1. Why has the University cancelled Convocation ceremonies for 2020?
This was a difficult decision that was made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the directives from the federal and provincial governments regarding social distancing. It is clear that it would have been impossible to hold such large gatherings in person. This is a special time of year for the University community and this decision saddens us. Graduates will still receive their degrees, and parchments will be sent to them by courier.
2. Will I graduate and receive my degree?
Yes. If you have completed all the academic requirements of your program and were expecting to graduate in November 2020, you will graduate.
Your registrar will have more information if you are unsure of your graduation status.
3. How will I receive the parchment?
Parchments, the legal document embossed with the University seal and the graduate’s name and degree, will be couriered after the degrees have been conferred.
Your permanent address on ACORN will be the default shipping address. Please note that couriers cannot deliver to P.O. Boxes. You have until October 23 to update your permanent address in ACORN for the purpose of shipping your diploma.
Once the diploma has been shipped, you will receive an email from the courier via your UTOR account email with the consignment/tracking number. Your diploma delivery is insured against loss and damage. There will be special arrangements to confirm every recipient has received their diploma. Details are forthcoming but may included having the courier wait to visually confirm delivery.
More details will follow from the Office of Convocation and posted on the Office of Convocation main page.
Please be sure to update ACORN with your permanent mailing address. You can refer to our Address Guide for helpful tips on ensuring your diploma will reach it's destination, whether in Canada or abroad.
4. Can I defer graduation?
To defer graduation means that you will not receive a diploma parchment. This option to defer is governed by your degree program and your faculty/school/college. Many degree programs do not have the option to defer graduation. Please check with your registrar’s office to understand your options.
Also, please note that deferring graduation could have implications if you are applying to graduate school or considering employment options. Please consult with an academic advisor or your registrar’s office.
5. May I attend a ceremony in 2021?
Due to the extremely large size of our graduating classes and the space limitation of our venue (Convocation Hall), regrettably it is not possible for 2020 graduates to attend a ceremony scheduled for graduates in Spring or Fall 2021.
We appreciate that the cancellation of convocation will come as a huge disappointment to our graduating students, their families, friends, teachers and mentors. We take enormous pride in your accomplishments, and we want to give you the send-off you deserve. Please continue to consult this website for updates on alternative plans.
6. What does the cancellation of Convocation 2020 mean for families and guests?
Families and guests should cancel any travel or accommodation plans for 2020 and until we know more about when it is safe to proceed with future visits to the University.
7. What is the difference between a convocation ceremony and a graduation ceremony?
Convocation is the ceremony at which the Chancellor confers the degrees. A graduation ceremony can involve many of the elements of a Convocation ceremony except that it does not involve the conferral of the degrees (i.e., graduates will have already received their diplomas).
8. When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas will be couriered directly to you in the weeks following the virtual ceremony.
9. Since there are no ceremonies, will I be able to receive my diploma earlier?
Diplomas are only available after you have graduated and your degree has been conferred. The virtual convocation will be when the degrees are conferred. Diplomas will not be sent before that time. If you need a letter confirming your eligibility to graduate or a letter of completion of requirements, please contact your Registrar or use the "Academics" section within ACORN and use the "Transcripts & Enrolment Confirmation" tab.
10. Will I be responsible for the cost of shipping my diploma?
There is no charge for the initial shipping of June/November 2020 graduates’ diplomas.
If your address was incorrect or the diploma could not be delivered, it will be returned to the Office of Convocation. Once returned, any subsequent requests to deliver the diploma will be at the graduate's cost.
11. What happens if I already pre-paid for shipping?
If you submitted a signed delivery form with payment prior to leaving campus or Toronto, you will receive a refund. Refunds will be processed when the office re-opens. Thank you for your patience.
12. When will my in-person graduation celebration take place?
We look forward to welcoming you back on campus once it is safe to do so. Your Division/ Faculty/ College will be in contact with you directly regarding arrangements for your graduation celebration once those details are available. Please note that these celebrations will not happen before March 2021 and will take place over the 2020-21 academic year.
13. I want photos on campus with my family. How can I get the gown and arrange this?
Academic regalia will be worn at the divisional graduation celebrations to be held at a later date.
Graduates wishing to rent regalia for at-home celebrations or photographs can do so with Gaspard. Visit the Gaspard website for more information on rental rates and shipping costs.
Please note that these rentals are optional and not a requirement for the virtual ceremony.
14. What format will the virtual ceremony be in? Is it interactive?
The virtual ceremony will be filmed in advance and broadcast on November 21 at 12:00 p.m. EST at www.utoronto.ca/convocation. It is not an interactive ceremony but it will have elements of a traditional convocation that will include the Chancellor, President, Chair of the Governing Council, a Speaker, the Mace and other ceremonial elements.
15. What accessibility considerations have been made for the virtual ceremony?
The virtual ceremony will be filmed in advance and broadcast on November 21 at 12:00 p.m. EST at www.utoronto.ca/convocation.
The video will be live captioned and have audio description. Other accessibility considerations are still to be confirmed but will be updated here as soon as possible
Alternative format information: For questions and feedback about the accessibility of our convocation video, including alternate-format requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
16. what date will appear on my diploma for fall graduates?
The virtual ceremony is a celebration for the entire university community and serves as the legal requirement to confer degrees in absentia and begin the challenging task of couriering diplomas to graduates.
Unlike for Spring graduates, the date that will appear on your diploma will be the date of the virtual ceremony - November 21, 2020. This is the same date that will appear on your transcript.
17. I need to order a Transcript. When will that be available?
18. What special precautions are being taken to ensure personal safety during the filming of the virtual ceremony and mailing of diplomas?
New measures have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of the staff as they process thousands of diplomas and packages each day while maintaining strict hygiene measures and adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Personal protection equipment (masks and gloves) are also being used.
Similarly for the filming of the virtual ceremony, health and safety regulations regarding physical distancing and personal protection equipment have been followed. The safety and wellbeing of all involved is a top priority.
19. My permanent address in ACORN was incorrect or missing and my diploma could not be delivered. How do I get my diploma?
If your permanent address was incorrect: The courier company will call the number provided but if the diploma cannot be delivered, it must be returned to the Office of Convocation (with additional charges). We will contact you to correct the address, however any further attempts to courier the diploma will be at your expense.
If your permanent address was missing: Your mailing address will be used in lieu of a permanent address. The courier company will call the number provided but if the diploma cannot be delivered, it must be returned to the Office of Convocation (with additional charges). We will contact you to correct the address, however any further attempts to courier the diploma will be at your expense.
It is imperative that you review your permanent address in ACORN and ensure it is correct. For helpful tips, please refer to our Address Guide. If the Office of Convocation is required to re-ship your diploma, there will be additional charges directly incurred by you.
20. I am not living in Canada. Can I still receive my diploma?
Yes, we will ship worldwide (at no charge to you). Please update your permanent address in ACORN.
Please refer to our Address Guide for helpful tips with ensuring your address is correct and gets where it needs to go.
Updated October 5, 2020