Q. What is the difference between Graduation and Convocation?
A. Graduation is 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.
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); May/June (for those students who complete their requirements in the Winter Term and choose to graduate in May/June); and October (for those students who complete their requirements in the Summer Session and choose to graduate in October).
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 are a graduate student, you are not able to declare through Aurora. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will determine when you have completed your requirements and will process your graduation information accordingly.
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 Calendar. You can also contact a student advisor in your Faculty.
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 General Calendar for specific dates).
Graduate students should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for graduation information.
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.
As a graduate student, contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
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 sent to you 6 – 8 weeks 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 in the mail, 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.
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 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 letter that states your eligibility to graduate. We must receive your request in writing, and there is a fee ($6.50, subject to change) for this service. For more information about this, call the Student Help Line (474-9420).
Q. What does it cost to graduate?
A. There is no graduation fee. The University of Manitoba does not charge a fee for attending Convocation. The cost of rental of academic attire is covered by the University of Manitoba.
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 all be cleared one week prior to graduation to make sure your parchment is available. Check your Hold status in your Aurora record.
Contact the Disability Services Office at 204-474-6213. You can also e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or concerns.
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 those who will be graduating in May/June, and Fall Convocation is held 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 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; all prospective graduates will be advised of that date 6 – 8 weeks prior to the ceremonies.
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 um 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 um e-mail account 6-8 weeks prior to the Convocation associated with your graduation date. 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 Convocation you will receive your e-mails.
You’ll be able to access all information regarding instructions for convocation on-line at umanitoba.ca/registrar/convocation as soon as it is available.
Very close to your graduation date, you will be mailed a letter confirming that Senate has approved your graduation.
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. 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.
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 College universitaire 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 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. If your account is not settled after 12 months, your parchment will be destroyed and you will need to order a replacement parchment. The certificate is 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. The fee for replacement parchments is $57.75, subject to change.
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 directly with a courier company of your choice). Detailed information about that will be mailed to you prior to graduation/convocation.
Q. What does it cost to participate in convocation?
A. There is no cost involved in participating in convocation. The University of Manitoba rents your academic attire (mortarboard, which is the flat hat, gown, and hood for you).
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. We recommend that you do not wear suit jackets, sports coats, or heavy sweaters under your gown. For safety reasons, we also recommend shoes with a lower heel. The length of the gowns is mid-knee to mid-calf.
Q. What should I do with my personal belongings?
A. We encourage you to bring as few possessions with you as you can. There will be coat racks for you to use for your outerwear. Staff will remain in Max Bell Field House for the duration of your ceremony to watch whatever coats and other items are left behind. However, 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.
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 Max Bell Field House 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 at the Brodie Centre and Cathedrale de Saint-Boniface will receive specific instructions.
Q. What time should my guests arrive?
A. They should arrive and plan to be seated no later than ½ hour before the ceremony as the graduates start processing in to IGAC about 25 minutes before the official start of 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 – 2 ½ 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.
Q. Is there anything after the ceremony?
A. There is a reception after the ceremony. In May/June it is held outdoors, weather permitting. In October and inclement weather in May/June, it is held in the Max Bell Field House. 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 Max Bell Field House. You will be responsible for the full cost of any unreturned gowns and hoods.
Q. I ordered mementos from Gaspard and Sons when I returned my convocation attendance form. How do I get those?
A. You will pick up your mementos after Convocation when you return your gown. The line can be long, so, if you have pre-ordered mementos, making sure you schedule adequate time to pick them up. If you do not pick them up, you would need to contact Gaspard and Sons directly.
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 the 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 Max Bell Field House for individual and family portraits to be taken after the Convocation ceremonies. Information will be mailed to you about that just prior to convocation.
Q. What other souvenirs are available?
A. The Alumni Association and the University of Manitoba Media Production group have collaborated to make available two items that may be of interest to you. One is a photo of you receiving your parchment on-stage from your Dean or his/her designate. Another is a videotape of your Convocation Ceremony. Information about these two souvenirs is sent in an information package just prior to convocation.
As well, the Alumni Association offers frames for your parchment and a framing service immediately after Convocation.
The University of Manitoba Bookstore and U Floria florists have tables set up in the mezzanine of IGAC prior to the ceremonies for guests to purchase University of Manitoba memorabilia or flow
Q. Will I automatically receive a transcript after I graduate?
Transcripts are not automatically sent upon graduation. If you require a transcript, you will need to order one (the fee is $10.50, subject to change). See the link to Transcripts and Verifications on the Registrar’s Office page (umanitoba.ca/registrar).
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. We need your request in writing, and you have to send the damaged parchment back to us. The fee is $57.75 (subject to change) for any replacement parchments. Contact the Student Help Line at the Registrar’s Office (204-474-9240) for details.
If your parchment is lost or stolen, follow the above instructions to order a replacement. The certificate is 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.
Q. I’ve changed my name since I graduated. Can I get a new parchment with my new name?
A. No, the University of Manitoba does not reissue parchments or provide replacement parchments based on a change to one’s name.