Prepare to Graduate

There are several important steps you must take in order to graduate from the University of Alberta. See the Graduation Checklist for more details. Also be sure to watch the video for an overview of a typical convocation ceremony and learn all you need to know before, during, and after your ceremony.

Graduation checklist

  • 1. Apply to graduate

    Apply for graduation on Bear Tracks, under the Academics tab. See below for application opening dates and deadlines.

    You are required to apply for graduation even if you don’t plan to attend your convocation ceremony.

    Undergraduate Students

    Apply for Spring Convocation between October 1 and February 1.

    Apply for Fall Convocation between March 15 and September 1.

    If you wish to graduate from a program in which you are not currently registered, consult with your faculty.

    Graduate Students

    Apply for Spring Convocation between November 1 and April 3.

    Apply for Fall Convocation between May 1 and September 30 (before 4 p.m.).

    For thesis submission deadlines, please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

  • 2. Verify your personal info

    Regardless of your attendance status, you must verify your Convocation name, degree program, and mailing address through the Graduation Status page in Bear Tracks.

    Ensure that your full name is displayed in the Parchment Name field, as this name will be printed on your parchment. The name on your parchment should match the name on your student record and on legal documents such as your birth certificate or passport. If a name change is required, please submit a Change of Name form and add "For Convocation Purposes" to the top of the form.

    Due to printing deadlines for the Convocation program, students who do not update their convocation information at least one month prior to the start of Convocation may not have corrections to their information published in the program.

  • 3. Find your ceremony
    View Convocation Details to determine your ceremony date and time.
  • 4. Update your attendance (RSVP)

    If you plan on attending Convocation
    Reserve your seat! Go to the Graduation Status page in Bear Tracks to indicate that you will attend. You may change your selection in the future if your plans change.

    If you are not attending Convocation
    Please let us know if you will not be able to attend Convocation. Go to the Graduation Status page in Bear Tracks to indicate that you will not be attending. You may change your selection in the future if your plans change.

    Note: If you do not attend your Convocation ceremony, you can receive your degree either by picking it up in person or having it mailed. Please see Degree Parchments for more information.

  • 5. Reserve your apparel and convocation packet

    Reserve your academic apparel in Bear Tracks, through the Apparel Reservation link on the Graduation Status page.

    Apparel and convocation packets (including your parchment, name card, procedures brochure and guest tickets) must be picked up from the University Bookstore prior to your ceremony.

  • 6. Pay any outstanding fines and fees

    Parchments and other official documentation will not be released to students who have outstanding accounts with the University of Alberta. Therefore, you are urged to clear all outstanding accounts at least two weeks prior to Convocation to ensure that your parchment is available.

    You can view any Financial Holds in Bear Tracks, under the Financials tab.

Packets and apparel

Packets can be picked up at the University Bookstore in the Students' Union Building (Lower Level).

Photo identification, preferably a University of Alberta ONEcard, must be presented when you pick up your packet. Current government-issued photo identification (driver’s license or passport) will also be accepted.

If you cannot pick up the packet yourself, it will only be released to an individual who presents a signed and printed Letter of Authorization (PDF) from you. Note the Letter of Authorization is accepted in original, faxed or scanned format; electronic versions are not acceptable.

Pick-up dates and times

Convocation packets can be picked up and returned at the University Bookstore in the Students' Union Building (lower level).

View convocation ceremony dates and times»

Packet materials

The packet consists of the following items:

  • Parchment
    This is the official documentation of your academic credential.
  • Name Card with Seat Number
    At the ceremony, you will hand the Name Card to the official reader, who will announce your name as it is printed on this card. The name card also contains your seat number in the Jubilee Auditorium in the lower right hand corner. This is an assigned seat to place you in the order that graduates cross the stage.
  • Procedures for Graduands
    This brochure describes your role and provides instructions to be followed during the ceremony.
  • Guest Tickets
    Guest tickets are reserved for each graduand who advises us of their intention to attend the ceremony.

Academic apparel

Academic apparel must be worn by all graduands participating in the ceremony and should be reserved at least three weeks prior to your Convocation date.

To reserve your apparel, go to the Graduation Status page in Bear Tracks and click on the link for apparel reservation. Note that you must update your attendance prior to reserving apparel.Your academic apparel consists of:

  • Gown
  • Hood (in the ceremonial colour for the student's degree)
  • Mortarboard / graduation hat (yours to keep) 

After the online apparel reservation site has closed (usually three weeks before the start of the ceremonies), academic apparel may still be rented from the University Bookstore during the time assigned to your Faculty as outlined in the Pick-Up Dates and Times table.

The gown and hood must be returned to the University Bookstore during the times indicated in the Pick-Up Dates and Times table.

Academic apparel rental rates (includes 5% GST):

  • Undergraduates and Masters $39.50
  • Doctorates $43.00

For more information on the apparel requirements for each degree please visit Traditions.