Select Page

2021 SMU Virtual Graduation Ceremonies FAQs


1. What is a virtual graduation ceremony?

It is an official graduation ceremony of the University which will take place online (in the absence of graduates themselves) to enable the qualifying candidates to formally graduate so that they can get their certificates and get on with their lives.

2. Why does the University not wait for COVID-19 to subside for normal graduation ceremonies to be arranged?

The University has decided to proceed with the graduation ceremonies virtually to allow qualifying candidates to submit their qualification certificates to their prospective or current employers and to apply for studies at other institutions both in South Africa and abroad. The University is also required to report to the Department of Higher Education and Training on the number of graduates it has produced in the 2020/2021 reporting cycle.

3. When will these ceremonies be held?

The graduation ceremonies will be held virtually on the dates indicated below:

• 9 June 2021: School of Science and Technology
• 10 June 2021: School of Health Care Sciences and School of Pharmacy
• 11 June 2021: School of Oral Health Sciences and School of Medicine

4. How many qualifications will be conferred or awarded during these ceremonies?

Close to 1300 qualifications will be conferred and awarded during the June 2021 graduation ceremonies.

5. How will the ceremonies be conducted?

Graduands, their parents and friends as well as members of the University community will be able to follow the proceedings online through the SMU website. Your qualification will be awarded in absentia by the Chancellor and will be followed by congratulatory messages by the Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the School, President of the SRC and President of the Convocation. These messages will be followed by the names of graduands per School and qualification on the website on the day of graduation.

6. Can a graduand choose not to “graduate” in these virtual graduation ceremonies?

Graduands cannot choose because all of them will graduate in absentia, and their names will be included in the graduation booklets/lists and kept as a record of the University. Such names will be formally reported to the Department of Higher Education and Training as part of compliance reporting, and should be made available for an audit by either the Department of Higher Education and Training or the University’s external auditors.

7. How will I know if I qualify to graduate in the ceremonies?

Graduands will be able to check their graduation status on the University website from Friday, 14 May 2021. Secondly, the list of graduands will be published on the University website on the day of their graduation per School.

8. How will we collect the Higher Certificate, Diploma and Degree certificates after the graduation ceremonies?

Graduates who do not have outstanding fees, can collect hard copies of their certificates from Friday, 18 June 2021 in the Assessment and Certification Office, Room N007, Clinical Pathology Building. Alternatively, they can ask for electronic copies of their certificates from Monday, 14 June 2021 by emailing: or

9. What are the privileges and rights of being an SMU graduandi?

Upon graduating, you will become part of the SMU’s alumni database and will have a responsibility to promote the University and support it as a donor, mentor to our students, and a cheerleader. As an alumnus of SMU, you stand a chance of advancing your career, expanding your professional network, and access exclusive opportunities.

10. Where can I get any other information on virtual graduation ceremonies?

For more information on any other matters related to virtual graduation ceremonies, feel free to contact Please note that communication should be through email because staff members are sometimes working from home.