Ceremony Instructions

Students - Graduation begins here

Ceremony Instructions


Graduation ceremonies are being planned in accordance with public health guidance as well as UBC policies. Graduating students and guests are encouraged to review and adhere to UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules. Campus rules may be updated from time to time, and further details will be shared in communications with graduating students as we get closer to the ceremony days, and on the FAQ page.

The graduation ceremonies are held in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Before the Ceremony

To prepare graduands for the procession into the Chan Centre, we ask you to arrive at the Student Marshaling Tent in Buchanan Courtyard 1 hour and 30 minutes before your ceremony start time. This is the area where you will:

  1. Pick up your regalia, mortar board (hat), and hood. (Graduates of diploma programs will not have a hood)
  2. Pick up your diploma parchment (pre-printed with your name and procession number) before lining up for the Procession in ascending order by processional number.
    [Procession numbers will be posted throughout the tent for your reference. Please look up your number before picking up your procession card.]

There is no secure storage space available in the Student Marshaling Tent. Whatever you bring with you into the tent, you will need to bring with you into the Chan Centre concert hall and you will need to keep these items with you throughout the ceremony. Items can be tucked under your seat in the concert hall. It is recommended that you leave personal items such as purses and coats with your families / guests.

45 minutes prior to ceremony start time, the Graduand Marshal will ask graduands to assemble in the Student Marshaling Tent in the order of your procession number for the Student Procession. You will find this number on your procession card. Your Procession number is your place in line and indicates the order of appearance of when you will cross the stage. Please remain in your order of procession when lining up in the tent, as you walk to the Chan Centre, and when you are seated in the concert hall.

Procession numbers for the line will be posted throughout the tent for your reference.

The Procession

Once assembled in the correct order, the Student Procession will leave the Student Marshaling Tent approximately 20-25 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. Graduand Marshals will lead the procession in two lines to walk along the pathway from the Student Marshaling Tent, down the stairs leading to the entrance to the Chan Centre and into the lobby. In the lobby, the two Student Procession lines will follow the Graduand Marshals into the concert hall where you will be directed to your seat.

The Ceremony

Please remain seated until all graduands have been seated in the concert hall. You will then be asked to rise from your seats by the University Marshal on stage for the entrance of the Faculty Procession. During the ceremony, there will be several points where guests and graduands will be asked to rise and sit, as directed by the Chancellor and / or President. This is part of the ritual of the graduation ceremony, and we hope these points offer opportunities to recognize your supporters, reflect on your achievement, and congratulate your peers and graduates.

When the conferring of degrees is about to start, the Graduand Marshals will ask successive rows of candidates to rise and line up to the cross the stage. As you line up, a photographer will be at the bottom of the stairs before you are on stage to take your photo [PHOTO 1]. After the photo, you will re-enter the line up to cross the stage.

Once on stage, please hand your procession card with your name on it to the person reading the names (the Reader). The Graduand Marshal may assist you with this. (If you are a doctoral graduate, your citation will be read, and you will have the option of being hooded.) Please pause in front of the Reader’s lectern and face the audience as your name is read out. A second photo will be taken of you here. [PHOTO 2]

After your name is read, you may cross the stage. The President or designate will greet you and will pose for a third photo with you. [PHOTO 3]. After the photo has been taken, please continue crossing the stage, and you will be greeted by your Dean and alumni representatives from your faculty.  After crossing the stage, an usher/marshal will direct you back to your original seat. You will remain in that seat until the end of the ceremony.

Marshals will be on hand to provide guidance throughout the ceremony. Each ceremony is typically 1 hour and 30 minutes in length.

The Recession

After the end of the speaking program please remain in your seat until instructions are given by the ushers/marshals. Graduand Marshals will organize and lead graduates in the procession out of the concert hall. We ask that you meet your friends and family at Flag Pole Plaza following the ceremony.

After Flag Pole Plaza, please join alumni UBC at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre for your graduation welcome reception.

Note: Regalia rental returns will be located in the tent next to the Bookstore trailer at Flag Pole Plaza.