Apply to graduate , Tono kia whakapōtaetia

You can graduate in person at a graduation ceremony, or in absentia. You can also graduate via an Academic Board meeting. Māori and Pacific students can also attend celebration events.

A graduate in graduation attire standing next to a support person, with the campus in the background showing Maori wooden carvings

COVID-19 Protection Framework requirements (traffic light system)

All graduation and related events with over 200 people in attendance can only be held if the region is at Green or Orange. All graduands, whānau, friends and staff attending the ceremony and celebrations will need to adhere to the university’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

Please note, this policy may change prior to your ceremony. We will communicate any relevant changes to you before the event.

Eligibility to graduate

Once you have completed all of the requirements for your qualification, and graduation applications are open, you will be able to apply to graduate.

Find qualification requirements

If you would like confirmation that you have met all the requirements for your qualification please contact us.

Owing a debt to the University

If you have any outstanding fees or fines, you can still apply to graduate, but we will not be able to finalise your application until the outstanding fees or fines are paid.

Payments can be made by going to the Fees and finance tab in the student portal (login required).

Credits from previous qualifications

In the past, if you wanted to use credits from a previous qualification (such as Certificate of Arts) towards another qualification (such as Bachelor of Arts) you had to surrender the previous qualification. This is no longer required.

Graduating in person at a graduation ceremony or in absentia

You can graduate in person at a graduation ceremony in Auckland, Palmerston North or Wellington. You can graduate at a location that suits you even if you didn’t study there.

You can also choose to graduate at a graduation ceremony in absentia. This means you won’t attend a graduation ceremony, but your name will appear in the graduation ceremony programme along with the words “in absentia”. Your graduation certificate will be posted to you after the ceremony.

How to apply to graduate in person or in absentia

Once you have completed your qualification, and graduation applications are open, you'll receive a notification in your student portal with information about how to apply.

For details about when applications open and close, see the graduation dates and deadlines.

If you did not receive a notification, or you completed your study in the past and have not yet graduated, you can fill out a form in this section to apply to graduate. The form will be available when graduation applications are open.

Apply to graduate via a ceremony

Graduating with more than one qualification

If you are eligible to receive two qualifications you have to complete two applications, regardless of whether you are graduating in person or in absentia.

If you are receiving two awards at the same ceremony you will be allocated one seat and walk the stage once for your highest qualification. You will graduate in absentia for the other qualification. You will receive both certificates together.

Guest tickets and seating

If you choose to graduate in person at a graduation ceremony you will be able to request up to 10 guest tickets when you apply to graduate. However, the number of guest tickets that can be accommodated will depend on the number of students graduating at that ceremony, and the space available. Tickets may be restricted.

If you or your guests have special seating requirements or you need assistance to walk on to stage, please clearly state your needs on your graduation application.

You will be notified once the tickets are available in the student portal for downloading and printing.

Adding and removing guests

If you want to add additional guests to your application you can return to the application by going to the Graduation tab in the student portal (login required).

In the Available ceremonies section you will see your application. There will be a blue button next to your application that allows you to apply for extra seats. There will also be a blue button which allows you to cancel guest seats.

Check progress of your graduation application

In the student portal click on the Graduation tab. In the 'Available ceremonies' section you will be able to see the ceremony you have applied for. The status will show where your application is up to in the process. An acknowledgement letter will also be in your ceremony documents when your application has been received.

If you haven't received a letter within 12 days of submitting your application, please contact us.

Graduating via an Academic Board meeting

Academic Board meetings provide an opportunity for you to graduate without attending a graduation ceremony. Since the meetings occur throughout the year, the dates can be more convenient than waiting for a ceremony.

If you choose to graduate via Academic Board, you will not be able to attend a graduation ceremony for the qualification at a later date.

Academic Board meeting schedule 2022

  • 16 February 2022
  • 16 March 2022
  • 27 April 2022
  • 15 June 2022
  • 13 July 2022
  • 17 August 2022
  • 14 September 2022
  • 12 October 2022
  • 16 November 2022

How to apply to graduate via an Academic Board meeting

Applications to graduate via Academic Board close on the 15th of the month prior to the meeting. For example, to graduate via the February meeting you must apply before 15 January.

To apply, complete the following form and we will send you a notification in your student portal with further information.

Apply to graduate via an Academic Board meeting

Clearance to graduate

You will need to have clearance to graduate three weeks prior to the meeting date. If you are waiting for your thesis or your practical report to be marked and have missed the clearance date to graduate, we will defer your application to the next available meeting.

If you have not met the requirements to graduate in time for the Academic Board meeting, your application will be deferred to the next meeting or withdrawn, depending on your circumstances. We will send you an email if your graduation has been deferred or withdrawn from a meeting.

Council meeting for Bachelor of Veterinary Science students

There is an option available for Bachelor of Veterinary students to graduate in a special Council meeting held in December each year.

For information about this option, please contact Sue Gribbin at or the Graduation Office at

Delivery of your graduation certificate

Graduation certificates are posted approximately three weeks after the meeting date. They are sent to the address provided in your graduation application, please contact us if this has changed. All certificates sent within New Zealand are couriered with track and trace, and a signature is required upon delivery.

If your delivery address is overseas a courier fee will apply; for details, see sending graduation certificate overseas.

If you do not receive your graduation certificate you must notify us; a replacement fee may apply.

Celebrations to honour Māori and Pacific graduates

We have a long tradition of honouring the success of Māori and Pacific graduates with special Māori and Pacific celebrations. These are informal events which are separate to the graduation ceremonies.

Register to attend a celebration

When you apply to graduate at a graduation ceremony you will also be provided with the option to register for a Māori and/or Pacific celebration.

Further information about the celebrations

For further information about these events see:

Deferring your graduation ceremony

To defer your graduation to a later date, click on the Graduation tab in the student portal. In the 'Available ceremonies' section you will see the application you have applied for. Next to it will be a blue button that you can click on to arrange to defer your application.

Withdrawing from a graduation ceremony

To withdraw from a graduation ceremony, click on the Graduation tab in the student portal. In the 'Available ceremonies' section you will see the application you have applied for. Click the Withdraw button to withdraw from the ceremony. This button is only active until the withdraw date has passed. You cannot withdraw after this date. If you cannot attend the ceremony, you will be recorded as graduating in absentia and your certificate will be posted to you.

Changing the name that will appear on your graduation certificate

The name that will appear on your certificate is the legal name currently held on record by us. If your name is different, or has been changed, we will need to see a verified copy of one of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • change of name by deed poll
  • marriage certificate.

Please send to:

Student Progression
Student Administration
Massey University
Private Bag 11222
Manawatū Box Lobby
Palmerston North 4442


Graduation applications