A lot of people have seen the clips of graduation hats being thrown in the air, by amazed university students, dressed in their cloaks. This is a graduation ceremony, in which the students celebrate exactly that, their graduation and receive their diploma. However, which such an important event, you may ask, how long does it take?
The ceremony depends on your university. On average, it will take 1-2 hours, but may take more or less. However, the students graduating may require more time, as they should arrive earlier, and may leave later due to post-ceremony celebrations. As a result, it may take even longer.
Don’t worry if you’re still feeling confused about what a graduation ceremony involves. Read the rest of this article to learn all you need to know about a graduation ceremony.
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How long does a university graduation ceremony last?
The main part of graduation ceremonies last 1-2 hours, where students will collect their diploma when their name and degree is called. They will shake hands with the chancellor and receive the diploma.
However, there are parts before and after that may affect this. There is usually a procession and welcome time, where guests are welcomed in, and usually takes 20 minutes. After the ceremony, food and drink may be given out.
There may also be the expectation for students to arrive earlier on. You can find out more by clicking on this article by Graduate Coach to a guide on graduation ceremonies.
How long does each part of graduation take?
The first part of graduation for the students is getting their cloak/gown and cap. Sometimes the university provides these on the day, but some do not and require you to hire them. As stated before, it is advised that students arrive 1-2 hours before the ceremony, so it can be assumed that getting your cloak and cap will take this amount of time.
After the students take their seats, and the guests arrive, a 15-20 minute procession will be given.
After this is the main part of the ceremony. Universities usually have a schedule to follow, with more ceremonies in the same day so will try to stick to the schedule. The handing out of the diplomas last 1-2 hours, depending on the number of students.
After this may follow some more speeches. Then is the party in which food and drink may be offered and will allow students to take professional photos by the university. Sometimes, the actual diploma certificates are handed out here. Usually, there is not a huge obligation to attend, so you may stay as long as you like.
If you hired a gown and cap, you would need to return this to the university, or external company you hired from. For information on how to hire a gown, see this article from Think Student.
How much earlier than the ceremony should you arrive to graduation?
Students receiving their diploma should arrive to the graduation 1-2 hours before. Different universities will give different times, and some may even give you a time slot to arrive. The University of Salford says 2 hours before, and University of Sheffield says 90mins. This is to allow for students to get their gown and cap, register and take their seat before the guests.
The university has probably made a systematic approach to this day, and after many ceremonies, the university will know what to do and the best way to do it.
What happens at graduation?
At graduation, all of the students who will graduate will be seated together, usually in a systematic order. After, senior academic staff will hold a procession for the guests and students. Then each student will be called one by one, which you will collect your diploma certificate. The piece of paper received is not always the diploma, and this may be given after the ceremony.
After this, more speeches may be given, and there may be an ‘after-party’ where food and drinks may be given, and photos taken. Sometimes the university will provide professional photo services and may hand out official diploma certificates. You can find out more about this, by clicking on this article by Shutterfly.
What do guests do at a graduation ceremony?
Guests stay separate from the students. The graduates will usually sit at the front, ready to be called while guests sot behind. You may need tickets to attend the ceremony, and the staff will help you to your seats. Doors close around 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony, so be sure to be on time. After the ceremony, guests may stay with the graduates.
If you want to know how much graduation costs, you should check out this Think Student article.
In this article, we have discussed what happens during a graduation ceremony, and how long it takes. This is obviously a big day, so is normal to feel exited. If you feel like you want to know more, you should look at your university’s website as it will usually tell you the process.