Travel and Planning Resources

Family and Guests


Tickets are not required for CalArts Graduation. Graduates are encouraged to invite their friends and family to celebrate their achievement. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Once seats are filled, seating will move to the lawn. Please plan accordingly.

  • Please feel free to bring lawn chairs and blankets
  • Guest seating for the graduation ceremony will take place outside. Please be aware that seating will be in an open grassy area with little covering.Entry to the Graduation Courtyard begins at 5 pm PT.


CalArts’Graduation Ceremony takes place outside, rain or shine. Southern California weather in May can be unpredictable. We encourage guests to check the weather forecast to  plan and dress accordingly and bring sunscreen. Depending on the weather, the temperature can range from very warm to cool depending upon the time of day. 

Travel and Parking


  • Parking is complimentary in all designated parking lots on and off-campus.
  • Parking on campus is limited and parking fills up quickly, so allow enough travel time to arrive on time.
  • Off-Campus Parking: Once the on-campus lots are full, you will be directed to off-site parking. There will be shuttles back and forth from the off-site parking to CalArts. Staff will be present to direct you.

Arrival to Campus

We suggest that extra time be allowed for the drive up the 5 freeway on Friday evening. It is a major route out of Los Angeles and is often more crowded and slower than anticipated. Drive time from LAX to CalArts can take as long as 1.5 hours during rush hour.

Uber/Lyft Drop-Off & Pick-Up Zones

There will be rideshare drop off-areas the day of graduation. Once you arrive to the CalArts campus, staff will be present to direct you to the the drop-off location.

International Travel

CalArts’ Office of International Student Services and Programs recommends this checklist of documents for students to provide to international family members who may require a visa to attend graduation:

  • Invitation letter (in both English and your native language) to your parents or family members to support their visa applications. The letter should include the following information:
    • Purpose of the invitation
    • Your name and major field of study at CalArts
    • Your parents’ or family members’ names
    • Graduation date, time, and location (May 12, 2023, 6 p.m., California Institute of the Arts campus, 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia CA 91355)
    • Note: Remember to sign and date the invitation.
  • Graduation Announcement
  • Enrollment Verification (Use this form to request the Enrollment Verification from the Office of the Registrar)
  • Copy of your I-20
  • Copy of your passport/visa
  • Copy of your most recent I-94

Commencement Purchases

Food and Beverages

  • Tatum Cafe will be open until 6 pm for food and beverage purchases.  
  • You are welcome to bring outside food into the Graduation Courtyard as you enjoy the outdoor venue.

Flowers and Leis

Many students opt to wear an orchid lei during commencement. While bouquets and leis will be sold at commencement, guests are encouraged to pre-order and pick up their leis on campus ahead of the ceremony so that students are photographed wearing their leis when crossing the commencement stage. Pre-order flowers for discounted pricing and to support CalArts fundraising.

Preorder flowers

CalArts Store 

The CalArts Store will have a pop-up sales booth in the Graduation Courtyard featuring shirts and other merchandise from to 5 to 7 pm on graduation day. The campus Store on the second floor will also be open until 4 pm.

Special Accommodations

Accommodations for graduates and guests with disabilities will be available for the CalArts Graduation Ceremony. Below are the services that will be available:

  • Accessible seating in the Graduation Courtyard will be available. Guests should click here to request special seating needs.
  • Guests with other specific requests, such as a sign language interpreter, should also fill out the accommodations form

Live Streaming

CalArts will livestream the Graduation Ceremony directly on the CalArts website. 

Accessible Parking

Parking for persons with disabilities will be available on the day of graduation. A current state issued Handicapped Parking Placard or license plate, issued to an occupant of the vehicle, will be required to park in an ADA stall.

Drop-Off for Guests Requiring ADA Accessibility

A drop-off area for those who have difficulty walking will be located through the main gate near the CalArts Blue Wall. There will be staff present to direct you to the drop off location.


Shuttle vans and carts will be available to pick up passengers needing accommodations at our designated drop-off zones and off-site parking. Upon your arrival, you will be directed to the identified drop-off areas.