Graduation ceremonies

We hold graduation ceremonies twice a year, in May and December. You can learn more about them, and what you need to do to participate, here.

May graduation

Applications for May graduation close on 1 March 2015. There will be six graduation ceremonies.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Ceremony One, 1.30pm
Faculties of Education and Humanities and Social Sciences’

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ includes graduands from: School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies and International Institute of Modern Letters

Ceremony Two, 6pm
Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences’, Toihuarewa and Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ includes graduands from: Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, School of Languages and Cultures, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, School of Social and Cultural Studies, Te Kawa a Māui and Va'aomanū Pasifika

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Ceremony Three, 1.30pm
Faculties of Engineering and Science
Ceremony Four, 6pm
Faculties of Architecture and Design and Law

Thursday 14 May 2015

Ceremony Five, 1.30pm
Victoria Business School includes graduands from School of Accounting and Commercial Law, School of Economics and Finance, School of Government
Ceremony Six, 6pm
Victoria Business School includes graduands from School of Information Management, School of Management, School of Marketing and International Business

Humanities and Social Sciences and Victoria Business School ceremonies

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Victoria Business School are each split across two ceremonies. Graduands in these Faculties are allocated to ceremonies based on their school. The school is determined by the first major from their home faculty when listed alphabetically. Graduands have been notified of their allocation by email.


These processions are a highlight of graduation celebrations and graduating students from all ceremonies are encouraged to take part. During graduation week staff and students parade in full academic dress through Wellington city, proceeding from the Law School, Old Government Buildings on Lambton Quay through to the Civic Centre.

If you are participating in a parade, assemble at 11.45am outside the Law School.

Tuesday 12 May, 12 noon

Graduation parade for Faculties of Education and Humanities and Social Sciences’, Toihuarewa, To Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, Faculties of Engineering and Science.

Thursday 14 May, 12 noon

Graduation parade for Faculties of Architecture and Design and Law and Victoria Business School.

Academic dress

When taking part in any Victoria graduation ceremony you must wear academic dress. Graduands are reminded to apply for academic dress by 1 March for May ceremonies or 1 October for December ceremonies. Find out more about Academic Dress.

The ceremony

The graduation ceremony begins with the official procession of University staff and a welcome with karanga and haka pōwhiri. After the national anthem and a graduation address by the chancellor, graduands will stand and be ‘capped’ as a group by the Chancellor.

Graduates will then be called across stage to be congratulated and presented with their certificates. PhD graduates are called onto the stage first (alphabetically by surname), then other graduates are ordered by their faculty and qualification—this begins with Masters degrees and then alphabetically by surname.

The guest speaker will give an address after the PhD graduates have been presented with their qualifications. There will also be two musical interludes during the ceremony.

The ceremony ends with an address by the graduate speaker, singing of Gaudeamus (a traditional university song) and the official staff procession from the stage, which graduates follow. The ceremony will be followed by the Deans’ Reception in the Renouf Foyer.

Friends and family

The number of friends and family you can invite to your graduation ceremony is limited due to space restrictions at the Michael Fowler Centre. You will be informed about the number of guests you can invite in the material sent by the Graduation Office six weeks before your ceremony.


Children are welcome as guests at the Graduation ceremonies, but need to be with an adult that isn't graduating. We don't allow any children in the graduands’ marshalling area or on stage.

Any child over the age of two requires a ticket or if they're under two, they will need to sit on an adult’s knee for the full ceremony.

Additional tickets

Graduands in the May 2015 ceremony can apply for additional tickets—these are subject to available space. You can also specify the pronunciation of your name or indicate the name you wish to be read on stage at the ceremony.

Apply for additional tickets

Te Hui Whakapūmau

Te Hui Whakapūmau is an opportunity for graduands and their whānau to celebrate their achievement in a Māori dimension through tikanga Māori. The ceremony is in addition to the main graduation ceremonies held at the Michael Fowler Centre where the actual conferring/granting of degrees takes place.