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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.  

Applying for Graduation/ Diploma

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 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.

Degree Confirmation, Final Transcript & Diploma

Your degree will be conferred on the final day of the semester.

Refer to the OUHSC Academic Calendar for the exact date. 


Your paper diploma will be mailed approximately 6-8 weeks after the end of the semester. Your diploma will come from the Office of Admissions and Records. For additional information, visit

Digital diplomas are also available. Visit for details. 

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. 

Degree Status Letter

The Graduate College can provide a letter stating your progress toward the degree requirements. For example, if you have passed the defense but not submitted your final dissertation, the letter will state that you have passed the defense and the dissertation is the last remaining degree requirement. To request a letter, e-mail the Consent for Recommendation form to the Graduate College

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.

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

The Graduate College hosts a convocation and reception each May, on the Saturday of Commencement Weekend. Graduates may also participate in the University-wide Commencement, which takes place in Norman, OK the Friday evening of Commencement weekend. There is no fee to participate in the Graduate College Convocation or the University Commencement. Details are below.

Some graduate students are able to participate in the ceremonies of their affiliated professional college, based on the policies of the professional college. The Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, and Pharmacy do not recognize MS and PhD graduates in their ceremonies. Please contact your professional college for information about their ceremonies.

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

Graduate College Convocation

The Graduate College hosts a convocation and reception each May, on the Saturday of Commencement Weekend, listed in the OUHSC 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.

2023 Graduate College Convocation Registration Form - Please respond by March 20, 2023.

For questions contact Annie Smith 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.

Student 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. 

Order Regalia and Announcements at

PhD Graduates

  1. Select Order under “Show Your Pride”
  2. Select Graduation Caps and Gowns
  3. Click “PhD Graduates - Student PHD SHIP TO GRAD GEAR UP” to pick up your gown at Graduation Gear Up
  4. Order the Doctorate Tam (One Size) Gown w/School Custom Zipper Pull, Tassel, Hood, University Stole
  5. 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 Order under “Show Your Pride”
  2. Select Graduation Caps and Gowns
  3. Click “MS Graduates - Student ALL OTHER DEGREES SHIP GRAD GEAR UP” to pick up your gown at Graduation Gear Up
  4. Order the Masters Cap, Gown w/School Custom Zipper Pull, Hood, Tassel w/School Custom Charm, University Stole
  5. Select MAJOR/CURRICULUM: Graduate College – Master of Science
  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.

Announcement Ordering Information

  1. Click “Graduation Announcements”
  2. Select a package and design
  3. Under “Announcement”
    1. Name: Enter your name as you would like it to appear on your announcement
    2. Degree: Select “Master of Science” or “Doctor of Philosophy”
    3. Major: Select the name of your graduate program, e.g., “Allied Health Sciences”, “Pharmaceutical Science”, “Radiological Science”, etc.
    4. Optional Text: Most HSC graduate degrees will not have optional text. If your degree is a PhD in Allied Health Sciences, select “with a Specialization in” and enter either Nutritional Sciences or Rehabilitation Sciences.
  4. Under “Ceremony”
    1. Select the name of the convocation ceremony you will participate in. The Graduate College Convocation is listed as “May 2023 – Health Sciences Center Graduate College Convocation”
    2. Check  the Announcement Preview. The preview automatically loads information about the Commencement in Norman. Depending on your Internet browser, to preview your information and the details for your college convocation, click <<12>>  to see the next page.

For details, visit:

Faculty Regalia

Graduate Faculty will need regalia to participate in graduation ceremonies. The University provides one set of regalia at no cost. Instructions and the order form are at

The deadline to place orders for delivery to OUHSC is in February of each year. 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.