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 Program 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.” 


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 Program Office via MyUCLA Message CenterBe aware that late changes may jeopardize your access to commencement processes. 



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.  


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.


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



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 Program 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.  


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.  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.


The Luskin School of Public Affairs is working to create three opportunities to celebrate your academic accomplishments, two through the Luskin School of Public Affairs and one organized by the University:

Please click on the tabs below to learn more about each of the three events.

Important Dates for the Luskin Commencement and Name Recognition Events

  • May 7, 2021: Portal to submit all graduating student content (StageClip) opens
  • May 17-28, 2021: Registration links for in-person events are sent to graduates
  • May 31, 2021: Submission deadline of video, photo, and slide information to StageClip.
  • June 1, 2021: Graduation gift website is accessible to students
  • June 10, 2021 at 6pm: UCLA Luskin School Cohort Recognition and Stage Crossing
  • June 11, 2021 at 2pm: UCLA Luskin Virtual Commencement Celebration
  • June 16, 2021: Clips no longer accessible on site; snapchat lens and Instagram filter deactivated
  • June 18, 2021: Deadline for regalia rentals to be returned to the UCLA Store
  • August 1, 2021: Graduation gift website closes
  • June 11, 2022: Last day to access, view, and post to KudoBoard.

The UCLA Luskin School Cohort Recognition and Stage Crossing event is an in-person event that will include a short message from the Dean and the opportunity for graduates to have their names announced as they cross a stage. This is not a degree conferral.  Photos will be taken by GradImages and will be available for purchase.  Graduates may bring up to TWO guests on campus, but they will not be able to enter the Cohort Recognition venue.  Guests will be directed to an alternate location on campus where the event will be livestreamed; all friends and family will also be able to watch this same livestream from home.

  • Date: Thursday, June 10, 2021
  • Time: 6:00pm (PST)
  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours
  • Location: Los Angeles Tennis Center (LATC) located at UCLA | 555 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095 | livestream the event here.


You are required to register in advance for the event.  No walk-ins will be permitted on-site.  A registration link will be sent from the University either the week of May 17th or May 24th.


Accommodations will be made for students with disabilities to participate in the celebration experience. There will be accessible routes to both venues, and as part of the student registration process (including registering with the UCLA Center for Accessible Education), accommodations will be made if an attendant or support animal is needed. If an attendant is needed, the attendant must adhere to the same requirements of testing or vaccination and wearing a face covering. Please notify Luskin Undergraduate Program Office and events@luskin.ucla.edu if accommodations are needed.

The Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Program is hosting the 2021 Virtual Commencement ceremony on Friday, June 11, 2021. These festivities will be available on-demand the following day, June 12, 2021 and you can relive or share the event with others through May 2022.

  • Date: Friday, June 11, 2021
  • Time: 2:00pm (PST)
  • Duration: Approximately 1 hour
  • Location: You, your friends, and your family can participate by accessing the ceremony at this link.


The ceremony will be closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


The Commencement keynote speaker for the Luskin School of Public Affairs is PATRISSE CULLORS, author, educator, artist, abolitionist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Learn more about the commencement speaker here.


All attendees are required to register to access the ceremony on June 11, 2021 or at a later time to view the on-demand video. Attendees do not need to register in advance, but for security purposes, they need to provide their name and email upon entry to the site. If you register in advance, you will be emailed credentials and calendar reminders. To access the virtual Commencement ceremony, register here.


Each graduate will be recognized with a personalized slide and video during the virtual ceremony. You will receive an email from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs or the vendor StageClip requesting that you upload the following information: Name, Degree, Photo, and Your text. You will also be given the opportunity to create a video to thank family and friends for support. The maximum length is 12 seconds, so be sure to practice before recording it. A Snapchat lens will be available to you if you want to “wear” regalia.


Friends, family and Luskin alumni are invited to post congratulatory messages to graduates on the Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Kudoboard page. Note that the board is moderated, and inappropriate content will not be permitted. We highly encourage graduates to share this link with their loved ones.


While specific details are still being finalized, the UCLA Individual Name Recognition and Stage Crossing event will allow each graduate to have their names read aloud, proceed across a stage, and have their photographs taken. There is no program. No more than 2 guests are permitted, but a link to view your stage crossing will be provided for you to share with friends and family.

  • Date: June 10-15, 2021
  • Time: Self-selected through sign-up process
  • Duration: Approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Location: Drake Stadium at UCLA | 340 Charles E Young Dr N Los Angeles, CA 90095

Recognitions will take place over the course of several days beginning June 10 through June 15, 2021. Additional dates may be added to accommodate more of our graduates.


Registration is required to participate. You will be sent an email from the University the week of May 17, 2021 or the week of May 24, 2021. Registration is a two-step process – first you must activate your account and then you may register for your ticket. Sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis with about 110 slots per half hour. Your “ticket” will be sent to you 24-72 hours before your scheduled slot.

As this is a self time-select registration process, this is an opportunity to coordinate marching with friends who are not with the Luskin program.

Participation in the Luskin School of Public Affairs Name Crossing event does not preclude you from participation in this event.  We encourage you to participate in both if logistically possible.  Please note that if you schedule the individual name crossing near the same time as the Luskin School of Public Affairs Name Recognition event, your guests will still NOT be permitted in the Luskin School of Public Affairs event.  They can only be at the event at Drake Stadium; or view the livestream from the alternate campus location described earlier.

A maximum of 2 guests will be allowed to walk with the graduate around the Drake track to the stage.  They must stay together; there is no guest seating.  Requests for disability accommodation can be made at the time of registration.  The guests can wait by the stage while the grad walks across, then have a photo moment. The guests are not separately registered or ticketed; they must show up with the graduate to participate.  They will not come in a different entrance.  There will be no opportunities/possibilities for a graduate to have more than 2 guests inside the venue.

Guests will also need to verify recent COVID negative test or vaccination. Please plan to arrive 20 minutes to an hour before your slotted time for verification of vaccination or negative COVID test.

For updates on the event and process visit https://www.commencement.ucla.edu/2021-faqs

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 is working to create three opportunities to celebrate your academic accomplishments, two through the Luskin School of Public Affairs and one organized by the University:

You must register to participate in the 2021 UCLA Luskin School Cohort Recognition and Stage Crossing, UCLA Luskin Virtual Commencement Celebration, and Individual Name Recognition and Stage Crossing events. Please read the information in the “Commencement Ceremonies” for details.

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