Commencement Parking and Transportation Information

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


In addition to Commencement and beach traffic to Santa Cruz on June 16, 17, and 18, there will be Caltrans work on southbound Highway 17 on Friday. The highway wll be reduced to 1 lane from 9 am to 2:30 pm for roadwork. Traffic will be especially congested on Friday and it may take several hours to travel to Santa Cruz on this highway. Heavy traffic with significant delays, and high-heat conditions, are expected throughout Commencement Weekend. Please plan alternate routes when possible and allow extra travel time to arrive at your destination.

Each graduate receives two commencement parking passes (general or disabled) from their college, as well as specific information about the location and time of their ceremony. Commencement ceremonies take place on either the east or west side of campus. Be sure to ask your graduate on which side of campus their commencement ceremony takes place, and follow the “EAST” or “WEST” commencement directional signs when you arrive at UCSC.

Note that on Friday only, parking in the East Remote lot will not require a permit or commencement parking pass.

Due to the large number of people arriving on campus throughout Commencement Weekend, please arrive no more than 45 minutes to 1-1/2 hours 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.

When You Arrive
Have your commencement parking pass clearly displayed in your car's windshield; note whether you will be heading to the E (east, or main) entrance or the W (west) entrance. Follow the large EAST or WEST signs once you get to the campus main entrance at Bay and High Streets. As you get closer to the commencement ceremony location, follow the directional signs with the specific name of the college ceremony you're attending.

If you do not have a commencement parking pass, follow the directions above, but please note that you may be directed to park at an outlying location and take a campus shuttle to the ceremony location.

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 shuttle to the ceremony location. Large vehicles parked at the Barn Theater do not require a commencement parking pass.

Commencement Parking Location Maps

Park Where Directed
University Police and Event Parking staff will be present at key intersections and parking lot entrances to direct guests to the correct parking lot. As lots fill, the place where you will park may change; please cooperate with police and parking lot attendants in regard to parking instructions. Once you've parked, place 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.

VIP and Disabled Parking
Each commencement ceremony has designated VIP and disabled parking. Have your pass (or DMV disabled placard) ready and inform the parking lot attendants of your need and they will direct you to appropriate spaces.

Commencement Shuttle Service
Special campus shuttles are provided between parking lots and commencement ceremonies; walk to the nearest shuttle bus stop and look for a shuttle that displays your graduate's college name. In addition to commencement-specific shuttles, a Loop Shuttle will operate around the campus perimenter every 10-15 minutes, both clockwise and counter clockwise, on Saturday and Sunday. There is no fare required for campus shuttles.

Accessibility Information
There are several parking options available for those with mobility or stamina impairments. The easiest and most direct option is to park in the designated disabled spaces in your commencement's parking lot and use the commencement shuttle service. If you use a wheelchair or motorized mobility device, or if ascending two steps in a shuttle vehicle is problematic for you, please request an accessible parking pass from your graduate's college. You will then board a lift-equipped van to the ceremony site. When you arrive in the lot, look for a Disability Van Service (DVS) vehicle and indicate to the driver the need for the service. Should you arrive at the lot and not see a DVS van, tell a campus shuttle driver and they will dispatch one to the lot. As these vans can only carry a few people at a time, we suggest that those who need to ride these vans have only one person from their party accompany them; the rest of their party can walk the short distance to the ceremony site. The East and West Fields are flat and grassy. If requested, students will be available with wheelchairs to assist guests to their seats.

"No Pet" Policy
UCSC has a "no pet" policy that is strictly enforced. (Animals utilized for disability accommodation as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act are allowed.) If you enter campus with a pet (non-service animal) you will be asked to exit campus and board your pet. There are several "pet hotels" in Santa Cruz County equipped to board your pets. Check local listings.

If You Already Have a UCSC Permit
In order to accommodate the large number of visitors in the East and West Remote lots during Commencement weekend, R permits expire at the end of the day on Friday, June 16th. 

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.

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.