Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as graduands. The date of graduation is often called graduation day. The graduation itself is also called commencement, convocation or invocation, though in some cases inaccurately. In the United States and Canada, the term is additionally increasingly being used to refer to the advancement from a primary or secondary school level. When ceremonies are associated, they usually include a procession of the academic staff and candidates. At the college and university level the faculty will usually wear academic dress at the formal ceremonies, as will the trustees and degree candidates.
"Graduation" at the college and university level occurs when the presiding officer confers degrees upon candidates, either individually or en masse, even if graduates physically receive their diploma later at a smaller college or departmental ceremony. After degree completion, graduates can be referred to by their graduating year.
In some places, graduation parties to celebrate graduation from school, college or university are popular. In a recent 2014 nationwide survey in the United States, $985 was the average amount spent on graduation parties
Academic graduation by country
The procedures and traditions surrounding academic graduation ceremonies differ around the world. Whereas in most countries a graduation usually only occurs at university level, in the United States graduations often occur at high schools where no higher education qualifications are conferred upon the graduands. In a graduation ceremony the student dress up in special graduation caps and clothing that are made just for this purpose.
- "Commencement versus Graduation". National University. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- The Stories Behind Graduation Traditions by Ethan Trex, Mental Floss