Find answers to your frequently asked questions about graduation.

I’m trying to apply to graduate online, but I can't see how to do it.

You will be sent an invitation to graduate once you have completed your qualification. You can then click on the 'Graduation' tab and respond from there. There are options to change to the Tauranga ceremony (April only), or to graduate 'in absentia' or to defer to next year.  Please call 0800 WAIKATO if you require assistance.

I haven't received confirmation that I'm included in a ceremony yet.

Once your grades are final for the previous semester, we start processing this information. Shortly after your grades are final you should receive confirmation that you are included in the ceremony.

I want to graduate in April/October. How can I do this?

Invitations for the April Ceremonies will be sent out for those completing at the end of B Trimester mid-December.  

Invitations for the October Ceremonies will be sent out for those completing at the end of A Trimester mid-July.  

You will receive an email inviting you to complete your invitation through the graduation tab in MyWaikato.  You may select to attend in person or if you choose in absentia you will be moved to the first available Council meeting.  For those completing at the end of C, G or H Trimester an invitation will be sent mid-January for the April ceremonies.

I’ve completed my qualification (or will have by the end of C, G or H Trimester) but there is no invitation for me to attend graduation in MyWaikato. What should I do?

If you are completing at the end of C, G or H Trimester you will be eligible for the April 2025 ceremonies and an invitation will be sent to you mid-January. If you have any problems or if there is any confusion, call 0800 WAIKATO or email info@waikato.ac.nz because we will more than happy to help.

I've received my invitation to graduate, and when filling it in it says I've been invited to the Pā ceremony.  Do I have to go to the Pā I would prefer to attend the Tauranga ceremony.

No problem - underneath where it says you've been invited to The Pā, just select YES to the option that says 'Would you like to graduate at an alternate venue?' From there you can choose what you want to do.  An email to your MyWaikato portal will be sent confirming the change of venue.

If I can't attend a ceremony until later, can I get a completion letter or something to say that I have finished the requirements for my degree? My employer needs verification of my completion.

You can now request these through MyWaikato under the results tab after your grades are final and your completion has been processed.

I want to buy some more tickets for Tauranga - where can I get them?

For Tauranga tickets will be available approximately 2 weeks before the ceremony.  Due to capacity restrictions all graduands in Tauranga are allocated three guest tickets for the ceremony and you do not require a ticket for yourself.  Additional guests are encouraged to attend and join in the ongoing celebrations held at our award-winning CBD campus, which will include food and beverage service along with a live stream of the hour long ceremonies held on-site.

How long do the ceremonies take?  I want to make a restaurant booking for after the ceremony.

Ceremonies can vary in length depending on how many are graduating at that time. The ceremonies at The Pā seem to be on average about an hour and a half, the ceremonies at Tauranga average one hour. Maybe a little less for a smaller cohort, and a little more for a larger cohort (15 minutes either way).

What’s the difference between ‘graduation’ and ‘conferral’?

A person graduates and a qualification is conferred. Essentially they mean the same thing and are often used interchangeably. People often tend to think of ‘graduation’ as the ceremony where you walk across the stage and get capped. This very act is also when your qualification is conferred.  Conferrals also happen at various times throughout the year at University Council meetings – where a list of names is presented to council and their qualifications are conferred at that time.  Students cannot attend these meetings. This is known as graduating ‘in absentia’ (ie not being present at a ceremony) and your certificate is posted out to you after the meeting/ceremony.

I don’t want to come to a graduation ceremony. Does that mean I won’t graduate?

Students must complete their invitation to graduate whether they wish to attend a ceremony or graduate ‘in absentia’ (which means without being present at a ceremony). If we do not receive a response from you we will defer your qualification conferral to the next graduation period. If you do nothing you will automatically be conferred after a year and your certificate will be posted to your last known address held in MyWaikato.

What does it mean to be alumni?

As graduates of the University of Waikato, we welcome you to our global alumni and friends community. We encourage you to stay in touch with us as we seek to connect you with valuable learning opportunities to increase your knowledge and help you in your careers. With more than 84,000 alumni worldwide, this community also provides valuable opportunities to expand your networks and stay connected with the University.