Commencement 2021 FAQs

We are excited to celebrate members of our Class of 2021 this spring — and also know that many graduating students and their families have questions about our in-person recognitions. More information will be shared in the weeks ahead and updates will be made to the below FAQs as planning for the events is finalized.

  • UCLA 2021 Commencement Overview

  • What will commencement look like this year?

    Since we will not be able to safely host large in-person commencement ceremonies by the end of the academic year, the UCLA College, UCLA’s professional schools and most UCLA departments and student group communities will host virtual commencement ceremonies. In addition, UCLA is planning to offer graduating students the opportunity to be recognized in person as well. This spring, members of the Class of 2021 will be able to sign up to participate in the UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration, a special in-person procession and individual commemoration. Each graduate participating in the Graduate Celebration will have the option to invite a maximum of two (2) guests to share the experience.

    Where will the in-person Graduate Celebration activities take place?

    The primary UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration will take place at UCLA's Drake Stadium. Some UCLA schools and student groups are also coordinating individual celebration activities in the Los Angeles Tennis Center (LATC) with a guest viewing area at Annenberg Stadium.

    I'm a 2021 graduate but can't attend the Graduate Celebration. Will there still be an in-person activity for 2021 in the future?

    Yes. In addition to this spring’s events, UCLA will host in-person commencement ceremonies for the entire Class of 2021, the entire Class of 2020, and their families and friends at a later date.

    I’m part of the Class of 2020. Can I still participate in an in-person commencement?

    Yes, UCLA remains committed to inviting those in the Class of 2020 and their families and friends back for an in-person commencement ceremony when it is safe to do so. For this Spring’s Graduate Celebration, we are only able to offer it to the Class of 2021 at this time. We will share more information as it becomes available for the Class of 2020.

    How were these decisions made?

    These decisions were made with input from a survey of graduating seniors as well as a commencement working group consisting of representatives from the College, Undergraduate Student Association Council, Graduate Division, Student Affairs, Alumni Affairs, Athletics and others.

  • Virtual Commencement Ceremonies  General Information

  • How will the virtual commencements work?

    UCLA's College, schools, and many departments and groups are happy to present targeted virtual commencement ceremonies for their students. These virtual commencements will vary in nature, but all are geared to celebrate their own distinct student cohort through commencement addresses and graduate name recognition. Our virtual celebrations page will be updated with links to all available virtual commencement ceremonies and/or the web pages that contain more information.

    How does a graduate participate in a virtual commencement?

    Students will be informed by their school, department, or any affiliated groups on any instructions on how to participate in those virtual activities.

    When will the virtual commencements be held?

    The time of virtual commencement activities will vary. In general most will debut between June 11 and June 13, but there are a small number that will be premiere online earlier. Check our virtual celebrations page or the specific academic unit or group website for information.

  • UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration at Drake Stadium – General Information

  • When will UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration be held?

    The all-UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration will take place Thursday, June 10 through Tuesday, June 15. In Drake Stadium, the all-UCLA celebration will generally be from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. but have extended hours on Saturday and Sunday. The LATC celebrations will have pre-scheduled start times and participants in these activities should check with their school or group for more details.

    How will the Graduate Celebration in Drake Stadium work?

    The celebration will consist of an ongoing procession culminating with an individual name recognition and stage cross moment. The graduate will process in Drake alongside up to two (2) guests, and the guests will wait by the stage as the graduate crosses. Each graduate will have 2 posed pictures taken by GradImages photography and the stage crossing moment will be broadcast on an event livestream available through commencement.ucla.edu. Graduates and their guests will have more photo opportunities at several custom UCLA backdrops around Pauley Pavilion.

    Due to long lines and significant delays as well as the heat, the formal graduate/guest photo in Drake Stadium has been canceled. Photos took place for part of Thursday and caused a significant backup and congestion at the venue. Unfortunately for these reasons, the photo option needed to be closed. We still have the two professional photos of the graduate and we encourage family and friends to take pictures around the many photographic locations throughout the campus that have been set up for the celebration of the 2021 graduates. 

    How early should a graduate and their guests show up the event?

    Graduates and their guests should show up 30 minutes before the start of their registered time block. If a group arrives prior to 30 minutes before the time block, they will need to come back at the appropriate time.

    How will the name reading work?

    The name reading will resemble a traditional graduation ceremony, with a live name reader. Graduates will be given a name card to fill out when entering the venue and hand the name card to the name reader at the stage. The name card would include any pronunciation notes for the name reader and the graduate's email address where photo proofs can be sent. In the interest of safety and sustainability graduates are asked to bring their own pen to fill out a name card on site.

    Will there be commencement speakers at the in-person celebration?

    The Celebration at Drake is intended as an opportunity to recognize each graduate and provide the celebratory experience of crossing a stage. There won't be live commencement addresses, but there will be a video message from the Chancellor.

    How long will the Drake in-person celebration take?

    It is difficult to say exactly how long this celebration will take for each gradate and guest because it is dependent on factors. However, we would expect from sign-in to stage cross the actual time in the celebration venue would be on average between 30-60 minutes.

    Is a cap and gown required to participate in the Drake celebration?

    We strongly encourage all graduate participants to wear graduate regalia at this celebration. The UCLA Store offers undergraduate and ancillary items for sale now. Master’s and doctoral item rentals will become available shortly. Students can have orders shipped or request in-store pickup, or purchase items at our Graduation Etc. store in Ackerman.

    How will graduate photos work?

    GradImages will be on site at the Drake Celebration taking a portrait photo of the graduate before the stage cross, on stage, and then after the stage cross. The posed photo after the stage cross can be with the graduate's two guests.

    When will my photos be available for viewing and purchase?

    GradImages will email each graduate a link to view photo proofs 1-2 days after the photos are taken.

    Will there be accessibility accommodations?

    For accessibility accommodations, graduates should email [email protected] and include the graduation celebration you will be attending and detailing the accommodation you are requesting. Please email your request no later than 72 hours in advance of your scheduled graduation celebration time so we may try our best to meet your needs.

    What is appropriate decorum?

    All graduates are expected to demonstrate True Bruin values before, during and after their graduation celebration. Graduates must abide by the UCLA Student Conduct Code. (Pending cases over the summer may impact closure of accounts and receipt of the diploma.)

    Are there prohibited items for entry?

    Yes, the following items are not allowed:

    • No animals – except service animals required for a disability
    • No noise makers – including thunder sticks, musical instruments, whistles, air horns, boom boxes, and megaphones
    • No balls, toys, or sports equipment
    • No balloons
    • No banners, signs, or flags
    • No laser pointers
    • No poles or sticks – including selfie sticks
    • No monopods or tripods
    • No glass, metal, or hard plastic containers of any size
    • No beverages – except water in a sealed container
    • No hard- or soft-sided coolers of any size
    • No food – except in cases of medical need, as certified by a physician
    • No alcoholic beverages
    • No food or drinks are allowed on Drake Track nor LATC Security Restrictions
    • No scooters, skateboards, skates, and bicycles
    • No firearms, knives, explosives, or other weapons
    • All Commencement venues have the authority to prohibit any other items deemed to be a security risk. Patrons will not be allowed to bring those items into the event venues.

  • UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration at Los Angeles Tennis Center – General Information

  • When will the UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration activities at Los Angeles Tennis Center (LATC) be held?

    With one exception (Law School Celebration on May 22), the celebrations at LATC will take place Thursday, June 10 through Tuesday, June 15. The LATC celebrations will have pre-scheduled start times and participants in these activities should check with their school or group for more details.

    How will the Graduate Celebrations in LATC work?

    The LATC celebrations will consist of a graduate stage activity at LATC and a separate guest viewing area at Annenberg Stadium. Guests and graduates will initially check in together as a group at Annenberg. Then, while the guests remain seated in Annenberg to watch the celebration on a video board, the graduate will proceed to LATC for the start of the live stage activity. Following the LATC activity, graduates can meet back up with their guests outside of Annenberg Stadium.

    How early should graduates and their guests show up for the LATC event?

    Graduates and guests should arrive between 30-60 minutes prior to the posted start time of the celebration.

    Will graduates be seated at the LATC celebration?

    Due to its format and smaller scale the LATC celebration will allow for pre-seating of graduates prior to lining up for the stage cross. While the graduates are seated they will be able to hear from one live commencement speaker and view videos prepared by the coordinating school or group.

    How long will the LATC celebrations take?

    The length of the LATC Celebrations depend on the size of the graduate cohort and could range from 1-2 hours.

    Will there be shaded seating?

    The LATC graduate and guest areas will not have shaded seating. In most cases graduates will be exiting the LATC venue as soon as their name is called and guests may leave the Annenberg viewing area at this time as well.

    Are there prohibited items for entry?

    Yes, the LATC/Annenberg celebrations will have the same restrictions as the Drake Stadium celebration. The following items are not allowed in LATC or Annenberg:

    • No animals – except service animals required for a disability
    • No noise makers – including thunder sticks, musical instruments, whistles, air horns, boom boxes, and megaphones
    • No balls, toys, or sports equipment
    • No balloons
    • No banners, signs, or flags
    • No laser pointers
    • No poles or sticks – including selfie sticks
    • No monopods or tripods
    • No glass, metal, or hard plastic containers of any size
    • No beverages – except water in a sealed container
    • No hard- or soft-sided coolers of any size
    • No food – except in cases of medical need, as certified by a physician
    • No alcoholic beverages
    • No food or drinks are allowed on Drake Track nor LATC Security Restrictions
    • No scooters, skateboards, skates, and bicycles
    • No firearms, knives, explosives, or other weapons
    • All Commencement venues have the authority to prohibit any other items deemed to be a security risk. Patrons will not be allowed to bring those items into the event venues.

  • UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration – Graduate Eligibility & Registration Information

  • Who is eligible to participate in the in the Graduate Celebration?

    The following students will be automatically included in the eligible population to access registration for the 2021 Graduate Celebration at Drake Stadium:

    • Degree conferred fall 2020 and winter 2021 bachelor, master and doctoral students.
    • Bachelor, master and doctoral students coded with spring or summer 2021 expected degree terms. Bachelor candidates must have completed at least 148 units. Master and doctoral students will be added by their home academic department/program.
    • College undergraduates who file and receive approval of a 2021 special inclusion petition (SIP).

    Participants in the individual school or student group LATC celebrations will meet the same requirements and be additionally identified by the school/group coordinators as eligible to participate in the appropriate LATC activity.

    When is registration for the in-person celebration?

    The celebration registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. (PDT) on Thursday, May 20 and continue through 6:00 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday, June 6.

    How do graduates register to participate in the Graduate Celebration?

    UCLA's Central Ticket Office is creating a customized registration experience for all eligible graduates. Graduates will be contacted via email and myUCLA starting May 18 with detailed instructions on how to register for the e-ticketing system. Starting May 20 graduates will be able to log in to view the available 30 minute processional time slots at Drake Stadium and select the time slot that best meets their schedule. LATC celebrations will generally follow the same method but since there are exceptions, more information will be provided to those eligible graduates by the coordinating school or student group.

    Can someone else sign up for a Drake celebration time block on behalf of the graduate?

    No. In order to ensure that each eligible 2021 graduate has a fair opportunity to participate, eligible graduates will only be able to register for themselves.

    How does a graduate chose a specific Drake celebration stage moment time?

    All Drake celebration event days will be broken up into 30 minute time blocks. When the registration period opens, eligible graduates will be able to sign in on the registration portal and choose the 30 minute block that works best for them and their guests.

    Is there a limit to how many graduates can sign up for each 30 minute Drake time block?

    Each 30 minute block will have a capacity of 110 graduates, plus up to two (2) guests. Once a time block reaches capacity it will no longer be available and a graduate would have to select another available time

    Can a graduate change their time block after they register?

    Graduates will only be permitted to sign up for one 30 minute block. Time and/or date exchanges will not be possible after sign up, so graduates should plan ahead and be prepared in case their first or second time choices are already filled.

    Can a graduate sign up with friends no matter what their major or degree?

    Yes, the all-UCLA Drake celebration is open to all eligible UCLA graduates on a first come first serve basis. Graduates who wish to walk with their friends are encouraged to plan in advance what time block they all want to participate in. Please keep in mind that some time blocks will be more popular than others and will "sell out" early.

    How can graduates make sure in advance they are eligible to register?

    Eligible students will receive an email to their official UCLA email address and a notification in MyUCLA on, or shortly after, May 18. If students become celebration-eligible after May 18 through the special inclusion process, please allow up to 48 business hours to be added to the registration system.

  • UCLA 2021 Graduate Celebration Guest Information

  • How can a graduate include guests and how many can each graduate have?

    Each eligible graduate registration will include the option to bring up to two (2) guests to accompany them during the Drake processional and stage moment, or, in the case of the LATC celebrations, to view the LATC celebration at Annenberg Stadium. There is no separate guest registration or ticket. The graduate and the two guests will all check in at the same time and location. No guests will be permitted unless they are with their registered graduate.

    Where will guests be during the Drake celebration?

    The graduate guests will move with the graduate in the processional line, then wait by the stage while the graduate crosses and meet up with them as the graduate comes off the stage.

    Do children count as guests?

    Any child under the age of 2 can be allowed and not count as one of the two guests provided each child is accompanied by one designated adult.

    Will there be seating for guests at the Drake celebration?

    The Drake in-person celebration is envisioned as a group processing event. The University will ensure that all activities are accessible and compliant to ADA standards.

    Will there be accessibility accommodations?

    For accessibility accommodations, graduates should email [email protected] and include the graduation celebration you will be attending and detail the accommodation you are requesting. Please email your request no later than 72 hours in advance of your scheduled graduation celebration time so we may try our best to meet your needs.

    Can guests from out-of-state attend?

    Pursuant to the latest guidance from Los Angeles County, out-of-state participants may attend if they are fully vaccinated.

  • COVID-19 Health and Safety Information

  • Will graduates and guests need to be vaccinated or tested in order to participate?

    Each graduate and guest who attends a Drake Stadium event or any recognition events hosted by professional schools or student groups at LATC must either have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the event, or complete pre-event COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of the event, with negative results. Each graduate and guest wishing to participate in these celebrations must meet and show proof of one of the above criteria before gaining access to the events. Proof of test or vaccination from another country needs to be in English and have all pertinent information.

    Can masks be taken off for graduate posed pictures and the stage crossing moment?

    A graduate can temporarily remove their mask during the stage crossing process, and guests and graduates from the same household may temporarily remove masks for the post-stage crossing group photo.

    Why is UCLA still requiring masks now that CDC rules have changed?

    Masks at graduation events are required in Los Angeles County. Out of an abundance of caution and respect to the numerous guests and families of all backgrounds and ages on campus during this time, UCLA will ask all individuals on the campus to continue to wear their mask except for posed graduate pictures and for live speakers on stage.

    What do graduates and guests need to bring to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test?

    For vaccination: a valid completed vaccination card, or picture of the completed vaccination card. Proof of test or vaccination from another country needs to be in English and have all pertinent information. For negative test results: official written lab results of a negative test result. The document must include your name, the date of the test, and that the test was negative. A person may use any test or testing service that allows them to print a result or show the official result on an app. Note: A photo ID will also be required. For those students who test at a UCLA testing site: Once you enter your date of birth and receive your test result, you need to click the button on the upper right to access an official report that includes your name, date of test, and test result.

    Will UCLA offer any onsite testing?

    UCLA will not be able to offer onsite testing.

    Do children need to be vaccinated or show a negative test?

    Children 6 and up must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test 72 hours before the event date.

  • Availability of Other Campus Facilities and Restaurants

  • Will campus restaurants or the UCLA Store be open during the in-person celebration days?

    Yes. The Ackerman Student Union will be open during the Graduate Celebration dates for limited retail and restaurant services. Additionally, walk up restaurants will be open at the Court of Sciences Student Center. Please visit the ASUCLA website for a full listing of hours.


    Can graduates and guests take pictures at other campus landmarks while they are on campus for the in-person celebrations?

    The availability of campus for other activities will be dependent on the applicable University and public health agencies at the time of the event. Presuming the current trends continue the outdoor areas of campus would be open for photo opportunities, however mask wearing and social distancing will be a requirement.

    Will flowers be available for sale on campus during the Graduate Celebrations?

    Yes. There will be in-person outdoor flower booth sales on campus near the Graduate Celebration venues.

    Where can I eat on campus after the celebration?

    Graduating is an exciting milestone for students and families, and ASUCLA Catering wants to make that moment even more special by providing Celebration Meals.

    This prix-fixe dining experience is available at Ackerman Student Union and features entrees that range from braised short ribs and vegan stuffed squash to grilled salmon and pepper-crusted filet mignon. Prices start at $28 per person and include a salad, entree, and dessert.

    Reservations are preferred, and pre-payment is required to guarantee. Space is limited, so book early!

    •  Make a Dining Reservation

    For more information, call ASUCLA Catering at (310) 206-0730 Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. or email [email protected].

    Are grab-and-go options available?

    ASUCLA Catering is also offering an express lunch experience. A grab-and-go pop-up tent will be in front of the UCLA Store at Bruin Plaza providing pre-packaged hot meals, snacks and gift baskets.

    Additionally, Bruin Buzz and Panda Express in Ackerman Union, and Blaze Pizza, Subway, and Southern Lights Coffeehouse at Court of Sciences Student Center will be open.

    Will outdoor seating be available on campus?

    Graduates and their guests are welcome to dine al fresco on Ackerman Union’s Wescom Student Terrace, Kerckhoff Coffeehouse Patio, and at the Court of Sciences Student Center Patio.

  • Livestream Details

  • How will a graduate's friends and family know when to see them on the livestream video for the Drake or LATC celebrations?

    Graduates can let their friends and family know in advance when their registered Drake celebration time block or LATC celebration is and recommend friends and family watch during that time period. The all-UCLA Drake Celebration livestream will be live on commencement.ucla.edu. The livestream posting locations for the LATC celebrations will be hosted by the groups that are coordinating those individual ceremonies.

    How can I specify how my name will be shown during the livestream?

    If you are participating in the 2021 Graduate Celebration in Drake Stadium, you can answer this short survey to specify how your name will be shown during the livestream. You must be eligible for the Graduate Celebration to be able to respond to the survey.

    Will the livestreams be archived and available for later viewing?

    Video archive recordings of each Drake celebration day will be available at the same web location on commencement.ucla.edu. Video archives of the LATC activities will be through the schools and groups hosting those celebrations.

  • Directions/Parking

  • Where do I park?

    Students eligible to participate in the UCLA Graduate Celebration will be able to obtain up to two (2) complimentary parking permits for the day of their celebration program through the Bruin ePermit Portal beginning Tuesday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. Any additional permits will be at the full daily visitor price and will be available in Parking Structure DD or SV using the Pay Stations or ParkMobile

    •  General parking will be available in Parking Structures 4 and 7 for celebration events at Drake Stadium and the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

    •  Complimentary permits will be available through the last day of graduate celebrations. 

    •  Separate transactions are required for each of the two (2) permits.

    •  Each permit will only be valid for one vehicle on the date selected. Permits are not transferrable.

    View the parking map and instructions for obtaining the parking permit(s)

    If you have questions, please contact UCLA Transportation at [email protected] or (310) 794-7433.

  • Additional Questions

  • Students, if you did not see your question answered here, please send additional questions through this form:

     •  Graduate Celebration Questions - Students

    Guests, if you did not see your question answered here, please send additional questions through this form:

     •  Graduate Celebration Questions - Guests