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Get Ready: Graduation Primer for Parents


By Andriana Trang '12

Published Apr 1, 2012 8:00 AM

Graduation at UCLA is a fun time to be on campus. But it can be daunting. Here are some tips for a great graduation experience.


Photo courtesy of UCLA Commencement website.


1. Remind your graduate to order ceremony tickets through MyUCLA and parking passes through the Central Ticket Office (see No. 3 below). Students are limited to two free tickets to the College of Letters and Science ceremony and they can place their names on a waiting list for two additional tickets. Departmental graduations require tickets as well, and again, a certain number are free. But here, extra tickets cost $10 each.

2. Book a hotel room as soon as possible for the weekend of June 15-17 anywhere around West Los Angeles. Some hotels have shuttles to the campus.

3. Park smartly. Lots 4 and 7 are conveniently located under the center of campus, but they also fill up quickly. Try lots 2 and 3 on the east side, and stay away from the residence hall lots.

4. Bring snacks, sunblock and sweaters—you don't want to be the person shivering through the late-afternoon ceremony. 5. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

6. Decide on your must-have photo opportunities in advance. Have him dip into the Inverted Fountain or sit on the Bruin Bear, pose her in Royce Hall's arches or atop Janss Steps.


1. Invite the whole family, tempting as that may be. Remember, each student is only guaranteed two tickets to the College commencement and two free tickets to the department's ceremony. Send out graduation announcements instead.

2. Bring balloons. You'll just annoy the people around you. Ditto for umbrellas, because they can block other parents' views of the stage.

3. Meet at the Bruin Bear. More than 90,000 people are expected to flood the campus for graduation, and most will head straight for the iconic statue. Meet at the Inverted Fountain or at the bottom of Janss Steps instead.

4. Be late. Self-explanatory, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Organizers advise arriving on campus at least an hour before start times. But you'd be smart to add at least 30 minutes of additional parking and walking time, just in case. And it always takes time to find the bathrooms.

UCLA Commencement. June 15-17. Various locations on campus. Reservations required. For more information, visit