Detailed proceedings

The ceremony

The graduation ceremony consists of some of the following components:

  • Academic procession
    • Student procession
    • Faculty procession
    • Chancellor's procession
  • National anthem
  • Indigenous opening
  • Welcoming remarks
  • Honorary doctorate and title presentation(s)
  • Convocation address
  • Valedictory address (June convocation ceremonies only)
  • Dean's address
  • Conferment of degrees
  • Presentation of the medals and awards
  • Closing remarks
  • Adjournment

When the ceremony is ready to begin, the graduating class will be led to the main gymnasium and enter the gymnasium in procession. They will be directed to the graduand seating areas and should remain standing until the Chancellor and the faculty procession have been seated.

Guests are asked to remain in their seats for the entire ceremony.

Honorary degrees and titles

Honorary degrees are generally awarded for one of three reasons: To recognize extraordinary intellectual or artistic achievement, to honour service to the University and to the wider society and to recognize men and women who might serve as examples to the institution's student body.

General presentation of candidates

At the point in the proceedings when the earned degrees are to be conferred, the vice-chancellor will request the members of the graduating class to rise in their places and then will address the chancellor as follows:

Mister Chancellor, I present to you those scholars who have fulfilled the statutory requirements laid down by the Senate of the University that they may be admitted to their various and several degrees.

The chancellor will reply as follows:

By virtue of the authority vested in me, and in the University, I hereby admit you to your various and several degrees, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereto appertaining.

The graduating class will again be seated.

Conferment of degrees

When the Dean introduces the conferring of degrees, a convocation marshal will direct each group of graduands to rise and proceed, row by row, to the left-hand side of the stage. A hood that coincides with the degree/program (no hood for diplomas/certificates) will be awarded to each graduand at their convocation ceremony. Masters and Doctoral graduands will have their hoods draped over their arm just before going onto the stage. Undergraduates will receive their hoods when they pick up their gown and will cross the stage wearing their hood. Graduands will proceed to the stage right stairway, present their line-up/name card to the stage marshal and wait for the stage marshal to direct them to proceed onto the stage. At centre stage, the hood will be removed from the arm and placed over the head (for Masters and Doctoral graduates) and the graduates will receive congratulations from the president, chancellor or vice-president, Academic and Provost.

Doctoral (PhD) degrees are presented one-at-a-time with candidates standing before the chancellor to receive their degrees. The PhD hat should be carried, not worn, until after the degree is conferred at which point it should be placed on the head (tassel to the left). Doctoral degrees will be awarded first, followed by Master’s degrees, then Bachelor’s degrees.

Master's degrees are conferred three-at-a-time by the president, chancellor, and the Dean. Graduands being awarded their Master’s degree will receive their hood on stage.

Bachelor's degrees are conferred three-at-a-time by the president, chancellor, and the Dean. Undergraduates will receive their hoods when they pickup their gown and will cross the stage wearing it.

Graduates then proceed across the stage to the right and down the steps to receive their diploma before returning to their seat by way of the centre aisle.

Note: Graduates having received their diploma via the early degree process will not receive another diploma at the ceremony.

Medal and prize winners

Following the presentation of degrees and diplomas, medal and prize winners (including the Governor General Awards, Alumni Gold Medals and other student awards) will be called to the stage to receive their awards.

Please remain in your seats until convocation has been dismissed.