Commencement Parking and Transportation Information

All information subject to change without notice. Expect delays.

2024 commencement will take place on Friday June, 14 through Monday, June 17, 2024

This page only addresses parking and transportation for 2024 Commencement. Visit the Commencement page for all other commencement information.

On Commencement Weekend, it can take as long as an hour to get to the UCSC campus from downtown Santa Cruzduring peak times. Leaving the campus after ceremonies can take equally as long. Please plan accordingly and consider public transit, ride sharing or other alternate modes of transit. See below for additional details.

Commencement Parking 

Parking Permits

All graduates will be eligible to collect one free parking permit per ceremony/celebration. There will be a limited number of additional parking permits. Graduates may elect to purchase ONE extra permit for $25 on a first-come, first-served basis beginning on May 20, 2024. Additional permits must be purchased in advance online. 

Graduates will be able to pick up their parking permit(s) in the weeks prior to commencement at the Barn Theater Parking Lot (lot 122) at the base of campus between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Pick-up dates are designated by college:

Crown, Merrill, College 9, and John R. Lewis: May 28th & 29th

Porter, Cowell, Stevenson: May 30th & 31st

Rachel Carson, Oakes, & Kresge: June 3rd & 4th

Grad, Chicanx, & Baskin Engineering Celebrations: June 5th & 6th

Anyone unable to pick up their permit during the date assigned to their commencement/celebration may come on the back-up date of June 7th. 

Display Your Parking Permit

PLEASE NOTE: Permits will be collected at the event and displayed on the vehicle dashboard. You or your guests MUST have a valid physical permit in possession in order to park at the ceremony/celebration. 

As you enter campus, please have your permit ready to display to attendants. Once parked, clearly display your permit on your car’s dashboard.

No Permit?

If you do not have a commencement parking permit, you may not be able to park on campus.

Parking Location

All parking for commencement will be in East Remote Lot (104)

Parking at UCSC during Commencement Weekend is extremely limited. Due to the large number of people arriving on campus throughout Commencement Weekend, please arrive no earlier than 75 minutes prior to the scheduled ceremony that you are attending.

Guests may walk to the ceremony or celebration from the parking lot, or there will be shuttles regularly traveling between the parking lot and the venue.  

ADA Accessible Commencement Parking

There will be a designated parking area for those with a DMV-issued parking placard or plate.

For those who use a wheelchair or who are unable to ascend a shuttle with three steps, a van service will be available to transport them to the ceremony. The van can accommodate the individual in need and one additional person. All others in the party must use a general Commencement shuttle. Vans will pick up and drop off near the designated parking area. 

Wheelchairs will be available to borrow at the venue for those who need further assistance to seating locations. Please be prepared to issue a valid photo ID in order to borrow a wheelchair. The ID will be returned when the wheelchair is brought back.  

RV and Oversized Vehicle Parking

Oversized vehicles such as RVs, limos or trailers must park at the base of campus in the Barn Theater parking lot 122 and will require a valid commencement parking permit. Your permit must be visible on the dashboard of your vehicle or it will be subject to citation. After you park, use the crosswalk to cross Coolidge Drive and board a fare-free METRO bus at the Main Entrance shuttle stop.

Follow Staff Directions

Commencement-designated roadways and parking lots are subject to change based on conditions. University Police and Event Parking staff will be posted at most intersections and in parking lots; please follow their direction. Do not attempt to park elsewhere or ignore instructions.

Directions to Campus:


  • As you enter campus, please have your permit ready to display to attendants
  • If you are using an app or GPS for directions, please use the links below or type in “East Remote Parking.” 

Directions on Google Maps

Directions on Apple Maps

From Highway 1/Mission Street in Santa Cruz, take Bay Drive north towards campus. Continue up Coolidge Drive .42 miles and turn left at the second stoplight onto Hagar Drive. Proceed on Hagar Drive .67 miles and turn into East Remote Lot (104). 

Other Transportation

Santa Cruz METRO Bus

Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) buses on routes 3A, 3B, 18, 19, and 20 to and from the UCSC campus are fare-free and travel from Downtown Santa Cruz to campus; routes and schedules are available at

BCycle Bikes

Located throughout Santa Cruz and at the main entrance to campus, BCycle bikes are on-demand, pay-per-use electric bicycles. Ride from Downtown Santa Cruz to Campus and continue to the East Remote Lot, or dock your bike at the base of campus and take a METRO bus to the Ath-Rec transit stop.

Weather Tip
Commencements take place in open air venues and involve prolonged exposure to the elements—often heat. We recommend sunscreen, hats, and reusable water containers.

For Students, Staff, and Faculty

UCSC affiliates coming to campus for reasons other than Commencement should be aware that the East Remote Lot (104) and the East Field House Lot (103A) will be restricted to those with commencement permits only. Please consider telecommuting during commencement, or consider using alternative transportation to get to campus.

See Also