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Social Welfare Commencement

Congratulations Class of 2017!

2017 Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Graduates arrive by 6:30 p.m. 
Zellerbach Auditorium on the Berkeley Campus

Graduation Day Instructions for Students [pdf]

Graduation Day Instructions for Faculty & Speakers [pdf]

2017 Commencement Speaker

We are honored to have California Assemblymember Tony Thurmond give our 2017 Commencement Address!

Assemblymember Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes the East Bay communities that stretch along the I-80 corridor from Hercules to Oakland. He serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment and a member of the Assembly Committees on Education, Health, Human Services, and Water, Parks and Wildlife.

Prior to his election to the Assembly, he served on the Richmond City Council from 2005 to 2008, the West Contra Costa Unified School District from 2008 to 2012 and served as Senior Director of Community and Government Relations at Lincoln Child Center.

A Fellow in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship program, Assemblymember Thurmond is a graduate and former student body president of Temple University. Assemblymember Thurmond did his graduate work at Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA) where he received dual Masters Degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work.

Order Commencement Tickets

Our Commencement Ceremony is a private, ticketed event and all attendees must have a ticket to be admitted to Zellerbach Auditorium, including babies and small children. This is a Cal Performances policy and there are no exceptions.

Graduates do not need a ticket for themselves.

Each graduate who RSVPs for Commencement will automatically receive two (2) free tickets each for guests. Additional tickets may be purchased for $5.00 each.

  • You must access the online ticketing system to claim your two free tickets even if you don’t need to purchase any additional tickets.
  • Please note that all ticket sales are final, and there are no refunds. Also, tickets will NOT be available for sale or for pickup on the day of graduation, so please order your tickets accordingly and be sure to pick them up promptly.
  • Tickets are not printable online or mailed; you must pick them up in person.

All tickets will be available for pickup in person from the Front Desk in 120 Haviland after April 25. Be sure to print a copy of your confirmation from the online ticketing system and bring it with you when you pick up your tickets.


Official Cal Regalia & Graduation Supplies
Graduation Gear

The ASUC MyGrad Event for graduates takes place in late MArch or early April. You can order regalia rentals and other graduation gear during ths special event just for graduates.

You can place orders for cap-and-gown, official Cal regalia, graduation announcements, and more at The Student Store, located at 2480 Bancroft Way, and online at

Honor Cords for Undergraduates

The Department will provide Honor Cords to eligible undergraduate Social Welfare majors. Cords will be dsitributed at our annual Haviland Scholars Day on Friday, May 5, 2017.

Graduation Photographs

Customer Service:


Participant Information & Instructions

Congratulations, almost-graduates! Information about the day of your graduation, and instructions for participating in the Commencement Ceremony will be posted here.

When & Where to Arrive

Please plan to arrive on Lower Sproul Plaza, in front of Zellerbach Auditorium, no later than 6:30 p.m. We will have a Welcome Booth set up on the Plaza from 6:00 p.m., until just before you will begin your processional. Oski will be there to greet you and take pictures with your family, friends, and loved ones!

Where to Line Up for the Processional
  • PhD candidates, faculty and commencement speakers will congregate INSIDE the Zellerbach lobby, just to the right side of the lobby near the staircase (north side).
  • MSW and BASW candidates will gather and line up for the processional OUTSIDE of Zellerbach Hall, on either side of the front doors: MSWs on the left side, and BASWs on the right side; and far enough away from the front doors so that guests are not impeded upon their arrival. You don’t need to worry about lining up in alphabetical or any other particular order.
ADA Accessibility for Guests

Please be sure to communicate any special accommodation needs you or your guests may have when you RSVP for Commencement. We will provide the Zellerbach house staff with a list of participants and guests requiring special assistance in advance. 

We strongly encourage you to inform guests who use a wheelchair or have other special seating/accommodation needs to arrive 15 minutes prior to the doors opening to the general audience. Cal Performances ushers will greet guests requiring ADA assistance at about 6:15 p.m., and will assist your guests with seating in the auditorium.

Guest & Visitor Information

Zellerbach Auditorium Directions & Parking

Reserved parking is not available for commencement and we encourage you take public transportation. If you choose to drive, please refer to the campus map for directions. 

During commencements at Berkeley, Student "S" Permit areas will be open to the public at the hourly rate. Purchase parking from the "Pay by Space" dispensing machine. Parking and Transportation will also sell parking for Zellerbach Auditorium at the following locations:

  • Dana/Durant Lot ($10)
  • RSF Garage ($10)
  • Lower Sproul Garage ($15)

The City of Berkeley Sather Gate Garage is also available.



For information about where to stay, dine and sightsee in the City of Berkeley, please see Visit Berkeley.

After Graduation

Students will not receive their diploma on the day of the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed approximately 3.5 months after the ceremony. For more information please see Diplomas & Graduation.


Posting of MSW Degrees

MSW degrees are expected to be posted to students' transcripts no earlier than June 10. The degree conferral date is May 13, 2017. For information regarding requirements and the process for LCSW licensure in California, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences.


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