Information for Cowell Grads

This page conveys:

  • How to Graduate from UCSC
  • 10 Steps to be in the Cowell Commencement (registration, cap & gown, parking, rehearsal)
  • More Event Details (shuttles, photos, reception)

If you DO want to be in Cowell's Commencement, read all three sections of this page. Make sure you complete the event registration form by the deadline. Registration closes on May 10 at 5:00pm. Anyone who does not register by May 10 cannot be guaranteed tickets, parking permits, or inclusion in the printed program.

Non-Affiliate Registration closes on April 26 at 5:00pmNon-affiliate participation is limited and granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration closes April 26, or when all non-affiliate spots have been filled. You can find a waiver here to petition to be included in the Cowell Ceremony.

Depending on your Graduation Term, you may also need to apply to graduate from UCSC. Tickets will be distributed starting on May 15. If you miss the deadline for registration, you can still participate in the Commencement Ceremony, however you will not receive any tickets and won't be included in the program.

Graduation vs Commencement

Applying to graduate from UCSC is a separate process from registering to be in Cowell's Commencement ceremony, with different deadlines.

If you DO NOT intend to be in Cowell's Commencement, read only the "How to Graduate from UCSC" section, and its links, making sure you apply to graduate via MyUCSC during the appropriate filing period (you can be too early or too late!).

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How to Graduate from UCSC

PART A: VERIFY THAT YOU WILL MEET ALL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Questions about general requirements = college advising
  • Questions about major/minor requirements = major/minor advising

PART B: APPLY TO GRADUATE during correct term

  • The quarter in which you will complete all requirements: this is your "Graduation Term." The filing period to apply to graduate is published in the Academic Calendar (in the Announcing Candidacy section), here is a summary:
  • If your Graduation Term is this spring quarter or before, you must apply to graduate via My.UCSC.EDU and indicate a winter or spring grad term. If you apply to graduate after the published deadline for your term, you will be billed a $75 late application fee. Late applications submitted after the quarter has ended will be assessed a $100 post-graduation application fee.
  • If your Graduation Term is this summer quarter or after, DO NOT apply to graduate at this time. You will apply later, during the quarter that is your Graduation Term.
  • Questions? Check out How to Apply for Graduation and Graduation FAQs for more information.

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10 Steps to be in the Cowell Commencement

STEP 1: REGISTER FOR COWELL COMMENCEMENT:  

Cowell's Commencement is Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 11:00am at the East Field. To participate and be listed in the print program you must complete the online Event Registration. This registration form is also where you indicate an interest in offering one of the multilingual welcomes and specify if you or your guests will need any special accommodations. Cowell students who plan to complete all coursework and requirements by the end of Fall 2019 are eligible to participate in our June 2019 ceremony.

REGISTER FOR COMMENCEMENT

STEP 2: VERIFY YOUR MAJORS AND MINORS (at MY.UCSC.EDU)

The majors and minors that appear on your my.ucsc.edu student portal as of May 10 are the majors and minors that will be printed in the commencement program and read aloud as you cross the stage. Login to your student portal to verify your majors and minors are showing as declared. If there is inconsistency, contact the appropriate major or minor advisor to add, drop, or change your declaration. If you have completed your declaration paperwork but it is not reflected on the portal, please contact the major or minor advisor. If you have questions related to this step, email Cowell College Advising.

STEP 3: STUDENT SPEAKER NOMINATION: BY APRIL 18

To nominate a student speaker for Commencement, fill out a Nomination Form by Wednesday, April 17. Feel free to nominate yourself! Speeches should be no longer than 5 minutes and must be presented orally to the Commencement Committee in mid May to be considered. Senior Speech Guidelines and Tips are available. If you'd like to participate in the selection committee, please contact Amy Ferrasci at cowlacpc@ucsc.edu.

STEP 4: ORDER ANNOUNCEMENTS & CAPS/GOWNS: BEGINNING APRIL 16

Order announcements, cap & gown, class ring and other items at the Bay Tree Bookstore Graduation Center beginning on April 16. Grad Fair Week is from April 16 - April 19, click here for more information. You may order many items online at the Bookstore Graduation Center from April 16 - May 31. Students are encouraged to order regalia (cap and gown) by the end of April. Regalia distribution week will be June 10 - June 16. Note: Wearing a cap and gown is not required to participate in the Cowell Commencement.

The Bookstore's Graduation Center is open between April 1 and June 1 (weekdays 9am-4pm). See the Bookstore website for more details. Note: the Bookstore would like you to know that for faster return, following the ceremony, you can include the bottom portion of Gown Rental Form (provided when you pick up regalia). 

STEP 5: INVITE A COWELL FACULTY OR STAFF MEMBER TO ESCORT YOU ACROSS STAGE

Ask your favorite Cowell faculty or staff member to escort you across the stage as you receive your diploma. Having an escort is optional, but escorts enjoy being asked even if you feel they don't know you well. Escorts are given full instructions regarding the stage logistics. When you, the graduate, check-in at Cowell on commencement day, you'll indicate the name of your escort on a card. If you've not arranged for an escort there will be a list of available faculty/staff to select from if you choose.

To ask a non-Cowell faculty or staff member, do so well in advance and be sure you provide them this info at the time you are asking. If they agree to escort you, then you (the student) provide us your escort's information no later than Friday, May 24. Please email Amy Ferrasci (cowlacpc@ucsc.edu) to notify a non-Cowell faculty or staff escort so that parking & check-in arrangements can be made. 

STEP 6: COMMUNICATE REGULARLY WITH YOUR GUESTS

Keep your guests updated about important information such as:

  • How to prepare so as to ensure comfort during this midday ceremony (see recommendations on the Cowell Commencement home page)
  • Travel directions (see the Cowell Commencement page)
  • What to expect upon arriving on campus (see Parking and Campus Shuttle sections below)
  • Need to display one of your two parking passes on their dashboard when they arrive at the base of campus. 
  • Availability of shuttles (see below)
  • Seating begins at the East Field at 10:00am
  • Be in their seats by 10:50am when the procession arrives
  • General flow and timeline of day's activities 
  • Details related to disability accommodations.
  • Need to keep aisles clear of tripods, strollers, walkers. Confetti, airhorns and other noisemakers are not permitted, nor are aerial drones
  • UCSC's status as a Smoke & Tobacco Free environment 
  • Pets are not permitted on campus.

STEP 7: PICK UP TWO COMMENCEMENT PARKING PASSES

Pick up your two parking passes from the Cowell College/Advising Office between Monday, June 3 and Friday, June 14 (from 9am-4pm). Photo ID required. Only graduates who have registered online for Cowell's Commencement (via Step 1) will be issued passes. Student must be present to pick up their own passes.

STEP 8: PICK UP REGALIA, JUNE 10 - JUNE 16

Caps and gowns that have been ordered (see Step 4) will be distributed at the Bay Tree Bookstore.

STEP 9: ATTEND REHEARSAL, Friday, JUNE 14, 12:00pm - 1:00pm

A Commencement Rehearsal will be held in the Cowell Courtyard. We'll detail the ceremony procedures, answer last-minute questions, take a Senior Class 2019 picture (optional), process down to the field, and demonstrate how things will go as you cross the stage. 

NOTE: We understand you may have a scheduling conflict that prevents you from attending the rehearsal. If so, please ask a friend to relay the main points to you and make sure to arrive on time on Sunday to resolve any lingering questions.

STEP 10: COMMENCEMENT! SUNDAY, JUNE 16, ARRIVE 10:00AM

Arrive at the Cowell Courtyard by 10:00am (it really does require 45 minutes to sign-in and line up). Please plan to arrive at 10:00am sharp. You are welcome to drive with your families to East Remote and walk up, but that means that your family will have to get to the ceremony at 10:00am sharp. There will be no available parking at Cowell, so please get dropped off or take the bus. The procession steps off at 10:50am. Leave bags at home unless you want to carry them in the procession. Water will be provided at the ceremony.

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More Event Details

ADMISSION TICKETS FOR GUESTS

Each guest must have a ticket. Every car coming onto campus that day must have a special Commencement Parking Pass. For complete ticketing information please visit the UC Santa Cruz Commencement Page.

PARKING: COMMENCEMENT WEEKEND

Before You Arrive
Parking at UCSC during Commencement Weekend is extremely limited. Please consider carpooling or taking public transportation. On Saturday and Sunday of Commencement Weekend, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD) runs buses to and from the UCSC campus; routes and schedules are available at 
www.scmtd.com.

Two Parking Passes per Graduate
Each graduate receives two commencement parking passes (general or disabled) from their college or celebration, as well as specific information about the location and time of their ceremony.

Due to the large number of people arriving on campus throughout Commencement Weekend, please arrive no more than 45 minutes to 1 hour before the scheduled commencement you’re attending.

Getting to Campus
Maps and narrative directions to the UC campus are available online. Most GPS/navigation apps will direct you to the campus if you set the destination to "UC Santa Cruz." The campus has its own zip code, 95064, and most navigation apps will accept this as a destination.

Unless you are arriving for a 9am ceremony, expect traffic. It can take as long as an hour from downtown Santa Cruz to get up to the UCSC campus during peak times. Leaving the campus after ceremonies can take equally long. Please plan accordingly.

Display Your Parking Pass
Have your commencement parking pass clearly displayed in your car’s windshield.

If you do not have a commencement parking pass, you may not be able to park on campus, and will need to take public transportation or find other means for getting to your ceremony.

Follow Staff Directions to Parking Lot
University Police and Event Parking staff will be at key intersections and parking lot entrances to direct guests to the correct parking lot. Your parking location will be determined in the field, based on availability. Please follow the direction of staff, as they have the best information to get you to your ceremony in the smoothest way possible. Do not attempt to park elsewhere or ignore instructions. Once you’ve parked, leave your commencement parking pass on your dash and either walk to the commencement location or go to the shuttle pick-up stop in each parking lot to be transported.

If you have further questions, please call the TAPS main line at (831) 459-2190. Alternatively, you can check out the TAPS general website regarding commencement weekend parking and shuttles.

COMMENCEMENT PHOTOS

Guests may not approach the stage during the ceremony to take photographs. However, professional photographers will be present and will take close-up, individual photographs of each graduate as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma from the Provost. 

Guests who wish to stand to take photos, or set up a tripod, must do so only from either side of the audience. This is for the safety, comfort, and consideration of all guests. Please share the information found on this photos page with your guests.

ACADEMIC HONORS AND COMMENCEMENT

Several types of academic honors are included in the Commencement print program and announced from the stage. These include honors determined at the college level (College Service Citations), departmental honors (Honors and Highest Honors in the Major), University Honors (i.e. cum laude), the Deans/Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards, and Phi Beta Kappa nominees. Some honorees may be designated "candidate for" certain honors, when official/final designation is contingent on the consideration of spring quarter grades (not available at the time of the ceremony).

For honors to be printed and announced from the stage, they must be submitted to the Programs Office directly from the unit awarding the honors. Deadlines have been communicated to the academic units. Not all departments are able to identify the honors in time to have them included in the print program and/or to be announced. All departmental honors we receive by the print deadline are included in the program, and those submitted by Thursday, June 13, will be read from the stage (even if they were received too late for inclusion in the print program). If you have questions regarding your departmental honors status, please contact your major advisor directly.

GRADS OF OTHER UCSC COLLEGES

If you would like to walk in the Cowell Commencement Ceremony, you can petition to do so. You must request and complete a college affiliation waiver. Once the waiver is approved, you must register to walk in the Cowell Ceremony.

Non-Affiliate Registration closes on April 26 at 5:00pm. Non-affiliate participation is limited and granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

COMMENCEMENT KEYNOTE SPEAKER

We are delighted to have Nayomi Munaweera as the keynote speaker at the Cowell Commencement Ceremony. More information about her will be forthcoming. 

UCSC'S "NO PET" POLICY

Please remind your guests that UCSC has a "no pet" policy that is strictly enforced. (Animals utilized for disability accommodation as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act are allowed.) If you enter campus with a pet, you will be asked to leave. There are several "pet hotels" in Santa Cruz County equipped to board your pets; please check local listings.

LODGING AND DINNER RESERVATIONS

Make any reservations as soon as possible; there are ten UCSC College Commencements and many more celebrations during the weekend. Rooms/restaurants can book quickly.

ALL-CAMPUS SENIOR EVENTS 

The Senior Class Council and UCSC Alumni Office will offer events open to all graduating seniors. They include a Class of 2019 BBQ and Cap Decorating events throughout finals week. You will receive details on these opportunities in the first "update" email, sent in late May.

STAY CONNECTED

When you graduate, you will join a powerful network of more than 120,000 Banana Slug alumni. UC Santa Cruz Alumni have FREE access to services, networking opportunities, discounts, and events. To get information for all of our alumni programs and services, update your post-UCSC contact info, including your email and cityUpdate your contact information here and explore alumni.ucsc.edu to learn about our alumni programs and services.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Cowell Programs Office
Phone: (831) 459-2255
Email: cowlacpc@ucsc.edu  
Office: Cowell Room 133
Mailing Address: Cowell College Programs, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

See Also