The Best Places to Take Grad Photos at the U of A


This article was originally published in June 2017 and updated in June 2021.

Here are the BEST spots to take your U of A grad photos this year (with a few tips to help you get the best shots):



Photo Tip: Try to stand at an angle that will allow the Butterdome to serve as your background. After all, you didn’t take classes at the Jube, but I bet that you did write an exam in the Butterdome. Plus, it’s totally iconic!




Photo Tip: If you were ever a Listerite, then you likely have plenty of photos of the place on your phone… but it might be nice to have at least one cap and gown pic of you in front of the legendary residence.




Photo Tip: For the best shot of ECHA, cross the street and stand on the sidewalk in front of the PAW Centre. If you time it just right, you might even avoid having cars in the picture. Alternatively, you can avoid crossing the street, and can instead stand by the controlled crosswalk closest to the Butterdome.

Alberta Bear



Photo Tip: Check out Paige’s guide to getting the perfect Alberta Bear photo… you can pet it, hug it, stand beside it, run from it, etc.



Photo Tip: To get the best shot of PAW in your photos, stand on the sidewalk in front of ECHA.

President's Circle


Photo Tip: Imagine yourself as one of the university’s founders and then pose with them… well, not actually them (for obvious reasons), but with their bronze facsimiles. Mosey on up beside our first President, and pose as though you’re helping him and the first Premier pick out the perfect spot for the university.

St. Joseph’s College


Photo Tip: St. Joseph’s College is one of the first buildings you would have seen if you rode the bus to campus each morning, plus it will make you look super collegian if you use it in as your background.

Education Mural


Photo Tip: If you’re an Education grad, you’ll definitely want a photo with the Education mural in the background. For the best shot, try standing on the sidewalk in front of Dent Pharm. (Just look out for the construction.)

Administration Building



Photo Tip: The area around the Admin Building is perfect for lots of different shots — you can have a picture in front of the building, a shot standing beside one of the charming brick posts, a picture with the whale tale statue, or series of pictures in and around the two ponds that are nestled beside the walkway… but remember EVERYONE will want these shots. To avoid having lots of people in your background, consider making this one of your last photo spots.

Alumni Walk


Photo Tip: Once you’ve graduated you will be a member of the U of A’s Alumni community, so I would highly recommend getting a photo in the Alumni Walk… preferably with the Alumni Walk Plaque. (Note: This is a very popular spot for photos, so to avoid the crowds, you might want to leave it for one of your final shots.)

The Quad


Photo Tip: Quad is massive, so there are plenty of places to take your photo. While you’ll want to capture some of the walking paths and gorgeous plant life, be sure to include some of the more iconic spots, like Pembina Hall.



Photo Tip: While in Wuad, consider heading towards CCIS to avoid having a crowd in your background.

Faculty of Engineering


Photo Tip: Engineering grads might want to head to the iron ring (well, it’s almost a ring) over in the Engineering QUAD for at least one grad photo.

Saskatchewan Drive


Photo Tip: Most people tend to forget that the area behind Bio Sci (along Saskatchewan Drive) can be an amazing place to take photos. Not only will you have the potential of getting a great tree line in your background, but you might be able to get a great shot of the Edmonton skyline in your background too.

Tory Lecture Theatre


Photo Tip: Don’t be afraid to choose spots on campus that might be harder to recognize, if they provide you with a colourful and textured back drop. (Like the back of the Tory Turtle/Tory Lecture Theatre).

Old Arts Building


Photo Tip: The Old Arts Building a.k.a. Convocation Hall is THE spot to take a grad photo. Seriously. “Convocation” is in the name of the building.



Photo Tip: Spend one last moment near SUB and strike a pose.