Frequently Asked Questions


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Q.

How can I apply to be the Student Speaker?

A.

Student Speaker auditions are managed by the Merage School. Please download the Student Commencement Speaker Instructions for 2017 early to meet the April 5, 2017 deadline to submit a speech and video sample.
   

Q.

How can I audition to sing the National Anthem?

A.

Anthem Singer auditions are managed by the campus. Please watch for information and sign up at this UCI Commencement website before April to audition. Reserved VIP seating is provided for the National Anthem singer's guests at Commencement.
   

Q.

How do I provide a Shout Out Video for my guests at Commencement?

A.

Please follow the directions on the Contact Us page before May 15 to send us your (no more than) ten-second video that we'll show to the audience before the ceremony.
   

Q.

What items are not allowed at the Bren Events Center?

A.

There will be a security check of all purses and bags entering the Bren Events Center. It is best to leave backpacks and bags at home or locked and securely hidden in your car. While it is certainly a day to celebrate, we appreciate everyone's courtesy not to distract from the ceremony or disrupt the enjoyment/picture taking of other students and guests with items such as horns, balloons, etc. Selfie sticks or any other items that distract or block the view of others are not allowed. No selfies of any kind on stage, please.
   

Q.

Are tickets needed for the Merage School Commencement?

A.

No. While you may have heard that other Schools at UCI do require guest tickets, the Merage School does not. Guest stadium seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, but there should be ample seating for students and their guests. Students will be notified if this policy changes.
   

Q.

I have a guest who requires Disability Services. What should I do?

A.

The Bren Center features indoor stadium seating for guests. Please contact Diane Sagey to ensure any necessary accomodations are met, including those needing wheelchair access or those unable to use stairs. Guests with Disabled Parking placards should enter through the Mesa Road entrance of the Mesa Parking Structure (next to the Bren Center) and should clearly show their placard to the attendant. The parking attendants will direct them to Disabled Parking on the 2nd floor. Disabled Parking is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a cart service available for disabled guests that don’t park in the Mesa Parking Structure.
   

Q.

How many guests can graduates bring?

A.

Our estimates are based on roughly 5 guests per graduate. That allows for some extra seats, so if your family is a bit larger, they are most welcome to come share in your special day. To be considerate of others and ensure all families may attend, we ask that graduates refrain from inviting networks of friends. You can download a general 2017 seating map for a picture of approximately where the graduates will be seated.
   

Q.

For post-event planning, what is the timing for the day at UC Irvine?

A.

We begin the ceremony at 9:30a.m. sharp and conclude by approximately 11:30a.m.  The time to exit the Bren Center and exit the parking lots can be another 20-45 minutes (we do not recommend mingling outside the Bren Center -- it is extremely crowded). The reception at the Merage School, for those who wish to attend, can be another 20-60 minutes seeing faculty, staff, family and friends.
   

Q.

Where do students order their cap and gown?

A.

Each program office emails students with directions on purchasing or renting proper regalia. The PhD and Undergraduate programs purchase theirs from UCIAA. The Masters programs rent theirs on a Merage School registration website. See the home page of this website for links.
   

Q.

What is a "bling" tassel that costs extra?

A.

The regular tassel is blue and gold with a medalion that has the year on one side and the UCI Seal on the other. The bling tassel has the year in rhinestones (click on image to enlarge).
   

Q.

What is the new anteater gown zipper and do students get to keep it?

A.

Grad SouvineerThe new anteater zipper is a souvineer that every grad gets to keep. (click on image to enlarge).
   

Q.

Can commissioned U.S. military officers wear their dress uniform instead of the traditional cap and gown?

A.

Yes. We are honored to have our military officers so recognized.
   

Q.

Where do students pick up their cap and gown?

A.

All Masters and PhD Cap and Gowns will be distributed by each Merage School program office beginning approximately June 5. You will be notified when they are available. You can download instructions on how to wear the Masters regalia.  Undergraduate cap and gowns are purchased and picked up directly at GradExpo (watch this link for further information).
   

Q.

Can I wear a stole over my regalia?

A.

Only undergraduates may wear stoles. Tradition dictates that the Masters and PhD hood serve as the only ornament to the graduate regalia (except cords).
   

Q.

Will the ceremony be shown on the Internet?

A.

Yes, the ceremony will be streamed live to the internet. The URL is http://commencement.uci.edu/#/webstream
   

Q.

What time do the doors open for guests to be seated?

A.

Approximately one hour before the ceremony, at 8:30a.m.
   

Q.

I've seen flowers and leis in graduates' photos. Are they for sale?

A.

Yes, in late May, you can pre-order flower/lei gifts from Commencement Flowers here (IMPORTANT: scroll down to the last order form titled UC Irvine and use that one for the freshest flowers). They will also have booths where you can purchase flower/lei gifts at the Bren Center.
   

Q.

What other gift ideas are available?

A.

The UC Irvine bookstore carries Merage School apparel and UC Irvine memorabilia. 
   

Q.

Will there be professional photography at the event?

A.

Yes, GradImages is the official event photographer that will be taking several different shots of each graduate. You can pre-register in May 2017 to receive more information at www.GradImages.com; search on "Irvine" and select the Merage School.
   

Q.

Tell me more about the Reception following the ceremony.

A.

Light refreshments (lemonade, iced tea, water and snacks) will be available on the Merage School grounds immediately following the ceremony. Dean Spangenberg, our Commencement speakers, program staff and select faculty are looking forward to meeting the graduates' families and friends. For those visiting the School for the first time, there is a self-guided tour map of a few distinguished classrooms and spaces showing videos. This reception is completely optional as a final opportunity to celebrate with others on campus before heading out for the evening. 
   

Q.

Where can I find general information about UCI commencement ceremonies? 

A.

 Please visit www.commencement.uci.edu for general information; however, the Merage School conducts its own ceremony, so some of the information may be different. If you are unsure, please email Diane Sagey or your program office with any questions.
   

Q.

How can I receive VIP reserved seating?

A.

Only graduates who join the Dean’s Leadership Circle by May 12th, will receive VIP front row seating and be recognized in the commencement program.

Looking for Grad Gifts?
Check out the UCI bookstore for Merage School apparel and accessories or visit the FAQ page on this site for flowers and leis at the ceremony.

Gift for Your Grad
Giving from recent graduates and their families is a treasured tradition at all prominent Universities. Today you can pay it forward and pave the way for the next generation by making a donation to the programs that helped shape your experience at the Merage School.

Merage School Alumni Network
Your membership is free; just keep in touch to receive the latest news, benefits and events invitations.

Dean's Leadership Circle
Graduation is just the beginning. Continue to invest in your career, connect with global leaders and grow your network as a member of the Dean’s Leadership Circle. (Members receive reserved VIP seating for their family and friends at commencement)

UC Irvine Alumni Network
The UC Irvine campus offers additional alumni benefits for a small fee to expand your network even further.