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Graduation at Otago

Graduation ceremony in the Dunedin Town Hall

Graduation - Te Tari Whakapōtaetaka

When you become eligible to apply to graduate, an email inviting you to submit an application will be sent to your student email address during the week prior to applications opening. Once applications open you will then be able to see the “Your graduation application” link within your eVision student portal.

You can choose whether to graduate in person or in absentia. Graduation ceremony thumbnailIf you choose to graduate in person then you will attend the ceremony, and your degree or diploma will be presented to you on stage at the ceremony.

If you graduate in absentia, you will not attend the ceremony. Your name will be listed in the ceremony booklet (but not read out during the ceremony). Your diploma certificate will be sent to you by courier in the week following the ceremony or, if you are in Dunedin you can come and collect it.  You are not able to graduate in absentia outside of an official graduation ceremony.

Graduation marks your admission to the full and permanent membership of the University. It is also an opportunity for you to mark the completion of your studies and to celebrate your success with your family, friends, and the University community.


Applying to Graduate

To ensure that you receive your emailed invitation, please either check your student email address regularly, or else set up email forwarding to your preferred email address.

While we endeavour to contact everyone who is eligible to apply to graduate, it is vital that you monitor the Opening and Closing Dates for Applications section of our webpages.

Each round of graduation ceremonies has a specific time-frame during which applications can be made.

You must submit an application even if you do not wish to attend a graduation ceremony.

Please read further information about Applying to Graduate


Graduation Ceremony Dates, and Application Dates

The University currently holds graduation ceremonies in May, August and December each year. You may choose when to graduate, but this must be at the ceremony allocated to your particular qualification.

To view the graduation ceremony dates, the application opening and closing dates, read information on booking flights, and choosing your graduation date:

please visit the Graduation Ceremony Dates, and Application Opening and Closing Dates page


Deferring, making changes to your Graduation Application

The Degrees and Other Awards Statue of the University of Otago states that you must graduate within twelve months of completing your qualification.

This means that if, for example, you complete your qualification at the end of semester two (ie. in November), you must graduate either in December of the same year or in May or August of the following year.

For information about deferring your graduation beyond this time-frame, or if you need to either withdraw your application, or change your application status from in person to in absentia:

please visit the Changing your Graduation Application information page


Academic Dress (Regalia)

For information on the academic dress (or regalia) that you need to wear at the ceremony, hiring or purchasing regalia:

please visit the Academic Dress (regalia) information page


Guest Tickets, and Information for Guests

For information about how to order tickets for your guests, seating at the Dunedin Town Hall, on-campus accommodation, and other information for your guests:

please visit the Guest Information page


Other Graduation Activities

Other activities are also held on the day of each graduation ceremony.  These include a Graduation Brunch, a Thanksgiving Service, and the Graduation procession along the main street of Dunedin.

All of our graduation ceremonies are live-streamed.

An official photograph will be taken of you at the ceremony as you receive your degree or diploma.

A DVD of each graduation ceremony will also be available for purchase.

For further information about these events, connecting to the live stream, photographs, and purchasing the DVD of your ceremony:

please visit the Other Graduation Activities page


At a Graduation Ceremony

For information about what you need to bring with you, and an overview of a ceremony:

please visit our At a Graduation Ceremony information page


Staff Participation at Graduation

The academic procession is an important part of our graduation ceremonies, which is greatly appreciated by graduands and their families. While it is not compulsory for academics to participate, it is very much a time to celebrate the success of your students with their families.

Please visit the Staff Participation at Graduation information page


Beyond Graduation

While graduation may mark the end of your life in Dunedin, it is not the end of your links with Otago.

For information about Distance Learning, the Development and Alumni Relations Office, the Court of Convocation, and the Federation of Graduate Women:

please visit the Beyond Graduation information page


Verification of Qualification

The University of Otago Graduate Search database allows the identification of those who have graduated from the University (including those who have been awarded diplomas or certificates) since 1977.

To find out what information is available, and to search the database:

please visit the Graduate Search information page


The Graduation Office

If you have any questions about any aspects of graduation, please contact the Graduation Office:

the role of the Graduation Office, who we are, and how to contact us

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