What Happens in the Degree Ceremony festivities

See also: People and roles at the Degree Ceremony

Programme 2019

Permission to arrange the Degree Ceremony

It has been a tradition at the University of Jyväskylä that the Masters' Committee asks the Rector's permission to arrange the Degree Ceremony, after which the preparations start.

Sword sharpening

Garland binding and sword sharpening dinners

The garland binding is arranged on the eve of the actual Degree Ceremony. Each Promovendi has his/her own garland weaver, who makes him/her a laurel garland according to the Ceremonial Garland Weaver's instructions, the laurel leaves being sown by hand into each garland. After the weaving there is a dinner with speeches. Correspondingly, the Doctors to be conferred attend the sword sharpening dinner where the Doctor Promovendi's guests will assist with the sharpening of the doctoral sword.

Act rehearsal

The rehearsal for the act of conferment is held on the eve of the Degree Ceremony, as lead by the Conferrer of Degrees.


Act of Conferment

The actual conferment of degrees and the granting of Honorary Doctor's titles takes place at noon on the day of the Degree Ceremony. Speeches and music are an important part of the festivity.

Ceremonial questions

Before conferment, the Primus Masters and Doctors demonstrate their knowledge and skills of the Promovendi by answering the Ceremonial questions, posed by their Professors.


Degree Ceremony procession

After the act of conferment a procession forms to go to the church service. At the University of Jyväskylä, the procession is lead by the Master of Ceremonies, followed by the Conferrer of Degrees, Honorary Doctors, the new Doctors and Masters, Rector and Vice rectors, representatives of the University's administration, Professors according to their years of service, the Head Marshal, the Ceremonial Garland Weaver, other garland weavers, chancellors and rectors from other universities, and the rest of the staff of the University of Jyväskylä.


Church Service

After the act of conferment, a church service takes place. A specially chosen Degree Ceremony preacher will speak at the service.


Degree Ceremony dinner and Ball

During the evening, after the church service, there is a degree ceremony dinner with speeches and music. After the dinner there is a Ball where the conferred Masters and Doctors perform old dances, such as the polonaise, which have been rehearsed before the Degree Ceremony. After the Ball the guests gather together to admire and address a speech to the rising sun. 


Degree Ceremony picnic or cruise

On the day after conferment, the newly conferred degree holders will take a refreshing cruise on Lake Päijänne and have a lunch at Savutuvan Apaja. Traditionally, the new Masters place a stone into the sauna oven at the "education sauna" monument ("Opinsaunan kiuas") in Iso-Haapasaari.

Party for the Gratisti/Gratista and the Conferrer of Degrees

The party is known as 'karonkka' in Finnish. The conferred Masters and Doctors arrange a karonkka in honour of the Gratisti/a and the Conferrer of Degrees. The parties can be arranged in connection with the Ball, or as a separate occasion.