Answers to many commonly asked questions related to Convocation ceremonies can be found in the expandable sections below. We will add and adjust this information as we move closer to our Spring Convocation dates, so please check back often. We will also communicate all important updates to graduates via their Dalhousie email account in the months leading up to your graduation.
Ceremony Location and Dates
Our Spring 2023 Convocation Ceremonies will be held at the following locations:
Alumni Theatre, Bible Hill (Faculty of Agriculture)
Dalhousie Arts Centre, Halifax (all other faculties)
Dalhousie Senate meets to award all Dalhousie degrees on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. This is an administrative date only, and is not the date you will attend your Convocation ceremony.
Ceremony dates for the Spring Class of 2023 have now been posted to the Convocation Website.
Changing your Attendance Status
If you indicated on your Application to Graduate that you plan to attend and are now unable to attend the Convocation ceremony, please notify us as soon as possible by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the following information in your email: your B00#, degree/program, and if you would like to pick up your parchment at the Registrar's Office or if you would prefer we mail it to you.
We encourage graduates living in the Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford/Sackville area to pick up their parchment to avoid delay.
Parchments will be available for pick up beginning Monday, June 12 at the Registrar's Office, Room 125, Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building.
You may have someone pick up your parchment on your behalf, provided you send authorization (including the individual’s name) by email (email@example.com). The individual will be asked to show photo identification at the time of pickup.
Parchments will be mailed in mid-June to those graduates who did not attend Convocation and who indicated they would like to have their parchment mailed to them. It is very important that you ensure your current address in DalOnline is accurate by May 31.
Dalhousie is happy to cover the cost of the initial mailing of your parchment. Subsequent mailing due to incorrect or incomplete addresses will be at the graduate's expense. Rates for second mailing are: $10 within Atlantic Canada, $20 for the rest of Canada and $100 outside of Canada.
Your parchment is your printed diploma or degree. This legal document is presented to you when you graduate. Because it is a legal document, it must be printed in the legal name listed on your official student record.
Any changes to your recorded legal name must be supported with a piece of government issued photo ID. If you wish to change your legal name, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and attach a scanned or photographed copy of your government issued photo ID that shows your legal name as it should appear on your parchment.
The deadline to make changes to your legal name is April 1 for Spring Convocation and August 31 for Fall Convocation.
Potential Graduates request invitations for guests when they submit their online Application to Graduate. Each potential graduate is guaranteed a minimum of two invitations but may recieve additional invitations pending availability. Please contact the Convocation Team if you would like us to note your request for additional invitations.
The number of invitations distributed is based on the number of potential graduates compared to the seating available, by ceremony. Due to seating limitations, you may not receive the total number of invitations you requested. Graduands do not need an invitation to attend the ceremony. Infants and young children, who may be sitting on parents' laps, still require their own invitation due to fire safety regulations.
The Registrar's Office does not maintain a waitlist for invitations. Guests who arrive without an invitation are welcome to wait outside the auditorium to be seated on a first come, first served basis should there be available seating in the auditorium once guests with invitations have been seated. Please note that guests with invitations should be seated at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the ceremony.
Gown and Hood Rental - Graduates
Academic Dress (hood and gown), is rented by graduates for our Convocation ceremonies from Gaspard, Inc., a third-party vendor. The Gowns Room is only open during Convocation season in Spring and Fall.
Academic dress — also known as academic costume or regalia — are the distinctive gowns and hoods worn by all participants (including faculty members and university officials who sit onstage) during a Convocation ceremony.
Graduates are required to rent Academic Dress for their Convocation ceremony. A professional photographer will be on-campus during Convocation week for graduates who wish to arrange formal portrait sittings with their academic dress.
There are other options for graduates who wish to take portrait photographs in the months leading up to their Convocation ceremonies.
The tradition of graduates wearing gowns and hoods dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries. This tradition continues today at Dalhousie University to signify a graduate’s academic accomplishment. A description of our gowns and hoods is available here.
Gown and Hood Rental - Faculty and Staff
Convocation is a time where our faculty and staff gather with graduates and their supporters to celebrate the rewarding work we all do as an academic community to educate and guide our students on their journey toward this important milestone.
There are a number of ways that faculty and staff members can participate in our Convocation ceremonies including on-stage as part of the platform party. Please be sure to vist our Faculty and Staff Information page.
The Convocation Team is here to assist should you or your guests require special accommodations in order to attend and enjoy your Convocation ceremony. Please contact the Convocation Team to discuss your needs.
What to Expect on Convocation Day
Please explore the Convocation Day pages for logistical and ceremonial details pertaining to your convocation ceremonies:
Alumni Theatre, Truro Campus (Faculty of Agriculture only)
Dalhousie Arts Centre, Studley Campus (all other faculties)
Graduating with Distinction
For non-honours students in undergraduate degree programs, and diploma students in the Faculty of Agriculture.
Students in the Faculties of Agriculture, Architecture and Planning, Arts and Social Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering, Science and Management who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.70 upon graduation will be placed on the Distinction list.
Students in the Faculty of Health who have a degree GPA of 3.70, as calculated in the Earned Credit Hours section of their Degree Audit, upon graduation will be placed on the Distinction list. Students who have been on the Dean’s List for three of the four years of the Pharmacy Program and a cumulative GPA of 3.70 or higher will graduate with Distinction.
Students in the Faculties of Architecture and Planning, Computer Science, and Engineering who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.85 upon graduation will be placed on the Sexton Distinction list, instead of the Distinction list.
To determine which students will graduate with distinction from the Faculty of Medicine, performance and distinctions from all four years are considered. This determination is made by the faculty's awards committee.
Arts and Social Sciences: Graduates are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.70. Included in the GPA calculation are courses in the honours subject(s) and the single subject chosen for two credits outside the honours subject or, where appropriate, the minor subject.
To achieve First-Class Honours, graduates are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.70. Included in the GPA calculation are courses in the honours subject(s) and the single subject chosen for two credits outside the honours subject or, where appropriate, the minor subject.
Science: Graduates are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Included in the GPA calculation are courses in the honours subject(s).
To achieve First-Class Honours, graduates are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.70. Included in the GPA calculation are courses in the honours subject(s).
Computer Science: Graduates are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all of the courses in computer science.
First-Class Honours standing is awarded to students who obtain a minimum GPA of 3.70 in all of the courses in computer science.
Kinesiology: First-Class Honours standing is achieved by students who satisfy the degree requirements with a cumulative GPA of 3.70 or higher.
Governor-General's Gold Medals are awarded to graduates in the Faculty of Graduate Studies who have achieved overall academic excellence. Two gold medals are awarded; one to the most outstanding Master's graduate in the Natural Sciences and Engineering, and one to the most outstanding Master's graduate in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Governor-General's Silver Medal is awarded to the undergraduate graduate who has achieved the highest academic standing among graduates of baccalaureate programs.
University Silver Medal is awarded to the graduate who is judged to be the leading First Class Honours student among graduates of baccalaureate programs. The recipient cannot have received the Governor-General's Silver Medal.
Avery Prize is awarded to the graduate with the highest standing among those graduating from the general degree program. The recipient cannot have received the Governor General's Silver Medal.
Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Management: Medals are awarded to the graduate who has achieved the highest cumulative average. One medal is awarded per department.
Arts and Social Sciences, Science, Commerce, Computer Science: Medals are awarded to an Honour's graduate in recognition of superior achievement in his/her field of study. One medal is awarded per department.
Health Professions: Medals are awarded to the graduates who obtain the highest academic standing in their particular programs, provided they meet the requirements set by the Faculty. One medal is awarded from each of the schools/college within the Faculty of Health Professions.
Law: University Medal in Law is awarded to the graduate who has achieved the highest cumulative average over the three years of study in the Schulich School of Law and among those attaining First Class distinction in the studies of Third Year, and who has achieved a very high standard of excellence. (Eligibility is determined solely on the basis of law courses.)
Dentistry: Dr. D.S. Precious University Medal in Dentistry is awarded to the graduate who has met the requirements for graduation with distinction and who, in the opinion of Faculty, merits the award.
Medicine: The C.B. Stewart Gold Medal is awarded to the graduate standing highest in the regular medical course as determined by the Faculty.
Fall graduates are eligible for consideration for medals awarded at Spring Convocation.