Canceled: Commencement

Friday, May 1, 2020 - 11:00 am

201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California 94102

Due to recent guidance from the CDC related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the May 1 Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020 has been canceled. The School of Pharmacy is working with the leadership of the graduating class to explore alternative opportunities to recognize and celebrate the individual and collective accomplishments of the UCSF PharmD Class of 2020.

Commencement is a celebratory event that commemorates a pharmacy student's completion of the PharmD degree program. Graduates receive ceremonial hoods and a gift from the Alumni Association, providing a special moment in the presence of family and friends to reflect upon their previous years and look ahead to their future careers.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  1. Is a ticket required?
  2. How many guests can graduates invite?
    There is ample seating in Davies Symphony Hall, so there is no limit on the number of guests graduates can invite.
  3. How early should guests arrive?
    Doors to seating open 30 minutes before the ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is not assigned or reserved.
  4. How long does the commencement ceremony last?
    About 2 hours.
  5. Can I videotape the ceremony?
    Yes, if you don’t obstruct the views of others. Tripods are not allowed.
  6. Will there be a place where graduates can store valuables during the ceremony?
    No. Graduates should leave valuables and personal possessions with family and friends. We don’t have security or space to store them.
  7. Guests with disabilities
    If you need reasonable accommodations for this event, contact Lucia Piriano in the Office of Student and Curricular Affairs at [email protected] by Monday, April 20. Some accommodations (e.g., sign language interpretation, and real-time captioning) may take longer to arrange.


8:15 am

Graduates arrive at the Musicians’ Entrance at 270 Hayes Street and meet backstage.

8:45 am

Class photo. Wear your gown and hood, but not your cap. Afterwards, hoods are collected by our staff.

9:00 am

Rehearsal begins. After the rehearsal, to ensure that the ceremony proceeds smoothly, we ask that grads remain backstage.

10:00 am

Lobby opens to guests.

10:30 am

Doors open for seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Ushers will assist guests.

10:50 am

Grads: prepare for the processional by lining up backstage.

11:00 am

Ceremony begins.

1:00 pm

Ceremony ends. The recessional leads to the lobby where grads and guests meet.

Getting there


The largest paid parking lots in the area are:

  1. Performing Arts Garage
    360 Grove Street, SF CA 94102
    Open 6:00 am to midnight.
    Rate varies throughout the day.
  2. Civic Center Garage
    355 McAllister Street, SF CA 94102
    Open 6:00 am to midnight.
    Rate varies throughout the day.

We do not recommend street parking.


For arrival via BART or Muni light rail: Civic Center Station.


If you need us to accommodate an accessibility issue, such as wheelchair seating or sign language interpretation, please contact Lucia Piriano in the Office of Student and Curricular Affairs at [email protected] by Monday, April 20 to ensure your needs are met.


A professional photographer will take each graduate’s photo as he or she crosses the stage. To ensure that the ceremony proceeds smoothly, please do not approach the stage to take photos.


The UCSF Student Chapter of the California Society of Health System Pharmacist will sell flowers for commencement guests and parents to give to their graduates.

Send a heartwarming message to your favorite graduates with a beautiful bouquet, lei, or daisy.

Please pre-order to secure flowers for your graduate. All pre-ordered flowers are guaranteed for pick up starting at 9 am on May 1 at the entrance of Davies Symphony Hall. A limited quantity of flowers will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of graduation.

Pre-order information will be shared here as graduation approaches.

Information for graduates

Before arriving

  • Plan to arrive no later than 8:15 am. We have only a short time to take the class picture and do a run-through of the ceremony before the doors open for your guests.
  • Bring bobby pins to keep your cap in place. We suggest wearing the cap on top of your head and not toward the back.
  • Do not carry valuables. There is no secure place to keep your purse, coat, camera, etc. during the ceremony. We suggest that you have your guests hold your personal belongings since the assembly area will be unattended once the ceremony begins.

During the class photograph

Hoods will be worn for the photo. After the photo, hoods will be collected by the ushers and staff. You will receive a hood again as part of the ceremony, but it will not be the same one you brought with you. The hoods are held comfortably in place by fastening the loop on the hood to a button or, if you are wearing a dress or sweater, the hood can be held in place with a safety pin.

During the ceremony

If you happen to arrive late, you will be seated with the other graduates but not in alphabetical order.

Related link

Bowl of Hygeia Award - The highest honor given to a graduating student of the UCSF School of Pharmacy


Contact us at 415-476-2733 or [email protected].