The conferring of academic and honorary degrees takes place during Encaenia, a ceremony rooted in the traditions of Oxford. Encaenia is a Greek word meaning “beginning, commencement,” and the term has been used since the founding of King’s in 1789. The King’s graduation ceremony has not changed greatly over the years apart from the conferring of honorary degrees (although the use of Latin has given way to English).

A memorable event rooted in tradition

Bachelors of Arts, Science and Music are conferred by the president of Dalhousie University, while Bachelors in Journalism and honorary degrees are conferred by the chancellor of the University of King’s College. Combined honours degrees in Contemporary studies, Early Modern studies, and History of Science and Technology are conferred together by the presidents of Dalhousie and King’s.

The president of Dalhousie and the chancellor of King’s confer the degrees of Master of Journalism and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. Graduands are presented alphabetically by degree and come forward individually to be conferred; kneeling to receive the degree is optional. A rehearsal is held the afternoon before the ceremony itself.

The academic gowns and hoods of faculty and graduands, the procession led by the apparator carrying the university mace, the music and celebratory setting make King’s Encaenia a happy, splendid, and memorable event.

Before You Graduate

Please notify the Registrar’s Office of your intention to graduate by Dec. 1, 2020. There is a late fee of $50 for those who apply to graduate after this date.

If you do not plan to attend the graduation ceremony, you must notify the Registrar’s Office. They will also require a mailing address so that your parchment can be mailed to you.

If you are a potential graduate, information will be sent to you from the President’s Office via mail and e-mail regarding your graduation week. Make sure the Registrar’s Office has your valid local address and e-mail address on file so that you receive this important information. You may change your address through Dal Online or by emailing kirstin.mosher@ukings.ca.

As a reminder, you are encouraged to check your student account balance.  Students with an outstanding debt to the College (tuition, fees, library fines, etc.) will not receive their parchments at the Encaenia ceremony. You will instead receive an empty folder. Please consult the payments guide or visit the Student Accounts Office if you have questions. Please note that online payments can take up to 2 to 3 business days to appear on your account.


All graduands are invited to fall into a procession behind the piper, departing from King’s, to make their way down to the Encaenia ceremony.

President's Dinner – Thursday, May 28, 2020

5:45 p.m. – Reception in the Wardroom
6:45 p.m. – Dinner in Prince Hall

Find out more.

Graduation Ceremony (Encaenia) – Friday, May 29, 2020

Find out more.

Each graduate is entitled to receive 3 guest tickets to the ceremony. There is no charge for these tickets. Tickets will become available in March.

If you require additional tickets, you will be able to add your name to a waitlist. If additional tickets become available for the ceremony, they will be distributed in mid-May. Students who have indicated that they will not be attending Encaenia will not be entitled to receive tickets.

Gown and Hoods

If you are graduating you must wear a gown and hood. Masters students also wear a cap. These can be picked up at King’s during the week of Encaenia. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.


The full ceremony will be livestreamed online. A program will be available online to follow along.

Degree Frames

King’s offers degree frames in several styles for purchase. You can order in advance so that your frame will be ready for pick up on Friday, May 29, 2020.


Congratulations and welcome to the oldest Alumni Association in Canada!

As a new graduate, you are automatically a member of the University of King’s College Alumni Association. Along with maintaining and creating connections with your fellow King’s men and women, the Alumni Association can become a vital resource in helping you as you go forward into the next phase of your life.

Where are you going? What are you up to? Please share your news with us by writing to kathy.miller@ukings.ca or update your contact information, especially your email address, so we can stay in touch. We’ll keep you posted on King’s news and events on the King’s website, with our alumni magazine, Tidings, as well as with regular alumni e-newsletters.