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Social Welfare Commencement

Congratulations Class of 2018!

All Social Welfare students graduating in the 2017-18 academic year (includes Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018) are eligible to participate in our Spring Commencement Ceremony.

2018 Social Welfare Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm
UC Berkeley, Zellerbach Auditorium

Graduates should arrive Lower Sproul Plaza by 1:30 p.m.

2018 Commencement Speaker

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel
Chief Executive Officer, Latino Community Foundation

We are honored to have Jacqueline Martinez Garcel give our 2018 Social Welfare Commencement Address!

Jacqueline is the CEO of the Latino Community Foundation, based in San Francisco. She is is a visionary leader who is passionate about elevating the voices of communities, pursuing equity, and using philanthropy as a catalyst for tangible, enduring social change. Jacqueline is driven by a sense of urgency, justice, and determination to create opportunities for Latinos to thrive economically and engage politically.

Previously, Jacqueline served as Vice President of the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth). Prior to joining NYSHealth, Jacqueline served as the Executive Director of Community Voices in New York City. During her tenure, she developed, evaluated, and expanded programs to improve the health and quality of care for vulnerable populations.

Jacqueline has also served as a NIH fellow for the Merida Department of Public Health in Yucatan, Mexico, a faculty member for the Social Science Department of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and an adjunct professor at the New York University Global Institute of Public Health. Jacqueline has been appointed to several Boards, including the Institute for Civic Leadership, NAMI-NYC Metro, and Grantmakers in Health. She currently serves on the KQED Community Advisory Panel and co-chairs the National Latino Funds Alliance (NLFA).

Jacqueline has published extensively on issues related to health equity, vulnerable populations, and community health workers. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. 

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. Ticketing for 2018 Commencement will be handled directly by Cal Performances.

No one will be admitted into the Auditorium without a ticket, except graduates in cap and gown. Graduates dressed in cap and gown do not need a ticket for themselves.

Complimentary Tickets for Graduates

Each graduate who RSVP'd for Commencement will automatically receive two (2) free tickets for guests. Free tickets will be available for pickup in person from the Front Desk in 120 Haviland starting April 30. You must pick up your two free tickets in person during regular business hours by 12:00 p.m. Friday, May 11. At that time, any unclaimed free tickets will be transferred to Cal Performances for sale at the Box Office.

Additional Tickets for Purchase

Cal Performances will sell tickets for Commencement for $10 each starting Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm. 

Purchase Tickets from Cal Performances (available 12:00 p.m. on 4/10/2018)

  • From April 10 to April 30, you may purchase up to four (4) tickets from Cal Performances. 
  • Starting May 1, all remaining unsold tickets will be available for purchase from Cal Performances up until the day of the ceremony, or until they sell out, whichever comes first.

The Cal Performances Ticket Office will sell tickets online via the website; over the phone at 510-642-9988; and at the Zellerbach Hall Ticket Office (Tues.-Fri. 12pm-5:30pm; Sat.-Sun. 1pm-5pm) as well at Zellerbach Hall on graduation day, 1pm-3pm.

Official Cal Regalia and Graduation Supplies

Cap and Gown Rentals

The Cal Student Store in MLK Union will have all graduation products available for purchase from March 15, 2018 through commencement ceremonies.

The ASUC-sponsored 2018 "MyGrad" event takes place April 4-6 on Lower Sproul Plaza. MyGrad is a festive event for grads to order their official Cal regalia, class ring, graduation announcements, and diploma frames. Discounted Grad Packs including a Cal Alumni Association membership will be offered during MyGrad. You can also place your regalia order directly with the Cal Student Store.

Honor Cords for Undergraduates

The Department will provide Honor Cords to eligible undergraduate Social Welfare majors. Cords will be distributed at our annual Haviland Scholars Day on Friday, May 4, 2018.

Graduation Photography

GradImages is the official campus photographer for commencement. Approximately 24 hours after the ceremony you will receive information from them on how to access your proofs and order your commencement photos. GradImages sends both email notifications and mails paper proofs to the address they have on file for you. You may also preregister your contact information with GradImages to receive your proofs, and receive a discount on any orders. Click here to pre-register for your photo proofs.

GradImages Customer Service:


Graduation Instructions for Participants

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

When and Where to Arrive

Please plan to arrive on Lower Sproul Plaza, in front of Zellerbach Auditorium, no later than 1:30 p.m.

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.
Guests Walking With You

If you wish to have someone (family member, partner, child, or other loved one, etc.) join you in the walk across the stage, please follow these important guidelines so the process can work smoothly:

  • You MUST indicate in your Commencement RSVP if you will have guests walking with you. You may ONLY have up to two (2) guests walk with you, and they must have a ticket in order to be admitted to the auditorium.
  • Guests walking with you will also have to sit with you in the auditorium for the entire duration of the ceremony.
  • They will also march in with you in the procession. Someone will be taking their tickets at the door as you all process into the lobby.
  • There will be a photo op section at stage left, as you walk off the stage after receiving your scroll.


Students will not receive their diploma on the day of the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed by the Office of the Registrar approximately 3.5 months after the ceremony. For more information please see Transcripts and Diplomas.

Posting of MSW Degrees

MSW degrees are expected to be posted to students' transcripts no earlier than June 15. The degree conferral date is May 12, 2018. For information regarding requirements and the process for LCSW licensure in California, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Guest and Visitor Information

2018 Grad Guide [pdf]

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 1:15 p.m., and will assist your guests with seating in the auditorium.

Parking and Transportation

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 Telegraph Channing Garage (formerly the Sather Gate Garage), located two blocks from the UC Berkeley Campus, is also available.

Coming to Berkeley

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