Frequently Asked Questions
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Do we need tickets?

Tickets are required for all family and guests for Commencement.

All events are ticketed with assigned seats. Section, row and seat location is specified on each individual ticket.

Only graduating UCI students can reserve tickets for their family or guests. All graduates can reserve up to 5 tickets for their ceremony.

Guests must obtain tickets from their graduate PRIOR to the graduate's line-up time. Tickets are not available at the door, nor will any be held for guest pick-up. Your graduate will be able to print electronic copies of reserved tickets prior to the event.

Does the graduating student need a ticket?

Graduates do not need a ticket. However, they must register to participate in their ceremony when registration opens in April.

All guests need tickets to enter the venue.

Does a child or baby need a ticket?

Children who are under the age of 2 and can remain on an adult's lap for the duration of the ceremony do not need a ticket. If a child or baby occupies a seat of their own, they will need a ticket. All guests over the age of 2 will need their own ticket.

How do I get tickets to a Commencement event and do they cost anything?

Guest tickets are free for Commencement but are limited due to venue capacity and must be reserved by the graduating student during the registration window.

UCI students can log in to reserve guest tickets if they have met the graduation eligibility requirements and have completed an Application to Graduate form by the respective school deadline. Ticket reservations will be available online in mid-April via the Tickets page. The deadline to register to participate in the ceremony and reserve guest tickets is Friday, April 21 by 5p.m.

Reserved tickets will be available for download starting May 23 after 10 a.m. online through the Bren Events Center Ticket Office.

I am an undergraduate and my school has 2 celebrations. How do I know which one I will be participating in?
When you register for tickets in April, the system will give you the option to choose which ceremony you want to participate in. Once a ceremony is full, the registration system will automatically place you in the ceremony that has availability. If you have a preference, register early for the best options to choose from. We can not make changes once a ceremony reaches capacity.
Are additional tickets available?
No. Additional tickets are not available.
Can I have my guest seats split into different areas of the Bren?

If you would like to split your guest seats to be in different areas, you will be able to do this when you download your tickets in May. For example, if you have the maximum 5 total tickets, you can split them into a set of 2 and a set of 3. You will download one of the sets first and then go back and download the other set the next day. This will give you the full set of 5 tickets and in different areas of the arena.

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Where do I get my cap and gown?

Purchase your cap and gown and tassel through UCI Alumni Association.

Cap and Gown Sales:

Tuesday, April 25 - Friday, April 28 2023
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily
Newkirk Alumni Center

Purchase your cap and gown and tassel here »

For questions regarding cap and gown, please email [email protected].

Can I purchase my cap and gown at my Commencement event?

No. Caps and gowns must be purchased online before the deadline. Appropriate regalia is required for a graduate to be able to participate in a ceremony.

Caps & gowns are not available for purchase on Commencement days.
Can I decorate my cap?

Caps can be decorated but must not block the view of any audience members behind the graduate.

Can I decorate my regalia gown?

Regalia gowns may not be altered or decorated. Gowns must remain in the state they were purchased as that is the appropriate and approved regalia for our ceremonies. 

UCI graduation sashes and stoles representing UCI organizations or proclaiming a vocational aspiration may be worn with cap and gown. Wearing multiple stoles is permitted.

Recognition cords, pins and medals awarded by UCI organizations and academic departments may also be worn with cap and gown.

Participation in Commencement  is not mandatory. Graduates must be in approved regalia to participate in a ceremony. 

Members of religious orders or commissioned U.S. military officers may wear their customary habit or dress uniform.

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How do I change my name for my diploma?

If your diploma name needs to be changed, please contact the University Registrar. You may submit a Request for Name Change to ask that your name be changed on university records. The form is also available at the University Registrar’s office. All diplomas will reflect the exact name on your student records. 

Where is my minor shown?

Minors are NOT noted on diplomas. Minors are posted to a student's transcript.

When will I get my diploma?

Diplomas are typically available three months after the end of the quarter in which the student graduated.

Graduates can email the Registrar's Office directly to see if they can assist you with an update specific to your diploma. They can be reached at [email protected].

When will my degree appear on my transcript?
Degrees are noted on official transcripts approximately six to seven weeks after the end of the quarter in which they are awarded.
I'm ordering a diploma frame. What size is the diploma?
The diploma is 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
Digital Commencement Program: list of graduates

The digital Commencement Program lists the names of all qualified students who applied on time for graduation.

Undergraduate students who earn their degrees in Summer Session, Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters, and the following Summer Session are eligible to have their name and major included in the online Commencement Program. Graduate students who earn their degrees in Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters, and the following Summer and Fall sessions are eligible to have their name and major included in the online Commencement Program.

Students that apply to graduate past the deadline will not have their name listed in the program.

Degrees and Diplomas

Deans are responsible for certifying that students have met GPA, unit, residence, breadth, university, minor, school and major requirements. Awarding a degree signifies completion of coursework on or by the degree certification deadline. Transcripts of work taken at other institutions must be received by the university and posted to the academic record by the deadline. Any necessary last-minute grade changes and/or post-quarter add/drop/changes must be processed by the deadline or accompany the degree certification list.

When UCI course work is completed after the deadline or credit is given for course work completed elsewhere after the degree certification deadline, the degree should be awarded for the following quarter.

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Will there be any public health & safety guidelines for this event?

UCI and Commencement will align with the latest state guidance regarding indoor events as well as county, city and campus directives. Please note that guidelines may be updated at any time. Throughout your visit to campus please be sure to always follow campus guidelines. 

Updated campus policies can be found HERE.

What time should I arrive?

Graduates must report to their line-up location no later than 75 minutes (one hour and fifteen minutes) prior to the start time of the Commencement ceremony in order to allow adequate time to check in, clear security, verify name card information, and to line up. Graduates must come already dressed in the appropriate cap and gown. No backpacks or large bags are allowed in the graduate check-in area. Graduates should only bring their wallet, ID, and/or a small purse. For security purposes, all bags are subject to search prior to entry for any event. 


Family and guests should plan to arrive at the Bren Events Center at least 75 minutes before the event to allow ample time for parking or traffic congestion. Guests will also need to go through a security check before entering the venue. 

The Bren Events Center is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all patrons. Safety protocol will include a walk-through metal detector screening along with the standard bag check policy for all attendees prior to entering the facility. Guests should plan their arrival accordingly to allow ample time for the screening process.

For security purposes, all bags are subject to search prior to entry for any event.

What items are not allowed at the venues?

Only clear bags will be permitted with a maximum size of 12"x12"x6" — the size of a one-gallon freezer bag.

Bags, backpacks, large purses, etc., are no longer permitted with the exception of bags carried for medical reasons or manufactured diaper bags that accompany infants and young children. 

Items Not Permitted include:

  • Alcohol
  • Animals, with the exception of trained disability service animals
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Bottles, Cans or Coolers
  • Flash Photography
  • Glass
  • Outside food or beverage
  • Professional cameras
  • Sealed or wrapped packages of any kind
  • Selfie Sticks, monopods, tripods or telescopic devices
  • Signs larger than 20" x 24"
  • Video recording devices
  • Weapons

For security purposes, all bags are subject to search prior to entry for any event. 

Full code of fan conduct »

What type of guest services are available?

Ushers are located throughout the venue and can provide guest assistance such as:

  • ADA Seating

  • Lost & Found

  • First Aid

  • Concessions

A variety of concessions are available. Outside food or drink, other than a water bottle, are not permitted.

How long is each ceremony?

Each ceremony will be approximately an hour and 45 minutes, depending on the number of graduates.

Guests should designate a place to meet their graduate after the ceremony!

Can I leave the event early?
No. Out of respect for the graduates and their guests, attendees are asked to remain for the duration of all of the events.
Do I need to reserve a disabled/elderly parking spot?

No. Guests should inform the parking attendant upon arrival at the parking structure of any assistance needed.

If parked at the Student Center Parking Structure (SCPS), golf carts will be available to transport elderly/disabled guests to the Bren Events Center.

Shuttles are available for assistance to/from parking structures.

Guests should not contact UCI Parking & Transportation to request a disabled parking space.

Is smoking permitted?

No. UC Irvine is proud to be a smoke-free campus. Additionally, marijuana, vape pens and e-cigs are not permitted.

With the passing of Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana use in the State of California, there may be confusion about what is allowed on UCI's campus. While the new law allows for the purchase and recreational use of marijuana, UCI abides by the policies of the University of California, as well as federal law. The applicable policy, viewed here, clearly states that the use, possession and sale of marijuana, in all forms, is prohibited on campus property, including all university-owned and leased buildings, housing and parking lots.

Is there a graduation practice before the School/College Celebrations?
There is no practice prior to Commencement or the school/college celebrations. Once you arrive at lineup, you will be given directions on what to do.
Who is included in the Graduate Hooding ceremony?

All Ph.D., D.N.P. and M.F.A. candidates who have completed or are expected to complete their degree during Fall 2022- Fall 2023 quarters who have not previously participated in the Graduate Hooding Ceremony.

PLEASE NOTE: The Paul Merage School of Business and the School of Law hold their own ceremonies. School of Medicine M.D. are also in their own ceremony. They are not included in the Graduate Hooding ceremony. 

What is the difference between an announcement and an invitation?

An announcement is used to formally communicate with friends and family that a graduate will be completing their degree.

Graduation announcements, thank you notes and a variety of paper goods can be ordered from CB Graduation Announcements, 800.433.0296.

An invitation invites people to come to Commencement and is usually given to those who have made the greatest investment in a graduate's education. Graduates inviting people to attend their Commencement ceremony should be sure to inform guests that tickets are required for entry, in addition to providing them with their tickets prior to the ceremony.

More UCI and graduation-related items are available for purchase at The Hill.

Are flowers and lei gifts available for purchase at my ceremony?

Commencement Flowers will have booths where you can purchase flower and lei gifts for your graduate before each celebration at the Bren Events Center.

See the full selection of flower gifts for your graduate and more information about their products and flowers on their website.

Order ahead. To pick up your order, give your name at one of Commencement Flowers booths in front of the Bren Events Center 

Graduate photography

Professional photographers from Pro Pics will be at the ceremony to take portraits of every graduate. Photos of the graduates crossing the stage, as well as individual portraits on multiple backgrounds, will be available for purchase from Pro Pics following the ceremony. You can email questions about photos to [email protected].

There is no cost to have your photo taken and no obligation to purchase. Graduates or Guests will be responsible for payment of any photos that are ordered.

Can the Commencement Office provide information about a graduate?

The Commencement Office cannot provide information about individual graduates, their status or their reservations to anyone that is not the graduate. The office can only communicate directly with graduates to assist them with their registration and ticket questions.

How can I request that my name be omitted from the digital program?

Graduates wishing to opt out of being listed in the digital program should do so in early May by emailing the University Registrar at [email protected]

I am finishing my coursework in Fall 2023. Can I participate in any of the Commencement events?

Undergraduate students who have completed their course work in Summer ’22, Fall ’22, Winter ’23, Spring ’23, or will complete their coursework in Summer ’23 are eligible to participate in the 2023 Commencement events. Undergraduates completing their course work in Fall ‘23 would not be eligible to participate in the June ceremonies.

Graduate students receiving their Master's, D.N.P, or Ph.D. may be able to participate if they plan to complete their degree before or during Fall ’23. Please check with your academic counselor or advisor to determine if you are eligible. 

A relative needs a letter to obtain a visa to attend my Commencement.

Graduates can write their own invitation letter for their family members. Also, the International Center encourages graduates to obtain an enrollment verification from the Office of the Registrar.

UCI does not write these letters, nor are they required by the U.S. Consulate. For additional information, please contact UCI's International Center.

For more information on inviting family members to the U.S.A. and a sample letter of invitation, click here.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the UCI Yearbook?
If you have any questions regarding the UCI Yearbook please contact  [email protected] or visit their website’s FAQ page here.