Ceremony details

  • Date and Time: Monday, May 13, 2024 at 7:00PM
  • Location: Zellerbach Auditorium
  • Commencement Speaker: TBA

All graduating students are required to sign-up to participate in our commencement ceremony. An email will be sent out by our Undergraduate Advisors to students in early 2024 to sign-up.

Commencement Program

The Political Science Department is proud of all of our graduates who have worked diligently to complete their studies and graduate during an exceptional time. To commemorate their accomplishments please join us for the department commencement!

Our commencement will take place on Monday, May 13, 2024

Departmental Citation   

Each year, the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science awards a graduating senior the Departmental Citation in recognition of his/her/their outstanding accomplishments in Political Science.  The recipient of the Departmental Citation delivers the student address at Commencement.  

We are pleased to announce Olivia Huffman Rhee as the 2024 recipient of the Departmental Citation.  

We also wish to congratulate Lee Xuan and Luca Zislin as finalists for the Citation.    

Olivia Rhee

Olivia Rhee is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics. She has previously interned with the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Throughout her time at UC Berkeley, Olivia has served as an opinion editor for the Daily Californian, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Chi Omega, and a member of the Model United Nations team. As an honors student, Olivia's thesis explores the impact of church attendance on partisan identity among Asian American Christians. Next year, she will pursue a master's degree in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, where she plans to continue researching the intersections between ethnic identity and political behavior.

Information for Graduating Students


Doors will open at 6:00PM. We encourage graduates to arrive at 5:30PM so they have adequate time to check in and prepare for commencement. All undergrads & PhDs must check in outside of the Zellerbach Hall under the tent in Lower Sproul Plaza no later than 6:00PM.

You must bring your photo ID and your name card which will be distributed when you pick your free tickets. You will need to fill out your name card preferably before arriving and hold on to the name card, as you will need to give it to the faculty presenter when you cross the stage.

All graduating students must check in. Look for a table outside the tent in Lower Sproul Plaza where two staff members will be checking in graduating students. They will need to see your photo ID to check you in.

Bring as few belongings with you as you need, as there's no place to safely store items. All graduates, both Bachelors and PhD, will be lining up outside while your guests will be entering the venue. Your family and friends will have a near-impossible time connecting with you once inside (receiving tickets, giving flowers).  Please decide on a rendezvous point with your guests outside the Zellerbach Hall for before/after the ceremony.

Lining up: At 6:30PM all participating students must be in the tent located in Lower Sproul Plaza and ready to start the procession.

Look for a table in the tent area near the MLK Student Union with index cards and pencils, if you forgot or lost your name card, legibly write your name on a card, and hold onto it. The announcer will read your name from this card as you cross the stage to receive your scroll. If you have any concerns about the pronunciation of your name, write your name the way it sounds (i.e. writing oski as os-kee). Consider including a rhyming word (i.e. rhymes with goatee). You can also say your name to the announcer. The cards are provided by GradImages, so you can order photographs by either filling out the back (or going on-line in advance to gradimages.com (external link) - click "Pre-Event Registration", type in "Berkeley", and click "University of CA Berkeley Political Science").

At 6:30pm graduates will line up single-file below the stairs leading to the main doors of Zellerbach Hall.   (look for signs posted on the doors). Ph.Ds will proceed onto the venue first, so please allow plenty of space for them to gather.

Ph.D.s: Arrive in your cap and gown but hold onto your hood. Stay in your seat until your name is called, then move to the center of the stage, meet your thesis advisor and give him or her your hood. Turn to face the audience while your advisor places your hood over your head from behind. Walk over to Professor Hyde to receive your ceremonial scroll — your photo will be taken at this point — and then follow the photographer's instructions about how to proceed back to your chair. Once you return to your seat onstage, attach your hood to the button at the neck of your gown.

B.A.s: After the PhDs are awarded, students on stage should watch for the signal from Efrat to rise and move off stage. Students seated on the main floor, watch for a signal from Suzanne to rise and move towards the stage. Efrat will separate and guide you into two lines on stage, and direct you to one of two announcers. Walk up to your "designated" announcer, hand them the card with your name on it, and cross the stage to meet Professor Hyde. The photographer will take your picture as you accept your scroll from Professor Hyde and later as you leave the stage. Pace yourself and stay at least 15 feet behind the previous student, so the photographer has a clear shot of you. Proceed in the same direction to leave the stage and return to your seat. Finally, Professor Hyde will grant the degrees and invite the graduates to participate in the traditional "moving of the tassle" on their mortar boards from right to left.

Information for Guests

Enter through the main doors of Zellerbach Hall. Doors to Zellerbach Hall will close promptly at 7:00pm for the graduates processional. Once the processional is complete doors will reopen so guests may enter and find a seat. NOTE: All graduating students must gather in Lower Sproul Plaza.

Signs, noise makers, and balloons are NOT allowed inside the Zellerbach Hall for Commencement.

Please travel lightly, leaving unnecessary backpacks, etcs at home or in car trunks. In addition, Cal Performances has issued a list of prohibited items.

In addition, these items are also NOT allowed at the Zellerbach Hall: umbrellas, large bags or backpacks, alcohol, glass bottles/ aluminum cans, coolers/ ice chests, skateboards/ scooters/ bicycles,  noise-makers/ airhorns, musical instruments, toilet paper, fireworks, any items that can be remotely perceived as weapons, banners/ flags, lawn furniture/ chairs, tripods for cameras, strollers and balloons (must park/ tie off at entrance guests), and animals unless for documented service.

Restrooms are located on all levels of Zellerbach Hall. A wheelchair-accessible restroom is located on the main floor. Commencement Flowers will be stationed outside.

Reminder: Only graduating students and faculty onstage at any time!

Doors will open at 6:00PM. The ceremony generally lasts about 2 hours. Zellerbach Hall is a fantastic venue and every seat is a good seat. However, if guests want their pick of the seating available, they should arrive on time as the venue is general admission.

The recording of our commencement ceremony posted here:

Previous commencement recordings may be provided upon request on a case-by-case basis. If you'd like to request access to a recording of a previous year's Political Science Commencement, please email Erin Blanton at eblanton@berkeley.edu