When are the degree ceremonies?

In the degree cycle 2020-21, the ceremonies have been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our remaining ceremonies are on 27th February 2021 and 6th March 2021. Typically undergraduate degrees are presented in July and the September. However, this pattern may change in coming years, due to the need to accommodate additional degree ceremonies that were cancelled in the 2020-21 cycle.


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected degree ceremonies?

All degree ceremonies that were due to take place between May and November 2020 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. A decision regarding degree ceremonies in February and March 2021 is yet to be made.



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

Currently certificates are unable to be issued following a conferral in absentia, but the Degree Conferrals office can provide an electronic letter confirming degree conferral if required. Click here to order an electronic degree confirmation letter. It is currently not possible to indicate when certificates will be issued. 


I am booked onto a future ceremony but am concerned that this might be affected by the pandemic. Can I change my ceremony date?

Changing the date of your ceremony for this reason is only possible in a small number of cases. Please contact the Development Office to discuss your individual circumstances. If your ceremony is cancelled, the Degree Conferrals office will provide you with an alternative ceremony date. 


How can I ensure my friends and I/my partner and I  graduate together?

To find a date with enough space for your group, please contact degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk. Please note places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please also be aware that there are often multiple ceremonies on one day, and so two different Colleges are not guaranteed to attend the same ceremony. 


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. 


How do I change my graduation to a different date?

If you are due to attend a ceremony and want to change dates, please email us at degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk. Please note that chaing your ceremony date is not always possible. You will not be able to move dates if it is within 60 days of 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.


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.


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.


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 is a Historic Graduand?

A historic graduand is someone who completed their course more than 9 months ago, 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 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. 

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. You 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.


How many guests can I bring to the ceremony? 

You are entitled to two guest tickets for the ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre. Graduands do not need a ticket to attend the ceremony.

Due to the space restrictions within the Sheldonian, and the allocation of tickets by the University, it is rarely possible for us to offer additional ceremony tickets. In the unlikely event that you are not planning to use one or both of your ceremony tickets, please let us know via  degree_day@jesus.ox.ac.uk

The ceremony will be streamed online for those who can't travel to Oxford or who cannot attend the ceremony. This can be accessed from College or online via http://livestream.com/oxevents.


How many guests can I bring to lunch at College?

You may bring up to five guests to lunch at College. When you book, it is very important to give us the names of your guests, plus any special dietary restrictions or access requirements. Guests are not given lunch tickets, but seating plans are named and guests are requested not to swap their seat with others, to ensure that those with dietary requirements get the correct meal. 


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. 


What happens if I have multiple degrees?

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.


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. 



Any other questions?

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