Rolling Graduation

UBC Calendar:,44,0,0

All students must apply to graduate.


Since May 2014, students in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies have been able to have their degrees awarded on any one of four dates in a given year; dates in September, November, February, and May. Once the degree has been awarded by Senate, a notation will appear on the transcript. However, formal conferral at Congregation ceremonies and official degree parchments will remain available in May and November only.

The process is known as rolling graduation, and it was approved by Senate in February 2012. It separates the process of degrees being awarded by Senate from the formal conferral by the Chancellor at Congregation. There are several benefits:

  • Students in thesis-based programs have always been able to complete their programs at any time during the year, but have, in the past, had to wait until one of the two Congregation periods for their degrees to be awarded. With rolling graduation, students will need to wait only a relatively short time before their degrees are formally awarded by Senate (maximum of four months).
  • G+PS receives many requests from students to inform their prospective employers that they have completed all their degree requirements. Rolling graduation will reduce this need.

Rolling graduation applies only to graduate programs administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

There is no impact on tuition fees as a student’s obligation to pay fees ends as soon as his/her program is closed.


Following program completion, degrees are awarded by UBC Senate. “Congregation” refers to the ceremony of graduation at which degrees are formally conferred by the UBC Chancellor, and official parchments (degree certificates) are provided.

Application for Graduation

The Application for Graduation for graduate students is different from the undergraduate application. When grad students apply to graduate, they will see two dates: one for awarding of their degree by Senate, and one for the formal conferral at a graduation ceremony (Congregation). In May and November, these dates will be the same.

Availability of Application for Graduation

The graduate application for graduation will be available almost all year round. There will be only two short blackout periods: from the deadline for application for May and November awarding and Congregation, to the first day of the month following the Congregation ceremonies. This is to prevent the possibility of students applying after the deadline and thinking that they will be able to take part in Congregation. UPDATE: This will shortly change so that the application for graduation is available at the same times that it is available to undergraduate students.

For more information, see Rolling Graduation Frequently Asked Questions