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Gonville & Caius College

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 students students Graduation > Frequently asked questions
1.   

Please can you give me contact details for an individual student?

2.   

May I graduate if I only have conditional approval for a degree from the Board of Graduate Studies?

3.   

What are the arrangements for graduation?

4.   

What should I wear for graduation?

5.   

Please may I have some extra guest tickets for graduation?

6.   

Can you send me a degree certificate before the graduation ceremony?

7.   

Where is Caius College?

8.   

What academic dress should I wear when returning to graduate in Cambridge after receiving a degree from another University?

9.   

How do I get a degree certificate?

10.   

How long do I have to wait after a PhD viva before I can graduate?

11.   

How do I obtain an academic transcript?

12.   

May I wear a kilt or military uniform to graduate?

13.   

What should guests wear at graduation?

14.   

Are children allowed as guests at graduation?

15.   

Is it possible to take photographs during the graduation ceremony?

16.   

Where can my family park when attending a graduation ceremony?

17.   

What are "special requirements" for the graduation ceremony?

18.   

How does the University certify degrees?

19.   

When do graduates become eligible for the MA?

20.   

What are the arrangements for medical degrees?

21.   

How do I obtain another certificate if I lose one?

22.   

Can I proceed to my PhD degree at the General Admission in June?


 
1.

Please can you give me contact details for an individual student?

Of course not!

However, if you post a letter to the College marking it for forwarding, we will do our best to deliver it.


 
2.

May I graduate if I only have conditional approval for a degree from the Board of Graduate Studies?

No.  You must have full approval before you can graduate.

However, the College is quite happy to enter your name for graduation provisionally as soon as you know that approval is likely to be forthcoming.  Indeed, is important to do this if the Board of Graduate Studies will only meet less than two weeks before the Congregation.

You must satisfy any conditions by 10:00 on the Friday eight days before the Congregation.  For example, if you only submitted a soft-bound dissertation for examination, then the corrected hard-bound volume must be submitted to the Board of Graduate Studies by then.


 
3.

What are the arrangements for graduation?

See http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/students/graduation/, which is just a copy of the notice in the Undercroft at Caius.

The College will contact candidates for the LlM, MEng, MSci, VetMB and BA degrees in the Easter Term with details of the arrangements for General Admission at the end of June.

Other candidates should complete the form at http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/students/graduation/form.php and return it at least three weeks before the intended Congregation.

The University has some information about the ceremony at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/degrees/.


 
4.

What should I wear for graduation?

See http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/students/graduation/dress.php. The principal goal is a formal, neat and tidy appearance, but the details are important.

 
5.

Please may I have some extra guest tickets for graduation?

The number of guests in the Senate House is limited by the University in response to concern from their insurers about health and safety considerations. We have no discretion in the matter.

Graduands for the General Admission in June are issued with two tickets in the first instance and may apply for more. The limit at all other Congregations is three guest tickets.

Most graduands want to bring guests, so we rarely have any spare tickets. That having been said, some Congregations have looked crowded but there were places because other colleges had fewer guests. Extra guests can always wait by the door and ask the Constables politely if there are any spare places. Failing that, guests who wait outside will be able to offer their congratulations while other guests are still locked in the Senate House.

The one exception is the March Congregation, when we have a lot of MA graduands who tend not to bring guests.

Of course, Caius has no such restrictions, we welcome as many guests as you like to lunch.


 
6.

Can you send me a degree certificate before the graduation ceremony?

You can only graduate once, whether it is in person or in absence. You do not actually hold the degree until you have done one or the other, so there is no degree certificate that we could provide before then.

However, both Caius and the University can provide transcripts confirming that you are eligible for the degree as soon as you are qualified. Contact the Tutorial Office at Caius or the Students Records Section at the University Registry.


 
7.

Where is Caius College?

The main part of Gonville & Caius College is shown by the red circle on http://www.cam.ac.uk/map/.  Come to the Porters' Lodge off Trinity Street (shown by a bowler hat) and they will give further directions.

If you come by car, you could try parking in the Lion Yard car park on Corn Exchange Street marked by a P in a square on the map.  However, there is likely to be a queue and you would probably do better to use the Park & Ride service.  See http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/ for details including the sites.  If you come by train, you can take the shuttle bus into town and get off in St Andrews Street near the number 66 on the map.


 
8.

What academic dress should I wear when returning to graduate in Cambridge after receiving a degree from another University?

Cambridge graduates who are participating in ceremonies wear the gown and hood of the highest degree that they have already received from this University. For example, a Cambridge graduate who has continued with clinical medical training elsewhere should wear the Cambridge BA gown and hood when returning to graduate MA at Cambridge.

The only time at which gowns from other universities are worn at Cambridge is by guests on scarlet days.


 
9.

How do I get a degree certificate?

Once you have been approved for a degree, it is necessary to graduate at a Congregation. These are held eight times a year, and people can graduate either in person or in absence. The certificate is handed directly to people who graduate in person, and posted to others within a week. See http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/students/graduation/ for details.

You can wait as long as you like before graduating. However, you do not actually have the degree (and so should not use the title) until the Congregation.


 
10.

How long do I have to wait after a PhD viva before I can graduate?

Assuming the examiners are satisfied with your work, they make a recommendation to the relevant Degree Committee, who make a recommendation to the Board of Graduate Studies, who make the actual decision. See http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/gradstud/current/calendar/ for a schedule of meetings. Don't forget to allow a week for papers to be circulated before meetings.


 
11.

How do I obtain an academic transcript?

Both Caius and the University can provide transcripts. Contact the Tutorial Office for a transcript from Caius. See http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/contact.php for contact details. Alternatively, see http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/degrees/certificates/ for advice from the University.


 
12.

May I wear a kilt or military uniform to graduate?

You can read the College's advice for dress at Congregations at http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/students/graduation/dress.php, and the University's at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/degrees/dress/.

In particular, "All persons being admitted to degrees wear dark clothes with their academical dress. 'Dark' means 'black', although very dark grey or very dark blue would suffice. The principal goal is a formal, neat and tidy appearance." The University further notes that dark clothes should not contrast noticeably with a black academic gown. Kilts probably meet these requirements, but military uniforms are more likely to present problems.

If you would like a dispensation, please send a photograph of yourself wearing the kilt, uniform or other non-standard dress at a similar formal, civilian occasion to the Praelector at least one month in advance, and he will submit it to the Proctors for consideration. Do not assume that permission will be given until the Praelector has confirmed it explicitly. A further problem with military uniforms is that the University's regulations preclude the wearing of headdress other than an optional square cap (or 'mortarboard'), and require men to wear a white bow tie. This is likely to conflict with Queen's Regulations for uniform.


 
13.

What should guests wear at graduation?

Strictly speaking, guests who are members of the University should wear their academic gowns. However, it is unlikely that anyone would notice if they didn't. Other than that, guests should be smart, but there is no need to be formal. A T-shirt and shorts would be a bit too casual, but suits and ties are not really necessary.

 
14.

Are children allowed as guests at graduation?

Tickets are required for guests at all Congregations, and these can be used by children.  However, the ceremony last for up to one hour and guests are not permitted to move about within the Senate House during this period.  For this reason, the ceremony is not really suitable for babies and young children.  Children are welcome as long as they can sit still and read a book quietly for 55 minutes in order to enjoy the interesting five minutes.

Children of all ages are welcome at lunch in College.


 
15.

Is it possible to take photographs during the graduation ceremony?

No. Guests are emphatically forbidden from taking photographs or using video cameras during Congregations.

However, the University does take photographs of all graduates, and it is possible to buy copies from them afterwards.


 
16.

Where can my family park when attending a graduation ceremony?

Cambridge is  not a good place for cars!

The best bet is one of the City's Park & Ride sites.  See http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/around/parkandride/ for details.

The College allows guests to park at the Sports Ground for General Admission in June only if they are staying in College accommodation.  See http://www.cam.ac.uk/map/.  The entrance is shown by the red arrow at the bottom of the map. There is no parking for other guests just coming for the day.


 
17.

What are "special requirements" for the graduation ceremony?

Candidates normally are admitted to their degrees in the name of the Trinity while kneeling.  Please let the Praelector know well in advance if this is not appropriate.

 
18.

How does the University certify degrees?

Every graduate is given a degree certificate immediately after graduation in person, or by post after graduating in absence.  Extra copies can be ordered from the records section of the University's administration at the Old Schools.

Full lists of everyone graduating are handed out to guests at Congregations, and are also published subsequently in The Reporter.  See http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/ for details.


 
19.

When do graduates become eligible for the MA?

BA graduates become eligible for the MA six years after the end of their first term of residence, as long as two years have passed since they graduated BA.

This means that most people who have been undergraduates at Cambridge become eligible to graduate MA six years and one term after they matriculate.  The College will contact all its eligible graduates at about this time, and invite them back to graduate MA the following March.

Of course, this relies on the College having current contact details for all of its graduates!  Please remember to let the Tutorial Office know if your postal or e-mail addresses change.


 
20.

What are the arrangements for medical degrees?

Clinical medical students complete their course in June. Successful candidates graduate to the BChir degree automatically more-or-less immediately so that they can practice legally. They then have a year in which to graduate MB, either in person or in absence, after which they will graduate automatically.

The Medical School hopes that clinical students will graduate together at the July Congregation, but it is still necessary to apply in the normal way using the standard form. For obvious reasons, most clinical graduates wear the BChir gown and hood when graduating.


 
21.

How do I obtain another certificate if I lose one?

To obtain duplicate certificates, you need to contact the Student Administration Section. See http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/degrees/certificates/ for details.


 
22.

Can I proceed to my PhD degree at the General Admission in June?

I'm afraid not. Due to pressure of numbers, the University stipulates that LLM, MEng, MSci, VetMB, BA and BTh degrees only may be conferred at General Admission.

praelector@cai.cam.ac.uk

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