Skip to main content

College Commencement/ Graduation Checklist

Overview | Approval Process | Graduation Checklist
Students & Guests | Directions | FAQ

Graduation is a celebration, a culmination of years of work towards your degree. There are several steps to complete before you can participate in Graduation. The following Checklist will help you ensure you meet the requirements and deadlines.

Step 1: Eligibility Deadlines

If you are receiving a degree and wish to participate in Graduation, you need to  complete the appropriate paperwork on time. Refer to the Approval Process to see how to apply for graduation online. Please note that there is a difference between filing for graduation and completing the online Graduation RSVP Form.

Please refer to the University of Houston Academic Calendar for graduation application deadlines.

Step 2: Update your personal information in PeopleSoft

Review your personal information in PeopleSoft at MyUH, to assure that your address, phone and email are updated.

Step 3: Ed. D. and Ph. D. Candidates- Confirm your Dissertation Chair Attendance

If you are an Ed. D. or Ph. D. candidate, you will be hooded on the stage by your dissertation chair.  Please contact them to let them know that you plan to walk and confirm that they will be there to hood you. If your chair cannot attend, you may ask another member of your dissertation committee to hood you.

Step 4: Order your Cap and Gown, etc.

All graduates participating in either ceremony must wear academic regalia. If you have not done so already, you should make arrangements with the Bookstore in the University Center.  Please plan to attend the Graduation Fair where representatives from Herff Jones will be available to assist you to order a cap, gown, and hood, as well as announcements and invitations, UH rings, and diploma frames. Information about joining the Houston Alumni Organization will also be available.

  • Students may also order caps, gowns, hoods, and announcements online at Herff Jones.
  • Please refer to the Graduation Fair information for important dates.

If you have any questions regarding these items, please call the bookstore directly at (713) 748-0923 or check out their website at the UH Bookstore. Remember, you are responsible for picking up and dropping off your rented cap and gown.

Step 5: Confirm your intent to participate in Commencement

Not all students who graduate choose to participate in either ceremony. All eligible students who plan to attend must complete the  Graduation RSVP Form. At the time that you do this, you will be able to let us know how you wish to have your name read at the ceremony.

Filing for graduation does not equate to signing up to participate in either ceremony. Please file for graduation through MyUH (PeopleSoft) and fill out the Graduation RSVP Form.

Students with DisABILITIES

Students needing any additional services or who have special requests must notify the Commencement Coordinator at least 2 WEEKS prior to their scheduled ceremonies.

Students who are mobility impaired will need to contact the Graduation Coordinator for any additional assistance or requests.

Step 6: Attend Commencement

Information for Texas Southern University (TSU) Health and Physical Education Arena (HP&E) will be forthcoming.

Line up

You will line up with the other students in your program (by degree and by department offering the degree). Look for the sign for your group when you arrive. Please refer to the Department and Degree Line Up List.

Get Your Card/Stay in Line

  • When you find your degree and department group, you will line up alphabetically.
  • You will be given a card with your name, degree, and any honors on it – and a number will be put in the top left-hand corner of this card.
  • You should get used to your place in line – get to know who is in front of you and who is behind you.
  • You will keep that card and should be prepared to hand that card to the name reader as you approach the ramp of the stage.

Please Remember

  • Do not change places after the processional begins.
  • Be in line when the processional begins (when the line is ready to move).  Once the music begins, we cannot allow anyone to join the line.

Your Walk Across the Stage

  • Directly before your degree level is recognized, you will be told to stand and proceed in line to the stage.
  • When the person in front of you begins to walk across the stage and after his/her name is called, move to the tape at the middle of the ramp and remain there until your name is called. (Doctoral candidates, note the difference in instructions for the hooding process).
  • You will be recognized by name as you walk across the stage.
  • Proceed off the stage, walking around to the back of the stage to have your graduation picture taken.  You will be directed by staff to go back onto the floor, walk around to the back of the chairs and back down the center aisle to your seat.  Please do not leave the floor before the ceremony is complete.

Special Instructions for Doctoral Candidates

Note - Carrying your doctoral hood: You will keep your doctoral hood with you throughout the processional and ceremony.
  • Directly before Doctorates are announced, you will be told to stand and proceed, in line, to the stage.
  • When the person in front of you begins to walk up the ramp, go to the tape at the middle of the ramp, get ready to move onto the stage.
  • Once your name is called, walk with your dissertation chair to center stage.
  • Turn your back to your dissertation chair, removing your cap at this time.
  • Your dissertation chair will place your hood over your head. Put your cap back on and turn around to face your dissertation chair, shake his/her hand.
  • Proceed across the stage  and shake hands with officials with your right hand and pause for a picture.
  • Proceed off the stage, walking around to the back of the stage to have your graduation picture taken.  You will be directed by staff to go back onto the floor, walk around to the back of the chairs and back down the center aisle to your seat.  Please do not leave the floor before the ceremony is complete.

Recessional

There will be a formal recessional. Wait for the official dismissal and then follow the person in front of you. The ceremony should last approximately 3 hours.

<Top>