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On the day

Semester 2 graduation ceremonies update

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions have been put in place for events in New South Wales. We are following advice from NSW Health and taking the necessary steps to help contain the spread of the virus and protect the health of our staff and students, and the broader community.

Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision that in person graduation ceremonies which were scheduled for Semester 2, 2021 will take place remotely. 

We share your disappointment in not being able to celebrate at a traditional graduation ceremony, however, the safety and wellbeing of our graduates, their families, our staff, and our community is our highest priority. Find out more information on the graduations homepage.

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.


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
  • 1.00pm ceremony - appointment times will commence at 9.30am
  • 4.30pm ceremony - appointment times will commence at 1.00pm

Locate the Holme Building.



You'll need your student ID or photo ID to register for the ceremony at the registration desk located outside the Great Hall. Once you've registered, you'll be given your two guest tickets.

Locate the Great Hall.



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. 


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
  • Official conferral of awards
  • 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.

More information

COVID safe practices

Graduation ceremonies will comply with COVID-19 rules, regulations and guidelines as outlined below.

All visitors coming to the University are asked to check the following before entering any campus:

  • You are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19
  • You have not had contact with a person who has been confirmed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • You have not returned from overseas, or any other location subject of an NSW Public Health Order in the past 14 days
  • You have not been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results and are not currently required by relevant authorities to quarantine or self-isolate
  • You will follow any relevant COVID-19 safety plan requirements advised to you and any reasonable directions of your host, security staff and/or emergency services.

As a guest of the University, you are asked to observe the following hygiene and physical distancing practices while on campus:

  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people wherever possible
  • Avoid physical contact such as shaking hands
  • Wash your hands (or use hand sanitiser) regularly
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing or use your elbow, not your hands
  • Wear a mask when instructed to by your host or sponsor
  • If you feel unwell whilst on campus, immediately isolate from others

Guests and children

There is no child care available for the graduation ceremonies. Small children are welcome to attend the ceremony, but they will require one of your two guest tickets. Prams are not allowed in the Great Hall but they can be left in the Ante Room adjoining the Great Hall.

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.

Live streams

All ceremonies are streamed live. A link to view your ceremony can be found on the graduation ceremony schedule page and will be available 3-5 business days after your ceremony. This will be available for you to access and share with others for 6 weeks before being removed.

You can purchase and download a digital video of the ceremony from Ambassador Productions.

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.


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.

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.

Student Centre



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

Find out more about how we can help

Last updated: 27 September 2021

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