Graduating from SAO

Once you have completed the required number of units for your degree, you need to apply to graduate. This page provides current SAO students with information about how to graduate, what to expect once they apply to graduate, attending the graduation ceremony and absentee graduations, and SAO celebrations!

Applying to Graduate

  • Once you have successfully completed the appropriate number of units to fulfil the requirements of your degree, you can apply to graduate. This is 4 units for the Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy), 8 units for the Graduate Diploma of Science (Astronomy), and 12 units for the Master of Science (Astronomy).
  • All students must apply for their award once they have completed their course of study. This does not happen automatically once you have completed the necessary number of units.
  • Please note that graduations are handled by the Registrar's Department and not by SAO. You should also note that the Awards Section have only 4 administrative staff members processing approximately 3,000 applications per Semester, so they keep student correspondence to a minimum! Information about graduating can be found on the Student Operations website.
  • Graduation is a three step process:
    1. You must first apply to graduate by completing an Award Application Form. (Note that international SAO students who wish to graduate in the July or December International Graduation Ceremonies must attend in person. Absentee graduations are only possible in the March/April and October graduation ceremonies.)
    2. Your award application is then deemed eligible or ineligible by your Faculty.
    3. You will be sent information about the ceremony approximately 3 weeks prior to the graduation date, or if you are not attending the ceremony your certificate will be posted to you approximately two weeks after the ceremony.
  • Once you have submitted your Award Application form, your graduation notification may say that you will review a "MSc in Astronomy with no Honours" (or GradDip or GradCert in Astronomy with no Honours). This letter sent by the Awards Section is a template and honours is only relevant for undergraduate studies (and hence shouldn't really be mentioned at all in the letter!). Note, however, that the actual testamur will show "Master of Science in Astronomy" (or other degree as appropriate) and not mention 'without honours'.

The Graduation Ceremony

  • SAO has its own graduation page on the SAO Alumni site with information for those students who attend the graduation ceremony.
  • All graduating students will receive a copy of their testamur and their full academic transcript at the graduation ceremony.

Graduating in Absentee

  • If you are graduating in absentee, the Awards Section will post your certificate approximately two weeks after the graduation ceremony. (Note however that absentee graduation is not allowed in the December international graduation ceremonies.)
  • All students graduating in absentee will receive a copy of their testamur and their full academic transcript.
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