2020 Convocation

April 7, 2020

Dear Members of the SSA Community:

We write following the announcement today from President Zimmer and Provost Yee that, because of COVID-19 public health concerns, the University of Chicago has made the difficult decision to confer degrees virtually this June and will be inviting 2020 graduates to return to campus to participate in Convocation in 2021.

All of us at SSA are extremely disappointed and sad that we will not be able to celebrate your accomplishments in person. No virtual event can equal the sense of excitement, elation, and pride felt at the Hooding Ceremony in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel or the Convocation in the Quad. We also know that families, loved ones, and colleagues will greatly miss sharing this experience with you. While not the same as in person, we want to mark and celebrate your accomplishments and will move forward with a virtual Hooding Ceremony on Friday, June 12. We will be sharing details in the coming weeks.

We recognize that the SSA class of 2020 has been on an especially unique journey. In addition to the rigors of normal class requirements, you have had to adjust quickly to unforeseen changes at school and at home. Many students have faced difficult financial predicaments, increased family responsibilities, and sudden health concerns. Taken together, your many accomplishments and resilience during this spring quarter richly deserve recognition and celebration.

At a later date, when it is safe to gather as a group, SSA plans to host an in-person event for the Class of 2020. While belated, we hope this event will be a happy occasion to celebrate your accomplishments, renew friendships, and recognize your career as professionals. We will keep you posted about these plans.

And, as noted in today's message from the President and Provost, all class of 2020 graduates will be invited to the 2021 Convocation. Please watch for information about a confirmed date so you and your family may make arrangements to participate.

Throughout this trying time, we have appreciated the deep commitment, self-sacrifice, and thoughtfulness you have shown. Thank you again for your exceptional dedication to our mission and for supporting each other.

Please stay safe and well.

Deborah Gorman-Smith, Dean
Sara Furr, Dean of Students, Diversity and Inclusion



Degree candidates, congratulations! You are on your way to receiving a degree from the School of Social Service Administration. Below is a list of updated information as of April 8, 2020.

Student Recognition Ceremony


This event will be hosted by the Office of the Dean of Students. The following student achievements will be recognized: 2020 Advocates' Forum authors and board, completion of Programs of Study, Trauma Informed Care Certificate of Completion Recipients, SSA Alumni Association African American Alumni Committee Award Recipients, Excellence in Field Education Award Recipients, Field Consultant Award Recipients, Wilma Walker Honor Award Recipient, SSA Leadership and Community Award Recipients and the SSA Student Organization Award. 

Students who will be recognized will receive a email invitation.


SGA Graduation Party


SSA students, please check your email from Student Government Association for details.

SSA Hooding Ceremony and Celebration 

Friday, June 12, 2020

This will be a virtual ceremony. More details to come.

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533rd Convocation

This will be a virtual ceremony. More details are to come.

All candidates participate in this ceremony, during which the president will verbally confer degrees to groups of candidates by degree type and academic program.


Academic Attire, Graduation Announcements, Class Rings, and More

Information on renting or purchasing academic attire, graduation announcements, class rings, photography, and more can be found at the University’s convocation website.

SSA Diploma Distribution

Diplomas will be mailed to all graduates.


Licensure Information

Once you have obtained your degree, you are eligible to sit for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam to become a Licensed Social Worker. Click here for more information.

Alumni Resources

As an SSA graduate, you are a member of an accomplished and caring professional community of over 8,000 SSA alumni working in countless ways to create a more just, equitable, and humane society. You are also part of the greater University of Chicago alumni community, a group of almost 170,000 individuals shaping how the world thinks about everything from literature to economics to theoretical physics. We encourage you to be a strong link in the SSA community network by maintaining a close connection to the School, its programs, and its students. Visit the Resources and Alumni pages of our site to learn more about alumni benefits and the community.

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