and outline a strategic degree plan that accounts for your degree requirements as well as your career and graduate/professional school plans. To schedule an appointment with a Public Affairs academic counselor, submit your appointment request via MyUCLA Message Center.

 Schedule an appointment with a Public Affairs academic counselor to ensure that you are on track to complete all degree requirements by your intended degree candidacy term. If you are pursuing a minor or double/triple major, meet with your major/minor department counselor to confirm that your completed and in progress coursework will satisfy your remaining major/minor requirements. 

Capstone Internship Timesheets 

Submit your internship timesheets at the end of each quarter. Contact the Capstone Advisor for details. Failure to submit your internship timesheets may jeopardize your eligibility to graduate.  

 

Luskin Leadership Development Series Certificate of Completion 

If you are pursuing the Luskin Leadership Development Certificate of Completion, your final day to complete the requirements is Monday, April 26, 2021 at 5pm. If you successfully satisfied all requirements, you will be notified by Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  

LATIN HONORS 

To be eligible to graduate with Latin Honors, students must complete at least 90 graded UC units (not P/NP) and meet the Latin Honors GPA benchmarks. Latin Honors GPA is listed in your DARS and on the Registrar’s Office website. The official Latin Honors designation on your diploma is based on your final grades at the time of degree completion.

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS 

Students who complete the Public Affairs Departmental Honors program will be recognized in the Commencement bulletin, diploma, and transcript.  

 

COLLEGE HONORS 

Public Affairs majors who complete the College Honors requirements are eligible to graduate with College Honors. If you are completing the College Honors requirements, you must submit the College Honors Candidacy Form to the School of Public Affairs by the following deadlines: 

  • Fall graduates: by Friday of Week 1 of fall quarter 
  • Winter graduates: by Friday of Week 1 of winter quarter 
  • Spring and Summer graduates: by Friday of Week 1 of spring quarter 

You can access and submit the College Honors Candidacy Form for Public Affairs majors here. Please allow 5-10 business days for processing. Upon receipt, a Public Affairs academic counselor will review your request and complete a degree check, after which, the Public Affairs Undergraduate Student Services Office will submit the form on your behalf to College Honors. DO NOT submit the form directly to College Honors as this will delay the review and processing of your form. 

 For 2020-2021 graduates, the deadline to submit the College Honors Candidacy Form is Monday, March 22, 2021.  

If you are an F-1 visa student and are interested in engaging in employment in the U.S. directly related to your field of study after you complete your degree, please contact the Dashew Center to discuss your eligibility to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). If you are eligible to apply for OPT, please schedule an appointment with a Luskin academic counselor to complete a degree check and have your OPT Degree Verification Form signed. 

Are you planning to graduate this year? Attend a Luskin Undergraduate Graduation Workshop to learn about graduation requirements and logistics, prepare for commencement, and access resources for graduating students. You will learn everything you need to know about receiving your degree, ordering your diploma, and what you should keep in mind as you complete your final quarter at UCLA.

The Spring 2021 Luskin Undergraduate Graduation Workshops will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 5:00-6:00pm (PDT) and Monday, May 3, 2021 at 2:00-3:00pm (PDT).  Register here to attend a workshop. Zoom meeting information will be emailed to students who register for the workshop.

If you’re unable to attend the workshop schedule an appointment with a Luskin undergraduate academic counselor.

Please note that the Spring 2021 workshop is open only to students who are graduating Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021.

Commencement Checklist

You are automatically eligible to participate in the 2021 Commencement ceremonies if you: 

  • Have graduated Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 
  • Have completed 148 units by the end of Winter 2021 and are declared to graduate Spring 2021 or Summer 2021. 

 Fall 2021 degree candidates are automatically included in the June 2022 commencement ceremonies. If you would like to participate in the June 2021 commencement ceremonies you must submit a Special Inclusion Petition.

 Students who do not meet the commencement eligibility criteria must submit a Special Inclusion Petition to participate in the 2021 Commencement ceremony.  

 Students who would like to participate in the June 2021 commencement ceremonies and who do not meet the commencement eligibility criteria for the June 2021 commencement ceremonies must submit the Special Inclusion Petition by Monday, March 22, 2021.  

The Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Program is hosting the 2021 commencement ceremony on Friday, June 11, 2021. Students who are completing a double/triple major may be able to participate in additional department and student celebrations. You can view more information at www.commencement.ucla.edu. 

Commencement ceremonies are optional and attendance is not required in order to obtain your diploma. Because departments and student organizations host ceremonies for their respective student populations, a UCLA undergraduate student can participate in several ceremonies during commencement weekend.  

Graduating students are invited to complete the Senior Survey to share their feedback about their experience at UCLA. Students who complete the survey are entered into different raffles. You can access the Senior Survey beginning January 15, 2021 on MyUCLA > Academics > “Commencement-Student” > click on the Senior Survey link 

The Luskin School of Public Affairs will email students commencement ceremony details and logistics by early May 2021. Please check back for more information on the submission guidelines and deadlines. 

Undergraduate students who participate in the in-person commencement ceremonies must wear a black cap/mortar board and black gown. You can order your cap and gown from the UCLA Store Graduation Etc. beginning March 2021. Cap and gown distribution begins in late May 2021.  

Students are eligible to wear honor cords (or, fourragereif they are graduating with Latin Honors or College Honors, and/or if they are recipients of the Chancellor’s Service Award. Purchase and distribution of honor cords begins Tuesday, June 1, 2021. You are eligible to receive a refund if you return your honor cords to UCLA Store Graduation Etc. no later than June 18, 2021. Please contact UCLA Store Graduation Etc. for details.  

Due to current LACDPH guidelines, in-person senior portrait studio visits are currently not available. UCLA Bruin Life will contact students with information on how to submit content for the yearbook. Please contact UCLA Store Graduation Etc. for details

The Chancellor’s Service Award is a selective award honoring graduating students who have made significant contributions to UCLA and/or the surrounding Los Angeles community through a sustained record of outstanding leadership and service. Applications become available in Spring 2021. 


After Final Quarter Checklist

Review your final grades and contact your instructors if you have questions about your final grades.  

Make sure that your minors, specializations, revisions in enrollment, grade changes, removal of incompletes, and any transactions are posted accurately. Approximately 5-6 weeks after your degree expected term your degree is awarded and posted to your transcript. At that point your UCLA record is sealed and no further changes are possible 

If you need earlier evidence of your degree after finals grades are posted but before the degree is posted to your transcript, you can submit to the UCLA Registrar’s Office an Early Certificate of Completion request. There is no fee for an early certificate of completion.  

You can order an official academic transcript via MyUCLA > Classes > “Transcript-Official.” Your transcript will list your official degree about 6-8 weeks after your final term and after your degree is posted to your record. There is no fee for ordering transcripts. For more information about ordering transcripts visit the UCLA Registrar’s Office website 

Diplomas become available approximately 3 months after your degree is awarded. After the third week of your degree-expected term you can access the MyUCLA Diploma Request (MyUCLA > Academics > Diploma Request) to provide diploma release instructions and select a delivery method. Diploma mailing is free. Diplomas not mailed will be held for in-person pick-up at the UCLA Registrar’s Office at 1113 Murphy Hall.  

Diplomas are dated the last day of the term you complete all degree requirements. Degrees for summer candidates are always awarded in September; the Registrar’s Office does not award summer degrees at the end of each summer session.   

For more information about diplomas, visit the UCLA Registrar’s Office website.  

 

Important Notes:  

  • The “PA Student Services” hold does not prevent you from obtaining your diploma 
  • You will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office when your diploma is ready.  
  • Update your contact information on MyUCLA to ensure that you receive all email communication from the UCLA Registrar’s Office. You can update your contact information on MyUCLA > Settings > “Official Email/Address/Phone.” 

All UCLA graduates will continue to have access to their MyUCLA account. If you would like to continue receiving emails sent to your @ucla.edu account, you can either switch to a Google Apps hosted email or activate the lifetime email forwarding mechanism on your account. No action is required if you already have Google Apps. Direct any questions to the UCLA IT Support Center.

The Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Program encourages you to take advantage of the UCLA resources available to you.  

After you graduate, you will have access to all Career Center services for three months, and you will have access to Handshake for a full year after you graduate.  

UCLA graduates are automatically part of the UCLA Alumni AssociationVisit their website to learn more about the professional and networking opportunities offered by the UCLA Alumni Association. All UCLA students and graduates also have access to UCLA ONE