Grads jumping. Photo by Peg Skorpinski

2017 Information


Commencement Sign-up

On-line registration for Spring 2017 Commencement is now closed.

Please contact Shamaya (Maya) Pellum at spellum@berkeley.edu for late registration. If you are an undergraduate degree candidate, please complete the Exit Survey. Please Note: You will need to complete the survey in order to pick up your commencement tickets at distribution.

College of Chemistry Commencement 2017

Location: Zellerbach Auditorium
7:00 p.m. Monday, May 15, 2017
Speaker: Professor Jennifer Doudna

All graduates of Summer and Fall 2016 as well as graduates of Spring, Summer and Fall 2017 are welcome to participate. If you are interested in speaking as a student speaker at Commencement, please contact Shamaya Pellum at spellum@berkeley.edu.

Degree candidates who do not sign up by March 24th will be charged a late fee and may not be listed in the program. Please refer to the links at the top for information about obtaining guest tickets, directions, parking, renting a cap & gown, obtaining your diploma, attending the University's ceremony (Convocation), purchasing professional photographs and much more!

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2017 Commencement Address

2017 Speaker: Professor Jennifer Doudna

2016: Terry Rosen
2015: Judith Kliman
2014: Carlyn Bertozzi
2013: Andrew Liveris
2012: Dudley Herschbach
2011: Robert S. Langer
2010: JoAnne Stubbe
2008: John M. Prausnitz
2007: Larry Bock

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Degree List vs. Commencement

Important! The degree list and commencement list are two separate events. Read on to see which applies to you and when you need to add yourself to each list.

Degree List

The degree list is how you officially signal the university that you are ready to graduate and are in the process of completing your final courses for your degree. In order to graduate, you must add yourself to the degree list for the term (the spring, summer, or fall) you expect to complete all of your degree requirements (e.g., college, double major, minors, incompletes). This is done through Cal Central when you register for your final semester's classes.

Commencement List

The commencement list is how you inform us that you are planning to attend the annual College of Chemistry commencement ceremony. Commencement is a celebration for you and your family at the completion (or near completion) of your college years. It is held only in May. At Commencement, students receive a scroll, which symbolically represents a diploma. The sign-up for the College of Chemistry Commencement Ceremony occurs through this website.

Signing up for commencement does not put you on the degree list; nor does putting yourself on the degree list sign you up for commencement.

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Cap & Gown

When and where can I rent and pick up my regalia?

You may rent your regalia at the The Student Store beginning in March and continuing through May. If you wish to purchase additional graduation related items - The Student Store is offering various graduation packages beginning that include items such as announcements, thank you cards, diploma cover, etc., and regalia rental. Contact the The Student Store (510-845-1226) for more information and hours of operation.

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Tickets

Guest ticket distribution will begin in mid April. Degree candidates will be contacted via email regarding the exact dates and location of distribution. For this reason, it is important that each degree candidate provide an email account that is regularly checked when submitting his/her commencement registration. Each degree candidate will have the opportunity to collect up to five tickets during the first round of distribution. If, however, the degree candidate does not require all five tickets, we ask that he/she only take as many as needed. It is imperative that each degree candidate, when submitting his/her commencement registration, be as accurate as possible when indicating the number of guest tickets needed. It is likely that more tickets will be available after the first round of distribution. Based upon the total number of tickets requested by all degree candidates, we will determine the limitations (if any) of further rounds of ticket distribution. Specific information regarding dates and times of ticket distribution will be forthcoming via email in April.

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Photos

A professional photographer from Grad Images will take a picture of each degree candidate as he/she receives a scroll. Each Ph.D. degree candidate will be photographed as he/she is hooded. If guests wish to take their own pictures of their graduate, we ask that they please do so in an unobtrusive manner by not approaching the front of the auditorium until their graduate is approaching the stage and by returning to their seats promptly once they have taken their photograph(s).

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Honors

Summer 2016, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 B.S. and B.A. degree candidates who are eligible to receive honors at graduation will be presented with a medal of honor from the College of Chemistry prior to the ceremony. Eligibility to receive a medal of honor from the College of Chemistry is based upon the degree candidate's overall GPA as of the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester. We are unable to include the Spring 2017 grades in our calculation because the Spring 2017 grades will not be available to us until after commencement.

GPA requirements

Minimum GPA requirements for college honors for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 degree candidates in the College of Chemistry are:

  • Highest Honors: 3.942
  • High Honors: 3.798
  • Honors: 3.687

Honors for Distinction in General Scholarship for the College of Letters and Science

For Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 degree candidates receiving a B.A. in Chemistry (in the College of Letters and Science), minimum GPA requirements are:

  • Highest Honors: 3.947
  • High Honors: 3.845
  • Honors: 3.724

Should I purchase an honor cord?

Please note that there are absolutely no exceptions to these minimum requirements. Although you may choose to purchase an honor cord at the The Student Store, it will not be necessary to do so. Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 B.S. and B.A. degree candidates are not eligible to receive a medal of honor from the College of Chemistry at the May 2017 commencement ceremony; however, they will be eligible to purchase an honor cord at the The Student Store.

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Directions & Parking

Directions

Directions to the campus
Campus Map

Campus Parking

There are several commencement ceremonies on campus scheduled for the same day. Parking will be available for a fee on a first-come, first-served basis at many of the campus "S" permit parking structures. Specifically, commencement parking will be available at the Dana/Durant Lot, on Dana Street between Bancroft Way and Durant Avenue, and at the RSF Garage, on Bancroft Way at Ellsworth Street. Drivers must purchase a dispenser ticket to display on the vehicle's dashboard. In addition, the City of Berkeley Sather Gate Garage, located on Durant Avenue just west of Telegraph Avenue, is available to the public. For more information, please contact the Special Events Coordinator in the Parking and Transportation Office at (510) 642-5401 or check the the Parking and Transportation website.

Public Transportation

AC Transit (the Alameda County bus system) has several bus lines that come to the campus from surrounding communities. BART, the San Francisco-Bay Area train system, can help you get to the campus if you are coming from other Bay Area cities. The Berkeley BART station is one block from the west side of the campus. Zellerbach Auditorium is on the south side of the campus. For more information for either of these public transportation systems, including schedules and fares, please visit the San Francisco Bay Area Transit Information web site.

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Degree Candidate Instructions

Arrival Time

On the day of the ceremony you must arrive in Zellerbach Auditorium no later than 5:30pm. Roll call will take place after announcements are made. If you are late it is possible that your name will not be announced during the ceremony. Only participants will be admitted to the pre-ceremony meeting in Zellerbach Auditorium at 5:30pm.

Line Up

After the pre-ceremony meeting, degree candidates will line up on the Lower Sproul Plaza. The order of the procession will be: Faculty, Ph.D. degree candidates, M.S. degree candidates, B.S. degree candidates, and B.A. (chemistry) degree candidates. Signs indicating where each degree group should gather will be taped to the ground. Please help us by organizing yourselves in alphabetical order within your degree and major group. Ph.D. degree candidates will line up in alphabetical order by research group. A staff member will call roll after the lines are formed.

Processional

The first person in line for each degree group will be given instructions regarding where to sit and how to approach the stage. M.S., B.S., and B.A. degree candidates will occupy the first rows of the orchestra section. Ph.D. degree candidates will be seated on the stage. When you arrive at your seat, remain standing until the Dean indicates that you should sit down.

Receiving Your Scroll

The following procedures are extremely important! When your degree group is announced, the whole group should stand up and walk towards the north end of the stage in one continuous line (A to Z with appropriate spacing). When your name is called, walk across the stage, approach the Dean to receive a scroll and exit at the other end (south end) of the stage. Ph.D. degree candidates will be hooded on stage before proceeding to the south end of the stage to receive a scroll. When returning to your seat, approach your seat from the opposite end of the same row you left. Remain standing until after your degree group has been granted a degree by the Dean. Grad Images will take a picture of each degree candidate just before he/she walks across the stage and again as he/she receives a scroll from the Dean, and each Ph.D. degree candidate while he/she is hooded. Be sure to space yourselves and smile!

Tassel

Your tassel should be on the right side of your cap prior to the ceremony and on the left side after your group has been granted a degree by the Dean.

If you have any questions about these instructions, please contact Shamaya Pellum at spellum@berkeley.edu. Thank you for your cooperation and congratulations!

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PHD Candidates Instructions

Additional Commencement Ceremony Instructions for Ph.D. Degree Candidates Only

1. Each Ph.D. degree candidate will be hooded by his/her thesis professor (or Associate Dean Majda in the absence of the thesis professor) as part of the commencement ceremony. Therefore, it is crucial that the information you submit on the commencement registration form be complete and accurate.

2. During the line-up prior to the ceremony, you should line up by research group under the name of your thesis professor, and alphabetically by your last name within your research group. A staff member will be present to place you in the correct order.

3. When your name is announced during the ceremony, your thesis title will be read and you should approach the front of the stage. Your thesis professor will present you with your hood. If your thesis professor is absent, you will be hooded by Associate Dean Majda. Once you have received your hood, walk toward the south end of the stage to receive your scroll from Dean Clark. Then, walk behind the chairs to return to your seat on the stage.

4. Your hood will be supplied by the College of Chemistry; therefore, you need NOT rent a hood. We will be collecting hoods at the reception in Lower Sproul Plaza after the ceremony. Your name will be checked off when you return your hood. Degree candidates who do not return their hoods by the conclusion of the reception will be responsible for replacement. Do not return your hood with your cap and gown.

If you have any questions about these instructions, please contact Shamaya Pellum at spellum@berkeley.edu

Visa Invitation Letter Request

If you need a Visa Request document for family or friends to attend the ceremony - please complete this form. For more information on how to invite family abroad, please take a look at the Berkeley International Office webpage.

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