St John's College Oxford
Degree days are managed by the University and are scheduled for various days throughout the year.

Ceremony dates

Our confirmed ceremony dates are: 

  • 9 November 2019
  • 29 February 2020
  • 2 May 2020

Confirmed dates for the 2020/21 cycle are:

  • 18 July 2020
  • 31 July 2020
  • 12 September 2020 (undergraduate degree day)
  • 14 November 2020
  • 27 February 2021
  • 6 March 2021


Please note that photographers will take pictures in College at the September Degree Day for use on social media and our websites, for example. Should you prefer not to be in any pictures please let us know when you collect your graduation tickets.

Undergraduate degrees

Graduation 2016In the autumn of their final year, undergraduates will receive an email from the University’s Degree Conferral Office to book themselves onto a ceremony in September of the following year, and have usually time to do so until the end of January. The invitation will lead you to an interface where you accept or decline the date. If you accept the ceremony date, you will automatically be allocated two Sheldonian ceremony tickets and you will be asked whether you'd like lunch on the day. If you decline, you will lose your priority status and will be counted as an 'historic graduand'. 

Before you take your degree you must have paid any outstanding battels and returned your College and University library books. 

If you are unable to attend a ceremony in person, there is the option to have your degree conferred in absentia.

Postgraduate degrees

In the autumn Postgraduate students on taught courses will receive an email from the University inviting them to book a ceremony with the University's Degree Conferral Office.  Places must be booked by a deadline which will be usually by end of January of the following year. If you do not book a place at a ceremony on one of the dates offered, you will lose your priority status and guaranteed place and will be allocated a place at a later ceremony via a waiting list system. This means that you will have a restricted choice of dates and may not be able to graduate on a date of your preference.

Postgraduates completing research degrees will be sent an invitation by the University to book a ceremony once they have been granted leave to supplicate. If you do not book a place at a ceremony on one of the dates offered, you will lose your priority status and guaranteed place and will be allocated a place at a later ceremony via a waiting list system. This means that you will have a restricted choice of dates and may not be able to graduate on a date of your preference.

The University issues two guest tickets per graduand for ceremonies in the Sheldonian.  

Candidates supplicating for a DPhil must ensure that the paper and electronic copy of their thesis are deposited in the Bodleian.

For more information please check the University's Degree Conferral website which gets updated regularly.


MA and historic degrees

Alumni who were undergraduates and studied for a BA degree are normally eligible to take the Oxford MA seven years after they matriculated. 

If you would like to book a place at a degree ceremony to receive your MA or your first degree, please email the College Office and return the completed booking form. The degree ceremony booking system allows Colleges to add MA and historic candidates into a holding list for each ceremony. 

Places will be made available to MAs and historic graduands in the holding list according to when the College is presenting and whether there is still space after all current students have had the opportunity to sign up.

However, the way the new booking system works, it is unlikely that the University will allocate spaces at the same ceremony to a bigger group of friends.

If you are unable to attend a ceremony in person, there is the option to have your degree conferred in absentia.


Academic dress

You should wear the appropriate gown and, where needed, the hood, a mortar board or soft-cap and your preferred sub fusc from the following list:

1. One of:

  • dark suit with dark socks, or
  • dark skirt with black tights or stockings, or
  • dark trousers with dark socks

2.       Dark coat if required
3.       Black shoes
4.       Plain white collared shirt or blouse
5.       White bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon.

Stiletto heels are not allowed, to protect the flooring in the Sheldonian.

Please bear in mind that if you are not dressed as the regulations require you are likely to have to forego being presented for your degree in person. The Proctors have particularly asked Deans of Degrees to enforce the dress requirement for ceremonies and they have instructed the Bedels not to grant admission to the ceremony to any graduands who are not in the correct academic dress.

Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any queries about academic dress.

Gowns and hoods may be hired from Shepherd and Woodward (tel. 01865 249491), who will both deliver to and collect from College. Payment must be made to Shepherd and Woodward in advance for this service. The College is unable to provide academic dress.

Photographs and Filming

Please note that guests are encouraged not to take photographs or record videos during the ceremony in the Sheldonian. 

Official photographers will be based inside the Sheldonian quadrangle following the ceremony, should guests wish to order official degree day photos, and you will be able to order a copy of your ceremony on DVD or digital download after the ceremony.

 Filming will also be taking place in the Sheldonian before each ceremony.

Please be aware that by attending a degree ceremony at the University of Oxford, either as a graduand or as a guest, you may be captured in photography or film footage.

If you have any queries email the College Office.