Information for Students

Congratulations on your achievement! After all your hard work and study, you have done it. You are ready to graduate!

Students nearing completion of their programs are reminded that Convocation and Graduation are two separate events. Students must apply to graduate through their online student record; attending a convocation ceremony is optional. Find more Graduation information.


Convocation 2023

Follow the steps below to ensure your convocation experience goes smoothly.

1. Sign up – deadline February 28

The next set of ceremonies will be June 21-23, 2023. You can sign up to attend convocation when you submit your application to graduate. The deadline to sign up to attend is February 28, 2023.

Students who miss the deadline to sign up for their ceremony will be considered for that ceremony only if space permits. 

2. Order Guest Tickets – deadline February 28

When you sign up for a convocation ceremony, you will be asked to indicate how many guest tickets you would like for your family or friends. All graduates are allocated up to three guest tickets upon request. Additional guest tickets may be requested, but are not guaranteed. The deadline to request guaranteed guest tickets is February 28.

3. Add the Convocation email to your contact list, and check your contact information

Most of the communication about the ceremony comes via email from Convocation@viu.ca. These emails contain important information for you.  Please add Convocation@viu.ca to your email contact list to make sure that these messages end up in your inbox and not your junk mail folder.

Please log in to your student record to make sure your emailing and postal mailing addresses are correct so important information doesn't go astray.

4. Rent regalia – March 13 - May 3

Students attending the convocation ceremonies must wear the proper VIU regalia for their program, unless they are wearing their Indigenous/Métis/Inuit regalia. VIU regalia consists of a black gown and a black cap with tassel; some programs also wear a hood or a stole.

You must order your regalia from the supplier, Gaspard, between March 13 - May 3, 2023. May 3 is the last date you can cancel an order and receive a refund from Gaspard. Regalia rental fees range from approximately $45 - $60. The VIU Graduation/Alumni fee does not cover the cost of renting regalia.

If you plan to wear your Indigenous/Métis/Inuit regalia instead of VIU regalia, please email us at Convocation@viu.ca to let us know.  That way, we won't worry if we don't see your name in the list of VIU regalia orders that we get from Gaspard.

Regalia pickup: Your regalia will be available for pickup at the Nanaimo Campus Store, during business hours, starting on Thursday, June 15.

Regalia return: Regalia must be returned to the Campus Store immediately following your ceremony.

Order your regalia and find information on rental costs through Build-A-Grad (available March 13 - May 3)

5. Consider running for valedictorian – deadline March 31

The valedictorian is a graduating student chosen by their peers to give a 5-minute farewell and congratulatory speech addressed to the students, their guests, and the institution. One valedictorian or one pair of co-valedictorians will be selected per faculty. Valedictorians are selected by the students in their Faculty’s graduating class, based on video auditions or written statements that will be posted online for viewing.  The deadline to put your name forward for consideration for valedictorian is March 31, 2023, at 3 pm.

Read more details on the valedictorian selection process

6. Sign up for a graduation photo session (optional)

VIU graduates can sign up with Lifetouch Photography for an optional graduation photo session on the Nanaimo campus. The next photo sessions are scheduled for:

  • December 12-16, 2022
  • March 6-31, 2023

Photo sessions will be held in Building 255 Room 170. You will need to bring $25 (cash or cheque only) to your appointment. Lifetouch will supply the appropriate VIU regalia for your credential, for your photo.  Appointments must be booked in advance through Appointment Plus (available closer to the session dates).

Learn more about grad photography sign-up

7. Make sure you will be meeting your graduation requirements

We strongly recommend that you check with your program chair/coordinator or degree advisor before April 1, 2023 to be sure you will be eligible to attend convocation in June 2023. If you have courses at another institution that are to be used toward your degree, official transcripts from there must be received by the Registration Centre before your VIU graduation application can be processed. Visit VIU Graduation for more information.

Please note that in order to be eligible to attend the convocation ceremony, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. You have completed all requirements of your program and have had your credential officially conferred
  2. Or, you are realistically expected to complete the requirements of your program no later than 30 days after the date of the ceremony, and you have the recommendation of your Degree Advisor or Program Chair/Coordinator confirming that you are eligible for "participant" status. Students participating in the ceremony as a "participant" will receive their official parchment once they have completed all graduation requirements and their credential is officially conferred.

Notice of Live Webcast / Event Photography

Please note that all VIU convocation ceremonies are webcast live internationally. VIU staff photographers also take photos throughout the ceremony for use in various forms of media, including print or multimedia materials.

Please contact us at Convocation@viu.ca if you have any questions.