Frequently Asked Questions

*All communications about graduation and convocation are sent to students’ umanitoba email accounts ONLY. Maintain your account and check regularly in the 6 – 8 weeks prior to your Graduation and Convocation for information.*

General Terms  |  Questions about Graduation  |  Questions about Convocation  
Convocation Day  |  After the Convocation Ceremony
Souvenirs and  Photos  |  After Graduation 

General Terms

Q.  What is the difference between Graduation and Convocation?

A.  Graduationis the term used when you have completed all the requirements for your program and the University of Manitoba Senate has approved you to be granted the degree/diploma/certificate you are eligible to receive. You graduate when the Chancellor or President of the University of Manitoba confers degrees at Convocation to all graduands for that term.

Convocation is the term used for the ceremony at which degrees/diplomas/certificates are conferred.

Q.  What is a graduand?  When am I a graduate?

A.  During the time between Senate approving you to graduate and the conferral of your degree at Convocation, you are referred to as a graduand.  Once your degree has been conferred, you can refer to yourself as a graduate.

Q.  What do you call the piece of paper I receive when I graduate?

A. The paper you receive is called by many different names; for example, degree, diploma, certificate, and parchment are just some of the terms you hear. In the communications you receive from the University of Manitoba Convocation Office, it is referred to as a parchment.

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Questions about Graduation

Q.  How many graduations are there in a year?

A. There are three graduations: February (for those students who complete their requirements in the Fall Term and choose to graduate in February); Spring (for those students who complete their requirements in the Winter Term and choose to graduate in May/June); and Fall (for those students who complete their requirements in the Summer Session and choose to graduate in October). There are two Convocation ceremonies each year (Fall and Spring). See information in the Questions about Convocation section.

Q.  Do I need to do anything to graduate?

A. . If you are an undergraduate student, you need to declare your intent to graduate. You do this on-line through Aurora (log in to Aurora, select “Enrolment and Academic Records”, select “Declarations”, and follow the instructions; if the date you wish to graduate does not appear, you will need to contact an advisor in your Faculty as soon as possible; you may have missed the on-line application deadline). If you change your date, either by accident or on purpose, contact a student advisor in your Faculty immediately.

Q.  How do I know if I've completed the requirements for my degree?

A. You can refer to the degree requirements section of your Faculty’s information in the University of Manitoba Academic Calendar. You can also contact a student advisor in your Faculty for guidance.

Q.  What is the deadline for declaring my intent to graduate?

A. The deadline for undergraduate students to declare their intent to graduate is the last day of the registration revision period in September for a February graduation, the last day of the registration revision period in January for Spring graduation, and the last day of the final registration revision period in Summer Session for Fall graduation (refer to the Academic Calendar/Academic Schedule for specific dates).

Q.  I've missed the deadline!  What can I do?

A. Go to your Faculty to discuss this with an advisor. Depending upon how late you are, you may still be able to graduate on your desired date.

Q.  How can I tell if I've declared my intent to graduate?

A. Just go to the Declarations/Declare graduation – if you have declared a graduation date, it will be stated there. If the date that is stated there is, indeed, the date you wish to graduate, just exit from that screen. If you click on any of the information, your date will change and you will not be graduating on the date you prefer or originally selected.

Q.  Can I change my mind about my graduation date?

A. Yes, you can. As an undergraduate, you do this on-line through Aurora (log in to Aurora, select “Enrolment and Academic Records”, select “Declarations”, and follow the instructions; if the date you wish to graduate does not appear, you will need to contact an advisor in your Faculty as soon as possible; you may have missed the on-line application deadline).

If you are within 30 days of your originally declared graduation date, make sure you notify your faculty as well to ensure that your intended graduation date is updated.

Q.  Will I be sent something confirming that I have declared my intent to graduate?

A. There is no mailing specifically confirming that you have declared your intent to graduate. If you are unsure, check your Aurora record or with an advisor in your Faculty.

Information regarding graduation will be e-mailed to you (we use your umanitoba e-mail address ONLY) before graduation. This information is sent to all students who have declared their intent to graduate, whether they have met their degree requirements or not. If you receive graduation information, it does not mean that you will be graduating. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have met all the requirements for your degree.

All communication regarding Graduation and Convocation will be sent to your umanitoba e-mail account ONLY.

Q.  Do I graduate once my coursework is completed?

A. No, the completion of coursework does not mean that you have graduated. Each potential graduate’s record must be reviewed by his/her Faculty and approved by the University Senate. For example, if you finish your coursework in December, you will not graduate until the date in February designated by the University as the graduation date.

As well, even if you have completed the coursework and have met the requirements, you will not graduate until you have declared your intent to graduate.

Q.  But will my transcript say that I've graduated?  Will it say that I've completed the requirements for my degree?

A. No, your transcript will reflect that you have earned your degree only after you have graduated.

Q.  My Faculty has a ring/pinning/other ceremony.  Is that the day I graduate?

A.  No, ceremonies that are organized by individual faculties are NOT the equivalent of graduation. You will not graduate until the date designated by the University as the graduation date.

Q.  My employer wants to know that I've finished my degree requirements and that I will be graduating. What can I do?

A.  You can contact the Registrar’s Office to apply for a Confirmation of Eligibility to Graduate letter.

As well, you will receive an email confirming that Senate approved your application to graduate; this email will arrive within 5 business days of Senate approval.

Q.  What does it cost to graduate?

A. There is no graduation fee. Student attending Convocation are responsible for the cost of renting their academic attire - see What does it cost to participate in convocation?.

Q.   I've heard that I can't graduate if I have financial holds on my records.  Is that true?

 A.  Even if you owe the University of Manitoba money, you can still graduate and attend Convocation with your graduating class. However, you will not be issued your parchment until that hold is cleared. The most common outstanding fees include late tuition payment, unpaid parking tickets, and overdue charges at the library. All outstanding fees should be cleared two weeks prior to graduation to make sure your parchment is available. Check your Hold status in your Aurora record.

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Questions about Convocation
Q.  I have a disability and require some special assistance.  Who do I contact?

A. Contact Student Accessibility Services at 204-474-7423 or

Q.  When is convocation?

A. Convocation is held two times a year. Spring Convocation is held in May/June for students who graduated in February and for those who will be graduating in May/June, and Fall Convocation is held in October for students who will be graduating in October.

Q.  Can I pick which convocation I'd like to attend?

A. No, you must participate in the convocation ceremony affiliated with your graduation. For example, if you graduate in Spring, you cannot choose to participate in the Fall Convocation ceremony. If you want to attend the Fall Convocation instead, you would need to declare your intent to graduate for October.

Q.  My Faculty has a ring/pinning/other ceremony.  Is that my Convocation?

A.  No, a ceremony organized by a Faculty is NOT your Convocation. Your Convocation date is established by the University of Manitoba; the schedule is posted on the umanitoba website as soon as it is available.

Q.  When can I expect to receive information about convocation?

A. Convocation operates under very tight timelines. Please make sure that Aurora accurately reflects your current address, phone number, and your umanitoba e-mail address. Don’t have your mail sent to your parents or some other third party address – have your mail sent directly to you where you currently live. Make sure to check Aurora for yourself so that you won’t be disappointed.

The Registrar’s Office will send out information by e-mail to your umanitoba e-mail account starting 6-8 weeks prior to the Convocation associated with your graduation date. (N.b: E-mails will be sent to February graduates 6-8 weeks prior to your February graduation date; a further e-mail will be sent to you prior to Spring Convocation.) You will be asked to make sure that we have your full legal name to print on your parchment. You will also be asked whether or not you will be attending the convocation ceremony. It is important to respond to these requests by the due dates stated in the e-mail.

The later you declared your graduation, the closer to Graduation/Convocation you will receive your e-mails.

Q.  I said I wasn't coming to Convocation, but now I think I'd like to go.  Is it too late?

A. We will still be glad to see you. If you have missed the date to register your attendance on-line, you may follow the on-line instructions re: where to go and when to be there.

Student who are not registered for the ceremony must be prepared to pay their gown rental fee on-site.  Gaspard (our gown provider) does bring along a limited number of extra gowns and hoods; arrive early to avoid disappointment.  For more details, see the information about attending Convocation after missing the date for online registration.

You will not receive your official parchment when you cross the stage; however you will be given a congratulatory document so that your personal moment will not look any different from the other graduates. Your parchment will be mailed to you approximately 2 weeks after the last Convocation ceremony.

Q.  Where is convocation held?

A. Convocation ceremonies are held in the Investors Group Athletic Centre (IGAC) on the Fort Garry Campus. For the Spring Convocation, ceremonies are also held at the Brodie Centre for the Faculty of Medicine and at the Cathedrale de Saint-Boniface for graduates of the Université de Saint-Boniface.

Q.  How many people can I invite to come to Convocation?  Do they need tickets?

A. Convocation is open to the public and no tickets are required. You can invite as many guests as you would like. Free parking is available in designated areas.

Q.  How long is the ceremony?

A. Depending upon the number of graduates in the ceremony, the length of the speeches, and the number of special awards granted at Convocation, the length of the ceremonies can vary. Generally speaking, you can expect the ceremony to last approximately 2- 2½ hours.

Q. I have an outstanding account that I can't pay before Convocation and my whole family is coming to see me get my parchment.  What can I do?

A. You can still graduate and participate in Convocation like all the other graduates, but the parchment folder you will be given will contain only a congratulatory note and a reminder to pay your account. Your parchment can be picked up or it will be mailed to you when your account is clear, but no earlier than the targeted mailing date as indicated in your information e-mails. If your account is not settled after 12 months, your parchment will be destroyed and you will need to order a replacement parchment.

Q.  I'm not attending convocation.  How do I get my parchment?

A. Parchments will be mailed out approximately two weeks after graduation. Make sure that your address in Aurora is correct and current on your graduation date. You may make arrangements to pick up your parchment from the Registrar’s Office or to have us courier or ExpressPost it for you (n.b. courier arrangements must be made by you directly with a courier company of your choice; an express mail envelope must be provided). Detailed information about that will be e-mailed to you prior to graduation/convocation.

Q.  What does it cost to participate in convocation?

A. The following academic attire rental fees apply:


Price  Includes 

Diplomas & Certificates      

$26.00 + tax     Bachelors gown, stole, cap & tassel    
Bachelors $26.00 + tax Bachelors gown, hood, cap & tassel
MD, DMD, Masters $26.00 + tax Masters Gown, hood, cap and tassel
Doctor of Philosophy $30.00 + tax Doctoral Gown, hood and beefeater

Students who attend but are not registered for the ceremony will be charged $50.00 + tax and must be prepared to pay their gown rental fee on-site.

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Convocation Day

Q.  What should I wear the day of the ceremony?

A. The convocation ceremony is a formal occasion, so dress clothes would be appropriate. However, keep in mind that the academic gowns can be warm. The length of the gowns is mid-knee to mid-calf.

We recommend that you do not wear suit jackets, sports coats, or heavy sweaters under your gown. For safety reasons, we recommend shoes with a lower heel.

Please also note the following University of Manitoba academic regalia guidelines.

As the Convocation ceremony is a traditional and formal event, graduands shall wear only the University-approved regalia to participate in the Convocation ceremonies.

During the Convocation ceremony, graduands will not be permitted to wear ornamentation on the academic regalia or to carry personal belongings across the stage, including but not limited to:

  • corsages and boutonnieres
  • fraternity or sorority adornments
  • flowers
  • purses or bags
  • jackets

On February 3, 2016, the Senate of the University of Manitoba, on the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Academic Dress, approved the Indigenous graduation stole as presented to Indigenous graduands at the University's Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow to be worn with academic regalia during the Convocation ceremony. For more information regarding the Indigenous graduation stole, please contact the Indigenous Student Centre.

Q.  What should I do with my personal belongings?

A.  We encourage you to bring as few possessions with you as possible. There will be coat racks for you to use for your outerwear. We suggest that, whenever possible, you leave your valuables (purses, cameras, cell phones, and so on) with a friend or family member who has come to watch and cheer you on.

If you must bring a handbag, it will be left at your seat when you cross the stage. You may prefer to bring a very small one with a shoulder strap that can be worn underneath your gown.

Q.  What time should I arrive?

A. You should arrive 1 ½ hours before the scheduled start of the ceremony, and absolutely no later than 1 hour before.

Q.  Where do I go?

A. All graduands meet in the James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre) for the Fort Garry ceremonies. There you will pick up your procession card and gown. The Registrar’s Office staff will organize the graduands by degree and name in preparation for the academic procession. Graduands participating in the Spring Convocation ceremonies for the Agricultural Diploma program, at the Brodie Centre and Cathedrale de Saint-Boniface will receive specific instructions.

Q.  What time should my guests arrive?

A. Doors to IGAC open 1 hour before the ceremony. They should arrive and plan to be seated no later than 15 minutes before the ceremony.

Q.  Where can my guests and I park?

A. For ceremonies held at the Fort Garry Campus, free parking is provided for graduands and their guests, usually in ‘U’ and ‘Q’ Lots. Just follow the signs posted along the main routes entering campus. Security Services personnel will be able to direct any cars which require handicap parking to the appropriate area. Parking for ceremonies at the Brodie Centre and Cathedrale de Saint-Boniface is limited, on street parking.

Q.  How long is the ceremony?

A.  It is difficult to tell you exactly how long any one ceremony will be. There are many factors affecting length. Generally speaking, you should allow 2 – 2½ hours. Out of courtesy, your guests are asked to be prepared to attend the full ceremony unless there is some urgent reason for them arriving late and leaving early.

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After the Convocation Ceremony

Q.  Is there anything after the ceremony?

A. There is a reception after the ceremony. In Spring it is held outdoors, weather permitting. In the Fall and inclement weather in the Spring, it is held in the James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre). Dainties and beverages are served.

Q.  Where should I meet my family after the ceremony?

A. We suggest that you make arrangements to meet them in the reception area. Don’t plan on meeting outside the exit doors – it is just too congested, and the Security Services personnel will keep the people moving for safety reasons.

Q.  Can we take pictures around the stage after the ceremony?

A. No, the doors are locked and no one is readmitted to ceremony area.

Q.  What do I do with my gown and hood?

A.  You return your gown and hood to the tables where you were issued them in James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre). You will be responsible for the full cost of any unreturned gowns and hoods.

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Souvenirs and Photos

Q.  What about grad photos?

A. Some faculties’ student councils arrange for grad photos to be taken well in advance of graduation. You would need to contact your council directly to find out any details. The Registrar’s Office/Convocation Office does not play a role in any of those plans.

However, arrangements have been made for a professional photographer to be James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre) for individual and family portraits to be taken after the Convocation ceremonies.

Q.  What other souvenirs are available?

A. U Floria florists will have tables set up in the mezzanine outside the guest seating area in the Investors Group Athletic Centre prior to the ceremonies for guests to purchase flowers for their favourite graduate. Visit their website to view their work.

The University of Manitoba BookStore has a wide selection of merchandise for sale you can find a such items as lapel pins and watches, plush toy bears and bison, sweatshirts and t-shirts, and even the furry bison hat!). You can visit the BookStore website to see some of the merchandise available.

In spring, the BookStore will have a table in the mezzanine outside the guest seating area in the Investors Group Athletic Centre.

Jostens Canada sells school rings through the University of Manitoba BookStore.  A Jostens representative will be available in the mezzanine for ordering school rings.  For further information contact the BookStore.

Arrangements have been made with Artona photographers to be located in the James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre) for graduates’ individual and family portraits before and after each ceremony. (October 19 – portrait sessions available before ceremony only). You'll be photographed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Alumni Relations offers frames for parchments.  Frames feature the University of Manitoba crest or logo, are manufactured in Canada, and help to support important alumni programming.  They will be available for purchase before and after the ceremonies  as well as on their website, or throughout the year at either Fort Garry or Bannatyne Campus BookStores.

Alumni Relations has teamed up with professional photographers from Artona Group Inc. to help you remember this important occasion. Photographers will be at Convocation to capture two photos of you during your ceremony: one on stage receiving your parchment, and one after you exit the stage. Visit Convocation Photos to access and complete the registration form – this will allow Artona Group Inc. to email or mail your photo previews and order information to you directly.

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After Graduation

Q.  Will I automatically receive a transcript after I graduate?

A. Transcripts are not automatically sent upon graduation. If you require a transcript, you will need to order one.  For more information, see Transcripts.

Q.  Oh no!  I spilled coffee on my parchment!!  What can I do?

A. You can order a replacement parchment if your parchment is damaged.

If your parchment is lost or stolen, follow the above instructions to order a replacement.

Replacement Parchments are not an exact duplicate of your parchment but is the same size and uses the same type font, paper stock and seal, and is laid out in parchment format.

For more information, see Replacement Parchment.

Q.  I've changed my name since I graduated.  Can I get a new parchment with my new name?

A. Yes, you can order a replacement parchment to reflect your new name. For more information, see Replacement Parchment.

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Updated June 20, 2018.

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