University of Alberta Mace
Convocation at the University of Alberta includes a rich history of traditions, including the format of ceremonies, academic dress, conferring of degrees, and other key university hallmarks such as the mace (pictured above) and ceremonial chairs.

Ceremony and procession

Convocation ceremonies stem from the medieval tradition. The procession of the guild of teachers, whose solemn assembly, or convocation, is the modern equivalent of the medieval magna congregation of all faculties. It is led by the Chancellor and the Chief Marshal carrying the mace, the symbol of the university's corporate authority.

The academic gowns, hoods, and caps declare, in their various designs and colours, the academic qualifications of the faculty. The citations and presentations by the faculty to the Chancellor attest to him and to society the degree of proficiency attained by the students of the university.

There follows a visible and public act whereby the universitas magistrorum, acting through its Chancellor, confers upon the students the appropriate degree. It is the act, not a certificate, which constitutes the validity of the degree bestowed. The words "I admit you" and the placing of the students' hands within the hands of the Chancellor and his associates, bind the students in the appropriate degree to the universitas magistrorum.

The students thereafter bear for all time the mark of their association with this university. They have received what the university has been and presently is. Because they bear in themselves the promise of the future, they are what the university hopes to be. Despite its solemnity, convocation is a joyous occasion.

Academic dress

Gowns for undergraduate and Master's degrees are the customary Cambridge shape: a gown of black material falling below the knee, with full sleeves cut to the elbow and terminating in a point.

Hoods are made in the Oxford pattern, of spruce green material. The Bachelor's hood has a border three inches wide of the colour distinctive to the faculty. The Master's hood has a full lining of the colour distinctive to the faculty.

Mortarboards are the standard black trencher shape with black tassels, which are worn forward and to the left.

Hood colours

  • Doctorate degrees

    Doctors' gowns (PhD, DMus, and EdD) conform to the Intercollegiate Code in design. They are made of black material and the velvet trim on the sleeves is Philosophy Blue for the PhD and DMus, and Light Blue for the EdD. Doctors' hoods conform to the Intercollegiate Code in shape, size, and colour. They are made of black material to match the gown, and have a full lining of gold satin with a six-inch green satin chevron. The velvet trim distinguishes the two degrees and matches the velvet trim on the gown's sleeves. There is narrow green piping where the gold lining joins the black material. Mortarboards are the standard black trencher shape with black tassels, which are worn forward and to the left.

  • Honorary degrees

    Honorary Doctors of Laws (LLD), Letters (DLitt), and Science (DSc) wear a scarlet robe faced with white silk. Hoods are made in the Cambridge form of scarlet silk with a full lining of white velvet. Caps are black velvet with a gold tassel.

  • Masters' degrees
    Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences Grass Green
    Clothing and Textiles Grass Green
    Human Ecology Grass Green
    Renewable Resources Grass Green
    Rural Economy Grass Green
    Anthropology White
    Art and Design White
    Classics White
    Clothing and Textiles Grass Green
    Comparative Literature White
    Communications and Technology White
    Drama White
    Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Geography) Gold
    East Asian Studies White
    Economics White
    English White
    Film and Media Studies White
    Geography White
    Germanic Languages White
    Hispanic Literatures White
    History White
    Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Royal Blue/Gold


    Modern Languages and Cultural Studies White
    Music White
    Philosophy White
    Political Science White
    Psychology White
    Recreation and Leisure Studies Royal Blue/Gold
    Religion White
    Romance Languages White
    Slavic and East European Studies White
    Sociology White
    Maîtrise en arts (Faculté Saint-Jean) White/Lavender
    Business Administration Silver Grey
    Design White
    Educational Policy Studies Royal Blue
    Educational Psychology Royal Blue
    Elementary Education Royal Blue
    Secondary Education Royal Blue
    Maîtrise en sciences de l'éducation (Faculté Saint-Jean) Blue/Lavender
    Engineering Light Green
    Fine Arts White
    Forestry Grass Green
    Health Services Administration Crimson
    Laws Scarlet
    Library and Information Studies Lemon Yellow
    Music White
    Nursing Crimson/White
    Pharmacy Cinnamon
    Public Health Pink/Crimson
    Public Management Silver Grey
    Agricultural Engineering Grass Green
    Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences Grass Green
    Anatomy and Cell Biology Crimson
    Animal Science Grass Green
    Applied Sciences in Medicine Crimson
    Biochemistry Gold
    Biological Sciences Gold
    Biology Gold
    Biomedical Engineering Crimson
    Botany Gold
    Cell Biology Crimson
    Chemical Engineering Light Green
    Chemistry Gold
    Civil Engineering Light Green
    Clothing and Textiles Grass Green
    Computer Engineering Light Green
    Computing Science Gold
    Dentistry Maroon
    Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Gold
    Electrical Engineering Light Green
    Entomology Gold
    Environmental Engineering Light Green
    Family Ecology and Practice Grass Green
    Family Studies Grass Green
    Food Science Grass Green
    Foods and Nutrition Grass Green
    Forest Science Grass Green
    Genetics Gold
    Geography Gold
    Geology Gold
    Geophysics Gold
    Health Promotion Crimson
    Human Ecology Grass Green
    Immunology Crimson
    Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Royal Blue/Gold
    Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Crimson
    Linguistics White
    Materials Engineering Light Green
    Mathematical Sciences Gold
    Mathematics Gold
    Mechanical Engineering Light Green
    Medical Genetics Crimson
    Medical Microbiology and Immunology Crimson
    Medical Sciences Crimson
    Medicine Crimson
    Meteorology Gold
    Microbiology Gold
    Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineering Light Green
    Occupational Therapy Salmon Pink
    Oncology Crimson
    Opthalmology Crimson
    Oral Health Sciences Maroon
    Paediatrics Crimson
    Pathology Crimson
    Pharmacology Crimson
    Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Cinnamon
    Physical Therapy Salmon Pink
    Physics Gold
    Physiology Crimson
    Plant Science Grass Green
    Psychiatry Crimson
    Psychology Gold
    Public Health Sciences Crimson
    Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging Crimson
    Renewable Resources Grass Green
    Rural Economy Grass Green
    Soil Science Grass Green
    Speech Pathology and Audiology Salmon Pink
    Statistics and Applied Probability Gold
    Surgery Crimson
    Textiles and Clothing Grass Green
    Zoology Gold
    Speech-Language Pathology Salmon Pink
    Visual Arts White
  • Undergraduate degrees
    Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences Grass Green
    Bilingual BSc Environmental and Conservation Sciences Grass Green / Lavender
    Arts White
    Augustana White/Black/Red
    Business Silver Grey
    Bilingual BCom/Baccalauréat bilingue en Administration des affaires Silver Grey/Lavender
    Education Royal Blue
    Engineering Light Green
    Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Royal Blue/Gold
    Law Scarlet
    Medicine and Dentistry
    Dentistry and Dental Hygiene Maroon
    Medicine Crimson
    Native Studies White/band of Red, White, Green, Gold, and Blue
    Nursing Crimson/White
    Bilingual BScN Crimson/White/Lavender
    Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Cinnamon
    Faculté Saint-Jean Lavender
    BA Lavender/White
    BEd Lavender/Blue
    BSc Lavender/Gold
    Science Gold

University Hallmarks and Traditions

The University of Alberta takes pride in its traditions and hallmarks. The University Senate website provides information about these special aspects of the university, including:

  • University Ceremonial Chairs
  • University Coat of Arms
  • University Colours
  • University Flag
  • University Grace
  • University Mace
  • University Motto

Faculty Establishment Dates

This document lists the establishment dates of each of the Faculties at the University of Alberta. Celebrations are normally held when a Faculty reaches 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 etc. years from their establishment date. These dates were formally approved by the Deans of the Faculties in 2018.