Convocation FAQs

Updated: Mon, 26 Oct 2020 3:00 PM

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 fall 2020 Convocation ceremonies that were scheduled for October 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. Four virtual Convocation ceremonies will be held on October 22 and 23. 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 are confirmed, including options to attend a future convocation ceremony.

Will there be a virtual convocation ceremony in October?

SFU hosted four Virtual Convocation Ceremonies on October 22 and 23.

You can watch them on SFU’s YouTube channel.

How can I watch my Virtual Convocation Ceremony?

Graduates, families, friends and the university community can watch on SFU's YouTube channel. 

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

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

The Fall 2020 Convocation Celebration recording can be found on SFU's YouTube channel.

How can I, my family or friends participate in the Virtual Convocation Ceremony?

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

In addition, you can celebrate the fall 2020 graduating class by tagging congratulatory photos and videos with #MySFUGrad2020.

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

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

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

Yes. Graduating students who apply for graduation, 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 there be an Indigenous Honouring Ceremony in October?

No. The Indigenous Honouring Ceremony is a special event held once a year in June to honour and celebrate Indigenous students in their degree completion at SFU. Graduating fall 2020 Indigenous students will be invited to attend the event in June 2021.

Will I still graduate?

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

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 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 fall 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?

Faculties and various departments hosted virtual celebrations before or after their faculty's Virtual Convocation Ceremony. Please see the Faculty Celebrations and Schedule of events for more information.

Can I still get graduation photos?

Artona's photography studio is offering their services.

If you would like to book an individual photography session or if you have any questions, please contact Artona's 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?

Graduating students 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?

Visit the webpage for more information on how to get your Convocation Celebration Box and parchment.

What happens to my parchment if I did not complete the WebSurvey?

You still have an opportunity to confirm your mailing address and receive your parchment by mail, but will no longer be eligible to receive a Convocation Celebration Box. You will receive an email with details on how to obtain your parchment shortly after your virtual convocation ceremony.

When will the Convocation Celebration Box be mailed?

The boxes will be mailed by Canada Post mid-late November.

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.

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

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.