FAQ's

May I have extra guest tickets for the ceremony?

Senate House has a strict limit of 3 guest tickets per graduand (2 for MAs). Neither the College nor any of its Officers have discretion in this. Other guests may wait on the lawn outside the Senate House to offer their congratulations after the ceremony is over.

What should guests wear?

Most guests dress smartly. Guests who are members of the University should wear their academic gowns.

Are children allowed as guests?

Yes, children and babies are allowed, as long as they have guest tickets. The ceremony normally lasts 30-45 minutes, and guests are not permitted to move around. Children are welcome as long as they can remain quiet. The University officials may ask parents to take their children outside if they disturb the ceremony.

Is photography allowed during the graduation ceremony?

Emphatically No! Guests are stricly forbidden from any form of photography in the Senate House, and the University officials will rigorously enforce this. However, there is an official photograph taken of each graduate as their degree is conferred, and it is possible to buy copies afterwards.

Where can my family park?

In college, on a first-come first-served basis, or in public car parks, e.g. Queen Anne (by college gates) or Grand Arcade (closer to the centre). There are some disabled parking bays in town, but these quickly get taken. If you prefer not to walk, the best way to travel from college to the Senate House is to order a taxi.

How and when do I get a degree certificate?

You are handed your certificate after your degree is conferred, or it is posted to you if you graduate in absence. You can also order extra copies. You do not technically hold the degree until you have graduated, so cannot receive a certificate before then. However, the University can provide transcripts confirming that you have qualified for the degree. For further information, see Degree Certificates and Transcripts.

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

Your examiners make a recommendation to your Degree Committee, which then makes a recommendation to the Board of Graduate Studies, which makes the final decision and informs you. You may apply provisionally to graduate as soon as you know that approval is likely. However, the BGS decision must occur, and all conditions must be met, at least ten days before your proposed congregation date.

When do BA graduates become eligible for the MA?

BA graduates generally become eligible for the MA once ten terms have elapsed since their BA graduation, though it can be earlier for some, e.g. students who have intermitted. Like other Cambridge Colleges, Hughes Hall welcomes MA graduands to the ceremony in late March, and arranges a celebratory dinner on the Friday evening before graduation.

What are the arrangements for medical degrees?

Clinical medical students complete their course in June. Successful candidates graduate to the BChir degree immediately so that they can practise legally. They then have a year in which to graduate MB, after which they will graduate automatically. The Medical School hopes that clinical students will graduate together at the July Congregation, but you must still apply in the normal way using the standard form.