person in a black gown handing a diploma to a student in a black gown

Graduation

After years of dedication and hard work, your graduation is finally approaching. Prepare for your future now so you can put your degree to work as soon as you earn it.

Apply to Graduate

All students must apply for graduation in SAIL. You should meet with your program coordinator prior to applying to graduate to confirm that all academic, credit and degree requirements have been met. Follow these step-by-step instructions for applying to graduate.

Apply to graduate according to the dates below. The semester or session of graduation refers to the term in which your degree will be awarded. This is the semester in which you will complete your program requirements.

Graduation TermFirst Date AvailableLast Date AvailableDate Degree Conferred
Summer 2017November 1, 2016May 26, 2017August 26, 2017
Fall 2017March 1, 2017September 29, 2017December 16, 2017
Winter 2018August 1, 2017January 26, 2018April 25, 2018
Summer 2018November 1, 2017May 25, 2018August 25, 2018
  • If you have completed an application and need to make revisions, please call (248) 370-2700 or use the Change of Graduation Date form to update your graduation date.
  • If you are completing a concentration as part of your degree program, you should submit the Adding a Concentration form (SBA students only) to request your concentration(s) added to your record before submitting your application.
  • If the curriculum displayed in the application is incorrect, or if you receive a “no curriculum found” error, please submit the Curriculum Error form.
  • If you are required to complete a thesis or dissertation as part of your graduate studies, please review the thesis/dissertation deadlines.
  • Students receiving a graduate certificate must apply to graduate, but do not participate in commencement.
  • For documentation of your graduate degree to be sent to another university and/or business, please complete the Request for Degree Confirmation Letter.

Please note: Graduation (degree conferral) is the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a degree. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not imply that you have officially graduated.

Degree Audits

Degree audits are conducted during the semester for which you have applied to graduate. All grade changes, petitions of exception and transfer credits must be submitted and approved prior to this initial audit. Questions regarding deficiencies should be directed to the program coordinator.

Your degree audit will then be submitted to your department for them to review program requirements. Final audits are conducted approximately two weeks after term grades have been posted, and degrees are posted four to six weeks after the end of the semester.

Diplomas are ordered for the entire graduating class as a whole, approximately eight weeks after the end of the semester, and will be mailed directly to the address specified on the graduation application.

If you are completing a thesis or dissertation (not a terminal project), please follow the deadlines for format review, defense and submission for binding. It is important to carefully review and follow the graduation checklist to minimize deficiencies that will delay graduation.

Graduate Checklists

Use these checklists as a guide to help monitor your progress. Please see your departmental adviser to confirm that you have met all the following requirements and to confirm that no additional departmental requirements exist.

Master's students
  • File a Program of Study with Graduate Education.
  • Submit an online application for graduation for the term in which you expect to graduate, by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes. Earlier submission is strongly encouraged.
  • Review your academic record for any unmet requirements:
    • Incomplete (I) or progress (P) grades must be removed.
    • Transfer credits must be approved and processed by the beginning of the semester of intended graduation.
    • Transfer credits must have been completed within the 6-year time limit, to count toward degree requirements.
    • An overall 3.0 GPA must be achieved.
    • A Petition of Exception must be filed if the degree will NOT be completed with the university’s 6-year time limit (a 2-year extension for a maximum of an 8-year total).
  • If completing a thesis:
    • Complete a successful defense or presentation by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes.
    • Attain format approval from Graduate Education by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes.
    • Submit for binding three copies of format approved thesis to Graduate Education by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes.
  • If graduation requirements are not completed by the stated deadlines:
    • Change your graduation date by contacting Graduate Education.
  • Obtain Commencement Approval:
    • Only required of students wishing to participate in a different ceremony than that associated with their graduation date. Within one term of completing degree requirements, master’s students may request to participate in commencement. The Request to Participate in Commencement Ceremony form must be approved by the academic adviser and department chair, and submitted to Graduate Education for final approval.
Doctoral students
  • File a Program of Study with Graduate Education.
  • Submit an online application for graduation for the term in which you expect to graduate, by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes. Earlier submission is strongly encouraged.
  • Review your academic record for any unmet requirements:
    • Incomplete (I) or progress (P) grades must be removed.
    • Transfer credits must be approved and processed by the beginning of the semester of intended graduation.
    • Transfer credits must have been completed within the 6-year time limit, to count toward degree requirements.
    • An overall 3.0 GPA must be achieved.
    • The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than 10 years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program.
  • Submit verification that all comprehensive examinations have been completed to Graduate Education.
  • Register for the term in which your dissertation will be defended.
  • Complete a successful dissertation defense by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes.
  • Attain format approval from Graduate Education by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes.
  • Submit for binding three copies of your format approved dissertation to Graduate Education by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes.
  • Submit an additional copy of your format approved dissertation to meet the ProQuest publication requirement.
  • Submit an online Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) questionnaire.
  • If graduation requirements are not completed by the stated deadlines, you must change your graduation date by contacting Graduate Education.
Commencement

Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of your degree. Participation in the ceremony does not imply you have officially graduated. Commencement ceremonies are held twice each year. 

Graduation TermFirst Date AvailableLast Date AvailableCommencement Ceremony
Summer 2017November 1, 2016May 26, 2017Fall Ceremony
(December)
Fall 2017March 1, 2017September 29, 2017Fall Ceremony
(December)
Winter 2018August 1, 2017January 26, 2018Spring Ceremony
(April)
Summer 2018November 1, 2017May 25, 2018Fall Ceremony
(December)

Doctoral students
Doctoral students are not eligible to participate in commencement without completing all degree requirements, including the dissertation defense and submission of an approved dissertation to Graduate Education. The dissertation must be signed by all committee members and must comply with the dissertation requirements as outlined in the Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations. Failure to comply with the dissertation requirements will delay your graduation.

Master’s students
Master’s students may request to participate in commencement within one semester of completing degree requirements. Apply for graduation for the term in which you will complete degree requirements, and then submit the Graduate Request to Participate in Commencement Ceremony form. Approval is not guaranteed.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why should I apply for graduation? 

    The graduation application is the trigger for the audit process to begin. After you have applied for graduation, Graduate Study will audit your record to ensure that all degree requirements have been met and your degree can be awarded. 

  2. When should I apply for graduation?

    You should apply for graduation prior to your last semester of coursework. Winter (April) candidates must apply by the last Friday in January. Summer (August) candidates must apply by the last Friday in May. Fall (December) candidates must apply by the last Friday in September. 

  3. What if I missed the deadline?

    The graduation application is open for several months prior to the deadline. If you missed the deadline, you must apply for the next available semester. 

  4. How do I apply for graduation?

    Log into your SAIL account. Click on Student Services --> Student Records --> Apply to Graduate. Enter the required information. Follow these step-by-step instructions for additional help.  

  5. What if I need to change my graduation semester after I have applied?

    If you need to change your graduation semester after you have applied please contact our office at 248-370-2700 or submit the Change of Graduation Date form. You may only move forward to a future semester, not backwards to a prior semester. 

  6. What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

    Graduation is the completion of degree requirements as listed in the Oakland University graduate catalog. Commencement is the ceremony celebrating your accomplishments. Participating in the commencement ceremony does not guarantee you have graduated.
     
  7. What If I cannot participate in my assigned commencement ceremony? 

    Master's candidates may request to participate in a ceremony one semester early or one semester after all degree requirements have been met. They must submit the Graduate Request to Participate in Commencement Ceremony form. 

    Doctoral candidates may not commence early or prior to completing all degree requirements. 

    Graduate Certificate and Post-Master's Certificate candidates do not participate in the commencement ceremony. 

  8. When will my degree post to my record?

    You should allow 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester for the completion of the audit process and degree to post to your record.  

  9. When will I receive my diploma? 

    You will receive your diploma at your home approximately 6-8 weeks after the end of the semester. Diplomas are mailed directly from the printer. 

  10. My employer needs proof of my degree completion as soon as possible. What can I do to provide the documentation?

    Graduate Study can provide a degree candidate letter that states you are a candidate for degree if all requirements are met after the semester ends. After the semester ends and prior to degrees posting, if all degree requirements have been met, Graduate Study can provide a degree confirmation letter.