The University of St.Gallen stages Graduation Days in spring and in the autumn, namely
- a Bachelors' Graduation Day and
- a Masters' Graduation Day.
On these Graduation Days, the graduates receive their degree certificates and thus their academic titles. This is the day on which the HSG celebrates its graduates and wishes them farewell. At the same time HSG Alumni, the association of former HSG students, admits them to its community.
Attendance at the Graduation Day celebration is compulsory for graduates. Indeed, their studies at the Bachelor's or Master's Level only come to a conclusion after the Graduation Day: only then may graduates use the title of Bachelor of Arts (B.A. HSG) or Master of Arts (M.A. HSG).
The number of seats in the Audimax is limited, which is why several ceremonies take place. On the Bachelors' Graduation Day, there are three or four depending on the number of graduates, on the Masters' Graduation day, there are four. Graduates are divided up according to their majors (Bachelor's Level) and programmes (Master's Level).
Besides the ceremony, there is a varied social programme. The guests of the Bachelors' Graduation Day can participate in guided tours around the old town and the abbey. Graduates’ relatives can get an insight into a degree course by means of taster lectures.
On both the Bachelors' and Masters' Graduation Days, guided tours provide guests with an impression of the HSG's significant art collection. On the campus, guests can have refreshments in the Mensa restaurant, the [ad]hoc coffee bar or at the "Gassenküche", St.Gallen's local soup kitchen. In the evening, HSG Alumni invites the graduates to a Graduation Party in the City of St.Gallen.
On the Masters' Graduation Day, prizes are awarded for the best Master's theses:
- in the field of sustainability, the oikos sustainability thesis award – awarded by the oikos St.Gallen student organisation;
- on Latin American topics – awarded by the Fund for Latin American Studies.
- in Business Administration, the Steinacher Prize – awarded by the University of St.Gallen thanks to a donation by the active and former members of Steinacher Academic Fraternity on the occasion of its 25th anniversary;
- in Law and Political Sciences, the Paul-Alther-Preis – awarded by the University of St.Gallen thanks to a donation by the heirs of Dr. h.c. Paul Alther;
- in Economics – awarded by the Economics Institutes.
- in Accounting and Finance – awarded by the Institute of Accounting, Control and Auditing (ACA-HSG).
The oikos sustainability thesis award is awarded in the spring, the other prizes in the Autumn Semester. The prizes for the best Master's theses in Accounting and Finance is awarded each semester.