Are you ready to take the next step?

Celebrating the happy day!

Planning for graduation can never begin too early.  Here are some useful tips for preparing to graduate -

  • Verify completion of graduation requirements on the Academic Advisement Report on  If you have questions about university, general education requirements and/or credits please see a Merrill College adviser.  If you have questions about major requirements, please see the undergraduate adviser in your department(s). By evaluating your progress towards your degree early on, you will have ample time to finish any remaining requirements needed to graduate.
  • Take advantage of resources at the Career Center to explore career and graduate school opportunities. Do this now!  Completing an internship can help to motivate you with your coursework and give you valuable practical experience. 
  • Distinguish yourself!  As a research institution, UCSC has many opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in faculty research projects or develop their own research project.  Set your sights on receiving honors at UCSC and beyond!
  • Make connections!  Developing mentoring relationships with faculty, university staff and supervisors will not only enrich your experience, but will also be helpful when asking for letters of recommendation.  Attend faculty office hours to do a little networking; discuss research interests or career and educational paths.
  • Need more time?  If you will need attend beyond your fourth year, please see a Merrill Adviser to complete an extension of enrollment.

Commencement vs. Graduation

The college commencement ceremony and graduation from UCSC are two separate things.

  • At UCSC, graduation is the act of conferring an academic degree – receiving your degree or diploma.
  • Commencement is a ceremony, where you walk across the stage, symbolizing the end of your undergraduate career.

Graduation and commencement have separate online processes and timelines.


Apply to graduate (degree completion and diploma) for the quarter in which you will be finishing your graduation requirements. DO NOT apply to graduate for Spring if you will be finishing your final graduation requirements in a subsequent quarter.  To apply to graduate, you must submit an application via your Student Portal by the posted deadlines to announce candidacy. There is more information about how to apply to graduate on the Registrar’s Office website.


For more information, click here.