Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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

What are the important dates to consider? 

  • July 2020 – Invitations to participate in the reimagined convocation begin to be sent on a monthly basis 
  • July 31, 2020 – Deadline to submit application for graduation and complete program requirements 
  • August 31, 2020 – Deadline to register for Convocation 2020 

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 grad-app@athabascau.ca.  

May I participate in the convocation ceremony if I have earned a diploma or certificate? 

Yes. As part of Athabasca University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, all graduands including diplomas and certificates are invited to participate. 

What are the deadlines for graduating?                      

Applications for graduation must be submitted by July 31, 2020 and all requirements must be met by July 31, 2020 to participate. 

What is a reimagined convocation?  

AU’s virtual convocation will include the historic and traditional elements of our in-person convocation with the updated and modern twist of being delivered virtually and simultaneously to this year’s graduands across the globe. Some of the elements you can expect to see are a virtual tour of AU’s Athabasca campus, Beyond 50 anniversary celebrations, faculty and program specific live forums and exhibits, virtual networking opportunities, entertainment, live meet and greets with some of AU’s leadership team. The ceremony will have several elements, including pre-recorded video (e.g., music, speeches) celebrating our graduates as well as other opportunities for engagement.  

When will the ceremony take place?  

The ceremony will take place on October 2, 2020.  

Do I have to participate in the reimagined convocation?  

No, like our in-person convocation, graduands are not required to participate in the reimagined convocation—but we sure hope you’ll tune in to experience this incredible celebration.   

Do I need to register to attend virtual convocation?  

Yes. You will need to indicate whether you will participate in the virtual ceremony or not. Graduands will receive a convocation email invite by the end of June 2020. Deadline to register to participate is August 31, 2020.    

What if I am unable to attend the reimagined convocation at that time?  

A recording of the ceremony will be available after and will be posted to the convocation website. This can be shared with friends, family, and colleagues so they can take part in your accomplishments—or host a virtual viewing party for you!   

Will my name be called/announced during the virtual ceremony?   

Yes. In lieu of walking across the stage, graduands will have a personalized slide that includes their name, a photo, degree, and any honors they may be receiving. You will need to fill out the Eligible Student Information Form (this will be included in the invitation sent to graduands) in order to have your bio and picture included on the slide.  

Will I be able to defer my graduation until there’s an in-person event hosted?   
With rolling graduations throughout the year, there’s no need to defer your graduation if you have completed your academic requirements. See the graduation procedure here.   

Will I be able to connect with my classmates?  

Yes! The platform we’re using for Convocation 2020 will have features built-in to allow you to connect and chat with fellow classmates. Watch for updates on how to participate on the convocation website.   

What else will happen during the ceremony?  

We will be sharing the schedule of events soon, so stay tuned for more details that will be posted on the convocation website.  

My faculty usually hosts an event after convocation. What will be in-place of that?  

There will be no in-person events this year but stay tuned to the convocation website for a schedule of events on October 2, 2020.  

Will Convocation 2021 be a live event?  

Right now, we don’t know. With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the guidelines on public gatherings changing so rapidly, we are unsure what the Convocation 2021 ceremony will look like at this time. We will continue to follow the guidance of our public health officials and post updates on The Hub as more information becomes available.   

If I choose not to participate in the reimagined Convocation 2020, will I be able to attend the live event in 2021?  

AU has invited graduands that complete graduation requirements by July 31, 2020 to attend Convocation 2020. We hope that all eligible graduands will be open to participating in Convocation 2020 and recognize the significance of being the graduating class during Athabasca University’s Beyond 50 celebrations. Eligible graduands for 2020 will not be able to defer to convocation in 2021.   

Why did you cancel both the Athabasca and Toronto events? What if one province decides to lift or relax some of the public health directives?

We know that people make plans for convocation months in advance. We want to provide everyone as much notice as possible about this change. Celebrating Convocation 2020 and our learners’ academic achievements is important to us and we have reimagined how we can still celebrate. With the size of an event like AU’s Convocation and the Government of Alberta’s request to limit in-person events for months to come, the difficult decision had to be made on April 29, 2020 to cancel the in-person celebrations, so that we could ensure enough time to change our plans and still have a meaningful celebration this year. The federal and provincial health authorities are still telling travellers to avoid all non-essential travel.  

How will I get my parchment?
  
AU offers graduation every month. On approval of your application to graduate, your parchment will be mailed to you, as we do with all graduates today. Please ensure that your mailing address and official name is correct in your myAU account.   

 

Will it cost me extra to get my parchment?
  
There is no charge for your initial parchment. We will mail it to you, so please ensure your address is correct in your myAU account. Additional parchments can be requested by filling out the parchment replacement form and paying the fee for an additional parchment.   

 

How do I ensure my correct name is on my parchment?
 
Your name, as it is recorded on your student academic record, will be displayed on the parchment. If you have recently changed your name, or would like to make changes to the name on your student file, you must notify the Office of the Registrar by completing and submitting the student change of information form.   

Will we get the option to rent regalia so we can take our own pictures?   

Most photography companies will have the standard black graduation gown available to use for photos. Athabasca University Graduation hoods cost $100 including GST. If you would like to purchase a hood for grad photos, please fill out the hood order form (pdf). Please note due to COVID-19 health regulations, hoods will not be available to borrow or to be returned at this time.      

 
What about graduation regalia or cap and mortars? 

As part of AU’s 50th celebration, all graduands for Convocation 2020 will be receiving a graduation celebration package from Athabasca University. This package will include a cap, tassel, year pin, as well as some other fun surprises to help celebrate your accomplishments and AU’s 50th anniversary.   

Please ensure that your student information is up to date as packages will be mailed to the address on record. Changes to your student information can be made online through myAU or by emailing the Academic Records unit at acrec@athabascau.ca.   

To change your information online, log into myAU and then select the “Change Your Personal Information" option under Student Record in the left-hand navigation menu. If you need to change your name, you must submit a Student Change of Information Form to the Academic Records unit of the Office of the Registrar by fax or regular mail.  

What about graduation pictures?   

If you are near Edmonton, Alberta, Athabasca University has partnered with New Light photography for graduation portraits to be taken with AU’s regalia. Please see the graduation portrait information page for more detail.   

If it is not convenient to have photos taken in Edmonton, Alberta, you can purchase a hood to have photos taken with your preferred photographer. You can find more information on where to purchase AU memorabilia on the Convocation website.   

I still want to visit the AU campus in Athabasca. Can I go up there?   
The federal and provincial health authorities are currently advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel. Please follow the advice of our public health officials and avoid non-essential travel for now. Once it is safe to travel, you are welcome to visit the campus—please note that at this time our buildings are closed to the public. In the meantime, AU will be providing a 360 ° virtual tour of the Athabasca campus as part of our convocation celebrations. Be sure to register to participate so you can experience campus in this innovative virtual space.   

How will I get to recognize my graduation with my family and friends?    
With our reimagined convocation plans, you will be able to share the link to view the ceremony and host your own viewing party! This platform is compatible with desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices and can be used in conjunction with other available free meeting platforms. More information will be posted soon on the convocation website to assist you in sharing this celebration with family and friends.   

I wanted to buy AU memorabilia; how can I do that now?   
You can find more information on where to purchase AU memorabilia on the Convocation website.  

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

Who do I contact if I have more questions?  

We have an email address dedicated to answering your questions about convocation: convocation@athabascau.ca