Social Welfare Commencement

2019 Social Welfare Commencement Ceremony

Congratulations Class of 2019!

All Social Welfare students graduating in the 2018-19 academic year (includes Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019) are eligible to participate in our Spring Commencement Ceremony

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m..​
  • Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley Campus
  • Graduates should arrive Lower Sproul Plaza by 6:30 p.m. Graduation day instructions for graduates will be posted here as soon as they are available.​

Our 2019 Commencement Speaker: Alumna Ella Callow! 

We are delighted to welcome Ella Callow, a graduate of our BASW program and Berkeley Law, as our 2019 commencement speaker!

Ella is UC Berkeley's new ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer. She brings a background in social welfare and law to the task of ensuring campus compliance with federal and state regulations as well as University policies pertaining to access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Alum Ella Callow is Cal’s ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer


Commencement Tickets

Ticketing for 2019 Commencement will be handled directly by Cal Performances. Our Commencement Ceremony is a private, ticketed event and all attendees must have a ticket to be admitted to Zellerbach Hall, including babies and small children. This is a Cal Performances policy and there are no exceptions. 

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 Hall starting Monday, May 6; please bring your Student ID. You may pick up your two free tickets in person during regular business hours by 12:00 p.m. Friday, May 17. 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 Monday, April 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm. 

  • From April 8 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, 5pm-7pm.

Guests Walking with You

Graduating students may bring up to two (2) family members or special guests up onto the stage to walk with them in the commencement ceremony. If you wish to have someone (family member, partner, child, or other loved one, etc.) join you in the walk across the stage, we ask that you 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 during the procession. Someone will collect 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.

Official Cal Regalia and Graduation Supplies

Graduates may purchase caps and gowns, along with other graduation gear, at the ASUC Student Store in MLK Union, and/or FallRush Berkeley located at 2480 Bancroft Way. You can also place your regalia order directly with the Cal Student Store.

The ASUC-sponsored "MyGrad" event takes place March 19-21 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.

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 event on Friday, May 10, 2019.


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. 

GradImages Customer Service:



Guest and Visitor Information

2019 Grad Guide [PDF]
Information for graduating students and their families from the Cal Alumni Association

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.

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 sight-see in the City of Berkeley, please see Visit Berkeley.


Degrees and Diplomas

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 18, 2019. For information regarding requirements and the process for LCSW licensure in California, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences.