Let’s Talk Graduation

Winter semester can be incredibly hectic for those of us expecting to graduate come April: moving out, meeting program requirements, deciding on firm post-grad plans, searching for and applying to jobs, internships or grad schools etc. Unfortunately, in the thrill of it all it can be easy to overlook the small steps needed to ensure graduation and convocation go more or less seamlessly. As exam season draws to a close, take a few moments of your much-needed time off to make sure you meet all these small, but ridiculously significant, steps toward graduation.

Firstly, let us distinguish between graduation and convocation. Graduation refers to the acknowledgment of the completion of your program requirements and the subsequent approval of this completion by Senate. Convocation is the (optional) ceremony where your degree is formally delegated to you. You do not need to attend convocation, but a formal graduation is compulsory if you wish to use your degree in any sense. In other words, taking the time to make sure your graduation is on track is well worth your time – no hyperbole necessary.

One of the first steps is to update your contact information and apply for graduation on Minerva. If you are expecting to graduate in April, the deadline for this is the end of February. If you choose not to attend convocation you diploma will be mailed to the permanent address indicated on Minerva so make sure to update your information if you are planning a move! If you are completing a double major or double honours program, this step allows you to choose which of your programs you wish to appear on your diploma.

Verify that there are no holds on your unofficial student transcript (Minerva > Student Menu > Student Records Menu > Unofficial Transcript) and that all your advanced placement or transfer credits appear on your record.

Meeting with a departmental or program advisor at this point is also important. Do NOT procrastinate this step, especially if you are not 100% sure you are meeting all your program requirements including credit and GPA requirements, the completion of compulsory classes and verifying that you have not exceeded the maximum capacity for electives or S/U option classes. Meet with or reach out to your advisor early on in the semester so, if need be, you can make changes to your schedule as your status demands.

Check out the links below for more information regarding graduation and convocation. Happy holidays and good luck!

https://www.mcgill.ca/graduation/faq

https://www.mcgill.ca/graduation/applying

https://www.mcgill.ca/graduation/convocation/students/graduation-and-convocation-checklist

https://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/students/graduating

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