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 contact your division or school Dean of Students Office.

When is Convocation?                

The 532nd Convocation will take place at The University of Chicago on Saturday, June 15, 2019, on the University's Main Quadrangles. All candidates will participate in this ceremony, during which President Robert J. Zimmer will verbally confer degrees to groups of candidates by degree type and academic program. Individual divisions and schools hold separate ceremonies or receptions where degree candidates receive their diplomas individually at their division or school event.

What time do I need to arrive for Convocation?

All degree candidates must line up in their designated lineup location between 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. The College lines up in Bartlett Quadrangle, and Graduate Divisions and Schools lines up in Harper Quadrangle. Please come fully dressed in your academic regalia. To guarantee your participation in the procession, be in line by 8:45 a.m.  

What time should my guests arrive for Convocation?

The Main Quadrangles 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. 

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 President Robert J. Zimmer. 

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

Degree candidates will line up in a designated area within their respective division or school. Within that group, candidates may sit in any order during the university ceremony.  Undergraduate degree candidates, or those receiving Bachelor degrees, will assemble in Bartlett Quadrangle. All graduate degrees, master and doctoral, will assemble in Harper Quadrangle. 

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

Tickets are not required to attend the University-wide Convocation ceremony, and all are welcome to attend.  However, tickets may be required for the smaller 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 Quadrangles and the ceremony will take place rain or shine, so we recommend all guests come prepared for the weather.  In the event of extreme, threatening weather, appropriate security measures are in place to ensure the safety of all degree candidates and guests.  Details will be posted 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 or event.  Some may also provide lunches or receptions to graduates and their guests. See the individual division and school schedules for more details.

Can my guests watch the ceremonies inside?

Guests who prefer an indoor location may view a live broadcast of the University Convocation ceremony in Kent Auditorium and Bond Chapel, which is located within the Main Quadrangles. 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. More information and a highlights video of the 531st Convocation can be found at Additionally, please find Valerie Jarrett's 2018 Class Day address HERE.

How do I submit a request for accommodations for myself or my guest?

A request form will be available in the Spring of 2019. Candidates who need arrangements for religious or cultural reasons should contact the Convocation staff.  Please email  if you have any specific Accessibility and Accommodations questions. 

How do I know if I am approved to graduate?

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

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 affiliated with.

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

It is recommended that you contact your Dean of Students Office to see if you will be permitted to walk early. If not, you may return the following June.

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

There is one, annual Convocation each June. You may receive your diploma at the conclusion of the quarter in which you graduate. If you have additional questions, it is encouraged that you consult your division or school Dean of Students Office.

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 Office of International Affairs. 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.