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On the day

What to expect

Here is everything you need to know for your graduation day.

Getting to the ceremony

Plan ahead and allow extra time to get to the Great Hall for your ceremony. We recommend using public transport or taxis as your first option for getting to campus. Alternatively, metered parking is available at the University. The most convenient place is in the Shepherd Street carpark building.

Make sure you are familiar with the COVID safe practices you will need to follow.


When to arrive

To allow enough time for event registration and the collection of your graduation gown, we recommend you arrive 90 minutes before your ceremony.

Doors open for guests to arrive half an hour before the ceremony commences.



Your academic dress is available for collection from the USYD Store in the Holme Building. The University of Sydney Union (USU) will send you an email ahead of your ceremony, requesting you book a time for your gowning.

As a general guide, the available collection times will depend on your ceremony.

  • 9.30am ceremony - appointment times will commence at 7.30am
  • 12pm ceremony - appointment times will commence at 9.30am
  • 2.30pm ceremony - appointment times will commence at 12pm

Locate the Holme Building.



You’ll need to register for your graduation ceremony ticket, and up to two guest tickets, through the Graduations portal before the day. Find out more on the prepare for graduation page.

If you didn't register for your digital tickets, you can visit the helpdesk in the graduation marquee.



You will need to be seated in your assigned seat at least 15 minutes before the ceremony commences so you can be briefed on ceremony procedures. It’s important to sit in your allocated seat as this is the order in which your name will be read out.

We recommend you leave your personal belongings on your chair as you will be returning to your original seat after walking across the stage. Alternatively, you can leave these with your guests.


Guest seating

Guests can enter the Great Hall half an hour before the ceremony commences. Graduations staff will assess the capacity 5-10 minutes before the start of each ceremony, and if there are spare seats, they will invite non-ticketed guests into the hall. If no additional space is available, non-ticketed guests are welcome to watch the ceremony live stream and join the graduates after the ceremony in the Quadrangle.


Ceremony proceedings

An average graduation ceremony takes around 90 minutes and involves the following:

  • Organ recital
  • The academic procession enters the Great Hall, the assembly standing
  • Welcome to graduands and guests
  • The occasional address
  • Conclusion of the ceremony
  • The academic procession retires, the assembly standing
  • Carillon recital
  • Post ceremony reception
    • Exit the same way you entered, turn right and be guided by our ushers to the location of catering
    • You can meet your guests on the lawns of The Quadrangle
    • Photos, framing and plaque sales will be available in the Nicholson Museum which is adjacent to The Quadrangle.

University merchandise will be available at a pop up store located in The Quadrangle.


Graduation reception

We invite you and your two guests to a catered graduation reception, located in The Quadrangle, where you can enjoy light refreshments.

Locate the Quadrangle.


Returning your academic dress

Before you leave the University grounds, and no later than one hour after your ceremony, you will need to return your academic dress to the USYD store located in the Holme Building. The trencher hat is yours to keep.


Life after graduation

Keep your details up to date so we can stay in touch and let you know about the latest alumni news, events and benefits.

Gifts and memorabilia

Photography, framing and plaques

You can view and buy photographs as well as order frames and plaques from GFP EVENTS both before the ceremony and on the day.

Within 3 business days after your graduation ceremony, you will be able to download a free copy of your digital stage photo. Go to, select ‘already graduated’, then ‘find your stage photo’ and select your graduation date and time from the dropdown menu. Select ‘View your photo’ and then scroll to find your photo. At the checkout, you will need to enter your student ID number to download your photo for free.

Gift shop

If you’re looking to purchase a lasting souvenir, visit the USYD Store located in the Holme Building or our pop-up shop located in The Quadrangle cloisters. You can also shop online through the USYD Store.

You can also visit the Chancellor’s Committee Gift Shop, which is located under the Clocktower in the Quadrangle. You can view their range of jewellery, clothing, books, stationery and graduations bears on the Chancellor’s Committee Gift Shop.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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Last updated: 02 November 2022

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