Frequently Asked Questions

How long is commencement? 

  • Ceremonies will be 60-120 minutes. 

What time should I arrive at my graduation?

Will there be commencement practice?

  • There are no commencement practices as we are unable to organize and accommodate all our students in a practice session. However, we are confident that the graduation ceremony will be a memorable and successful event for everyone.

What should I wear for my graduation?

  • Graduates should opt for business casual attire under their gowns for a polished look.

Can we bring food or drinks? 

  • No alcohol, coolers or glass bottles are allowed. 
  • Limited food options are sold at the ceremonies for guests. 
  • For those that have children or family members with medical issues, please bring provisions (if necessary). 

Are strollers allowed at the ceremony? 

  • Yes. Please be aware the surfaces may not be flat and there are some stairs.

How many tickets do we receive?

  • Each graduate will receive 6-12 tickets. Please see our Tickets Page for more information. 

What about a Dual Degree or Second Major?

  • Students earning dual degrees (e.g. students earning one BA and one BS) have been invited to both ceremonies. They have the option of walking in both or to choose one when registering. Those students will be listed in the commencement program under both ceremonies regardless if they are participating or not in either/both ceremonies. They will be allocated tickets for both ceremonies, but the tickets must be used for the ceremonies given, and not combined into one block of tickets for one ceremony.
  • Those students who have a second major (e.g. students earning two BA degrees or two BS degrees) are only invited to the commencement for their primary major and may walk only during that ceremony. Students with a second major will be listed in the commencement program under their primary major only and NOT for their second major. These students will be allocated tickets for their primary major only.

How should I invite my parents for a visa application?

  • Provide them with an invitation letter and details of the graduation to support their visa application. Additional details can be found in this invitation letter guide and sample.

Where can I get regalia (cap, gowns, special stoles)?

  • After Gradfest, the campus bookstore is the best place to order for shipment or to pick up your regalia in person - while supplies last. If you have questions regarding these items, please reach out to the bookstore directly by calling 510-885-3507 or emailing or

Do I need a parking permit? 

Are there special accommodations? 

  • Graduates and guests with mobility, hearing, or other disabilities that require special accommodations should submit the Commencement Accommodations for Students and Guests with Disabilities form or contact Accessibility Services at 510-885-3868, or by email at to make an accommodation request. Learn more.

Are noisemakers allowed?

  • As we value the comfort and safety of our guests, we kindly request that bullhorn noisemakers and similar items, not be used on our premises.

Are streamers and confetti allowed?

  • In order to promote a sustainable commencement celebration, we kindly request that metallic confetti and mylar streamers not be used on our premises. Instead, please opt for these biodegradable items: confetti, ecofetti and streamers.
  • Confetti and streamers are NOT allowed on the stage.

What am I not allowed to bring? 

  • Prohibited items include: alcohol, smoking/vaping, pets, coolers, glass bottles, BALLOONS, weapons.