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Graduation & Beyond

Completing Your Degree & Verifying Degree Completion

If your degree requires a thesis or dissertation, your degree is not complete until you turn in the final dissertation and signatures. These are due no more than 60 calendar days after your defense. 

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.
  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 the Graduate College Academics page
  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, under "Graduation and Related Requirements". Some programs may have additional mastery requirements.  

Application for Graduation/ Diploma

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

The Application for Graduation does not register you for the graduation ceremony. Refer to the sections below for details about the graduation ceremony.

  1. The Application can be accessed through Student Self-Service at The Application is available within 1 week after the start of the semester. 

  2. The Application due date is listed on the OUHSC Academic Calendar under "Graduate and Related Requirements".  If you miss the deadline, you may still graduate, but your information in the Commencement Program may not be accurate. 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 graduation.

Diploma & Final Transcript

The University will confer your degree on the final day of the semester.

Refer to the OUHSC Academic Calendar for the exact date. 


  • To receive a diploma, you must submit an Application for Graduation (AKA Application for Diploma) in the semester of your graduation. 
  • Paper diplomas are mailed approximately 6-8 weeks after the end of the semester. Your diploma will come from the Office of Admissions and Records
  • Digital diplomas are also available through a service called Parchment. 
  • Before your diploma arrives, the Graduate College can provide a letter verifying that you have completed the degree requirements. 


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. 

Name on Diploma

The name on the diploma must match the student’s name on record with the University. If the student’s name changes for any reason and they request the new name printed on their diploma or in the commencement book, they must submit a Name/Address Change Form to Admissions and Records along with legal documentation confirming the change. If it will not change until after the graduation application deadline, they should submit their current name by the deadline and update it after the name is legally changed.

Proof of degree completion before your diploma arrives: Degree Status Letter

Degree Status Letter

Before your diploma arrives, the Graduate College can provide a letter stating your progress toward the degree requirements:

  • Your degree requirements are complete if 
    • Your coursework is complete
    • You passed the defense 
    • You submitted your final thesis/dissertation and signature page to the Graduate College, and
    • Your mentor has confirmed the final copy with the Graduate College. 
  • If you have completed all coursework and passed the defense, but not submitted your final thesis/dissertation, the letter will state that you have passed the defense and the thesis/dissertation is the last remaining degree requirement. 


To request a letter, e-mail the Consent for Recommendation form to the Graduate College


Please note that the University confers all degrees on the final day of the semester, even if you complete the degree requirements early in the semester. Refer to the OUHSC Academic Calendar for the exact date.

Alumni in Action

Alumni of the OUHSC Graduate College are eligible for a free OU alumni e-mail address. Visit for instructions. 

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!

University Checkout


Graduation Ceremonies

Beginning in May 2024, OU is merging the University-wide Commencement ceremony and 19 separate College Convocations into seven separate Commencement ceremonies. 

Below is the information for the Health Sciences Center Graduate College’s Commencement. Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024 graduates of the HSC Graduate College will be eligible to participate in the May 2024 ceremony.


Commencement Honoring the Health Sciences Center Graduate College, College of Allied Health, and Hudson College of Public Health

2:30 P.M.
Friday, May 10, 2024
Lloyd Noble Center

PhD graduates will be hooded, and all graduates will have their names announced as they cross the stage.

You can find the complete Spring 2024 Commencement schedule by CLICKING HERE.

Livestream of Ceremony 

For questions regarding the ceremony, contact:

Annie Smith

Phone: (405) 271-2085

Student Regalia and Graduation Announcements

Students are encouraged to purchase regalia directly from the Jostens online store. Orders must be placed by March 29 by 5pm for delivery by May ceremonies. There is a $12.95 shipping fee. Jostens will have tabling events where graduation candidates can purchase academic distinction hoods, design and order custom graduation announcements, and order a class ring. Jostens will not be selling Cap and Gowns at this event. The tabling events will be held at the Student Union on March 11 & 28, from 10am-6pm. All Cap and Gown orders must be done online or purchased at the Jostens Sooner Shop (Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 1185 Asp Avenue, Norman).

PhD Graduates

  1. Select A Collection
  2. Click “Student PHD Ship to Home”
  3. Order the Doctorate Tam (One Size) Gown w/School Custom Zipper Pull, Tassel, Hood, University Stole
  4. There is an optional First Generation stole for graduates whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. This is ordered in addition to the Doctorate Tam and Gown.

MS Graduates

  1. Select A Collection
  2. Click “Student All Other Degree Choices Ship to Home”
  3. Order the Masters Cap, Gown w/School Custom Zipper Pull, Hood, Tassel w/School Custom Charm, University Stole
  4. Select Gown Fit and enter your height and weight
  5. Select MAJOR/CURRICULUM: Graduate College – Master of Science – Gold 
  6. There is an optional First Generation stole for graduates whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. This is ordered in addition to the Masters Cap and Gown.

For details, visit:

Faculty Regalia

Graduate Faculty will need regalia to participate in graduation ceremonies. Faculty members can purchase OU regalia or their Alma Mater regalia at

Orders will be shipped to your home address. Orders should be placed by March 29th in order to receive by the May ceremony.  Please choose the “Doctorate Tam” option and complete the form to order. For questions, please contact Annie Smith at 405-271-2085.

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 the 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.

Academic Hood

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.