MCB Undergraduate Commencement

What: MCB Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
When: May 18, 2017, 9-11a
Where: Ceremony - Hearst Greek Theater (see below for more information)
Who: Students completing their B.A. degrees in Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017, or Fall 2017. You may participate in only one MCB ceremony.
Registration & Tickets:

Eligible students will be emailed in mid-March regarding the registration and ticketing process. 

The MCB commencement ceremony will be held Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Greek Theater. Note that there is unlimited capacity at the Greek, so you will be able to invite as many friends and family members as you'd like.

General timeline for sign-up and tickets:

  • MId March - Email will be sent to all eligible students, inviting them to fill out a survey and therefore earn 2 free tickets. Students who complete the survey will be able to sign up for and buy tickets for commencement.
  • Mid March - Tickets availabe for purchase through CAL Performances for $8/each. 
  • Mid April - Deadline to sign up and be listed in the program. This will also be the final day that students will be able to earn 2 free tickets by filling out the survey.
  • Late April - Online ticket sales will end.
  • May- Tickets (free) will be distributed by the Undergraduate Advising Office. Tickets purchased online through Cal Performances should be picked up at the Zellarbach Ticket Office prior to the ceremony.
  • Mid May- Ticket distribution will end.
  • May 18 - Tickets will be on sale at the gate for $10/each.

MCB Commencement 2017

***Detailed information will be updated as updates become available. 


The Commencement Convocation and the MCB Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony are two different events. The Convocation celebrates all majors who are graduating at UCB and the MCB Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony is restricted to MCB majors only. Students interested in participating in the Commencement Covocation should visit  The following information pertains only to our departmental ceremony.

We post updates about the commencement ceremony to the mcb-infoline listserve, so be sure that you're subscribed with a current email address that you check regularly. To subscribe to mcb-infoline, go to and enter your e-mail address in the left frame of the page and click Subscribe.

Complimentary tickets: Each graduating senior will be eligible to receive 2 complimentary tickets, after they sign up for commencement and complete an online survey. (Seniors: check your mcb-infoline emails for the link in early March!) These will be distributed out of the Undergraduate Affairs Office in early May. We will email seniors the details closer to the date.

Graduates do not need a ticket; your ticket is your name card! Please bring the name card that will be inside the envelope we give you with your tickets!! If you wish to receive proofs of the professional photos taken, fill in the info on the back with your contact information.  Anyone who misses the opportunity for the two free tickets, you can still pick up the envelope with your name card and information about the ceremony.

Tickets for sale: Additional tickets will be avaialbe for sale through Cal Performances

*All seating, regardless of what is listed on the ticket, is General Admission - no designated seats.

Graduates should enter the Greek Theatre through the south entrance (family and friends should use the north entrance). Please arrive at 8:15 AM backstage wearing your cap and gown. You will receive additional instructions when you pick up your tickets. The ceremony will be approximately two hours in length.

IMPORTANT: We ask that you turn off your cell phones and refrain from using them for the duration of the ceremony. We also ask you to stay seated until the very end of this celebration. Each student is on stage for only a brief moment, and we want to make sure that their fellow students and loved ones can hear their names being called. Please extend the same courtesy to the families and friends of the students at the end of the list that you would want to have extended to you.

The reception will be held after Commencement at approximately 11:15 am at the base of the campanile.

Jennifer Doudna, PhD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

There will be four professional photographers at the ceremony taking (tons of) pictures. Guests will not be allowed to block aisles, nor inhibit the view of any other guest, during the ceremony.

All honors students will be seated on stage with the faculty and speakers. Honors cords will be available through the student store store, and sales will be restricted to students who are completing MCB departmental honors. 

The Cal Student Store is your one-stop shop for all your commencement supplies and memoreabiala.

Diplomas will be sent to all graduating seniors for no charge. If you have not already done so, please log onto Bearfacts to designate a specific address for your diploma.

Visitors from out of the Bay Area may wish to contact UC Berkeley Visitors Services at 642-5215. Information on local accommodations can be found at the Berkeley Visitors Bureau. Information on the campus's can be found at Disability Access Services and/or Cal Performances.

In general, during commencement ceremonies, visitors may park in lots that are typically designated for student parking (s permits) for a fee of $8. Parking and Transportation will SELL parking spaces near the Greek Theater. Fee is $10 during daytime commencement events at these lots : Foot Hill (Hearst Ave, east of Highland Ave.) and Upper Hearst Structure (Hearst Ave. and Gayley Rd.). Please observe and obey parking signs and regulations. Each campus lot will display the most up-to-date information on the sign at the entrance.  See the Parking & Transportation site for more info.

Guests with specific needs (mobility issues, etc) are eligible for the special seating.  Special seating is the available in two areas of the Greek (on both sides of the stage).  The area will be roped off and guests will be directed to designated areas when they arrive.  For guests needing to be dropped off at the Greek, drivers will be able to pull into the Bowles parking lot up to the entrance to the Theater to unload. Drivers will be directed to find parking elsewhere on campus (see above link). 

The Greek Theatre is a large outdoor amphitheatre built into the Berkeley hillside. We will hold the commencement ceremony, rain or shine, so come prepared. Mornings can be cool, even cold, in Berkeley so we suggest that you bring warm clothing, blankets, and an umbrella if rain is likely. Since the seating is on concrete benches, we also suggest that you bring along a cushion to sit on. (This will help with both cold and comfort.)  Wear comfortable shoes, the location is hilly and there are steep steps in the theatre. For a list of prohibited items, please click here.

Students sometimes think that these two things are the same. Put yourself on the degree list (through Telebears or with a petition after week 5) through L & S. You want to sign up for the degree list for the semester in which you plan to complete all of your requirements for the degree. Sign up for commencement to participate in the ceremony. You can finish your degree in December 2015, but participate in the May 2016 ceremony, or you can participate in the May 2016 ceremony even if you plan to earn an August 2016 or December 2016 degree!