MCB Undergraduate Commencement

What:           MCB Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
When:  Thursday, May 18, 9-11am
Where: Hearst Greek Theatre (Reception to follow at the Campanile Esplanade)
Who: Students graduating Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017, or Fall 2017 are eligible to participate. Students may only participate in one MCB ceremony.
Registration & Tickets Eligible students will be emailed information regarding registration and ticketing in mid-March.

General timeline for registration and tickets:

  • March 15 - Commencement registration opens. Emails will be sent to all eligible students with a link to complete an exit survey and register for the Commencement ceremony. Students who register will have their name included in the program, and will receive two free tickets to the ceremony. 
  • March 15 - Tickets available for purchase through Cal Performances for $8 each (more information below). There is no limit to the number of tickets each graduate can purchase for their guests.
  • April 14 - Deadline to register for commencement and have name listed in the program. 
  • May 1 - Ticket distribution begins for students who registered for the ceremony. Emails will be sent to students to pick up their two free tickets at the Undergraduate Advising Office in 3060 VLSB. Tickets purchased online through Cal Performances should be picked up at the Zellerbach Ticket Office prior to the ceremony.
  • May 12 - Ticket distribution will end.
  • May 18 - Tickets will be on sale at the gate for $10 each.

We will send updates regarding Commencement through the MCB-Infoline listserv, so make sure that you're subscribed with a current email address that you check regularly. To subscribe to the MCB-Infoline, go to http://mcb.berkeley.edu/undergrad/ and enter your e-mail address in the left frame of the page and click Subscribe.


MCB Commencement 2017 

Campuswide Commencement vs. MCB Commencement
The Campuswide Commencement Ceremony (also known as General Commencement) and the MCB Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony are two different events. Campuswide Commencement 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 Campuswide Commencement should visit the Commencement website. The following information pertains only to our departmental ceremony.

Tickets
Graduates do not need a ticket for the ceremony. Your name card and cap and gown is your ticket. The MCB Undergraduate Advising Office will contact registered participants to pick up their name card and two free tickets in May. 

Additional tickets can be purchased through Cal Performances starting March 15. Tickets can purchased online, over the phone at 510-642-9988, and at the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall (Tues-Fri, 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat-Sun, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.), as well as at the Commencement venue on the day of the event (beginning one hour before the ceremony until one hour after the start time). All seating, regardless of what is listed on the ticket, is General Admission. There are no designated seats. Children 2 and under are free, but will require a ticket to enter the venue.

Please make sure to bring your name card to the Commencement ceremony. If you wish to receive proofs of photos taken by professional photographers, make sure to complete the back of the name card with your contact information.  
 

Keynote Speaker
Robert Tijan, PhD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute President and Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

Reception
A reception will be held after the Commencement ceremony at the Campanile Esplanade (located at the base of the Campanile). Light refreshments will be served. 

Day-Of Instructions for Graduating Seniors
Graduates should enter the Greek Theatre through the south entrance (family and friends should use the north entrance). Please arrive to the backstage area no later than 8:15 AM in your cap and gown. You will receive additional day-of instructions when you pick up your name card and 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 for all guests to remain seated until the end of the ceremony. 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 your graduating class that you would want to have extended to you.

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

Honors
All honors students will be seated on stage with the faculty and speakers. Honors cords will be available for purchase at the Cal Student Store. Sales will be restricted to students who are completing MCB departmental honors. 

Regalia, Announcements, and Class Rings
The Cal Student Store is your one-stop shop for all your commencement supplies and memorabilia.

Visitor Information and Parking 
Visitors from out of the Bay Area may wish to contact UC Berkeley Visitors Services at (510) 642-5215. Information on local accommodations can be found at the Berkeley Visitors Bureau

Parking is very limited at UC Berkeley during Commencement season. Public parking will be available at attendant-controlled lots for $10-$15. Drivers must purchase a permit to be displayed on the dashboard. UCB Parking & Transportation will sell parking at the following locations: Foothill Lot (Hearst Ave, east of Highland Ave.) and the Lower Hearst Structure Level 2 (Hearst Ave. and Scenic Ave.) for $10, as well as the Lower Sproul Garage (Bancroft Way, below Telegraph Ave.) for $15.

The City of Berkeley Maxwell Stadium Garage (on Gayley, next to the Greek Theatre) and Sather Gate Garage (west of Telegraph Ave. between Channing Way and Durant Ave.) may also be available. 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
Guests with specific access and mobility needs are eligible for special seating.  Special seating is 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 Theatre to unload passengers. Drivers will be directed to find parking elsewhere on campus (see above link). 

Campus Access Services provides information and/or assistance to the UC Berkeley campus community and individuals with disabilities who require access to participate in University-sponsored non-course-related programs or activities.

Prepare for all Weather Conditions
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 recommend bringing 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 as the location is hilly and there are steep steps in the theatre. For a list of prohibited items, please click here.

Diplomas
Diplomas will be sent to all graduating seniors at no charge. Diplomas are mailed four months after graduation to the diploma mailing address in Cal Central. Make sure to check and update this address prior to graduation.

Commencement vs. Graduation
Commencement and Graduation are two separate events. Commencement is a ceremony, a celebration for you and your family of the completion (or near completion!) of your college years. Participating in Commencement does not mean that you have graduated. Graduation is the process by which you receive a degree from Berkeley. Students need to be on the degree list for the term in which all requirements for graduation will be completed. See Graduation and Transcripts and Diplomas for more information.