Student FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

The following list provides information specifically for degree candidates.  If your question is not answered below, please email or you can also get in touch with your Division or School Dean of Student's Office.

When is Convocation?                

The 531st Convocation will take place at The University of Chicago on Saturday, June 9, 2018 on the University's Main Quadrangle. All candidates will participate in this ceremony, during which the president will verbally confer degrees to groups of candidates by degree type and academic program. Individual divisions and schools hold separate ceremonies or receptions at which degree candidates will receive their diplomas individually from their deans.

What time do I need to arrive for Convocation?

All degree candidates must line up in their designated line-up location between 8:15 - 8:45 a.m. Please come dressed in your cap and gown.  To guarantee your participation in the procession, please be in line by 8:45 a.m.  

What time should my guests arrive for Convocation?

The Main Quadrangle will open for general seating at 7:00 a.m. Guests are asked to be in their seats no later than 9:00 a.m. so they can watch the procession. Seating is first-come, first-served.  

Why is Convocation held annually?

In gathering all degree candidates together for a shared graduation, the University is honoring its earliest traditions and the goals set out for convocations by the University’s first president, William Rainey Harper. At the University-wide convocation, the president will verbally confer degrees to groups of candidates by degree type and academic program. Afterward, individual schools and departments will hold ceremonies at which degree candidates will receive their diplomas individually from their deans. 

Am I required to march in the morning ceremony?

While it is not required, it is strongly recommended that all degree candidates participate in the morning ceremony as this is where your degree is formally conferred by the university president. 

Do I have to sit in an assigned order during the morning ceremony?

Degree candidates will line-up in a designated area with their respective division or school.  Candidates may sit in any order during the morning ceremony.  Undergraduate candidates, or those receiving Bachelor degrees, will assemble in Bartlett Quadrangle. All graduate degrees, master and doctoral, will assemble in Harper Quadrangle. To access, enter the main quad through the Levi Hall main entrance.

Will I need tickets for my family and guests to attend Convocation?

Tickets are not required to attend the morning convocation ceremony and all are welcome to attend.  However, tickets may be required for the division and school diploma ceremonies.  You are encouraged to check with your respective Dean of Students office for details.

What happens if it’s raining during Convocation?

Convocation takes place outside on the Main Quadrangle and the ceremony will take place rain or shine and we recommend all guests come prepared for the weather. The university ceremony may be shortened due to inclement weather.  In the event of extreme weather, appropriate security measures are in place to ensure the safety of all students and guests.  Details will be provided on the convocation website or announced broadly at the ceremony.

What happens after the morning ceremony?

Each division and school will hold their own ceremony.  Additionally, some may also provide lunches or receptions to candidates and their guests.

Can my guests watch the ceremonies inside?

Guests who prefer an indoor location may view a live broadcast of the morning convocation ceremony in Kent Auditorium and Bond Chapel, which is located within the Main Quadrangle. Please note that seating is limited. 

Can people view the ceremony online?

Yes, the University Convocation ceremony will be broadcasted via the University’s website at

Can I purchase a DVD of the ceremony?

The University will digitally record a video of the ceremony as well as some school and division ceremonies. The recordings will be made viewable online approximately three weeks following the ceremony. Please check the convocation webpage the week of July 1, 2018, for more details.

How do I submit a special accommodations request for myself?

Please submit a request using the Special Accommodations form. Candidates who need arrangements for religious or cultural reasons should contact the convocation staff.  Please email before Friday, May 25, 2018. 

How do I know if I am approved to graduate?

For information on degree requirements or whether you have been approved to graduate, please refer to the Registrar's Office with your respective division or school, or you may contact the University Registrar's Office. 

How do I know if I receive departmental or organizational honors?

Be sure to check with your Dean of Students Office, Academic Advisor, and any organization of which you are a part.

I am graduating in August, do I have to wait until next June to walk?

You should contact your Dean of Students office to see if you will be permitted to walk early. If not, you will need to return the following June.

So there is only one Convocation in June? When will I get my diploma?

That is correct, there is only one Convocation in June. You may receive your diploma at the conclusion of the quarter in which you graduate.

Does the University provide invitation letters for visa applications if my family is traveling from abroad?

If the country where your family resides requires an official invitation letter from the University for a visa application, the University can provide it for you.  You may place a request from your respective division or school, or you may contact the University Registrar's Office.  The graduating student should send the email and please include your full legal name, name of the visa applicant, visa applicant's relationship to the student, and visa applicant's full mailing address.