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Prepare for graduation

RSVP to your invitation

We will email you a graduation invitation about three or four weeks before your ceremony. This will confirm your graduation ceremony time, date and location. Your invitation will also include details about what will appear on your testamur.

If your UniKey has expired, we will ensure that it is reactivated in time so that you can still access University systems such as Sydney Student and receive your graduation invitation. If your UniKey expires you do not lose access to your University email account, so you will still receive your graduation invitation.

When you receive your invitation, you can select from two different ceremony options:

  • Attend
  • Not attend

If you would like to attend your graduation, it's essential that you confirm your attendance as soon as possible to avoid missing out on your ceremony. The capacity of the Great Hall is limited and the online attendance registration will close once the hall capacity is reached. This may be before the invitation RSVP deadline.

If you would like to assist the Presenting Dean with the pronunciation of your official name at your graduation ceremony, you should provide the phonetic English spelling of your official name when you register to attend your ceremony.

If you haven't registered your attendance, you will automatically graduate in absentia.

Graduation fee

If you attend a graduation ceremony, you will need to pay a graduation fee. If you graduate in absentia you will not have to pay this fee. The graduation fee is $165 (inc. GST). The fee covers you for all the things you’ll need on the day. This includes:

  • academic dress hire
  • tickets for two guests to attend the ceremony
  • a graduation program
  • entry and light refreshments at the graduation reception for yourself and your two guests
  • a trencher hat for you to keep
  • a digital download of your stage photo

You will make your fee payment after registering your RSVP in Sydney Student and can pay using Mastercard, Visa, American Express and JCB. Your attendance won’t be confirmed until you pay your graduation fee.

By booking and paying for your graduation ceremony, you agree to the refund terms and conditions.

Graduation fee refunds

If you have paid for your ceremony but cannot attend, you need to tell us as soon as possible. Your refund will depend on how much notice you provide us:

  • more than 10 days notice prior to your ceremony: a full refund
  • less than 10 days notice prior to your ceremony: no refund unless in exceptional circumstances

If you request a refund with less than 10 days notice, it will be considered on a case by case basis if you can demonstrate with supporting documents that you are unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances that were unforeseen and outside of your control, such as illness or bereavement.

In the event you do apply for a refund, you will graduate in absentia.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer partial refunds of the graduation fee, if you choose wear your own academic dress or trencher hat.

How to request a refund

To request a refund, please make an enquiry online or, if you no longer have your UniKey, send an email to

If necessary, make sure your enquiry includes any relevant supporting documents.

Your refund will usually be processed within 3 weeks after all ceremonies in your month have been completed. Your refund will be credited to the original funding source.

If you have any issues receiving your refund or any questions related to refunds, please contact

Preparation checklist

COVID safe practices

If you’re coming to campus for a ceremony, you and your guests will need to follow our COVID safety precautions.

Register for your digital tickets

We’ve introduced a new digital ticketing process to make sure we’re following COVID safe practices. Using your student ID, you’ll need to register for your graduation ceremony ticket, and up to two guest tickets, through the Graduations portal.

You’ll receive an email 2-4 weeks before your graduation ceremony, inviting you to register for your digital tickets. If you RSVPed after the deadline, you’ll receive your invitation to register for digital tickets 1 week before your graduation ceremony.

Once you’ve registered, guest tickets will be sent to your nominated email address and you'll receive an SMS one day before your ceremony to collect your graduate ticket. On the day of your graduation ceremony, make sure you and your guests arrive on campus with your tickets in digital or print form.

Guests and children

You’ll be allocated two guest tickets. Unfortunately, additional guest tickets aren’t available due to capacity restraints. If you are bringing guests to a ceremony, they will be seated in the Great Hall.

Small children are welcome to attend the ceremony and can sit on the lap of an adult without needing a ticket. If they need their own seat, they’ll need to take one of your allocated guest tickets. There is no child care available for the graduation ceremonies. We’re unable to accommodate prams inside the Great Hall but they can be left just outside the entry doors adjoining the hall or in the Ante room adjacent to the Great Hall.

Ceremony live streams can also be viewed online and will be become available through the same link 2 business days after your ceremony. This will be available for you to access and share with others for 6 weeks before being removed.

Making travel arrangements

We will not be able to confirm your ceremony time and date until you receive your invitation and RSVP ‘attending’, so please make sure any plans made for your graduation before then (including travel arrangements for overseas family and friends) are flexible.

If your guests are applying to travel from overseas and you have not received your ceremony invitation, we can provide you with a letter to confirm that the University supports the attendance of friends and family at graduation ceremonies. You will need submit a request for letter form (pdf, 505KB), including the information you need, purpose and recipient of the letter. 

We do not accept any responsibility for any arrangements that you, your family or friends make for your graduation.

Academic dress

At your ceremony, you'll need to wear full academic dress appropriate for your degree or diploma. This comprises a gown, bonnet/trencher cap, and hood or stole.

Your academic dress is supplied to you as part of your graduation fee. It is available for collection from the USYD Store in the Holme Building. When booking, they will confirm your degree title, graduation date and time and coordinate the hood colours as per University dress standards. See the USYD store website for more information.

Each degree or diploma has its own colour or combination of colours.

When wearing academic dress, it is important that the tassel on your trencher remains on the left side when preceding to the dais to receive your testamur on stage from the Chancellor (or delegate). Once the photograph of you and the Chancellor (or delegate) is complete, take a step back and salute the Chancellor (or delegate). Then turn and walk down the stairs to take your new seat with direction from the return seat usher.

You will need to return your academic dress after your ceremony to the USYD store located in the Holme Building. The trencher hat is yours to keep.

What to wear under your academic dress

We recommend you wear clothing that is neat, smart and comfortable. You’ll need shoes that are suitable to walk on both the marble floor in the Great Hall as well as on The Quadrangle grass. Thongs, shorts, t-shirts, jeans and ripped clothing are not considered appropriate.

The gowns can be quite heavy, so we recommend removing suit jackets and other additional layers before your fitting.


If you or your guests have accessibility requirements, you will be able to let the University know when RSVPing to your invitation.

Photography, framing and plaques

Professional photographers and videographers will capture the moment of your graduation. You can pre-order frames and plaques from GFP EVENTS.

You can also book professional photography, purchase frames and order plaques on the day.


If you would like to stay in touch with the University, keep your details up to date so we can 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: 22 August 2022

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