Convocation FAQs

Last updated: July 14, 2022


What is a graduand?

A graduand is someone who is eligible to graduate, but has not yet graduated. Once your credential has been conferred, you become a graduate.

What is an undergraduate student? 

An undergraduate student is someone who is completing an undergraduate certificate, diploma, and/or bachelor’s degree in one of the following programs

What is a graduate student? 

A graduate student is someone who is completing a graduate certificate, diploma, master's and/or doctoral degree in one of the following programs. A graduate student is not a student who is completing an undergraduate certificate, diploma and/or bachelor’s degree and will be graduating at an upcoming convocation ceremony.

Convocation ceremonies

Will Convocation October 2022 be held virtually or in-person?

Convocation is a significant milestone for Simon Fraser University graduands, their families and friends, and the university community. We are currently planning for Convocation October 2022 to be held in-person and broadcast live. 

The health and well-being of SFU’s students, staff, faculty, guests and the university community is SFU’s top priority. Convocation will be conducted with the utmost attention to health and safety so all attendees will be required to follow provincial and university event safety protocols. As is necessary during these unpredictable times, we must acknowledge that proceeding with these events in-person will remain dependent on public health regulations*.

All Convocation October 2022 ceremonies will be broadcast live to accommodate graduands, family, friends, and the university community who are unable to attend in-person. The ceremonies will also be available for on-demand viewing following the ceremonies.

*Should public health regulations change restrictions for outdoor gatherings, convocation will move to virtual ceremonies. We will keep graduands and the university community informed through regular updates on the convocation website and via SFU email. Please check back regularly for updated information.

I am unable to attend Convocation October 2022 ceremony in person – how will I get my parchment?

If you do not attend your convocation ceremony, you may pick up your degree parchment in the Maggie Benston Centre, starting the week after convocation. Any parchments not picked up by the end of the calendar month of convocation will be mailed out with a souvenir Convocation Program to your mailing address on record.  For more information, see "Can’t Attend?"

Can I walk across the stage with something other than my parchment?

Unless following your cultural protocol requires you to carry a symbolic item, graduands should not be carrying anything but their parchment as they cross the stage.

Can I bring my dog to the ceremonies?

Only certified service/guide animals may accompany graduands and guests with disabilities at convocation.

What should I wear for convocation ceremonies?

Convocation ceremonies are held outdoors and the weather can be quite warm or very cool and wet. Please check the weather forecast in advance and plan to wear layers. 

Will there be blankets available for guests to use in Convocation Mall?

Blankets will be available for purchase at the SFU Bookstore.

I want to take photos after my ceremony. When do I have to return my regalia by?

You must return your gown and hood to our Regalia Return station after your ceremony. Please return your regalia by 12:45 p.m. if you have a morning ceremony and 5:00 p.m. if you have an afternoon ceremony.

I graduated in 2020 or 2021 and I wasn't able to attend an in-person convocation ceremony due to the pandemic. Will I have the opportunity to attend an in-person convocation ceremony?

More than 13,000 graduates from 2020 and 2021 who had a virtual convocation were invited back to cross the stage and celebrate their university accomplishments with family, friends and the university community on May 4-6, 2022.

Convocation health and safety

What safety measures are in place to protect graduands and guests at convocation?

Planning a safe in-person convocation during a pandemic is complex and requires all of us to continue our vigilance with respect to COVID-19. The health and well-being of SFU’s graduands, students, staff, faculty, guests and the university community is our top priority.

Read more about our health and safety protocols for convocation. 

Do graduands and guests have to wear a mask at convocation?

At SFU we encourage mask use on our campuses and particularly in spaces where we are in close proximity. Please be understanding and compassionate of people’s individual circumstances and individual choices about masks as we continue to cultivate a community of care. Many members of our community will continue to prefer to wear masks in indoor spaces.

How will safety protocols be enforced?

All on-site event staff and volunteers will be trained on convocation event health and safety protocols. If you have concerns regarding health and safety at the event, please notify one of the on-site event staff or security guards.

Guest information

How many guests can each graduand bring?

Each graduand may invite up to four guests to attend in-person.  

Ceremonies will be broadcast live. Please encourage your additional guests to tune in to watch the broadcast live or on-demand a few hours following the ceremony. 

Will graduands be required to register guests for tickets?

No, graduands do not need to register guests for tickets in advance.

Graduands do need to confirm their attendance (see Graduation Checklist – undergraduate students - step 3; graduate students – step 4).

Do guests need to follow health and safety protocols?

Yes, guests as well as graduands must follow current health and safety protocols.

Read more about our health and safety protocols for convocation. 

Can I park my stroller in Convocation Mall?

Unattended stroller parking may be available at the back of Convocation Mall (if capacity allows). Due to fire and safety regulations, seating aisles must remain clear. Strollers cannot be parked in the aisles next to your seat.

Can I bring balloons into Convocation Mall?

Guests who bring balloons need to ensure that they are not blocking the line of sight for other guests while in Convocation Mall. Ushers may request that they're stored outside of Convocation Mall until after the ceremony. 

Indigenous Student Centre Honouring Ceremony

When is the Indigenous Student Centre Honouring Ceremony?

The Indigenous Student Centre Honouring Ceremony is a special annual event held once a year in June to honour and celebrate Indigenous students in their degree completion at SFU. October2022 Indigenous students will be invited to attend the event in June 2023.

I have a question about the ISC Honouring Ceremony. Who can I contact?

Contact the Indigenous Student Centre at


I have a question about applying to graduate and/or convocation that has not been answered in the FAQs. Who can I contact?

Undergraduate Students 
Student Services 

Graduate Students
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

SFU follows the latest information and recommendations about COVID-19 from regional and provincial medical health officers. Learn more about how we are responding at SFU.