Students like you have been graduating at UBC since 1916. It is a point of pride for the university to mark the day with a ceremony that speaks to the significant accomplishment students have achieved in their lives and the important contribution they have made to the university as a whole.
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From left: UBC former President Martha Piper, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi and UBC former Chancellor Allan McEachern
Excellence at UBC
An integral part of the graduation ceremony is the recognition of academic excellence and achievement. The Governor General’s Academic Medals, the President’s Service Award for Excellence and the Killam Teaching Prizes are awarded each year.
Learn about the awards and recipients
Honorary degrees are conferred on deserving individuals for contributions such as long-standing achievement in an academic field or unparalleled commitment to community service. A collection of honorary degree recipients from 2007 to present day is available online.
Search the Honorary Degree collection
Honouring the tradition
From the 41 graduates in 1916 to the 11,500 graduates each year today, the ceremony is steeped in tradition.
The hoods, gowns and hats worn by graduates are lined with colours to indicate the degree to be conferred, a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages when the first Universities were founded.
Find your academic regalia
Academic regalia update
UBC approached the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm [Musqueam] and Syilx Okanagan Nation to collaborate on a project that would add Indigenous symbols of host Nations of each respective campus to the academic regalia of our senior administration.
A symbol of authority
At the start of every graduation ceremony, the Macebearer, carries the ceremonial University Mace, leads the Platform Party consisting of the Chancellor, the President and other dignitaries onto the stage.
The Mace is a symbol of the Chancellor’s authority and was designed by Haida carvers Bill Reid and George Norris in 1959.
Learn more about the Mace