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Graduation ceremony etiquette

If you intend to be present at the ceremony, please note the following:


  • Please arrive at least one hour before the start of the ceremony. If you arrive late, you will not be admitted into the graduation hall and your certificate will be forwarded to you. Your travel arrangements should allow for rush hour traffic, road conditions and distance.


  • The graduation ceremony is a formal occasion. Graduands, diploma candidates and guests must dress formally, semi-formally or in traditional dress. Denims, t-shirts or sport shoes are not permitted. Graduands must wear their academic dress. Borrowing academic dress from other candidates is not permitted. Unisa reserves the right to refuse entry to a person not adhering to the dress code. Likewise, the university may also refuse to formally confer or award a qualification to a candidate not wearing academic attire in the prescribed fashion.


  • A maximum of three guests per graduand/diploma candidate are allowed. Unfortunately, extra guest tickets are not available. Your guest tickets will be available at the graduation venue and are not included in your graduation pack. Guests should be seated at least 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. Guest seats are not reserved.


  • Since a graduation ceremony is a formal occasion, babies and toddlers are not permitted into the hall. A child who is seven years or older will be required to obtain a guest ticket, and is thus included in the maximum number of guests allowed per graduand/diploma candidate.


  • Graduands, diploma candidates and guests should not leave the hall during the proceedings and should remain seated until the end of the ceremony.


  • Please inform your guests that although they are allowed to photograph or video the graduation proceedings, the following shall apply:
    1. Guests must remain seated while filming.
    2. The use of a studio light is prohibited.
    3. Electrical outlets may not be used to power any equipment.

Mobile phones

  • Please switch of your mobile phone when entering the graduation hall.


  • Food or beverages are not allowed inside the hall.


  • Graduation venues are non-smoking venues. Also, please do not smoke while wearing hired academic attire even if you are in a designated smoking area.


  • Handbags and bags may not be taken to the stage. These should be left under your seat or left with one of your guests.