General Terms

What is the difference between Graduation and Convocation?

Graduation

  • Graduation is the term used when you have completed all the requirements for your program and the University of Manitoba Senate has approved the degree, diploma, or 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

  • Convocation is the term used for the ceremony at which degrees, diplomas, or certificates are conferred to graduands.

What is a graduand and when am I a graduate?

Graduand

  • You are referred to as a graduand, as you are eligible to graduate but have not yet been conferred.

Graduate

  • Once your degree has been conferred, you can refer to yourself as a graduate.

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

Parchment

  • Is the paper your degree, diploma, or certificate is printed on.

Questions about Graduation

Can I change my mind about my graduation date?

  • Yes, you can do this through your Aurora account.
    • Log in to Aurora 
    • Select "Enrolment and Academic Records" and follow the instructions
    • If the date you wish to graduate does not appear, contact your Faculty academic advisor 
  • If you are changing your graduation date close to the original date declared (within 30 days), make sure you notify your faculty academic advisor to ensure that your intended graduation date is updated.

Do I graduate once my coursework is completed?

  • No, the completion of coursework does not mean that you have graduated.
    • Each potential graduate's record must be reviewed by their Faculty and approved by the University Senate.
      • As an example, if you finished your coursework in December, you will not graduate until the date in February designated by the University as the graduation date.
  • Additionally, even if you have completed the coursework and have met the requirements, you will not graduate until you have declared your intent to graduate.

Do I need to do anything to graduate?

  • If you are an undergraduate student, you need to declare your intent to graduate 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,  contact  your Faculty's academic advisor, you may have missed the online application deadline.
  • If you change your graduation date, either accidently or intentionally, contact an academic advisor in your Faculty immediately.

How can I tell if I have declared my intent to graduate?

  • You can review your declaration to graduate in Aurora.
    • Log in to Aurora
    • Select "Enrolment and Academic Records"
    • Select "Student Information"
    • Select "View Student Information"
    • If you have declared a graduation date, the information will be listed.

How do I know if I have completed the requirements for my degree?

How many graduations are there in a year?

  • There are three graduations each year.
    • February - for those students who complete their degree requirements in the Fall Term and choose to graduate in February.
    • Spring - for those students who complete their degree requirements in the Winter Term and choose to graduate in May/June.
    • Fall - for those students who complete their degree requirements in the Summer Term and choose to graduate in October.
  • There are two Convocation ceremonies each year (Spring and Fall).
    • All February graduates are invited to participate in the Spring ceremony.

I have financial holds on my records, can I still graduate?

  • 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.
    • You can check your Hold status on Aurora.

If I am not attending convocation, how do I get my parchment?

  • 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, to have your parchment couriered, or to use an ExpressPost envelope.
    • Further information will be emailed to your student email account prior to graduation and convocation.
       

If my employer wants to know that I have finished my degree requirements and that I will be graduating, what do I do?

  • You can contact the Registrar's Office to apply for a Confirmation of Eligibility to Graduate letter.
  • Additionally, you will receive an email confirming that Senate approved your application to graduate.
    • This email will arrive within 5 business days of Senate approval.

What do I do if I missed the deadline to apply to graduate?

What is the deadline for declaring my intent to graduate?

  • 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.
    • The last day of the final registration revision period in Summer Term for Fall graduation.
  • For information about dates, refer to the Academic Calendar.

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

  • There is no mailing specifically confirming that you have declared your intent to graduate.
  • Information in regards to graduation will be emailed to you at your myumanitoba email address 6-8 weeks prior to the graduation date. 
    • 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.

Will my transcript prove that I graduated, and will it prove that I have completed the requirements for my degree?

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

Before Convocation

Can I pick which convocation I would like to attend?

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 need to declare your intent to graduate in October.

How many people can I invite to come to Convocation, and do they need tickets?

  • To help ensure each graduate can have people attend the ceremony to cheer them on, we kindly ask that you limit your in-person guests to 5 people. Family and friends also have the option of attending the ceremony virtually through the interactive event portal on the UM website.
  • No tickets are required to attend Convocation.

I originally decided not to attend convocation, but I would like to attend now, can I still attend?

  • If you have missed the date to register for attendance online, you need to visit the Help Desk in James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre) approximately 1 1/2 hours prior to the convocation ceremony.
    • Students who are not registered must be prepared to pay their gown rental fee on-site ($50 cost that is subject to change).
       
  • You will not receive your official parchment but you will be given a congratulatory document.
    • Your parchment will be mailed to you approximately 2 weeks after the last Convocation ceremony.

If I have a mobility issue and require extra assistance, who do I contact?

  • Accessibility Services will be in Max Bell prior to each ceremony. Their central hub will be the Help Desk. 
  • You can also contact Student Accessibility Services by telephone, at 204-474-7423, or by email, at student_accessibility@umanitoba.ca.

If my faculty has a ring, pinning, or other ceremony, is that on the same day as graduation?

  • Often these are held on separate days.
    • For further information, contact your faculty.
       
  • A ceremony organized by a Faculty is not your Convocation.
    • Your Convocation date is established by the University of Manitoba.
    • The convocation schedule is posted online as soon as it is available

What can I do if I have an outstanding account that I cannot pay before convocation, but my whole family is coming to see me get my parchment?

You are still able to graduate and participate in Convocation, 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 mailed to you when your account is clear, but no earlier than the targeted mailing date as indicated in your information emails.
  • If your account is not settled after 12 months, your parchment will be destroyed and you will need to order a replacement parchment.

What does it cost to participate in convocation?

  • The following academic attire rentals fees apply:
    Type Price Includes
    Diplomas and Certificates $29.35 + taxes Bachelors gown, stole, cap, and tassel.
    Bachelors $29.35 + taxes Bachelors gown, hood, cap, and tassel.
    MD, DMD, Masters $29.35 + taxes Masters gown, hood, cap, and tassel.
    Doctor of Philosophy $37.75 + taxes Doctoral gown, hood, and beefeater

 

  • For further information, refer to Gaspard, the company that supplies the academic attire for all UM convocation ceremonies for the current rentals fees. 
  • 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.

When can I expect to receive information about convocation?

  • Convocation operates within very tight timelines.
    • Make sure your Aurora account accurately reflects your current address, phone number, and your myumanitoba email address.
    • Do not have your mail sent to a third party, have it sent directly to where you live.
       
  • The Registrar's Office will send out information by email to your myumanitoba email only.
    • This will occur 6 to 8 weeks prior to the Convocation associated with your graduation date.
    • You will be asked to confirm your full legal name, which will be printed on your parchment.
    • You will be asked to rent a gown for the convocation ceremony if you wish to attend the ceremony.
  • If you have declared your intent to graduate late, you will still receive these emails.

It is important to respond to these requests by the due dates stated in the email.

When is convocation?

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

Where is convocation held?

Can you help me pin my hood on my gown?

  • There are video monitors in Max Bell showing graduates how to pin their hoods to their gowns.

Which side do I put my tassel on?

  • Before the ceremony, you will put your tassel on the right side. During the ceremony, the MC will ask you to flip your tassel to the left side as you have officially graduated.

I’m participating in the Academic Procession/Platform Party. Where should I go?

  • To the James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre), in the draped area across from the Welcome Table.

If I am a Master of PhD graduand, do I wear the hat and tassel?

  • Yes, you will wear your hat and tassel, and will put your hood on before the procession (not on the platform).

Convocation Day

How long is the ceremony?

  • It is difficult to tell you exactly how long any one ceremony will be.
    • There are many factors affecting length.
    • Generally, you should allow 2 to 2 1/2 hours of time for ceremonies.
    • Guests are asked to be prepared to attend the full ceremony unless there is some urgent reason for them to arrive late and/or leave early.
       

What time should I arrive?

  • You should arrive 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled start of the ceremony, and absolutely no later than 1 hour before.

What time should my guests arrive?

  • Doors to IGAC open 1 hours before the ceremony.
    • Guests should arrive and plan to be seated no later than 15 minutes before the ceremony.
       

Where do I go?

  • To the James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre).
    • All graduands meet here for the Fort Garry ceremonies.
    • You will receive 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.

How many people can be seated with a guest entering on the main floor (accessibility entrance)?

  • One guest may be seated with the person in the seats reserved for people with mobility issues.  The remainder of the party should find seats in the rows above. (Unless there are only two people with the person, then all three can sit in the reserved section.)

What should I wear the day of the ceremony?

  • The convocation ceremony is a formal occasion, so dress clothes would be appropriate.
    • However, the academic gowns can be warm, and 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, and we recommend shoes with lower heels for safety reasons.
    • Additionally, please follow the 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.
     

Where can my guests and I park?

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

What should I do with my personal belongings?

  • ​​​​We encourage you to bring as few possessions with you as possible.
    • There will be coat racks for outerwear.
    • If possible, leave your valuables with a friend or family member who has come to watch and cheer you on.
    • You may also leave items at the Max Bell equipment desk. 
  • We prefer you do not bring anything to the ceremony. If you must bring a bag or item, you will need to stow it under your seat.
    • You may prefer to bring a very small one with a shoulder strap that can be worn underneath your gown.

Am I required to wear a mask?

  • Mask use is encouraged but not required at the University of Manitoba. Masks are available at the entrance to IGAC for anyone who would like one.

Is there a program?

  • The program is available in digital format only to assist with our sustainability goals. It can be accessed via posted QR codes or on our Convocation Program page.

Where will my graduating student(s) be seated? Which side of the gym should I sit on?

  • Students will proceed in alphabetical order by program. It is impossible to know on which side they will be seated.  If you wish to face your graduand as they cross the stage sit on the left side upon entrance to IGAC.

After the Convocation Ceremony

Can we take pictures around the stage after the ceremony?

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

Is there anything after the ceremony?

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

What do I do with my gown and hood?

  • 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.
       

Where should I meet my family after the ceremony?

  • ​​​​​​​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.

Graduation Photos

Are graduation photos taken?

  • Some faculties' student councils arrange for grad photos to be taken well in advance of graduation.
    • You need to contact your council directly to find out any details.
  • Additionally, arrangements have been made for a professional photographer to be at James Daly Field House (Max Bell Centre) for individual and family portraits once the Convocation ceremonies have ended.
     

Will photos be taken of the graduates during the ceremony?

  • Yes, Artona Group Inc. (photographers) will take photos of all graduates as they receive their parchment, and again with their parchment as they return to their seats. 

Can I get pictures taken before or after the ceremony?

  • Yes, Artona Group Inc. (photographers) is set up on the south side of the Fieldhouse, behind where the gown lineup is. They will take portraits with you, and if you would like, your friends and family. 

How do I get my photo previews from the ceremony?

  • You will receive them by email and mail from Artona Group Inc. if you opted-in to receive them.
  • If you did not opt-in when you were renting your gown, you can see Alumni (where they are framing degrees) and they can help you or you can email Graduation.Convocation@umanitoba.ca.
  • You will receive the previews approximately 1 week after Convocation. There is no fee to receive these photo previews

Can we take pictures around the stage after the ceremony?

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

Facilities and Souvenirs

Where are the Washrooms?

  • Washrooms are located on the third floor and in the Max Bell Centre hallway.  (If the person has mobility issues they can be directed to the washrooms next to the IGAC Equipment Desk, accessible from the main floor).

Where can I get something to drink during the ceremony?

  • There are drink machines on the 1st  floor in IGAC. The Starting Block (food service) is located in the Active Living Centre and is open Monday to Thursday 8 AM – 2 PM.
  • Vending machines are available in both IGAC and the James Daly Field house.
  • For a full list of food and drink options on the Fort Garry Campus, you can visit the Dining Services page.
     

Can I buy flowers?

  • U Floria florists will have table 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 graduates.

Can I purchase a degree frame?

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 the Fort Garry or Bannatyne Campus book stores.
  • Alumni Relations is working with professional photographers from Artona Group Inc. to help you remember this important occasion.

What other Souvenirs are available?

  • The University of Manitoba bookstore has a wide selection of merchandise for sale, where you can find items such as:
    • Lapel Pins
    • Watches
    • Plush toys
    • Sweatshirts
    • T-Shirts
  • 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.

After Graduation

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.

What do I do if I have damaged my parchment?

  • 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 parchment.
    • 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.

If I have changed my name since I graduated am I able to request a parchment with the new name?