Graduation and Commencement

What is the difference between commencement and graduation?

Graduation indicates that you have completed all of your degree requirements and are prepared to exit UC Davis. Filing for graduation is required if you wish to receive a degree and diploma from UC Davis. You must file online for graduation the quarter before you complete your degree (visit the Office of the University Registrar website for the deadlines).

Commencement is a ceremony offered twice a year (December and June). Participation in commencement is voluntary, but requires online registration. You may participate in commencement if you have completed at least 160 units (150 units for December commencement) and regardless of whether you have filed to graduate or not (but intend to complete your degree within three months of commencement). You may only participate in commencement once.

Additional Questions

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page and other resource pages on the Commencement website to view more information on commencement logistics such as:

  • The dates and times of upcoming ceremonies
  • Ticket distributation and extra ticket petition process
  • Day-of commencement line-up and guest seating
  • Commencement caps and gowns, honors cords or stoles
  • Professional photography
  • Commencement ceremony live streaming
  • Requesting a family visa letter of support
  • Faculty member/administrative staff member participation

View the contact information for your commencement coordinator for additional assistance.