Commencement Parking and Transportation Information

For Guests

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) buses to and from the UCSC campus are fare-free; routes and schedules are available at

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.

On Friday only, you may park in the East Remote parking lot without a parking pass. Priority will be given to vehicles with commencement parking passes.

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.

Drop-Off Locations
Those arriving by taxi, Lyft, or Uber (or those dropping off graduates) may use Health Services Lot #128, located on McLaughlin Drive. Roads adjacent to the ceremony sites will be closed to general traffic for pedestrian safety.

Commencement Locations
Commencement ceremonies will take place at either the Quarry Amphitheater or the East Field. The location of your ceremony will be designated on your parking passes by either a large Q (for Quarry) or E (for East Field.) When you get to campus, follow the signs for your commencement location.

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.

RVs and Large Vehicles
Large vehicles such as RVs must park at the base of campus next to the Barn Theater. After you park, you may board a campus Loop shuttle to the ceremony location.

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.

Shuttle Service
Shuttles will be operating throughout Commencement weekend, providing service from all designated Commencement parking lots to within 100 yards of each ceremony location.

Disabled Parking
If you or one of your guests use a wheelchair, or if ascending three steps in a shuttle vehicle is problematic, you may request a disabled parking pass from your hosting division, college or organization. A wheelchair lift-equipped van will provide service from the parking lot to the Commencement venue; they will use the same drop-off location used by the general Commencement shuttles.

If ascending three steps in a shuttle vehicle is not a problem, please use a general commencement parking pass. This will ensure that families and groups can stay together, and will be able to leave the ceremony more quickly (as there will be no wait for a lift-equipped van back to the parking lot).

Staff will be available with wheelchairs at the shuttle and van drop-off areas to provide further assistance to seating locations.

No Pets
UCSC has a “no pet” policy that is strictly enforced. Service animals (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are welcome; emotional support animals are not allowed unless previously authorized. Authorization must be requested at least five business days before arrival through the Disability Resource Center (831) 459-2089. If you enter campus with a pet (non-service animal) or non-authorized emotional support animal, you will be asked to leave campus.

Commencement Parking Location Maps
Commencement parking locations maps will be available in mid-May 2019. 

When You Leave
After you've attended commencement, take a campus shuttle or walk to your car. Please follow University Police and Event Parking staff's directional hand signals as you leave the lot. Due to the large number of guests being directed on and off campus, you will only be allowed to travel in one direction. We appreciate your patience and thank you for making this orchestration safe for everyone.

For Students, Staff, and Faculty

Road Closures
Please be aware that Hagar Drive will be closed between the East Remote parking lot and McLaughlin Drive on Thursday and Friday from 2pm on, and all day Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7am. Metro buses, campus shuttles, and emergency vehicles will be the only exceptions made. 

If You Already Have a UCSC Permit
In order to accommodate the large number of visitors in the our remote lots during Commencement weekend, R permits expire at the end of the day on Friday, June 15th. Those with R permits who must remain on campus during Commencement weekend may move their vehicles to the West Remote lot.

A, B, and C permit holders attending Commencement ceremonies will be directed to park in the lots designated for those individual events. Parking is strictly controlled throughout the weekend; please follow University Police and/or Event Parking staff signals and park where directed.

UCSC permit holders coming to campus for reasons other than Commencement should be aware that many lots will be full, or may be restricted to those with special permits or DMV placards. Please refer to the maps available at the top of this page for a day-by-day view of impacted lots. C permit holders who are unable to find parking in their regular lot may park in any non-reserved space in any non-restricted lot during Commencement weekend.