Commencement 2023

Join us for an in-person celebration of the Class of 2023!

The Interdisciplinary Social Science Programs (ISSP) will host a joint Department Commencement Ceremony for their three majors –  Cognitive Science, Global Studies, Political Economy. The joint Commencement Ceremony will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023, 9AM at the Greek Theatre.

The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. There will be a reception following the ceremony in the Faculty Glade.

Below will be the live streaming of this year’s ISSP Commencement.

Commencement Registration: Registration for graduating students is closedIf you missed the registration deadline, we are not able to print your name in the program but you can still attend the ceremony and walk across the stage while your name is read.  Please go to the Commencement Day Instructions for Graduates section below to see what you as a graduating student should do when you arrive at the Greek Theatre South Gate.

Commencement Tickets:  Graduating students walking in the Commencement Ceremony do not need a ticket for themselvesPlease wear a cap and gown.

Guest tickets can be purchased from the Cal Performances Ticket Office for $10 each (free for children under 2 years).  There is no limit on the number of tickets that may be purchased.

Tickets can be purchased:

  • Online via that the ticket sales site is titled “ISSP”)
  • Over the phone at 510-642-9988
  • At the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall until May 14th (Tues-Fri, 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat-Sun, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Closed on Mondays.)
  • At the Greek Theatre Box Office on May 15th from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

NOTE:  Any tickets purchased online, by phone or in person in advance of the ceremony will be delivered by email only. The email should be printed and brought to the ceremony or can be shown on a smartphone.

Tickets are REQUIRED for guests and no guest will be allowed to enter the Greek Theatre without a ticket. Children under 2 years of age are also required to have a ticket, which are free of charge.

All seating at the Greek Theatre is general admission and is first-come, first-served (saving seats is not permitted).


Caps and gowns are available for purchase at the Cal Student Store in the Graduation Department. The Cal Student Store can be reached for questions at 510-229-4703, and is located on 2495 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720.


  • Graduating students should enter the Greek Theatre at the South Gate.  (See end of message for more information for students)
  • Guests should enter through the North Gate, including guests who require special accommodations.  See the ACCESSIBILITYsection below for more information.

The Greek Theatre will open for graduates and guests to enter at 8:00 am, an hour before the ceremony. Graduates and guests are STRONGLY encouraged to arrive early due to commencement day traffic,  parking, and increased security clearance procedures.

All graduates must arrive to prepare for the ceremony no later than 8:20 am.  (See Commencement Day Instructions for Graduates section for more information for students)


If guests require special seating, please have them arrive at the Greek Theatre by 8:00 am so they can be assisted before crowds arrive.

The Greek Theatre is an outdoor amphitheater and students and guests should be prepared for varying weather conditions and a range of temperatures consistent with the Bay Area. There are no indoor, temperature-controlled areas at the Greek Theatre and guests and students should dress accordingly. Sunscreen is highly recommended, as are blankets and/or layered clothing.

The commencement ceremony will take place rain or shine.


Graduates and guests entering the Greek Theatre will be required to walk through metal detectors at the entrances; please expect a 20-25 minute wait time to enter the theatre and plan accordinglyAll who enter may be required to empty their pockets when going through the metal detectors so please carry as little as possible.  The ceremony will begin at 9:00 am regardless of those waiting to get through security, and we encourage you to arrive early to ensure that you are in your seat and ready for the ceremony on time!


The following items are PROHIBITED inside the Greek Theatre:

  • BABY STROLLERS (designated parking is available)
  • BALLOONS (may be tied-off at the entrance gates at own discretion)
  • ANIMALS (with the exception of documented service animals)
  • LAWN FURNITURE OR CHAIRS (small blankets, cushions, and low-backed stadium seats are OK)

There is no bag or coat check available. All bags are subject to search.


We encourage the use of public transportation or carpooling to the ceremony, if possible.  Parking on campus can be limited, and availability and prices may vary.  Please note there is a curbside, drop-off area off Gayley Road just north of the Greek Theatre entrance for passengers with mobility concerns. Commencement parking information can be found at


UCB Parking for Greek Theatre ceremonies is available at the following locations:

  • Foothill Lot (on Cyclotron Road, east of Highland) – $11.00
  • Lower Hearst Structure, Level 2 (at the corner of Hearst Ave and Gayley Rd) – $11.00

Payment for parking is CREDIT or DEBIT CARD ONLY – CASH WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Visa, MC, Discover, and AmEx accepted. For more information about parking, see the Parking and Transportation website on Department Commencements here.  Please note that our department does not manage event parking.

The non-university Stadium Garage below Maxwell Field (on Gayley Road at Stadium Rim Way, next to the Greek Theatre) is also available. Rates may vary.



The Greek Theater is wheelchair accessible. Attendees who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility may be dropped off at the North Gate entrance via the wheelchair ramp near the Greek Theatre Box


  • A map showing the drop-off area at the North Entrance for guests with limited mobility is attached and here:
  • The driver will then have to park the car and return to the Greek (see Parking above).
  • All designated Disabled spaces and non-reserved spaces will be available at the lots noted above on a first-come, first-served basis to disabled patrons with certified handicapped placards or license plates.

Guests should arrive early to ensure seating in designated accessible areas. If you have accessibility concerns, please see the information linked here.

  • Guests in wheelchairs will be seated in the wheelchair sections and may have one companion seated next to them.  Other guests in the party will be seated as near as possible.
  • Guests with limited mobility but without wheelchairs will be seated in areas as convenient as possible to avoid stairs, etc.
  • The Greek Theatre does not have wheelchairsfor guests to use. The university is not able to provide wheelchairs, walkers, or carts. It is strongly recommended that guests with limited mobility bring their own mobility devices such as walkers or wheelchairs, to ease travel from the drop-off area to the seating area.


A professional photographer from GradImages (link is external) will take pictures of graduates as they receive their scrolls, as well as additional pictures prior to and during the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase these photos, and information will be available if guests who wish to purchase them from GradImages.

If you register with GradImages prior to the ceremony, you save 20%. Click on this link to go directly to our department page:  This link will list the name of the event as “UC Berkeley – Cognitive Science”, but it is for Global Studies and Political Economy as well. The company could only list one of the major programs in the ceremony.

After the ceremony, you can find your pictures by going to GradImages and searching under UC Berkeley, and then check under UC Berkeley – Cognitive Science.


Flower bouquets and leis will be available onsite at the north gate of the Greek Theatre.  Preorder for easy pick up the day of.


You will only receive a souvenir scroll at the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are mailed about four months after the end of a student’s graduating term. More information on diplomas, graduation verification, etc. can be found on the Office of the Registrar website here.


Information on lodging near Berkeley’s campus, and other local accommodations, can be found at Visit Berkeley (link is external). For more information on Berkeley campus tours, maps, and directions, please contact UC Berkeley Visitors Services.



All graduates must be at the Greek Theatre to prepare for the ceremony no later than 8:20 am.

  • IMMEDIATELY upon your arrival, go to the tables at the South Gate and pick up your name card.
  • DO NOT LOSE YOUR NAME CARD. You will hand it to the name reader when you cross the stage.
  • Department staff will direct you where to line up.
  • The first person in line for each major will carry a sign with that major’s name to announce the major to audience and faculty.
  • The Processional will begin at 9:00am.

o Staff will direct you.

o You will follow the faculty and graduate students through a processional route through the theatre.

o You will be led down a center aisle and directed into the seats in front of the stage area.

o DO NOT change your seat.

o DO NOT lose your name card.

  • Crossing the stage.

o After the speeches and awards, you will be directed by major to ascend to the stage on your right facing the stage. Staff will guide you.

o You will cross the stage first pausing to hand your card to the name reader.

o You will then move toward the center of the stage to accept your scroll and be congratulated by faculty with a handshake, fist bump, etc.

o Then finish crossing the stage. Look for a staff person to direct you back to your seat.

o There will be a photographer who will take your picture at one or more points as you cross the stage.

o When all students have crossed the stage there will be a Recessional to leave the Greek Theatre. Staff will direct you.

o There will be a Reception in the Faculty Glade after the ceremony.




UC Berkeley will host a Campus-wide Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2022, at 10AM in the Memorial Stadium.  Students in our majors and their families may participate in either the ISSP Departmental ceremony or the campus-wide UC Berkeley ceremony, or both ceremonies, as they prefer. For more information about the campus-wide Commencement Ceremony, go to this link.

What is the difference between the ISSP Departmental Commencement and the UC Berkeley Commencement?

  • The ISSP Departmental Commencement will be a smaller, more intimate ceremony with graduates from only three majors: Global Studies, Political Economy, Cognitive Science. It will be held at the Greek Theater and will feature student speakers from each major and the presentation of departmental awards. The names of the graduating students will be called out during the departmental Commencement exercise as they walk across the stage to receive their certificates.
  • The UC Berkeley Commencement ceremony will be for graduates from all the majors on the campus and it will be held at the Memorial Stadium. It will feature the Chancellor and other campus dignitaries, a special keynote address and the student speaker. The UC Berkeley marching band usually performs at the festivities. Graduating student names are not called during the campus-wide Commencement Ceremony.


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