Matriculation is the formal process of entering a university as a candidate for a degree, or of becoming eligible to enter by fulfilling certain academic requirements such as a formal examination. Internally, this occasion is often marked by a formal ceremony. However, at most universities and colleges in the United States, matriculation refers to enrollment or registration as a student at a university or college by a student intending to earn a degree and does not involve a special ceremony.
At some institutions, the term is used to refer to orientation week events. It is generally older institutions that have continued to hold more formal matriculation ceremonies, where incoming students are occasionally required to sign matriculation registers, along with the signature of every other matriculating student in a given year.