Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure that I am able to participate in the ERC Commencement Ceremony?

1) You should be frequently checking your Degree Audit to ensure that you are meeting both the ERC requirements as well as your Major's requirements.  

2) You will need to register online at before May 23rd in order to participate in either or both the All Campus Commencement Ceremony and the ERC College Commencement Ceremony. 

3) Order your cap, gown, announcements, diploma frame, and more from the UC San Diego Bookstore. You can also visit Grad Fair at the bookstore on May 15–17 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for your commencement-related items.

4) You must fill out the Degree and Diploma Application at  All students who wish have their name printed in the Commencement Program MUST submit their DDA by no later than May 1st.

If you are still unsure of whether you have met the requirements to graduate or have more specific questions please contact your Major Department Advisors as well as ERC Advisors to ensure that you are on track.  Your ERC Advisors can be reached through the VAC (Virtual Advising Center) or during Advising's Help Desk Hours.

How do I make sure my name is printed in the Commencement Program?

To ensure that your name is included in the commencement program you must file your DDA before May 1st.  

After you log into the DDA Website at you will have to select from 2 buttons at the bottom of the page in order to proceed.  If you are not going to be completing your final courses until after Spring Quarter (if you are taking summer courses) you will want to select the option that says "Add name to Commencement Booklet (but not ready to apply for Degree).

DDA Button Selection Example

Please remember that you must file your DDA in the quarter you are completing your coursework or you will not receive your diploma and you will not actually "graduate" from the University.

Remember that having your name in the Commencement Program is completely your decision.  The Commencement Program is not an official document of the University and is only given to the students participating in commencement - however many people want to have their name in the program for keepsake purposes.  Your name is not read from the Commencement Program - it is read from the commencement ticket you are given when you pick up your cap and gown from the bookstore - if you do not have that ticket, your name will not be read.

Your name will appear as you have it on your Triton Link Account. Failure to file your DDA, or at least complete "Add my Name to the Commencement Booklet" by the May 1st deadline will mean that your name will NOT be included in the program. No exceptions will be made

Please note - Your name will not be included in the June 2018 Commencement Program if you are not completed with your coursework by the end of Summer Session 2018.  If you are taking any courses in Fall 2018 or later then your name will be printed in the next year's Commencement Program and you can contact our office in June 2019 and we will gladly mail you a copy of the Program.


Can I participate in the ERC Commencement Ceremony in June if I am still taking classes in the Summer or Fall?

Yes, all students who have completed all their courses in the time frame of Fall 2017 to Fall 2018 are welcome to participate in the 2018 commencement ceremony on the RIMAC Field.

However, only those students who have completed their coursework between Fall 2017 and Summer 2018 AND filed their DDA before the May 1st Deadline will have their name printed in the 2018 Commencement Program.  If you are taking any courses in Fall 2018 or later and you selected to have your name printed in the Commencement Program then your name will be printed in the next year's Commencement Program and you can contact our office in June 2019 and we will gladly mail you a copy of the Program.  Your name will still be read as you walk across stage - that is separate from the commencement booklet.

If you will still be taking courses in Winter Quarter 2019 or Spring Quarter 2019 but want to walk in the 2018 Commencement Ceremony please simply follow the instructions found under the question below titled "What if I don't finish my coursework until after Fall 2018?  Can I still participate?"

What do I need to know for the Day of Commencement?

All graduates must plan to report to the Spanos Track no later than one hour before the commencement ceremony start time.  We must have everyone lined up, ensure that everyone has their commencement tickets filled out properly, and that all the graduates are ready to go.  Please be on time!

Please remember that there are graduate school ceremonies, as well as move-out and other undergraduate college commencement ceremonies happening the same weekend.  Traffic and parking will be crazy.  Please tell your guests to also arrive early as parking and seating is all first come first serve.  No parking passes or guest tickets are necessary.  There will be a drop off area for guests with limited mobility.  Please follow the instructions of all parking attendants.

As always - if you have any other questions please contact us at

How many guests may I bring to the College Commencement Ceremony and do they need tickets?

All ERC Graduates may bring as many guests to the ERC Commencement Ceremony as they would like.  It will be open seating for guests with a first come first serve base for seating location.  Tickets are not required for guests.

Should one or more of your guests have any sort of disability please email the Provost Office ( to ensure accommodations may be made.  There will be an ASL translator up on stage for those individuals who may have hearing impairments.  Mobility on and off the field may be impacted by the numbers of people.  Please plan accordingly.

Have family who will need to apply for a Visa to attend your Commencement Ceremony?

If you have a family member or guest who will be traveling from another country in order to attend your commencement ceremony some countries will require a letter in support of their Visa indicating that you are indeed graduating and verifying that the reason for their visit is so that they may attend your commencement ceremony. 

The Student Affairs Office can supply you with a letter written and signed by the Dean verifying your participation in the commencement ceremony.  Please send in an email to including the following information.

Your First Name & Last Name

Student PID Number 

First Name & Last Name of relative

Their relation to you (Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, etc.)

We will notify you when the letter(s) are complete and when you can pick them up from our office.  You will be responsible for mailing the letter to your family member - our office will NOT send the letter internationally to your guest.  We will not start writing these letters until Winter Quarter.

What if I don't finish my coursework until after Fall 2018? Can I still participate?

If you are not done with your course work until after Fall Quarter 2018, you will need to email the ERC Student Affairs Office to be considered for an exception.  If you do not do this your name may not be included on the list at the bookstore and you may not be able to get your Cap, Gown and Commencement Ticket.

Please email us at ( and include the following:

  • Name & PID Number
  • Reason you will not be done with coursework by Spring (ex. took a quarter off, certain classes you need are only offered in certain quarters, added a minor, etc.)
  • Explanation as to why you want to participate in this year's commencement ceremony.

Please be sure to do this as early as possible!  Each student is different and sometimes we have to send in requests to other offices in order for you to participate in the ceremony.  Please - contact us early.

When and how do I order and pick-up my Cap and Gown?

You as the student must have a cap, gown, and commencement ticket in order to participate in the commencement ceremony.  This can be ordered through the UCSD Bookstore during Spring Quarter.

Should you have any questions regarding fees, costs or arrangements for ordering and pick-up your graduation regalia please contact the UCSD Bookstore.  You can check their Grad Central website for more detailed information.

College Honors at Graduation

Eligibility for college honors is based upon the cumulative grade point average (GPA).  In addition, to be eligible for honors, a student must receive letter grades for at least 80 quarter units of course work at the University of California.

Any departmental honors will be provided to the college by the the departments themselves and will be indicated on the Commencement Ceremony.  

Is there a rehersal for commencement?

No - there is no rehearsal or practice for commencement.  This is why it is so vital that you are at the spanos track 1 hour before the ceremony begins.  It will take that full hour to make sure everyone is lined up and ready to be directed to your seats.

How will my name be read?

Tickets are required for graduates to participate in All Campus Commencement and the undergraduate commencement ceremonies. All tickets ordered by Wednesday, May 23, will be available for printing on the registration website from Thursday, May 24, through Sunday, June 17, 2018.

Students must print their own ticket and bring it with them to All Campus Commencement and their undergraduate ceremonies. The ticket can be reprinted in the event that it becomes lost or damaged. Note: The first scan of the ticket at each ceremony will be the only use, other attempted entries will be denied.

You must bring your ticket with you to commencement - you will not be able to participate without it. When you walk up on stage you will hand this ticket to the reader, and the reader will read your name from this ticket as you proceed across the stage.

Is parking free?

  • Special event parking will be available all day Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17. Please follow signs and parking attendants’ directions to access the best available parking for each ceremony. Most campus parking lots will be reserved for event parking.
  • You do not need a parking pass to park on campus or at Torrey Pines Scenic Drive (commonly called the Gliderport). Most campus parking lots will be reserved for event parking.
    • Torrey Pines Scenic Drive Parking is unpaved with uneven terrain. Please plan accordingly. Approximate walking time to RIMAC Field or RIMAC Arena: 15–30 minutes.
    • East Campus Parking, off of Campus Point Drive and Regents Road, will require the use of a free shuttle to get to RIMAC Field or RIMAC Arena.

For Students and Guests who Need Special Accommodations


At all its commencement ceremonies, UC San Diego accommodates disabled individuals in these ways:

  • Wheelchair seating: the end chair in each row can be moved to fit a wheelchair. Please ask a security or production individual (yellow jackets) for help removing chairs. All seats are available on a first come-first served basis. UCSD does not provide rental wheelchairs. We recommend students contact a local hospital supply company if a rental is required.

  • American Sign Language interpreters will be on stage throughout the ceremony

  • Mobility

    • Event attendees who have an accessibility need will be allowed to park in Hopkins Parking Structure. Please enter the campus from Campus Point Drive off of Genesee Avenue and follow the direction of the parking attendants. Motorized cart service will be available for individuals requiring assistance and one guest. Able-bodied guests will be asked to walk and meet their party at the entrance to RIMAC Field or RIMAC Arena nearby.

    • Disabled parking spaces for those with disabled parking permits

NOTE: All seating is first come-first served, so it is strongly suggested that those wishing to best avail themselves of these disabled seating accommodations arrive at least an hour before the ceremony start time.

NOTE: Guests do not need a ticket to attend the college commencement ceremonies.

Please note: No animals allowed.  Service animals specifically trained to assist a person with a disability are welcome.

Please Note: Flats or low-heeled shoes are recommended for walking on RIMAC Field.