2020 Integrative Biology Commencement Ceremony

Updated 4/3/2020

Due to COVID-19 we will be unable to hold our previously scheduled IB Commencement Ceremony in May. We are currently looking into options and surveying our students to determine an alternative way to celebrate the Class of 2020. As decisions are made, we will update students and this page.

Monday, May 18, 2020, 2-4pm  TBD
Zellerbach Auditorium (reception to follow at Lower Sproul Plaza) TBD
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Caroline Williams
Graduate Student Speaker: TBD
Undergraduate Student Speaker: TBD

Watch the livestream of the 2019 commencement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIB3c1jB-vs

Students graduating Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, or Fall 2020 are eligible to participate. Students may only participate in one IB ceremony. Eligible students will be emailed information regarding registration and ticketing in mid-March.

Timeline for Registration and Tickets:

  • Early April – 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 students who also complete the exit survey will receive two free tickets to the ceremony.
  • April – Tickets will be available for purchase through the Zellerbach Hall box office for $TBD each (more information below).
  • Late April – Deadline to register for commencement and complete the exit survey. Students can still participate in the ceremony if the deadline is missed, but we cannot guarantee your name will be printed in the program and you will no longer be eligible to receive two free tickets. 
  • May – Complimentary 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.
  • May – Vouchers no longer required. Any remaining tickets can be purchased through Cal Performances without limits.
  • May – All unclaimed complimentary tickets will be returned to the box office for general sales. 
  • May 18 – Any remaining tickets will be sold in-person at the box office.

Additional Commencement Information

Campus-wide Commencement vs. IB Commencement
The campus-wide commencement ceremony (also known as General Commencement) and the IB commencement ceremony are two different events. General Commencement celebrates all majors who are graduating at UCB and the IB commencement ceremony is restricted to IB undergraduate and graduate students only. Students interested in participating in the campus-wide commencement should visit the commencement website. The following information pertains only to our departmental ceremony.

Tickets - 2019's process, will be updated for 2020
Graduating students do not need a ticket for the ceremony. Your name card and cap and gown are your ticket. The IB Undergraduate Advising Office will contact registered participants to pick up their name card and two complimentary tickets during RRR week. 

Additional tickets can be purchased through the Zellerbach Hall box office starting in April (exact date pending, will be updated above). Due to the limited capacity of Zellerbach Hall, ticket purchases will be initially limited to four per graduate, totaling six possible tickets (including the two complimentary tickets for completing the exit survey). Vouchers will be available for pickup in the advising office one day after the student completes the registration survey. One voucher enables the holder to purchase one ticket from the Zellerbach box office for $TBD. Lost vouchers cannot be replaced. Voucher-facilitated purchases must be made in-person during the box office's regular hours (Tuesday-Friday, 12-5:30pm; Saturday-Sunday, 1-5pm) through May xx or until students are otherwise notified by the advising office.

After the initial round of ticketing, an unlimited number of tickets can purchased online, over the phone at 510-642-9988, and at the Zellerbach box office. No tickets will be withheld for unused vouchers. On the day of the event (beginning one hour before the ceremony until one hour after the start time), any remaining tickets will be sold at the box office IF the venue has not sold out. 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. Complete the back of the name card with your contact information if you wish to receive proofs of photos taken by professional photographers.

A reception will be held after the commencement ceremony at Lower Sproul Plaza. Light refreshments will be served. 

Day-Of Instructions for Graduating Seniors
Graduates will line up outside of Zellerbach Hall in Lower Sproul Plaza, and should plan to arrive to Lower Sproul no later than 1:15 PM in their cap and gown. Graduates registered for commencement will receive additional day-of instructions with their name cards and complimentary tickets. The ceremony will be approximately two hours in length.

The following items are prohibited inside Zellerbach Hall: large bags or backpacks, glass bottles, aluminum cans, food and beverages (except bottled water), coolers/ice chests, strollers (designated area available inside), skateboards, bicycles, scooters, musical instruments, fireworks, noise makers, air horns, rolls of toilet paper or streamers, balloons, signs, banners, flags, tripods for cameras, animals (except documented service animals), lawn furniture or chairs, and any items that can be perceived as weapons. 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 and Live Streaming
There will be 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. Proofs are typically available within 48 hours of the ceremony.

The ceremony will be streamed live, check back the week of commencement for a link.

All honors students will be seated on stage with faculty, graduate students, and guest speakers. Honors cords will be provided to students who are completing IB 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 campus lots for $10, credit card only (no cash accepted). 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.), Lower Hearst Structure Level 2 (Hearst Ave. and Scenic Ave.), and Lower Sproul Garage (Bancroft Way, below Telegraph Ave.). The Lower Sproul and Sather Gate (below) lots are the nearest lots to Zellerbach Hall. 

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 designated areas of Zellerbach Hall.  The area will be roped off and guests will be directed to designated areas when they arrive.  

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Zachary Chestnut at ibusso@berkeley.edu with as much advance notice as possible.

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.