Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible to participate?
  • For eligibility requirements, go to the Register Online - Students page.
  • I am a degree candidate. How do I register?
  • Visit our Register Online - Students page to register.
  • How do I select my faculty presenter?
  • Upon registering for commencement, doctoral students may request one or two professors to present. Register online here.
  • What time is commencement and where will it be located?
  • The Graduate Studies commencement will take place ***DATE*** in the ARC Pavilion on ***DATE HERE***. An outdoor reception serving light refreshments immediately follows.
  • What time should degree candidates arrive for the commencement ceremony?
  • Students are asked to arrive one hour before the ceremony begins and go directly to the line-up area.
  • Do my guests need tickets to attend my commencement?
  • Admission tickets will NOT be required to attend the UC Davis Graduate Studies commencement ceremony. However, to allow admittance of every student's guests, you should be considerate and limit your guests to your immediate family members.
  • International Students: How do I request a visa support letter?
  • Note: A student's eligibility to participate in commencement will be checked prior to creating a support letter, so students need to register at Commencement Central before a letter can be generated. See "Eligibility Requirements" above.

    International Students wishing to request a visa support letter from Graduate Studies in order to have relatives living outside the U.S. attend the commencement, need to e-mail their request to Commencement Central and include the following information:
    1. Degree candidate's name
    2. ​​Degree candidate's gender (for referencing in letter)
    3. ​​Degree candidate's program of study
    4. ​​Degree candidate's degree upon completion
    5. ​​Name(s) of guest(s) and relation to degree candidate (i.e., Mother: Cheng Liu)

    If you are eligible to participate in commencement, you will be notified when the letter is ready for pick-up at Graduate Studies. If you would rather have the letter mailed to a U.S. address, please state this in your e-mail and include your mailing address. We do not mail letters outside the U.S.
  • Is there a dress code for commencement ceremonies?
  • While there is no formal dress code, commencement is an important event, and many people choose to dress up for the occasion. The only required academic attire is the cap and gown, which can be rented through UC Davis Stores. However, women should choose appropriate shoes for walking up and down the narrow stage stairs (high heels are not recommended).
  • What will my cap and gown look like?
  • The color of your hood and tassel is determined by your school and degree. The commencement tassel will be provided with your cap and gown rental. Visit the UC Davis Stores website for more information.

    You should also visit our Cap and Gown pages.
  • Where do I get my cap and gown?
  • Regalia, caps, gowns, announcements, diploma frames, and graduation gifts can all be purchased online through the UC Davis Stores. Please visit UC Davis Stores for price lists, ordering, and information. Announcements are shipped within two days of ordering. Make sure to order wallet-sized portraits to include in your announcements! Order and pick up early to avoid any delays or long lines.

    UC Davis Stores
    Memorial Union
    UC Davis Campus
    (530) 752-6846
  • Will someone be taking my picture?
  • Yes. Classic Photography will be taking individual photographs of each candidate after they walk off the stage. To receive your free digital proof via e-mail within 5-7 days following commencement, please register with Classic Photography.

    Family members and friends should take photographs of candidates either before or after commencement. Guests are not permitted to take photographs standing on the arena floor. There are designated photography sections in the stands.
  • Are there provisions for graduating students with disabilities?
  • Yes. Special arrangements can be made for students with disabilities. If you require any special accommodations, please register online as early as possible. For example, if a sign language interpreter is required or if you need assistance crossing the stage, we will need to be notified at least two months prior to the ceremony so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Your special accommodation requests MUST be entered in the "Special Needs" section when you register online. We are able to offer special accommodations to students only.

    You should also visit the Disability Resources page for more information on available accommodations.
  • Can a wheelchair be provided?
  • Families interested in renting wheelchairs are encouraged to contact a local provider, which you can find on the Disability Resources page.
  • Where am I allowed to park on campus?
  • Parking will be free in the lots surrounding the ARC. This includes the West Entry Parking Structure on the corner of La Rue and Hutchison, the VP 25 Parking Lot adjacent to the ARC, and the VP 35 Lot on the corner of La Rue and Orchard, across the street from the ARC. Be sure to come early; parking will fill up fast.

    Visit our Family & Friends page for more information.
  • Will there be food or drink vendors at the commencement ceremony?
  • No. Other than bottled water, no food or drink is permitted inside the Pavilion.

    However, immediately following commencement, a reception serving light refreshments will be held on the south lawn outside the Pavilion for degree recipients, their friends and families, and friends of Graduate Studies. This will be a great opportunity to celebrate with professors and family.

    Also, Davis offers many great restaurants where you can enjoy a pre-commencement breakfast, lunch, or a post-commencement dinner. For some restaurant venues and dining options, visit our Family & Friends page.
  • What will security be like?
  • Visit our Security page for measures taken to ensure the safety of our students, guests, faculty, and staff.
  • Will the UC Davis stores be open during commencement?
  • UC Davis Stores will likely be open during commencement weekend.

    For other shopping venues, visit our Family & Friends page.
  • Will the campus restaurants be open during commencement?
  • Visit the Gunrock Pub website to see if they will be open. For other restaurant venues, visit our Family & Friends page.
  • What hotels are in the area?
  • Visit our Family & Friends page for a sample listing of overnight options on campus and in Davis and surrounding areas.
  • What kind of area entertainment is available?
  • Visit our Family & Friends page for a sample listing of area events and venues for entertainment.
  • What will the weather be like during commencement?
  • June can be quite warm, with temperatures in the 80s and above. Warm-weather attire can be worn throughout the day, though it may get chilly as evening approaches, so you might consider bringing along a light jacket or sweater.
  • Will the ceremony be webcast?
  • Yes, the Graduate Studies commencement will be shown live via a webcast beginning at ***TIME/DATE***. For friends and family members unable to attend the ceremony, this is a wonderful feature that allows them to experience the event. The webcast will also stay online for several months following the ceremony.
  • Who can help me with registration technical issues?
  • If you are having problems accessing or using the registration database on the Commencement website, please contact technical assistance.
  • Where can I go to get more information?
  • Review the Commencement Central Web pages thoroughly. The pages are full of detailed information specifically designed to address and answer a multitude of questions and scenarios. These Web pages are the most efficient (and quickest!) way to find out about all things commencement.

    If you are a graduate student and need clarification on your degree status, please contact the graduate program coordinator in your department.

    If you don't find the commencement information you seek after reviewing the pages and require event-specific information, please e-mail Commencement Central.

    The terms and conditions as stated on this website are subject to change at any time, with or without notice.
  • Helpful hints
    • Immediately following commencement, a reception serving light refreshments will be held on the south lawn outside the Pavilion for degree recipients, their friends and families, and friends of Graduate Studies. (In the event of rain, an alternate location will be announced following the ceremony.) You may want to designate a different location to meet your loved ones and guests, rather than searching amongst hundreds of people on Hutchison Field. Some good meeting points include inside the ARC main entrance, the Segundo Dining Commons, or at the corner of La Rue and Hutchison.
    • Make reservations early - Make sure to confirm all lodging arrangments as far in advance as possible, especially if you prefer to lodge in Davis. During commencement weekend, local hotels may fill up fast. The same goes for some of the more upscale restaurants: save yourself the wait and make a reservation in advance.
    • If possible, resist driving downtown. During commencement weekend, streets will be congested with pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles. Save yourself the hassle of finding parking and waiting in traffic by walking downtown. It is very convenient.
    • If you get lost, there are maps located around the Davis campus and throughout downtown Davis, though you should carry your own if you are unfamiliar with the area. Each campus building has a sign that denotes the name of the building. Remember which building(s) you parked near. If you are still having trouble finding your way, ask any staff or student for directions.
    • Bring sun block if you think you'll spend time outdoors, especially for children. June weather in Davis is traditionally very warm and can cause sun damage if you are not protected.