How do I ensure that I have completed all the necessary registration requirements to graduate?
If you are an undergraduate student, the Registrar’s Office has a graduation checklist to make sure you have completed all the necessary steps leading up to Convocation. If you are a master’s or doctoral student, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs also has a similar graduation checklist with the necessary information.
How do I get my composite photo (grad class) and graduation photos from the ceremony?
Each faculty makes separate arrangements to have composite photos completed. Please contact the faculty coordinator in your program for more information or visit the following link to see which photographer your faculty uses.
The University arranges for a professional photographer to take each graduate’s photograph as they are receiving their diploma. Complimentary proofs will be automatically mailed to the graduate’s home address listed in Quest following the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase. You'll be offered the option of ordering from several packages. If you haven't received your proofs within one month of your convocation ceremony, contact the photographer directly at 1-800-372-3686 or visit GradImages.
Note: In order that the photo proofs may be mailed, the University will release your name and address to GradImages. You can opt out of receiving the photo proofs by emailing email@example.com.
Are cameras/video recorders allowed at the graduation ceremony?
Yes, your guests can bring their cameras and recording devices but guests are asked to remain in their seats. Instructions for taking photos of your grad will be provided from stage just before the ceremony begins. There is an opportunity to move to a side stage location for photo taking as your grad crosses the stage.
How can I get my diploma? I am/was not able to attend my ceremony.
You'll find this information in the section about not being able to attend your ceremony.
Can someone pick up my diploma on my behalf?
Yes. See the details about how to make the necessary arrangements.
I am unable to attend convocation; can I attend another ceremony in the future?
If you're an alumnus who did not attend your own convocation ceremony and would like to participate in an upcoming ceremony, we can make arrangements for you. See how to participate as an alumnus.
How do I reserve/rent a gown for convocation?
Rental and purchasing of hoods and gowns for students is coordinated through the W Store. Discounts are available to those who reserve their gown in advance. The convocation rental site for Fall 2019 will open on August 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. The last day for advance gown rental is October 14, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. After this date, gowns can be rented in the small gym on the day of convocation.
More information about renting hoods and gowns can be found here.
How do I make arrangements for accessibility accommodations for myself?
We want to ensure that Convocation is accessible to you as a graduating student and that you feel supported during your special day. Please complete the request form to let us know your accommodation needs.
In order to meet accessibility requests, notification must be received by June 3 for spring Convocation and October 11 for fall Convocation.
- The University does not have wheelchairs for public use.
- A registered nurse will be on duty during the convocation ceremonies. The nurse's station is located at the rear of the main gymnasium
When are the ceremonies? How do I know which one I am supposed to be attending?
Ceremony dates and times for current and upcoming Convocations can be found here.
Undergradute students graduating with a double or joint honours will graduate at the ceremony of their first major (see unofficial transcript for order).
If you are a student and unsure which ceremony you should be attending or don't see your program listed? Contact the staff in the Registrar's Office if you are an undergrad or Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs if you are a graduate student.
How many guests am I allowed to invite?
Please limit your guests to five. Tickets, reservations, and RSVPs are not required. Friends and family may also enjoy watching the livestream ceremony online. The recorded event is also posted a week after convocation on the UWaterloo YouTube Channel.
Where should my family and friends meet me after the ceremony is over?
Celebrate your graduation with your family and friends. A reception will be held immediately after your ceremony in the Great Hall of the Student Life Centre. Complimentary desserts and refreshments will be served.
Where can I find videos of past convocation ceremonies?
Visit our playlist in the UWaterloo Convocation Youtube Channel to watch videos of our past convocation ceremonies.
What is the agenda/program for convocation ceremonies? Do I have to stay for the entire thing, or can I leave early?
Detailed proceedings for the ceremony can be found here. Out of respect for everyone involved in the ceremony, it is expected that all students remain in your seats until Convocation has been dismissed by the Chancellor.
What should I wear?
What you are wearing underneath will show (less for doctoral gowns), so don't be afraid to dress up. Suits or sports jackets and ties, dresses, and dress pants are all good choices. Please note that high heels may be unsafe when you're using the stairs beside the stage.
It is not appropriate to carry flowers, purses, or other articles in the convocation ceremony. We do not provide storage facilities so please leave these items with your guests for safe-keeping.
Where can I purchase official regalia/frames?
If you pre-ordered a diploma or portrait frame, don't forget to pick it up in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Student Life Centre on the day of your ceremony.
Frames will also be available for purchase.
Mark your time spent at Waterloo and graduation achievement with a gift. The waterloostore located in South Campus Hall offers a wide range of souvenirs and gifts. Frames that have been ordered in advance can be picked up in the SLC (Student Life Centre) after the ceremony at the post-ceremony cupcake reception. If you have not pre-ordered a frame, they are available in this same location for sale.
How do I make arrangements for accessibility accommodations as a guest?
Parents/guests with accommodations needs should complete this request form. A limited number of special access seating (2) is designated for Convocation guests who may have difficulty with stairs or who use wheelchairs on a first-come, first-filled basis.
Where can I park?
On-campus parking is free in selected lots during Convocation; permits are not required for Convocation guests. Signs will be posted one to two weeks before Convocation and every effort will be made to direct guests to parking areas as close as possible to the site of the ceremony.
Note: Parking is not available close to the building. Guests with mobility concerns can be dropped off at the ground-floor-level door located beside the steps to the South entrance of the Physical Activities Complex.
Where is Lost and Found located?
Lost and Found is located at our Nursing Station located at the back of the PAC. After Convocation week any valuable items not claimed are sent to the UW Police Commissary.
How long are the ceremonies?
We aim to keep the program at the convocation ceremonies to two (2) hours in length (i.e., the morning ceremony starting at 10:00 A.M. should be wrapping up by 12:00 P.M. (noon). However, there is always potential for them to go a bit beyond the two hours depending on the speakers and the number of individuals participating.
How do I register to hood a student?
Supervisors of PhD graduands are invited to participate in Convocation by hooding the students that they have taught, advised, supervised and mentored throughout their years as a PhD student.
University of Waterloo faculty and staff and faculty of other post-secondary institutions are invited to hood a student, family member, friend or colleague who is graduating with a Bachelors or Master's degree.
PhD and special hooders participate in the Chancellor's Procession and sit on stage throughout the ceremony. Hooding instructions are sent by email, and a special "Hooding 101" tutorial is held the week prior to Convocation. To register to be a PhD or special hooder, please complete the following web form.
How do I register to be in the faculty procession?
Faculty members, invited senior staff members and members of the Board of Governors and the Senate are invited to participate in Convocation by taking part in the faculty procession, part of the academic procession for the ceremony. To register, please complete the faculty procession registration form and select your preferred ceremony.
How do I register for the Chancellors Party?
The Chancellor's Party is comprised of active ceremony participants as well as senior administration and is the last procession to enter the venue. If you have been invited to participate in the Chancellor’s Procession, plese complete the Chancellor's procession registration form. Please note that you will need to log in to complete the form using your WATiam credentials.
Can staff volunteer at Convocation?
Yes. Please visit the volunteer website for more information on roles, frequently asked questions and to register to volunteer at Convocation. We welcome all new volunteers. Training is provided.
If you have a question that isn’t covered, please contact us and we will respond to you within 24 hours.