The graduation ceremony, or General Admission as it is more properly called, takes place in the Senate House. It is conducted in Latin and lasts about half an hour, beginning at around 11.50am.
You will assemble on New Court Lawn (or in the marquee if it’s a wet day), attired in your formal clothes, gown and hood. The Praelector will then explain what is to happen and lead you in a rehearsal. If you have ever been to the Admission of Scholars ceremony in Corpus, then you will recognise some similarities. Your guests will be able to watch the beginning of this but they must leave themselves adequate time to reach the Senate House and take their seats. Admission is by ticket only; we guarantee three per graduand but there are always plenty of spare ones that we share out according to demand. The doors of the Senate House will close about quarter of an hour before the ceremony begins and it is impossible to gain entry thereafter.
When the time comes to leave Corpus, you will walk in procession down Kings Parade to the Senate House. The Head Porter leads the way, dressed in top hat and tails and followed by the Praelector and any Fellows who wish to attend. Once inside, the Dressers will ensure that you are correctly attired. Your guests will already be seated either in the main part of the room or up in the gallery. See if you can spot members of Corpus staff and others that you recognise up in the gallery too.
Then it is time for the ceremony to begin. You can find a complete description of the whole procedure here. As you kneel to receive your degree, a photograph will be taken but you will neither see nor hear this! You can order a copy in advance or outside in the Senate House Yard afterwards. Your degree certificate will be handed to you as you leave the hall and go out by the side steps into Senate House passage and back through the gate into the yard where everyone meets up again with their guests. Now you are a graduate of the University of Cambridge!