Frequently asked questions

Registration and guests

Am I required to register for my ceremony?

Registration to attend convocation is mandatory for grads and their guests. Registration for Spring 2024 convocation will open in May 2024.

How can I change the seats I selected for my guests after I've already registered?

  1. Once you have logged into your account, in the top right corner of your screen select “Your Orders”.
  2. Under the orders section, select “View (Order Number)”. Your order number will be unique to your tickets.
  3. You will now have the option to return each ticket you have reserved. Under the notifications subheading select “Return Ticket”. You cannot return more than one ticket at a time.
  4. In the pop-up “Return Ticket” notification, select “Return”. By clicking “Return” your ticket will be cancelled and you will receive an email confirmation. Once you have returned your ticket you will be able to select a new seat. For each ticket you wish to return you will need to complete steps 3 and 4. 
  5. Select your new seats.

How do I make arrangements for accessibility accommodations for myself?

We want to ensure that you are supported during your special day. If you are a graduating student who requires accessibility arrangements for convocation, please email Convocation@uwaterloo.ca.

Please note:

  1. The University does not have wheelchairs for public use.
  2. A registered nurse will be on duty during the convocation ceremonies. The nurse's station is located at the rear of the main gymnasium.

If you require information about accessibility for your guest(s) you can read more here.

If I can no longer attend my ceremony after I have registered, what do I need to do?

You must cancel your tickets. To cancel your tickets, follow the instructions below.

  1. Once you have logged into your account, in the top right corner of your screen select “Your Orders”.
  2. Under the orders section, select “View (Order Number)”. Your order number will be unique to your tickets. 
  3. You will now have the option to return each ticket you have reserved. Under the notifications subheading select “Return Ticket”. You cannot return more than one ticket at a time. 
  4. In the pop-up “Return Ticket” notification, select “Return”. By clicking “Return” your ticket will be cancelled and you will receive an email confirmation. For each ticket you wish to return you will need to complete steps 3 and 4.

Ceremonies

How do I reserve/rent a gown for convocation?

Rental and purchasing of hoods and gowns for grads is coordinated through the W Store. Discounts are available to those who reserve their gown in advance. Advance gown rental for Spring 2024 Convocation will open this spring.  Please return and check the website this spring. 

Grads who have not pre-ordered their regalia can still rent the gown and hood on the day of their ceremony in Studio 1 room 1212 and 1208 in the Student Life Centre. Please come 90 minutes before your ceremony to rent your gown and hood if you have not pre-ordered. 

See more information about renting hoods and gowns.

When are the ceremonies? How do I know which one I am supposed to be attending?

How do I ensure that I have completed all the necessary registration requirements to graduate?

If you are an undergraduate student, the Office of the Registrar has a graduation checklist to ensure 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.

Can I have a preferred name announced when crossing the convocation stage?

Your legal name is used on your diploma and during the convocation ceremony. However, yes, you can have a preferred name announced while crossing the convocation stage.  Please add your phonetic pronunciation during your registration.  

On the day of your ceremony, a staff volunteer at the name card table in the Graduand Check-In, located in Studio 1, room 1212 and 1208, in the Student Life Centre, can update the name displayed on your name card with your preferred name. If you have concerns regarding this process, email convocation@uwaterloo.ca.

What is the agenda/program for convocation ceremonies? Do I have to stay for the entire ceremony, or can I leave early?

View the detailed proceedings for the ceremony. Out of respect for everyone involved in the ceremony, it is expected that all grads and guests remain in their seats until convocation has been dismissed by the Chancellor.

Where should my family and friends meet me after the ceremony is over?

An alumni reception will be held immediately after your ceremony on the BMH Green. Your guests can meet you there to celebrate and take photographs in our special photo areas.

What should I wear?

What you are wearing underneath your gown 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. If the culture you identify with has traditional regalia that you would like to wear, please feel free to do that at convocation. When considering footwear, know that you will be going up and down stairs next to the stage and high heel shoes may be unsafe.

Many aspects of your convocation will take place outdoors, please ensure you and your guests are dressed appropriately for the weather.

It is not appropriate to carry flowers, purses, or other articles in the convocation ceremony. We do not provide storage facilitiesso it is best to leave these items with your guests for safe keeping.

Where can I find videos of past convocation ceremonies?

Where can I access my in-ceremony photos?

In order to receive your photo proofs, the University will release your name and address to GradImages. Please ensure that this information in your quest account is accurate and up-to-date. You can opt out of receiving the photo proofs by emailing convocation@uwaterloo.ca.

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.

If you can't attend your convocation ceremony

How can I get my diploma? I am/was not able to attend my ceremony.

Can I attend virtually as a grad?

You may view the livestream, but your name will not be called if you are not attending in-person. 

I am unable to attend convocation; can I attend another ceremony in the future?

If you're an alumni who did not attend your own convocation ceremony and would like to participate in an upcoming ceremony, please visit returning as an alum page for instructions on how to join a future ceremony.

I graduated previously, how can I attend the upcoming ceremony?

If you are an alumni who graduated at a previous ceremony, you are eligible to attend any upcoming ceremony. Visit the returning as an alum page to find out the deadline and instructions on how to let us know your intentions.

Diplomas and frames

How will I receive my diploma?

If you are attending in-person and have registered by the deadline, you will receive your diploma at the ceremony. Diplomas will be couriered during convocation week for all of those who do not register to attend convocation. See the details about what to expect with courier service delivery.

Where can I purchase official regalia/frames?

Frames are available for purchase here. If you pre-order a diploma or portrait frame, you can pick it up at the frames tent on the BMH Green on the day of your convocation ceremony. Online and in-person sales accept debit and credit; no cash sales.

Mark your time spent at the University of Waterloo and graduation achievement with a gift. The W Store located in South Campus Hall offers a wide range of souvenirs and gifts.