Convocation FAQs

Last updated: November 15, 2021


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 a undergraduate certificate, diploma and/or bachelor’s degree and will be graduating at an upcoming convocation ceremony.

Convocation ceremonies

Will Convocation Fall 2021 be held virtually or in-person?

Yes, Convocation Fall 2021 will be held in-person. 

Convocation is a significant milestone for Simon Fraser University graduands, their families and friends, and the university community. As the university is planning for a return of in-person academic activities this fall, we are moving forward with plans for in-person convocation ceremonies on October 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2021 for the graduands who have fulfilled all of their degree requirements as of summer 2021, to be confirmed by an official senate letter that will be emailed to graduands on September 14 or October 5, 2021.

The health and well-being of SFU’s students, staff, faculty, guests and the university community is SFU’s top priority. All attendees will be required to follow provincial and university event safety protocols. Convocation will be conducted with the utmost attention to health and safety. 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 Fall 2021 ceremonies will be live broadcast on October 5, 6, 7 and 8 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.

We look forward to celebrating with you in-person this fall!

I am unable to attend the Convocation Fall 2021 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 and SFU Alumni mask to your mailing address on record.  For more information, see "Can’t Attend?"

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. 

Graduands should not be carrying anything but their diploma 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?

The weather can be quite warm or very cool in early October. Please check the weather forecast in advance and plan to wear layers. For health and safety reasons, complimentary blankets will not be available at the ceremonies. Blankets and masks will be available for sale at the SFU Bookstore.

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

Yes, you’ll have the opportunity to attend an in-person convocation ceremony in spring 2022.

Planning is underway to create meaningful and inclusive celebrations in 2022, specifically for the graduates who were not offered an in-person ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to celebrating in-person with the graduates who had virtual convocations in June 2020, October 2020 and June 2021.

To ensure you are kept informed on future plans, please keep your email and mailing address up-to-date with the alumni office; it takes only 30 seconds to update your alumni information online!

Information about our plans will be shared on SFU Alumni's webpage and on their social media channels (FacebookInstagram and Twitter). 

Convocation health and safety

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

SFU has introduced a number of layers of protection to keep graduands and guests safe at convocation this fall. We are following the public health guidelines set by the BC Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC. 

  • BC Vaccine Card - The BC Vaccine Card or proof of vaccination for out of province and international guests that shows that a person is partially or fully vaccinated will be required to attend convocation in-person. Read about the process on our convocation health and safety protocol website.
  • Masks - Non-medical masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus, and strongly recommended for all aspects of convocation.
  • COVID-19 self-screening - Complete the provincial health screening before coming to campus via the BC Thrive app. If you are sick, please stay home.
  • Careful social contact - Limit the number of sustained close contacts and respect personal space.
  • Hand hygiene - Practice good hand hygiene. Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the campus. 
  • Enhanced cleaning - SFU is conducting enhanced cleaning of high-touch places.
  • Close monitoring - SFU is working with our partners in public health, WorkSafeBC and higher education to monitor, evaluate and respond quickly to changes in the pandemic.

Visit SFU's return to campus and convocation health and safety webpages for more information. 

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

Yes, masks must be worn in all indoor convocation spaces and common areas on SFU's campus and are strongly recommended for all aspects of convocation. Common areas include building entryways and atriums, hallways, stairwells, washrooms, study areas, dining halls, libraries, health centres and student services areas. Read more about masks at convocation.

How will safety protocols be enforced?

All onsite 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. They will be happy to assist. 

Guest registration

Do children count as guests when registering to attend convocation in-person?

Children under the age of 2 will not count as a guest as long as they are seated on the lap of a registered guest. Children under 2 do not need to be registered.

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. Fall 2021 Indigenous students will be invited to attend the event in June 2022.

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.