MDes2023 Cohort Commencement

We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our third Berkeley MDes cohort at their commencement in December 2023. On this page you will find important resources and key dates for commencement events; check back for more details as they are confirmed.


Please join our livestream of the MDes 2023 Commencement Ceremony here via Zoom:

The live-stream will start around 1:00pm PST and the actual ceremony will begin at 1:30pm PST. The ceremony, and the live-stream, will conclude around 3:30pm PST.




Graduates, for more information on other end of semester dates and activities, check your MDes2023 Cohort Calendar.

Date & Time
Friday, December 15
4:00-7:00 PM
MDes Graduate Exhibition  Jacobs Hall
Saturday, December 16
12:00-2:00 PM 
Campus Winter Commencement (optional) Haas Pavilion
Sunday, December 17
1:30-3:00 PM
MDes Commencement Ceremony Hertz Hall
Sunday, December 17
3:00-4:30 PM
MDes Commencement Reception Bauer Wurster Hall



The MDes Commencement will be held on the south side of UC Berkeley Campus. The locations for the Ceremony (Hertz Hall) and Reception (Bauer Wurster Hall) are adjacent to each other (about 200 feet apart on a level, paved path),

Visit Berkeley Parking & Transportation for more information about visitor parking. The closest parking lot is the Stadium Parking Garage. Visitor parking rates will be posted in the parking lots and are also on the P&T website.



What time do MDes Graduates need to be at the Commencement?

You must be at Hertz Hall by 12:30pm for class photos and commencement ceremony rehearsal.


What time can guests arrive at Commencement?

Hertz Hall will open for guest seating at 1:00pm. We will have live music for guests to enjoy before the ceremony begins at 1:30pm.


Is there ADA access for guests?

Yes, the commencement venue has ADA seating and an elevator for guests with mobility issues. The reception venue also has ADA access.

Unfortunately, UC Berkeley does not offer have any wheelchair loan or rental services, but the UCB Disability Access & Compliance office recommends Johnston Medical for wheelchair rental.

Guests can also refer to these campus access maps from UCB Disability Access & Compliance; they are designed to assist individuals with disabilities navigate and/or plan ahead during their time around campus.


How many guests can I have for MDes Commencement?

The venue has ample seating, so there is no restriction on the number of guests each graduate can invite, within reason.

MDes2023 students, please check your email inbox for the event registration link, which was emailed on Friday, October 27th, and register yourself and your guests by Friday, November 17th.


Will the MDes Commencement Ceremony be live-streamed or recorded for friends and family who cannot join in-person?

Yes; we will have a live-stream video of the MDes Commencement Ceremony, and post the recording afterward. Please check the top of this page for more information.

The Campus Winter Commencement will also have a live-stream and post-event recording (more information on the Campus Winter Commencement FAQ).


What are the differences between the MDes, College of Engineering, and Campus commencement events?

The MDes Commencement is for only Master of Design graduates and their invited guests; the event is held every December for the graduating cohort and features a keynote speaker, student speaker, student awards, and reading of graduate names. 

The College of Engineering (COE) hosts a Master’s Commencement for Master’s students in all COE programs each May. The event features guest and student speakers, awards, and reading of graduate names. The graduate processional is organized by program; students in each program gather and walk into the venue together behind their program banner. The COE does not host a Fall commencement; Fall semester graduates can participate in the COE commencement either in the semester prior to or after graduation (but not both).

The Campus Commencement is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, in every school and college. Graduate names are not read at Spring Campus Commencement but they are at the Winter Campus Commencement. Program affiliations will not be read aloud; however, the live-stream video feed on the jumbotron will include degree information. Although graduates are not formally organized by program at the campus commencement, individuals who wish to walk together can gather together in the staging area before entering the venue. Here is a video of the Winter 2022 Campus Commencement livestream to provide a sense of what to expect. The Winter Campus Commencement is typically held in Haas Pavilion while the Spring Campus Commencement is usually held in Memorial Stadium since more people participate in the latter.


Am I allowed to go to multiple commencement events?

Yes; you can go to each type of event once–so you could attend up to three commencement events.

We hope that all MDes graduates participate in their MDes Commencement. Graduates can choose whether they will additionally attend the Campus and COE Commencement events. 

The COE Commencement event occurs once a year, each May. MDes2023 Graduates are eligible to walk in either the semester before OR the semester after their graduation (e.g., May 2023 or May 2024).

The Campus Commencement event occurs at the end of each Fall and Spring semester. MDes2023 Graduates are eligible to walk in ONE of the following Campus Commencements: May 2023, December 2023, or May 2024.


Are students required to purchase graduation regalia to participate in commencement?

Regalia is not required for MDes Commencement. Each graduating cohort will collectively decide how they would like to dress for their MDes Commencement.

Regalia is optional for the Campus Commencements in Winter and Spring. If graduates choose not to wear regalia, they can alternatively dress in business casual or cocktail attire. 

Regalia is required for COE Commencement in the Spring and can be purchased in the Cal Student Store or any third-party vendor of your choice. The designated Master’s hood color for the MDes is brown.


What commencement events can MDes2024 students attend?

We encourage students in the MDes2024 cohort to attend the MDes2023 cohort’s Graduate Exhibition on Friday, December 15th. MDes2024 students can attend the MDes Commencement on Sunday, December 17th if they are an invited guest of a graduating student.



Please contact Amy Dinh (

Graduates, for more information about other end of semester dates and activities, check your MDes2023 Cohort Calendar.