Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't find the answer to your question here, please contact the Convocation office.         

When will I receive my invitation to attend Convocation?
Invitations will begin to be emailed to all eligible students in mid March. Students still listed as conditional will receive invitations when their status changes from conditional to eligible to graduate.               

How do I RSVP for Convocation?
Students must respond online using the Student Response Form. Staff members, tutors and faculty members must use the Staff Response Form.

What are the deadlines for graduating?                    
Applications for Graduation must be submitted by April 30 and all requirements must be met by May 6 in order to participate in the June Convocation ceremony.

How many guests am I allowed to bring?                                   
To allow each student and their family to fully participate in Convocation, each student is allowed to bring four guests. Contact Corina Lasiuk, Events Assistant at 1.800.788.9041 ext 6234 if you have more than four guests wanting to attend the ceremony.

Will I be receiving tickets for the guests who will be attending convocation with me?
No, we will reserve seating for your guests the day of the convocation ceremony. (No physical tickets are required and there is no assigned seating for the ceremony.)

If you or one of your guests have special requirements (mobility such as a walker or wheelchair, or any health concerns) please contact Corina Lasiuk at 1.800.788.9041 ext 6234 to make special arrangements. There will be paramedical service on site both days of Convocation.                

What do I need to do before I can graduate?                                   

  • You must have completed or be in the process of completing all requirements for the credential you are working toward before you submit an Application for Graduation Form.
  • Apply to graduate. Fill out an Application for Graduation Form (log in required)
  • Ensure that all final marks from Athabasca University courses and/or courses taken at external institutions have been received by the Office of the Registrar.

How do I confirm that I have met all the requirements to graduate?
Questions regarding requirements for graduation and application status can be directed to the Office of the Registrar by emailing or at 1-800-788-9041, extension 6393.

May I participate in the Convocation ceremony if I have earned a diploma or certificate?
Participation in Convocation is limited to students who have earned degrees. Students earning diplomas or certificates are listed in the graduation program but do not participate in the ceremony.

What is the purpose of the Biographical Information Request Form?
Information from the form is used to compose a short commentary about you that will be read aloud during the Convocation ceremony. Please fill out the online Biographical Information Request Form when you RSVP.

How can I order a ring or a degree parchment frame?
Graduation rings, parchment frames, clothing, gifts and other AU merchandise can be found at the AU Store.              

How do I arrange for a hood and gown to wear at Convocation?
The online Student Response Form includes space for you to provide specifications for your hood and gown. A ready-to-wear hood and gown will be rented on your behalf, labeled with your name and waiting for you in the Student Gowning Room when you arrive for Convocation.

What do I wear underneath the grad gown?
Wear regular business dress. The gown has long sleeves and will complement any style of dress shirt underneath. Men may want to wear a shirt and tie to complement the open collar. You can view a similar style of gown at Gaspard & Sons.

What is a graduate hood? What does it look like?                 
AU uses a traditional graduation hood in place of a graduation cap.

In medieval times, the hood was one part of a garment worn by scholars to cover their shoulders or head to protect them from inclement weather. Today, the hood is worn down the back and is kept in place by a neckband that is placed over a graduate's head to rest on the shoulders.               

Can I purchase a graduation hood?
Graduation hoods cost $100 including GST and will be available for purchase in the merchandise area after the Convocation ceremony. If you are unable to attend Convocation and would like to purchase a hood or borrow one for grad photos, please fill out the hood order form (pdf).         

How will my name appear on the degree parchment?
Your name will appear on your parchment as recorded in the official student record. If you require a change to your record, please complete the Student Change of Information Form and forward it to the Office of the Registrar.    

How can I arrange to get a graduation portrait taken?           
A portrait photographer will be available at Athabasca University to take your picture in a gown and hood. Please see the graduation portrait information.

I have responded to the Convocation invitation indicating that I would attend the ceremony, but am no longer able to do so. Who should I contact?
Please contact the Convocation office.   


Updated March 19 2018 by Events Office - University Relations

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.