When are the degree ceremonies?

In-person degree ceremonies are planned to restart in September, with places available for finalists and also for students whose ceremonies were cancelled due to the pandemic. In absentia ceremonies are still taking place on a regular basis, to enable degree conferrals to continue in some form whilst ceremonies in person are not possible.


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected degree ceremonies?

All degree ceremonies that were due to take place between May 2020 and August 2021 have now been cancelled. Graduands who were due to have a degree conferred in person during this time will have been given the option to have their degree conferred in absentia, or in person at a future ceremony. The University is currently arranging alternative ceremony dates, and will notify affected graduands once these new dates are confirmed. Graduands who orginally chose to have their degree conferred in absentia can still do so as planned. 


I am a student in my final year of a taught course. When will I be able to attend a degree ceremony?

The central University has made the decision to postpone all ceremonies due to take place up to the end of August 2021. Final year students will be informed by email when there are updates about ceremony dates and the way to book for these. Please be aware that graduands are unlikely to have many options for dates to choose from once booking is possible, due to the extensive backlog of graduands needing degrees conferred.


I am a research student who has just been granted Leave to Supplicate, but there are no degree ceremonies available. What do I do?

If you would like to have your degree conferred in person, please contact the Development Office on degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk. This is so that your name gets added to the list of graduands to be notified of new ceremony dates, along with those whose ceremonies were cancelled. Please be aware that this option will involve waiting for an unknown length of time for new ceremony dates to be announced. 

If you would like to have your degree conferred in absentia, you can book this through the invite email you have received from the Degree Conferrals Office.


Is the pandemic going to affect when I get my certificate?

Certificates are now being issued as normal following in-absentia ceremonies, although you may experience a delay in receiving this due to disruption within local postal services. If your ceremony has been cancelled or your certificate is delayed in arriving and you need evidence of your qualification, the Degree Conferrals office can provide an electronic degree confirmation letter. Click here to order an electronic degree confirmation letter. It is important to keep your postal address up to date, so that your certificate can be posted to you following degree conferral. Please use Student Self Service to update this:

Access Student Self Service

If you are presented with an error message and unable to log in, please contact the Student Systems support team using the link on the error page. 

if you are a historic graduand (who finished their course before Summer 2020) and you need to update your details, please contact us to discuss this further.


What is a Historic Graduand?

A historic graduand is someone who completed their course in the previous academic year or earlier, but has not yet booked a ceremony to have their degree conferred. There is no time limit for having your degree conferred, but we would suggest doing this upon completion of your course, as historic graduands can only be booked onto a ceremony once that year's finalists have all booked.


What is the non-Christian formula? Does it apply to me?

Members having an MA, DD, DCL, DM or MCh conferred in person are asked to kneel in front of the Vice-Chancellor, who touches them on the head with a Bible. You can opt out of this part of the ceremony, but this must be done in advance when booking your ceremony. You cannot request the non-Christian formula on the day of the ceremony. All other degrees are unaffected by this. 


What happens if I have multiple degrees still to be conferred?

All degrees must be conferred on you in order from lowest to highest (e.g. if you want to collect your DPhil, and also have a BA and an MPhil, you must collect your BA and then your MPhil, before you can collect your DPhil).

If you attend a ceremony for your highest degree, you can collect your lower degrees at the same time in absentia. However, you won’t then be able to go back and attend a ceremony for them retrospectively.


Can I attend ceremonies for all of my degrees?

Yes, but you must to do them in order from lowest to highest, e.g. if you want to collect your BA, MPhil and DPhil, you need to first graduate for your BA, then your MPhil, then your DPhil.

Please note that if you attended your BA ceremony in person, you will not be able to attend your MA graduation in person.


When will I know if I have a place on a ceremony?

You will receive an email from the University confirming your place on a ceremony. We expect this to be sent no later than 30 days before the ceremony.


Can I change my mind about wanting to graduate in person or in absentia?

If you are due to attend a ceremony in person and decide to graduate in absentia, please email us at degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible.

If you decide you would prefer to graduate in person after initially choosing to do so in absentia, you will have to join a waiting list for a ceremony. Please contact us to discuss this.


How do I cancel my graduation?

 If you are a current student with access to the Student Self Service system you may cancel your graduation online at least 60 days before the ceremony. If you are not a current student or wish to cancel your graduation within 60 days of your graduation, then contact us at degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk. All cancellations must be made in writing (an email is acceptable), and you cannot ask somebody to cancel on your behalf. Graduands who cancel within 60 days of the ceremony cannot be reallocated to a future ceremony, and your degree will be conferred in absentia. 


What happens once I have submitted my request to graduate and I am on the waiting list?

The waiting list works on a 'first come first served' basis. There is no guarantee, but we will do our best to fit you in.

You will remain on the requested waiting list until around 2 months before the ceremony, after which, if a place hasn't been made available, we will contact you regarding alternative dates. 

If you are no longer able to attend a date, please let us know by email at degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk so that we can remove you from that waiting list.


What happens if I cannot get on a ceremony? Can I be added to another ceremony?

Yes, we can add you to another waiting list. We will add you in chronological order to the dates you have said you can attend.


What should I wear for graduation?

You must wear subfusc, i.e. either a dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with black tights or stocking, or dark trousers with dark socks or dark hosiery. 

You are also required to wear black shoes, a plain white collared shirt or blouse, and either a black or white bowtie, a black full-length tie, or black ribbon.

It is also essential that you wear a Commoner's, Scholar's or Graduate gown as appropriate. You will be advised on this nearer the date of your ceremony.

Ministers of religion may wear clerical dress, with a gown over, when attending ceremonies.

If you wear a headdress or scarf for religious reasons, this should be black. Members of the armed forces may wear service dress under their gowns.

Please note that graduands cannot take bags or coats with them into the Sheldonian Theatre; these should be given to one of your guests for safekeeping.


Is a matriculation or scholar’s gown different from a graduation gown?

Yes. Many graduands need two gowns for the ceremony, one to wear in to the Sheldonian and the graduation gown to change into once your degree has been awarded. The graduation gown is the gown of your new degree.


How do I hire a graduation gown?

You will be emailed in advance of your graduation with information about hiring your academic gown. The cost of hiring the academic gown and hood is £45. You are also welcome to provide your own gown and hood, should you wish.


What happens if I need disabled access or other special requirements for the day?

If you have any special access requirements for the ceremony or the lunch, please email us at degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

For guests, there is limited step-free seating available in the Sheldonian. This cannot be booked in advance. Please make yourselves known to the staff at the Sheldonian when you arrive and they will do their best to seat your party together. 

The College itself is fully accessible: please discuss your needs with us so that we can make your guests as comfortable as possible. 


Any other questions?

Please email us at degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk.