Ohio University

Graduation and Commencement

Graduates lined up for graduation

Graduation is not the same thing as the Commencement Ceremony. Graduation is the process by which degree completion is confirmed and certified. The Commencement Ceremony celebrates that academic achievement.


Degree Completion

Degree completion is not automatic. You must apply to have your degree conferred, even if you do not plan to attend a commencement ceremony. 

  • Complete the Graduation Application in your My Ohio Student Center. The application is available on the first day of the semester. If you do not see the correct program, degree, or are missing a certificate, you need to update your record with the Graduate College. Before proceeding with the application, contact your graduate program for help submitting an update of program form.
  • You must meet all deadlines for filing your final project, thesis, dissertation, or other capstone experience.
  • Your cumulative graduate grade point average must be at least 3.00 (without rounding).
  • You must have completed all requirements for your degree and removed any incompletes.
  • You must be in unconditional and final admission status.
  • You must fulfill all financial and other obligations to the university before your diploma and final transcript will be released.
  • Graduation applications not completed by the deadline listed in the academic calendar will be assessed a late processing fine.

Certificate Completion

Certificate conferral is not automatic. You must complete the Graduation Application in your My Ohio Student Center. If you do not see a certificate option in the application, you need to update your record with the Graduate College. Before proceeding with the application, contact your graduate program for help submitting an update of program form..

  • Your cumulative grade point average must be at least 3.00 (without rounding).
  • You must have completed all certificate requirements.
  • You must be in unconditional and final admission status.
  • You must fulfill all financial and other obligations to the university before your final transcript and certificate will be released.
  • Graduation applications not completed by the deadline listed in the academic calendar will be assessed a late processing fine.

The Graduation Process

Additional information about the graduation application and review process is available through the Registrar's Office.

Transcripts and Diplomas

Transcript and degree verification availability and diploma mailing dates are found on the Registrar's website.

Commencement Ceremonies

Fall 2020 University Commencement

Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 pm

The Virtual Ceremony honors all students who earned degrees in summer 2020 and fall 2020. 

Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies

Friday, April 30 at 9:00 am

Only students who submitted their RSVP form will be allowed at the in-person ceremony, but all spring graduates will have their name read during the live reading of names. All applicants for graduation received an email from NameCoach to upload a photo to be recognized during the name reading portion of the ceremony. The deadline for uploading a photo to NameCoach is April 2.

Please see the Spring 2021 FAQ for the most current information. Direct questions about the spring ceremony to commencement@ohio.edu.

Cap, Gown and Hood

Information about ordering academic regalia (cap, gown and hood) is on the University Commencement page. Regalia is required for in-person ceremonies, optional for a virtual ceremony.

Master's and Doctoral students can order custom-made regalia (cap, gown and hood). Custom orders take additional time. For information about custom orders, contact Event Services at commencement@ohio.edu.

There are different styles for gowns depending on the level of degree conferred. Doctoral gowns have a front velvet facing and three velvet stripes on the sleeves. Hoods for master's graduates are shorter than for doctoral, and the velvet color indicates the degree earned. Doctoral hoods are longer, and the velvet color signifies the degree earned (Ph.D. – dark blue; Ed.D. – light blue; D.Aud. – green; D.P.T. – green; D.N.P. – apricot).

Tradition dictates that because master's and doctoral graduates wear hoods, they do not receive honor cords.