Congregations (degree ceremonies) are held throughout the year, the late June Congregations are set aside for what is called General Admission, at which most undergraduates proceed to their first Degree at the end of their final term.
Degrees awarded at General Admission
Only the following Degrees are awarded at General Admission:
- Bachelor of Arts: B.A.
- Bachelor of Theology for the Ministry: B.Th.
- Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine: Vet.M.B.
- Master of Engineering: M.Eng.
- Master of Mathematics: M.Math.
- Master of Natural Science: M.Sci.
How to apply
All those eligible to graduate at General Admission will be sent instructions on registration by the start of Easter Term.
Students who are in their third year and have yet to decide whether to continue on to a fourth year must bear in mind that it is not possible to be added to the list for General Admission after the deadline should they decide not to continue for a fourth year. It is advisable to add your name and withdraw from General Admission once you have confirmed that you will continue to a fourth year. Those who definitely know they will be continuing need not add their name to the list (e.g. third year Engineering students).
Timetable for the day
The timetable below is provisional and is liable to change:
07:00: Ramsay Hall open for breakfast
08:00: Roll Call in Second Court
08:30: Graduation photograph
08:45: Briefing by the Praelector
09:30: Procession to the Senate House
09:45: Guests due at the Senate House
10:00: Graduation ceremony begins
11:00: Master’s Garden Party in Second Court
11:15: Pepys Library open to visitors
12:30: Leaver’s service in Chapel. All welcome
There will be a photographer available in the Fellows' Garden between 11:00 and 15:00 to take personal and group portraits.
Graduands do not need tickets for themselves. We are able to issue each graduand with two guest tickets for family and friends. A waiting list is available for those who would like to request additional tickets.
Guests should be aware that access to the gallery on the first floor of the Senate House is very difficult, so floor tickets should be requested for the elderly, infirm or disabled. There is wheelchair access on the ground floor. Degree congregations are not suitable for children under 5 years old, and gallery tickets cannot be issued to children under 10. Please let the Academic Office know if you have guests who require wheelchair access.
Guests will only be admitted to the Senate House on presentation of their ticket and must arrive by 09:45. Guests are encouraged not to arrive unduly early since this can cause overcrowding in the Senate-House Yard.
Dress for General Admission
If you choose to graduate in person at the Senate-House, you are required to wear the following Cambridge academical dress at the Graduation Ceremony.
Gown and Hood
Undergraduates and affiliated students Undergraduate gown of your college and the hood of the highest degree that you are about to receive.
Postgraduate candidates: either the gown or hood of your highest existing Cambridge degree or, if not already a Cambridge graduate, a BA or MA status gown and the hood of the highest degree you are about to take.
What to wear at graduation
As graduation is a formal occasion, an appropriate standard of dress is expected. The dress code below is strictly enforced at ceremonies, and if you do not observe it, you may not be permitted to graduate on a particular occasion. The Praelector is able to offer further advice on dress.
Graduands Dress Option 1
Black dinner jacket and trousers or black lounge suit (very dark grey or very dark blue suits are permitted only if they are indistinguishable from black when placed next to a black gown), plain white (ivory/cream is not allowed) shirt, white bow tie and bands, plain black shoes (no boots, sandals or open-toed shoes), black socks. Graduands are expected to be wearing clean shoes. Candidates should also wear the correct academic dress (gown and hood).
Graduands Dress Option 2
Plain black dress, suit, trouser suit or skirt (very dark grey or very dark blue is permitted only if it is indistinguishable from black when placed next to a black gown) with white (ivory/cream is not allowed) shirt or blouse. Sleeves must be long or three-quarter length. A white or black cardigan may be worn. White bands and bow-ties may be worn (optional) but only with a properly collared white shirt. Tights must be worn (bare legs are not permitted) and should be plain, black or neutral coloured with plain black shoes (no boots, sandals or open-toed shoes). Graduands are expected to be wearing clean shoes. Very short skirts or very high heels should be avoided as you will need to kneel during the course of the ceremony. Candidates should also wear the correct academic dress (gown and hood).
The overall effect should be formal and tidy. Conspicuous jewellery should not be worn nor body jewellery. Dyed hair (other than natural colour) is not acceptable.
Garments with polka dots/stripes/patterns are not appropriate for the Senate House ceremony. Any belts, if worn, must be plain, black, very dark grey, or very dark blue to match the trousers or skirt with which they are worn.
Besides your gown and hood, graduands must meet the dress code above; The Proctors have given notice that anyone inappropriately dressed will not be allowed to proceed to their degree that day. Exceptions to the above dress code will only be considered for religious or cultural reasons and must have prior written approval. Please see also: www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/degrees/dress/
Academical dress hire
You may hire or buy academical dress from the following Cambridge suppliers:
If you have any questions regarding the above please contact the Academic Office.