Graduate Checklist

Before May:

  • Apply to graduate through DalOnline. Deadline is December 1.
  • Reserve your academic dress through the online portal between March 29 and May 15.
  • For students of African descent, contact the Black Student Advising Centre for information regarding their recognition program.
  • The Elders in Residence will attend Convocation to show their support and pride in the accomplishment of graduates Indigenous to North America (Turtle Island). The Elders will gift each Indigenous graduate with a hand made traditional medicine pouch. If you would like to be recognized by the Elders, please identify yourself by contacting
  • Check the date and time of your ceremony.
  • Check your Dal email account for information regarding your recorded mailing address and the appearance of your name for parchment.
  • Let the Convocation Team know if your plans have changed since you submitted your application to graduate and you wish to adjust your attendance status.
  • Double check the date and time of your ceremony.
  • Receive invitations by post in late-April. Distribute guest invitations to family and friends. Contact us if you have not received your invitations by May 1. NOTE: The Registrar's Office does NOT maintain a waitlist for invitations. Any additional invitations will only be available one hour before the ceremony at the doors of the auditorium. Additional invitations are NOT available through the Registrar's Office.

Mid May:

  • Contact us if you or your guests have mobility or other ceremony concerns and require special seating accommodations.
  • Check your financial record in DalOnline to ensure all student fees and tuition are paid in full so that you will receive your parchment in person or following your Convocation ceremony.
  • Let your extended family and friends know that Convocation ceremonies are available for viewing via webcast.
  • Consider booking your portrait session with Lifetouch. They will be on site during your ceremony.
  • Check the online list of graduates on Thursday May 16 in the afternoon to ensure that you have met the graduation requirements and your degree has been awarded by Senate.
  • Pick up your academic dress from the Gowns Room the day before your ceremony.
  • Review our guide on how to properly wear your academic dress.
  • Plan your Convocation day transportation in advance! Parking on campus is very limited. Visitors are welcome to park at one of the metered parking spaces at the University, however these meters are enforced by HRM not Dalhousie.  

The day of your ceremony:

  • Take a quick look at our online guide to learn how your hood should be pinned. Pins will be provided at the Arts Centre when you arrive to line up.
  • Arrive at the line-up location (Dalhousie Arts Centre; one level up from the main level), in academic dress one hour before your ceremony begins.
  • Find the degree sign for the degree you will receive. This is where you will line-up with fellow graduates in preparation for the ceremony.
  • Ensure you have your namecard. Marshals will distribute these during line-up. so the Dean knows how to pronounce your name on stage.
  • During the ceremony, a Marshal will ask you to rise and prepare to cross the stage. You will need your namecard to hand to the Dean. Feel free to write the phonetic pronunciation of your name on the namecard or whisper the pronunciation of your name to the Dean as you pass them the card.
  • As you proceed to centre-stage, you will do one of the following: 
    Diploma graduates - remain standing as the Chancellor confers your diploma and shakes your hand.
    Bachelor graduates - kneel on the kneeling bench as the Chancellor holds a mortarboard over your head and confers your degree.
    Masters graduates - remain standing as the Chancellor confers your degree and shakes your hand.
    PhD graduates - kneel on the kneeling bench as the Chancellor confers your degree and a Senate representative takes your hood from your left arm and places it over your head
  • Next you will proceed to the far side of the stage and receive your parchment from the President.  Once you have your parchment you will walk down the stairs and back to your seat.  PhD graduates are invited to remain onstage and take a seat with faculty.
  • A reception will be held in the Sculpture Court of the Arts Centre following your ceremony.

Following Convocation:

  • For graduates unable to attend, we encourage you to pick up your parchment at the Registrar's Office if you live in the Metro area. Parchments will be couriered in mid-June to those living outside the metro Halifax area who have requested this service in advance.
  • Watch for an email requesting your feedback about Convocation.