Commencement: On the Day


On the day of the commencement, participants will need to meet ahead of time and line up while families take their seats in the auditorium. The ceremony begins with the processional of the graduates (you walk into the auditorium to “Pomp and Circumstance”). Next comes the welcome by the chair of the department, commencement speech, awards, presentation of scrolls (when graduates walk on stage and receive scrolls) and hooding (PhD students are hooded by faculty), closing remarks, followed by an informal reception either in the Wheeler Lobby or just outside (depending on weather conditions). The ceremony will probably last 1.5-2 hours and the reception will probably end after an hour (around 4:30pm).

Instructions for participants

Meet at the south entrance of Wheeler Hall (closest to Sather Gate) at 1:00pm SHARP for group photos (please, no Berkeley time). Please be prompt. We will be taking group photos shortly after 1:00pm and will not wait for late graduates. Arrive on time or you will be omitted from group photos. After photos, you will be placed in order by degree (PhDs first, then MAs, and BAs) for the procession into the auditorium but students within the same degree program will be able to sit with their friends in any order. Please listen carefully for instructions from Statistics staff and watch for cues as you are filing into the auditorium. If you arrive after the procession has entered the auditorium, please just quietly take a seat in the auditorium where the graduates are sitting. When it is time for you to get up from your seat to walk across the stage, quietly pull out your Reader Card and give it to the person announcing names.


A professional photography company will be on-site taking pictures of graduates as they receive their scrolls. More information about the vendor is forthcoming.

Facility info

Food, drinks and smoking are prohibited in Wheeler Auditorium. Wheelchair seating is available and graduates should indicate if they or any of their guests need special accommodations.