Convocation FAQs

Updated: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 8:00 AM

Why has the university cancelled convocation ceremonies?

Following information and advice about COVID-19 from regional and provincial health officers regarding large events, SFU has made the difficult decision to cancel the spring 2020 Convocation ceremonies that were scheduled for June 9 to 12, 2020 to ensure the safety of the SFU community.

Alternate plans have been developed to create a memorable experience for graduands to celebrate their accomplishments with their peers, mentors, family and friends. A Virtual Convocation Celebration will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020, 5:30 pm PDT. The virtual celebration is not intended to be a replacement for an in-person Convocation ceremony - we know how important that experience is to graduates and their families. We will provide updates on this website as details details are confirmed, including options to attend a future convocation ceremony.

Will there be a virtual convocation ceremony in June?

Yes. The university will host a Virtual Convocation Celebration on June 11, 2020, 5:30 pm PDT that will allow graduands and their families to gather virtually and celebrate. 

In addition to the main event, you’re invited to celebrate virtually with your faculty or department. View the Faculty Celebrations and Schedule of events for more information.

How can I watch the Virtual Convocation Celebration?

Graduates, families, friends and the university community can watch the live broadcast on June 11 on the Convocation website or through SFU's Live YouTube channel.

Following the live broadcast the recording will be made available on-demand on this website and SFU's YouTube channel.

Will the Virtual Convocation Celebration be available to view at a later date?

Yes. Following the live broadcast of the Virtual Convocation Celebration on June 11, the recording will be made available on-demand on this website and SFU's YouTube channel.

How can I, my family or friends participate in the virtual celebration?

Graduates, families, friends and the university community are invited to gather virtually to watch the live broadcast on June 11 on the Convocation website or through SFU's YouTube channel.

In addition, you can use our virtual celebration tools and share your virtual cheers and best wishes with fellow members of the spring 2020 graduating class using #MySFUGrad2020 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

What social media tools are available for the celebration?

Celebrate with a variety of virtual celebration tools including an SFU cap and gown Instagram filter, print-at-home celebration signs, zoom backgrounds and photo stickers and frames! Tag your photos with #MySFUGrad2020 to share your at-home celebrations!

Did you consult with graduating students about the Virtual Convocation Celebration?

Yes. Select graduating students were consulted and helped shape many elements that are being incorporated into the celebration.

Will I have the opportunity to attend an in-person convocation ceremony?

Yes. Graduating students who apply for graduation by April 17, 2020, will be invited to participate in expanded, in-person convocation ceremonies when it is safe to gather in large groups as advised by provincial health officials. We will provide updates on this website as details are confirmed.

Will the Indigenous Honouring Ceremony be held in June?

The Indigenous Student Centre Virtual Honouring Ceremony was held on June 21, 2020, 1:00 - 2:00 pm PDT. The in-person event will be rescheduled to a later date. 

Will I still graduate?

Yes. Students who have successfully completed the requirements for their degree, diploma or certificate, will graduate and receive their parchment.

Should I cancel my graduation application to defer to a future ceremony?

No. Cancelling your application means you would not receive your parchment, which could have implications if you are applying to graduate school or and may limit employment options in the near term.

For undergraduate students, please consult with your departmental advisor or the Registrar’s office before cancelling your application.

For graduate students, please contact your program of study or Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (gradstdy@sfu.ca) for information.

Will graduation application fees still be charged for spring 2020?

Yes, the graduation application fee is not connected to Convocation and will still be charged for undergraduate students.

For graduate students, the graduation fee is integrated into the first three terms of your program, and so no additional fee applies at this time.

My family has booked travel – what about refunds?

Please consult with your booking agent or airline. SFU does not provide refunds for travel.

Is my faculty or department doing anything to celebrate?

Faculty Dean's and the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies have posted videos and messages of congratulations to graduating students on the Faculty Celebrations webpage. Faculties and various departments will also be hosting virtual celebrations beore or after the main Virtual Convocation Celebration. View the Schedule for more event details.

Can I still get graduation photos?

Artona's photography studio will reopen on June 1.

Existing appointments from March 22, 2020 - April 30, 2020 were cancelled. If you would like to book an indvidual photography session or if you have any questions for Artona, please contact their online support team directly through live chat at artona.com or email csr@artona.com.   

I have a question about graduation and convocation that has not been answered in the FAQs. Who can I contact?

Student Services offices and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies have temporarily discontinued in-person services on all three campuses until further notice.

For undergraduate students: we are available through our usual channels (LiveHelp, email and phone) to receive and respond to your inquiries in a timely manner.

For graduate students: You can contact us by emailing gradstdy@sfu.ca, or accessing our inquiry ticket system

Convocation Celebration Box & Parchment

What is a Convocation Celebration Box?

This summer, graduates will receive a special Convocation Celebration Box in the mail which will include their parchment enclosed in an SFU degree cover. It will also include a congratulatory message from the President and Chancellor, Convocation program book, SFU Alumni pin, mortarboard and tassel, and more fun surprises. Continue the celebration on social media by sharing your unboxing experience using #MySFUGrad2020

How will I receive my Convocation Celebration Box and parchment?

What happens to my parchment if I do not complete the WebSurvey by July 19, 2020?

If you miss the above deadline you will still have an opportunity to confirm your address and receive your parchment by mail, but you will no longer be eligible to receive a Convocation Celebration Box. Student Services will send an email with details on how to do a late confirmation after the July 19, 2020 deadline.

When will the Convocation Celebration Box be mailed?

We anticipate mailing the Convocation Celebration Box via Canada Post in August 2020. 

Can I track my Convocation Celebration Box?

A tracking number will be sent to your @sfu.ca email address from Canada Post once they have been sent.

How quickly will I get my Convocation Celebration Box?

Due to high shipping volume, COVID-19 safety measures and customs processing, SFU and Canada Post are unable to guarantee a delivery window.

My tracking status says the box was delivered, but I didn’t receive it. What do I do?

Find the scenario that applies to you:

  • The box was sent to the confirmed mailing address listed on my goSFU account and I completed the WebSurvey before July 19.
    • Not all addresses get deliveries directly to their doors. If you have a community mail box or an apartment mail box please check for your item there – and check the box for a key to the parcel compartment/locker. Also, check with everyone at your address, as another person there may have received or retrieved the item. Canada Post delivers to the address and not to the name on the item.  If you can't find your parcel, you can contact Canada Post.
  • The box was sent to a former address listed on my goSFU account
    • Contact Canada Post.  They may be able to change the delivery address.

I received my box, but something is missing.

Unfortunately if your box is missing an item, we are unable to send a replacement. However, if your parchment is missing, please contact the following and be sure to include your student ID number and full name:

Undergraduate Students 
Student Services 
ssugrad@sfu.ca

Graduate Students
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
gradstdy@sfu.ca

I received my box, but something is damaged.

Unfortunately if items from your box are damaged, we are unable to send a replacement. However, if your parchment is damaged, please contact the following and be sure to include your student ID number and full name:

Undergraduate Students 
Student Services 
ssugrad@sfu.ca

Graduate Students
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
gradstdy@sfu.ca