Merrill College Commencement 2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

UC Santa Cruz Quarry Amphitheater at 11:00 AM

The Merrill Commencement ceremony is one of the finest of Merrill traditions and a joyful community celebration. Faculty, staff, and students are led in a procession to the Quarry Amphitheatre. The ceremony includes keynote and student speakers before the presentation of the graduates and the awarding of scrolls.

In 2019 UC Santa Cruz began utilizing ticketing for each ceremony.

It is expected that each graduate will receive 6 tickets to distribute to their family and friends for attendance, as well as 2 parking passes. Unless a guest has a ticket, they will not be able to join us on campus for commencement. We will offer live-streaming for each commencement ceremony so individuals who are unable to join us in person can still cheer their grad on from afar.

Commencement vs. Graduation

Your college commencement ceremony and graduation from UCSC are two separate things and have separate online processes and timelines:

  • 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.


Apply to graduate (degree completion and diploma) the quarter in which you will be finishing your graduation requirements. DO NOT apply to graduate in Spring if you will be finishing your final graduation requirements in a subsequent quarter.

Apply to graduate via your Student Portal. There is more information about how to apply to graduate on the Registrar’s Office website.

Check-in with your departmental adviser (to have your major requirements reviewed), and on your student portal (to make sure you have reviewed all degree requirements outside of your major, like GE credits, writing component, etc.).

Be sure to consult with an academic adviser at your college if there are discrepancies, or if you have questions about graduation requirements.

Registering for the Merrill Commencement Ceremony is NOT the same as registering with the University to Graduate.

You must meet two conditions to be eligible for participation in the Merrill College Commencement Ceremony.

  1. You must have completed at least 150 credits by the end of the Winter Quarter 2020.

  2. You must complete all requirements & coursework and graduate by the end of Fall Quarter 2020.

If you are eligible to participate, register for Merrill’s Commencement Ceremony via our online form starting March 13, 12:00 pm 

Registration to participate in Merrill’s Commencement Ceremony closes on Monday, May 4th, 2020

Anyone who does not register by May 4th cannot be guaranteed tickets, parking permits, or inclusion in the printed program.

Non-affiliate registration closes Friday, April 24, 11:59 pm 

Fill out the non-affiliate participation form. Non-affiliate is limited and granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration closes April 26, or when all non-affiliate spots have been filled.

Commencement Ceremony no rehearsal 

A week or two prior to the ceremony the Merrill Commencement planning team will email registered students a detailed day of instructions. 

Quarry Amphitheater

Rehearsal lasts about 45 minutes. All graduates are asked to attend if you plan on participating in Commencement. Rehearsal is not mandatory but you are encouraged to connect with a friend who went to rehearsal to understand how commencement will run.

 Parking Passes

Available: Monday, June 1

Location: Merrill College Office, bring your student ID

Hours: 9:00am-Noon, 1:00 - 4:00pm

Each graduating student receives 2 parking passes. Bring your student ID when you pick-up your parking passes. Cars displaying a Merrill Commencement parking pass will be directed to the correct parking lot. Public transportation and ride-sharing are highly encouraged.  Guests may shuttle (or walk) to the ceremony site.

Disability Parking

You may exchange one (or both) of your standard commencement parking passes with a pass for the disability parking lot, as needed. Disability-related accommodation for grads or guests, if it involves sign language interpretation, should be requested by the student by Friday, April 26th.

International Guests

Do you need to invite extended family to the United States from another country? See the International Student and Scholar Services resource page:

See Also