• Home
  • »
  • COM Commencement FAQ

The 2017 Commencement for the Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine, which includes Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences (MSMHS) students, will be held on Monday, May 22nd, 2016 at 10:00 AM, in Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.  The following information is being offered to clarify the commencement process for graduates. If you are a DO student who has a question that is not addressed in this document, please contact Ms. Arielle Vale at Arielle.vale@tu.edu.  If you are a Master's student with a question that is not addressed in this document, please contact Ms. Donna Fyfe at donna.fyfe@tu.edu.

What is an announcement? How do I get them? How many may I order/send to family/friends?

As the name implies, an announcement allows you a formal opportunity to notify your friends and family that you are graduating from the University.  An announcement does not invite someone to attend your commencement ceremony; rather, it simply notifies them that you are graduating.

You may order your announcements from any vendor you choose, but TUC has arranged special pricing through Jostens.  

What are tickets? How do I get them? How many may I send to family/friends?

A ticket will be required for all guests entering Zellerbach Hall, including infants and smaller children.  We anticipate that each graduate, whether enrolled in a single program or as a dual degree student, will be provided 8 tickets.  

In the early spring our office will receive the tickets and at that time we will send an email asking how many tickets you need (more or fewer than 8).  If you do not need 8 tickets, we request that you let us know so that we can provide a pool for those graduates who may need more than 8 tickets.  The additional tickets available will be based on the volume of requests from you and your classmates.  Do no request additional tickets now.  You will be contacted by your program when ticket information is available.    

Are tickets required for attendance at Commencement?

Yes. Access to the venue is strictly controlled by a contract security firm to ensure that maximum capacity is not exceeded. Please be sure that all of your guests understand that no one, including infants and smaller children, will be permitted to enter without a ticket. Absolutely no exceptions will be allowed.

Will there be a professional photographer at commencement?

Yes. A professional photographer has been hired by the University to take class and individual photos. Class photos will be taken before the ceremony begins. Individual photos will be taken while graduates are on stage.  Information regarding how to order these photos will be provided to you on the day of your commencement and will subsequently be posted on the commencement website.

Some of my guests are arriving from out of the area. What accommodations are available?

Zellerbach Hall is an independent venue located on the UC Berkeley Campus.  As such, special lodging accommodations are not available.  Guests are advised to use their preferred travel booking resources (websites, travel agencies, etc.) to locate lodging accommodations in and around the city of Berkeley and the UC Berkeley campus.  

Are all graduates required to wear regalia for commencement? If yes, how do I order regalia?

Yes. All graduates are required to wear appropriate graduation "regalia" for the commencement ceremony. Doctoral students (D.O.) will be wearing a robe, cap, and Doctoral hood. Master’s degree students (MSMHS) will be wearing a robe, cap, and Masters hood.

Rental regalia is provided to all graduates at University expense.  You may order your regalia by visiting the Josten's website (click on "Graduation Caps & Gowns, then follow the instructions provided).  Graduates will not be permitted to participate in commencement without appropriate regalia.   The deadline for ordering regalia is March 31, 2017.  Anyone who misses the ordering deadline will be required to order regalia at their own expense, and you cannot walk with your class if you are not wearing regalia.  Please do not miss the March 31st deadline for ordering your regalia.

At the conclusion of my undergraduate commencement, we were instructed to move our tassels from the right side of our caps to the left side. Will we be doing the same thing at the conclusion of this commencement ceremony?

No. As students in graduate programs, your tassels should be placed (and remain) on the left side of your cap.

From whom do I pick up my regalia? To whom will I return it after the ceremony?

All regalia is shipped to campus.  You can pick it up in the Registrar's Office (690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200) between May 10th and May 18th during normal business hours.  You may also send someone to pick it up on your behalf but that person will need a note granting your approval and will need to sign for your regalia.  Remaining regalia will be transported to the Zellerbach playhouse and will be available for pickup in the graduate staging area the day of your ceremony.

Please note: Regalia comes folded in plastic bags and will be wrinkled. If this is a concern for you, plan on picking up your regalia sometime during the dates provided above. Irons/Steamers will NOT be provided the morning of the ceremony.

Regalia will be accepted for return in the staging area for one hour following the ceremony.  Regalia not returned within this time period must be returned directly to the Office of the Registrar, at 690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200, on Wednesday, May 24th.  Caps, robes, and hoods must be returned. Graduates may keep the tassel.

Your regalia must be returned before your diploma will be mailed.  It is your responsibility to verify that the Registrar has your correct mailing address prior to commencement.

What are the requirements for graduating with honors? How will I (and my guests) know that I have graduated with honors?

For honors status, students must earn a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Students for whom honors status is certain on the day of commencement (i.e. grades for all coursework have been received by the Registrar and all calculations have been completed) will receive gold honors cords to wear at commencement.  To determine if your college/program bestows honors status, consult your student handbook or dean/program director.

What time will the commencement ceremony begin? What time will it end?

The commencement ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.  We anticipate that the ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. Please note, however, that despite our best efforts, the ceremony may run long. Scheduling of post-commencement activities should be planned accordingly.

By what time should I plan to arrive for the commencement ceremony? To which location should I report?

Graduates are required to report to the staging area in the Zellerbach Playhouse, located on the northwest side of the Zellerbach complex, by no later than 8:00 a.m. This will allow time for class photos, last minute instructions, line-up, and other necessary items. Signage will be in place to direct you to the proper location.

Only graduates and faculty will be permitted in the Zellerbach Playhouse. All guests should be directed to proceed to their seats within Zellerbach Hall. Doors will open at 9:00 a.m.

Please note: No sections of Zellerbach Hall are secured. Graduates are advised to leave all valuables, including phones, purses or hand bags, at home. Neither Touro University California nor Zellerbach Hall can be held liable for lost/missing/stolen items.

By what time should my guests plan to arrive?

Doors to the auditorium will open at 9:00 a.m. Guests should plan to be in their seats by no later than 9:30 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., guests will no longer be permitted to reserve seats and any guest with a ticket can, at that time, take any open seat. The procession will begin at 10:00 a.m. sharp.

What parking arrangements are available at/near Zellerbach Hall?

Parking near and around Zellerbach Hall can be difficult to find.  Guests are encouraged to allow plenty of time to locate parking.  General parking information is available via the Cal Performances Parking Website.  If taking BART, please note that the Zellerbach complex is approximately .6 miles from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.   

I understand tickets are required for entrance to Zellerbach Hall, but are tickets required even for small children?

All guests, regardless of age and whether or not they will occupy a seat, must have a ticket.  This includes infants and smaller children.  This is a Zellerbach Hall policy and it will be strictly enforced.

What accommodations will be available for guests with disabilities?

Designated seating for guests with disabilities is available on a first come, first served basis. Guests with disabilities are advised to arrive early and seek out an Usher for assistance.

How will graduates be lined up? How will graduates get from the staging area to Zellerbach Hall?

At approximately 9:30 a.m., an announcement will be made and graduates will be lined up alphabetically by last name. Graduates will be issued an index card with their alpha number, full name and, if applicable, the name of their Guest Hooder.  At 9:55 a.m., graduates will move from the staging area to a point near the front entrance to Zellerbach Hall.  The processional will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. DO graduates will carry their doctoral hoods draped over their left arms.  Master's student's will wear their Master's hoods.

Additional details regarding the processional and seating locations will be provided on the day of commencement.

What is the process by which we will enter the stage to obtain our diploma covers and be hooded?

As directed, graduates will rise one row at a time, then proceed as directed to stage left (audience right), where they will be matched with their Guest Hooders (if applicable).  As directed, graduates will proceed to the front of the stage, hand their index card to the Reader, then progress across the stage, first to the hooding station, then to the diploma/hand shake/picture stations. Graduates and Guest Hooders will then return to their seats as directed.  A more detailed email will be sent prior to commencement.    

Please note: Diploma covers are issued during the ceremony rather than actual diplomas, which will be mailed to each graduate within two to six weeks following the ceremony. If you would like to personally pick up your diploma, you must make prior arrangements with the Office of the Registrar.

I will be entering the Armed Services upon graduation. Will a commissioning ceremony be included with commencement?

Touro University California applauds the decision of those graduates who have chosen to enter the United States Armed Forces. Graduates who will be entering military service are encouraged to wear their full dress uniform under their commencement robe.  Graduates will carry their dress uniform head piece with them.  At a designated point in the commencement ceremony, military graduates will be asked to rise in place, remove their commencement robes, don their dress uniform head piece, and the commissioning oath will be administered.    

What will we do at the conclusion of the ceremony? Is there a recessional?

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the platform party and faculty in regalia, followed by graduates, will recess as directed to the far side of Sproule Plaza, where they may meet with family and friends for photos.  Guests are asked to remain in their seats until all graduates and faculty have exited the building.     

Following the recessional, graduates will be required to return their graduation regalia to the return station located in the staging area in the Zellerbach Playhouse.  Regalia not returned during the one hour period immediately following the ceremony must be returned on the Touro campus Wednesday, May 24th, directly to the Registrar at 690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200.  Graduates may keep the tassel and are free to leave following the return of the regalia (robe, cap, hood, and, if applicable, honors cord). Your diploma will not be mailed until your rental regalia has been returned.

Following return of the rental regalia, each graduate will also be provided with a packet of important information from the Alumni Relations and Financial Aid offices.

Is there an Alumni Association? How do I join?

Yes, the Touro University Alumni Association (TUCAA) was officially established in August, 2010 after adoption of the By-Laws by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in August, 2010. Touro University California is proud to consider all graduates members of the Touro University California Alumni Association (TUCAA) and invites all Alumni to become active members of TUCAA and to take full advantage of the professional development opportunities and special events planned for Touro Alumni.

If you have questions about the benefits associated with TUCAA membership, contact: Teodora "Guy" Remo-Aguigui, Executive Assistant for Institutional Advancement, by phone at 707-638-5205 or via email at teodora.remoaguigui@tu.edu.  

Where may I obtain additional information regarding the commencement ceremony?

Additional information, including links to all required forms, may be found by visiting the Commencement Web Page.