Eligibility for graduation


Academic Requirements for Graduation

The academic requirements for all OUHSC graduate degrees are detailed in the Graduate College Bulletin and program handbooks. In brief, these include:

  1. Current Enrollment. During the semester of graduation, students must enroll in a minimum of 2 hours of 6980 for the PhD, 5980 for the MS-thesis, and any graduate coursework for the MS-non-thesis. Students must also be in good academic standing.
  2. Coursework. To participate in graduation ceremonies, all required courses must be complete or in progress, with passing grades. The degree will be not be conferred until all courses are completed.
  3. Ethics. All OUHSC graduate students must complete training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). RCR training differs for MS-non-thesis, MS-thesis, and PhD students, as described at .
  4. Admission to Candidacy. To participate in graduation ceremonies, the student must be admitted to candidacy. The request for candidacy must be submitted by the deadline in the OUHSC Academic Calendar at, under "Graduation and Related Requirements". The request for candidacy is available at
  5. PhD students are admitted to candidacy after passing the general exam, and must complete a degree check with the Graduate College to be eligible for graduation ceremonies.
  6. Mastery. All graduate degrees include a culminating mastery milestone that must be complete before the degree is conferred: the comprehensive exam for MS-non-thesis graduates, the thesis for MS-thesis graduates, and the dissertation for PhD graduates. These milestones must be complete by the deadlines provided in the OUHSC Academic Calendar at, under "Graduation and Related Requirements". Some programs may have additional mastery requirements.  

Applying for Graduation


Graduating students must complete an Application for Graduation (Diploma) before their degree can be conferred and a diploma issued. 

  1. The Application can be accessed through Student Self-Service at

  2. The Application due date is listed on the OUHSC Academic Calendar under "Graduate and Related Requirements", If you miss this deadline, contact the Graduate College ( 

  3. You must complete the Application in the semester of your graduation, even if you have previously submitted an Application. 

  4. There is no penalty if you apply, then graduate in a later semester. There is no fee for graduatio

Regalia and Graduation Announcements


Graduation Gear-Up events offer a convenient way to get all of the items and information you need as a graduation candidate participating in Commencement and Convocation ceremonies. Graduation Gear-Up is held every fall and spring semester on the Norman campus and each spring semester on the OUHSC and Tulsa campuses.

For details, visit:

Graduate College Convocation

The Graduate College hosts a convocation and reception each May, on the Saturday of Commencement Weekend (listed in the Academic Calendar, If you are defending in the spring, you can participate in the ceremony this semester. If you are defending in the summer or fall, you will be eligible to participate in the ceremony next May. We will send your invitation and additional details to the e-mail address in your Graduate College Alumni Contact Information.


For questions contact Catina Jordan at (405) 271-2085.

Please note that the Convocation is a public event. Any photos or videos taken by OUHSC Graduate College staff or contractors during the event maybe used in media relations, advertising of event promotion via websites, social media, videos and/or print. Participation in this event includes granting permission to the OUHSC Graduate College to use any photos or videos take for these purposes.


University-Wide Commencement in Norman

The University-wide Commencement is held in Norman each May, on the Friday of Commencement Weekend. Information about the University-wide Commencement will come from the University Commencement office. 


General Commencement Information


Caps and Gowns: How-To Guide


Students on the Norman, OUHSC and OU-Tulsa campuses may purchase academic regalia, Academic Distinction hoods and Honors hoods at Graduation Gear-Up or at the University Bookstore on the Norman campus.  Not in Norman? Order by phone: (405) 325-3511


For a video tutorial on hooding, visit


For pictures and written instructions on how to place the hood, visit


Academic regalia are the traditional dress for all degree candidates participating in College Convocations, as well as the university-wide Commencement ceremony. The colors of tassels, hoods and robes symbolize degrees earned and the graduate’s area of study.

The University of Oklahoma is proud to celebrate OU graduates with the OU Seal on the left chest of the bachelor's and master's gowns. The doctoral gowns include crimson bars of velvet on the sleeve and a crimson facing of velvet down the front.


The Academic Hood is a traditional accessory associated with graduate degrees and graduating with honors. MS and PhD hoods are presented to degree recipients during the convocation ceremony as a symbol of the honors and responsibilities of their degree.

  1.  Put the hood on over head with velvet side up and the small tapered end in front.   
  2.  Attach the loop at the end of the tapered end. Secure cord across the back. Some hoods do not come with a button loop or cord on the back.
  3.  Turn out lining colors. Graduates wear only the hood indicating the highest degree and honor. 


Tassels are worn on the right front side before degrees are conferred. Move your tassel to the left front side once degrees are conferred. Persons receiving two degrees may either choose one tassel to wear or, as an alternative, wear a black tassel. Master's and Ph.D. candidates may correctly march in the processional with their tassels on the left signifying their previous degree or degrees.

                                                          Graduate College:  (All Master's Degrees) Black

                                                          Graduate College:  (All Doctorate Degrees) Gold Bullion


Doctoral Degree Candidates

Among the most elaborate regalia on display at Commencement is that of the doctoral degree candidates. PhD graduates wear a long hood, faced with blue velvet. The colors used in the lining of the hood and the velvet stripes on the arms represent the University granting the degree. In place of the mortarboard, doctoral students wear a tam, a velvet hat with a gold tassel. For those pursuing careers in academia, doctoral regalia may be worn many times following the degree recipient's own graduation. 


Master's Degree Candidates

Master’s degree candidates wear a modified gown with longer sleeves, the mortarboard with a tassel, and a hood. The Master's hood is faced with yellow velvet, and lined with University colors.


Stoles and Cords

Students may be awarded additional stoles and cords based on their membership or participation in organizations. Please consult with your organization's president or adviser to determine if there are stoles or cords and available as well as where they can be purchased or picked up.

After Graduation


Your degree will be conferred on the final day of the semester, and your diploma will be available approximately 6-8 weeks after that time. Your diploma will come from the Office of Admissions and Records. For additional information, visit

Before your diploma arrives, the Graduate College can provide a letter verifying that you have completed the degree requirements. If you need a letter, please complete the Consent for 
Recommendation and send it to



Official transcripts are released by the Office of Admissions and Records upon written request of the student, except when a student has a financial indebtedness to the University. 


Alumni in action

Alumni play a special role in ushering students along the path to successful careers in research, leadership, public service, and non-traditional fields. The graduate experience at OUHSC is richer because of alumni who mentor upcoming students, lead workshops, provide interdisciplinary learning, and fund scholarships that make graduate education more accessible. 
As you step into the role of an alum of the OUHSC Graduate College, we invite you to connect with us on social media or by e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you as your career develops!




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