This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Fall 2020 Convocation to be delivered virtually

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

This message was originally sent to employees by Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor.

  • In-person convocation ceremonies in October will not take place.
  • Graduating students will receive a virtual convocation by email. 
  • Faculties will host live virtual celebrations on October 24, 2020.
  • Diplomas will be shipped to graduating students.
  • Graduating students will have the option to attend a future in-person ceremony.

As the University of Waterloo continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the well-being of our students, their families and our campus community is our top priority.

It is with great disappointment that we need to share the news that in-person convocation ceremonies will not take place at Waterloo in October.

The decision to not host in-person convocation ceremonies was a very difficult one to make. Each spring and fall, we see many faculty, staff and students volunteer — bringing our whole community together to celebrate our students’ academic achievements. Thank you to everyone who celebrated our graduates with social posts, lawn signs and personal accolades. It’s actions like these that showcase our Waterloo community, here and around the world. In a similar fashion, we ask you to celebrate with our fall graduates this October. 

Diploma distribution

For our students, convocation is the culmination of years of hard work, passion and commitment. We will confer degrees in October so our students can start on the next steps of their career journey. 

Students will be sent their diploma in the mail, to their mailing address listed in Quest.

Personalized virtual convocation

We are working to give students the best experience possible as they graduate from Waterloo this fall. In October, we plan to conduct a “virtual” convocation — similar to our celebrations in June. The personalized convocation emails will be sent according to the following schedule:

  • October 23, 2020 | Applied Health Sciences, Mathematics, Science
  • October 24, 2020 | Arts, Engineering, Environment

Live virtual celebrations

In addition, we will be hosting live virtual celebrations to further celebrate our graduates. These will take place on Saturday, October 24 at the following times:

  • 9:30 a.m. ET — Mathematics
  • 11:00 a.m. ET — Arts
  • 12:30 p.m. ET — Environment
  • 2:00 p.m. ET — Engineering
  • 3:30 p.m. ET — Applied Health Sciences
  • 5:00 p.m. ET — Science

Fall 2020 PhD graduands, across all faculties, will also be invited to attend a live virtual celebration on Friday, October 23 from 12 to 1 p.m. ET.

Please join our UWaterloo community on social to celebrate our graduate by using the #UWaterlooGrad.

We know that students and their families may wish to celebrate this milestone in person. Students will have the option to attend a ceremony in person at another time. While we know that this may not be an option for some students, we want to make sure that option is available so students that are able may come back to campus and celebrate their accomplishments.

The past five months have shown how resilient and understanding our community is in the face of unprecedented times that are impacting each of us. Thank you to everyone for working together to ensure the best academic experience for our students.

Up-to-date information is available on our convocation website. You can send questions to