Commencement FAQ's


When & Where is the Ceremony:

  • Date:  Saturday June 13, 2020
  • Time:  6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Ceremony
    • 5:45 pm Procession of Graduates to the Field
  • Location:  East Field (Opers Field)

Are Tickets required for guests?

  • Tickets were required for the first time in 2019, we anticipate that tickets will continue to be required for all guests.
    • Information about ticketing is not available at this time.

Do I have "non-ticket" options?

  • Our Commencement Ceremonies have been live streamed for the past two years and we anticpate that live streaming will continue to be offered.  We will post the URL when available.

Is this “Commencement” or “Graduation”?

  • We use the terms “Commencement” and “Graduation” to define two different things.  You have to sign up for both, separately, and one is not dependent upon the other.  E.g.  You can participate in the June commencement ceremony but not graduate until Fall. 
  • “Commencement” is the celebration & ceremony.  Your family and friends get to see you cross the stage and your degree is conferred by the University.
  • Graduation is official confirmation that academic work is complete.  Please remember to check in with your academic advisers to make sure your graduation requirements have been met.
  • Apply to graduate (and to receive the official University Diploma) with the Registrar’s Office via your Student Portal.

Do I have to wear a Cap & Gown?

  • “Cap and Gown” are not required to participate, but most students choose to wear them.
  • Although not required, your family may expect to see you in cap and gown.  Please take their expectations into consideration, they have worked very hard to support you. 
    • If you choose not to wear Cap & Gown, it is the College’s expectation that you will wear clothing
      appropriate for the Ceremony and respectful to the Community.
  • Commencement attire and Commencement announcements will be available through Bay Tree Bookstore. The “Grad Fair” at the Bay Tree Bookstore will be open mid April 2020.
    • New this year undergraduate Cap & Gown will be cobalt blue w/ the UC Seal emblazoned in gold on the left sleeve.
  • Remind your guests to dress in layers and expect a typical June morning: we may start the ceremony under an overcast sky and finish beneath one of brilliant blue.

Commencement Parking & On-Campus Transportation

  • Parking and Transportation information for the 2020 commencements is not yet available.

Will there be a rehearsal?

  • No.  You’ve spent 4 years earning your University degree.  We think our grads are very capable of following our simple directions for the ceremony.

Who May Participate?

  • Any Porter College affiliated student who has senior standing may participate in the Commencement ceremony.   All Porter Affiliates with the potential to have enough units to qualify received and e-mail regarding Porter Commencement just before the Thanksgiving break.
  • Non-Porter affiliates who are members of the Transfer Community at Porter College* and were in residence at Porter College for at least their first year at UCSC.
    • Because of the number of Porter Affilaites and the size of the Transfer Community, we may have to create a "wait list" for members of the Transfer Community who register after we have reached 80 confirmed in the Porter Ceremony.  In the case we have a wait list, we will begin we will begin confirming particpation in the Porter Ceremony after May 26.
  • Porter College has room for a very small number of Non-Affiliates who never changed affiliation but would prefer to participate with the Porter Community.  Please contact James Blaine, College Programs Coordinator at Porter College,
    • Non-affiliate registation is strictly "first come - first serve," non-affiliate fee applies, see "fees" below.
  • Whether you officially graduate Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, or if you still have to complete your thesis or Senior Seminar, or if you just didn’t get your “Announcement of Candidacy” filed, you may still participate in the ceremony.
*New Transfer Student in residence at Porter College during the 2017-18, 2018-19, or current academic year.

Commencement fees & costs

  • Non-Affiliate Fee:  $50.00 assessed only to students who are not Porter College Affiliates and also not members of the Transfer Community at Porter College*.
  • Cap & Gown rental:  Optional, costs per Bay Tree Bookstore.  See "Do I have to wear..." above

*New Transfer Student in residence at Porter College during the 2017-18, 2018-19, or current academic year.

Hotel Reservations:

  • Make hotel/motel, airline, and restaurant reservations as early as possible.  Seniors from every college are making reservations, so plan ahead:  Every room in town will be booked up!

UCSC Is a Non-Smoking Campus

  • Please remind your guests that smoking is prohibited in all UC Santa Cruz facilities, on all University grounds, and on all University-owned and leased properties regardless of location. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e.g. “e-cigarettes”/"vaping")are strictly prohibited. This smoke-free policy applies to all indoor and outdoor areas.
  • UCSC smoke free policy applies to marijuana - Medical Marijuana cards are not recognized or honored per University of California Policy.

See Also