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UC Davis Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony Guests

Commencement Ceremony Details

Graduate Studies, together with the Graduate Council and the Graduate Student Association, invite you to join us as we host the 2020 Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, June 11, 2020 from 3 to 6 p.m.  Admission tickets are not required to attend the UC Davis Graduate Studies commencement ceremony. However, please be considerate and limit your guests to immediate family members. The Graduate Studies commencement will be shown live via a webcast 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.  Please see the UC Davis Commencement Webcasts website.

Location, driving directions, and parking 

The ceremony will take place in the Pavilion structure.  Please see driving directions and maps and allow for extra time as traffic is particularly heavy during commencement.   Visit the "Know Before You Go" for helpful tips.

The Ceremony

The Pavilion opens at 2 p.m. the day of the ceremony, please arrive early.  Graduates will need to be in the line up area at 2 p.m. (only graduates are permitted in the line-up area), this will be a good time to find a seat in the Pavilion.  Seating for guests is on the upper levels of the pavilion. The ceremony is three hours in length.  Other than bottled water, no food or drink is permitted inside the Pavilion.  However, due to the length of the ceremony, snacks can be brought in for children and elderly guests. 

Family members and friends are welcome to take photographs of candidates before or after commencement. During commencement family or friends will be permitted to take photos from their seats or from the designated photo areas in the stands above the arena floor. Please be aware that only graduates are permitted on the floor of the arena and tripods are not allowed in the Pavilion.  Grad Images will be taking individual photographs for each graduate after they walk off the stage.

Locating your Graduate during the ceremony

For more specific information, see the Locating Your Graduate page.

Ph.D. students are arranged by faculty presenter last name.  This organizational arrangement allows all graduating students to be presented and walk the stage with their chosen faculty member, who may be presenting several students.  Please ask your graduate the name of their faculty presenter prior to the ceremony.

Master’s students are arranged alphabetically by graduate program name. 

Please understand that there may be unforeseen circumstances that may require last minute changes the day of the ceremony.     

Children and Guests with Special Needs

All are welcome to come and celebrate the graduate commencement ceremony as guests.  Only graduates are permitted on the floor of the arena. Guests, including children, are seated in the upper levels of the ARC Pavilion.  Strollers will need to be checked at the door.  Please come prepared as the ceremony is three hours in length, snacks can be brought in for children. The area around the Pavilion is a large grassy field and children and adults can go outside during the ceremony, please bring water and sunscreen.

Mobility and accessibility concerns:
For guests who are attending commencement ceremonies in the Pavilion and who need mobility assistance, UC Davis offers mobility assistance golf carts for passenger pick up and drop off near the Pavilion Parking Structure ONLY. Guests will be picked up/dropped off at the tent situated on Hutch Field just to the west of the bike path. Golf carts will take guests across Hutch Field to and from the SW entrance of the Pavilion. There is no mobility assistance pick up and drop off in Lot 25 due to pedestrian safety concerns with golf carts utilizing the same bike/pedestrian path.

For guests who will be arriving with walkers or wheelchairs, you and your accompanying adult may move along the bike/pedestrian path and use the SE Pavilion Concourse entrance. The next closest entrance is the NE Concourse. Please note that entrances have ramps that must be traversed. Please note that UC Davis does not provide wheelchairs or walkers nor personnel to assist with wheelchair movement.

Doors open to the Pavilion one hour before ceremony start time. Special accommodation seating sections are available for guests with limited mobility or who use a wheelchair (who may also be accompanied by one other member of their party). Pavilion staff can direct you to these sections. The limited mobility seating sections are located in Rows E & F in sections 207, 213, 220 and 226 for all ceremonies. The wheelchair accessible sections are located on all four Concourse corners. The building elevator is located on the Concourse Level in the SW corner. Please plan to arrive at least one hour prior to ceremony start time as mobility assistance and wheelchair accessible seating are on a first-come first serve basis and no special ticket is needed other than regular commencement ticket.

For those guests with limited/no hearing attending commencements in the Pavilion, assisted listening devices may be picked up in the Pavilion Guest Services Center (located at the NE Lobby corner in the Pavilion) and/or sign language interpretation can be arranged if requested prior the ceremony. Please contact UC Davis Event Manager to arrange for sign language interpretation.

Please note UC Davis does not provide wheelchairs. Families interested in renting wheelchairs are encouraged to contact a local provider.  

Service Animals are allowed at commencement ceremonies. This website also provides general visitor information.

Gifts for Graduates

UC Davis Bookstores sells diploma frames, custom regalia (cap, hood, gown), and may other souvenirs. ​ Graduation Flowers are available for purchase before the ceremony.

Please do not bring balloons, large signs, noise makers, and/or other items that will obstruct viewing or be unpleasant for surrounding guests, please see a full listing of prohibited items on our safely and security webpage.    

Visiting:  Overnight accommodations, restaurants, and fun

Make reservations early, especially if you prefer to stay in Davis, as local hotels will fill up fast. The same goes for some of the more upscale restaurants; save yourself the wait and make a reservation in advance.  It is recommended that you celebrate with an early lunch before 2p.m. or a late dinner after 6p.m.

Davis is located in Yolo County.  Please see the Yolo County Visitors Bureau for a listing of hotels, restaurants, and more.

Sacramento is the capitol of California and is located twenty miles from Davis. Please see their visitors' guide for more information.