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Whether you're doing a masters' or a doctoral degree, there are steps you need to take in order to complete your degree. Find information regarding requirements for your thesis and oral examinations.
Scroll down this page for further information not specifically related to thesis and defence procedures.
You're nearing degree completion and ready to graduate. Use this checklist to see what your next steps are on the road to convocation.
Check your Academic Progress
When you are completing your capstone draft or final course it is recommended that you run your Academic Progress Report (APR). Your APR will show any outstanding program or university requirements. The only requirement that should show as “Not Satisfied” is your final capstone. If other requirements are displaying “Not Satisfied” contact your supervisor or graduate assistant as soon as possible. It may be that you have been granted an exception that has not been formally submitted or you may be missing a requirement.
Apply to Graduate
During your final term you will need to apply to graduate. You may apply to graduate at any time in what you're planning to be your final term and you do not have to wait until your defence or thesis has been submitted to the library. If circumstances change, it is a straightforward process to withdraw your application to graduate.
- Log into your student account at go.sfu.ca.
- From the menu at top left, expand Self Service
- Under Self Service, select Graduation/Convocation
- Select Apply for Graduation
- Read the instructions, scroll down, and click the Continue button to fill out the online application form.
Defend your thesis/project
Submit to the library (if applicable)
Your submission must be done by April 30th for the Spring term, August 31st for the Summer term or December 23rd for the Fall term (unless December 23 falls on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. In which case it is the day before the University closure).
Proof of completion
Once GPS receives and processes the Credential Recommendation from your program, you will be able to download a credential completion letter in goSFU until you receive your Senate letter.
Senate formally awards degrees in September, February and May. After Senate awards your credential you will receive an email with a PDF. This PDF is an official letter which can be used to verify your credential to third parties. GPS is not able to forward the letter to third parties, but, if you need the letter stamped and sealed please bring a printed copy to our office during normal office hours (with a piece of photo ID).
Updating your email address and mailing address
In order to be informed about the convocation and other important information, we recommend reviewing your contact information in goSFU to ensure its accuracy. If you move or change email addresses prior to your convocation ceremony, please update goSFU using the same steps.
- Log into goSFU
- Scroll to the buttom of your Student Centre to the 'Personal Information' section.
- Select 'Addresses' from the drop down and click the blue double arrow button.
- Verify the mailing address is correct/included.
- If it no mailing address is included, click "Add a new Address", complete the information and click "Ok". Select the appropriate Address Type and "Save" once completed.
- If a mailing address is listed, but, is inaccurate, click the pencil icon. complete the information and click "Ok". Select the appropriate Address Type and "Save" once completed.
- Verify the "other" email address is correct/included.
- Scroll through the navigation tabs under 'Personal Information’ and select "Email Addresses"
- If it no "other" email is included, click "Add an Email", select "other" from the drop-down menu and type your email in the text field and "Save" once completed.
- If an "other" email address is listed, but, is inaccurate, double click on the text box and type in your non-SFU email address and "Save" once completed.
Convocation takes place in June and October. If you completed in the Fall or Spring term, you will be invited to the June ceremony, while students who completed in the Summer term are invited to the October ceremony. In rare cases, you may ask to be in the following convocation (i.e. if you are unable to attend June you may email and request to be included in October).
Approximately 3 weeks before convocation, you can confirm your attendance:
- Log into goSFU
- On the top Main Menu, click Self Service > Graduation/Convocation > Confirm Convoc Attendance
- Click the ceremony code for your designated ceremony (A through F)
- See also: Full Convocation Schedule
- Confirm the details listed on this page, specifically your name and credential
- The name will be your legal name. If there is an error please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read the permission to release photographs and select your choice
- Click Confirm Attendance
- A new screen will open confirming your attendance.
- NOTE: You may confirm that you have successfully completed this process by checking that the "Confirm Attendance" link is now greyed out.
All graduands wear regalia at convocation. At SFU it normally includes a gown, hood and a hat or Cambridge Bonnet. Master’s and Doctoral students wear a hood specific to their credential. Gowns are not floor length and your mid-calf and lower may be exposed. Doctoral students should also note that their gowns are open in the front which will show part of your outfit underneath.
Graduands are welcome to wear their Indigenous ceremonial dress, other cultural ceremonial dress, or their military or law enforcement dress uniform with, or instead of, the gown at the convocation ceremonies. In these instances, graduands must still be hooded.
Once you have confirmed your attendance now you need to rent your regalia. You may rent your regalia the day of convocation, however, you receive a discount when reserving in advance.
- Follow the instructions from Gaspard and click Rent Regalia
- You will be prompted to add your information, review your order and submit payment
- If you have any problems or concerns regarding renting your regalia please call Gaspard at 1-866-949-5703 Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (PST), email email@example.com or use the contact form on their website.
- When sending an email to Gaspard please include your name, institution name, student number and order number.
Not attending convocation?
Your parchment normally be available for pick up at GPS during normal office hours starting the week after convocation. You may designate another individual to pick it up on your behalf by adding a document pick-up release on your goSFU account.
All parchments not picked up at the end of the month will be mailed to your mailing address.
Early completion refund
In some cases students are eligible for a reduced tuition rate in their final term if their capstone is completed within the first month of the term.
If you meet all of the following criteria you will receive 75% refund on the tuition portion of your student fees (there will be no refund on the ancillary fees):
- You are in a research program
- You are enrolled only in your thesis, project or capstone course
- You have completed your program requirements during the first calendar month of the term (including submission to the library)
- Your tuition is assessed at the continuing fee
The following groups are not eligible for the 75% refund:
- Master's students in per-unit programs who are enrolled in the first term of their capstone
- Master's students in research programs who enrolled for fewer than seven terms (excluding all on leave terms)
- Doctoral students who enrolled for fewer than nine terms (excluding all on leave terms)
You do not need to apply for the early completion refund. If you do not pay your tuition fees per the "outstanding fees" schedule applicable to the term, you will be liable for interest even though you expect a refund later in the term. Please pay your fees on time and if you are eligible for the refund, it will be processed by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and transferred to your SFU account, once the GPS receives confirmation from the Library of the submission date and Degree Recommendation. This refund normally takes place by the 6th week of the term. When you see that your student account has been credited, you may claim the refund by following the instructions listed here.