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

Ceremony dates

For 2018-19 the confirmed ceremony dates are:

  • 3 November 2018
  • 2 March 2019
  • 4 May 2019

For 2019-20 the confirmed ceremony dates are:

  • 13 July 2019
  • 26 July 2019
  • 14 September 2019
  • 29 February 2020
  • 2 May 2020

All graduands whose leave to supplicate is on or after 13th October 2019 will need to attend a ceremony within three years of their being awarded their degree, after which only graduation in absentia would be available.

Please note that photographers will take pictures in College on Degree Days 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.

Taking 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 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 can request three 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'. 

Please note that from July 2019 onwards the University has reduced the number of guest tickets for ceremonies in the Sheldonian from three to two per graduand.  

Historic graduands wishing to take their degrees should contact College and will be placed on a holding list. From mid January, places will be made available to historic graduands in the holding list according to when the College is presenting and whether there is still space.

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.

Taking your MA

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, please email the College Office or telephone 01865 277318. The new degree ceremony booking system will allow Colleges to add MA and historic candidates (i.e. those who haven't had their first degree conferred) into a holding list for each ceremony. 

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.

Taking 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 in mid 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.

Please note that from July 2019 onwards the University has reduced the number of guest tickets for ceremonies in the Sheldonian from three to two per graduand.  

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.

If you have any queries email the College Office.

Academic dress

You should wear the appropriate gown (to which you have previously been entitled) 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.

If you are taking a degree in person and other degrees in absentia at the same ceremony you should arrive wearing the academic dress appropriate to your status before admission to any of the degrees to be conferred. 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.

After being admitted to their new degree, the new graduates re-enter the Sheldonian in the gowns and hoods of the degree they have just taken. It is possible to hire gowns, hoods and academic caps. The College can arrange for a College scout to attend outside the Sheldonian with the gown and hood for the degree which you are about to take. If you do choose to ask a member of the College staff for this service it would be proper to offer a gratuity (£5 is thought to be reasonable).

The Oxford tradition is to admit candidates to the MA, DD, DCL, DM and MCh in the name of the Trinity, which involves kneeling to be touched on the head with a copy of the New Testament. If you prefer the secular option, please indicate on the electronic form you fill in or in cases of historic graduands let the College Office know.