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Graduation/Commencement Checklist

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

Please follow the steps below to help ensure you meet the requirements and deadlines to participate in the graduation ceremony, also known as commencement.

Meet Eligibility Deadlines

  • Please refer to the University of Houston Academic Calendar for graduation application deadlines.
    • If you are receiving a degree and wish to participate in the graduation ceremony, you need to complete the appropriate paperwork on time.
    • Refer to the Approval Process section to see how to apply for graduation online. (Note that completing the online Graduation RSVP Form for in-person ceremonies is not the same as applying for graduation; you still must apply for graduation.)

Update Contact Information

Review your personal information at MyUH to make sure your mailing address, phone number and email address are updated.

 

Order Cap and Gown 

All graduates participating in the University or College graduation ceremony must wear academic regalia. If you have not done so already, make arrangements with the UH Bookstore in University Center.

You should plan to attend the Graduation Fair, where representatives from Herff Jones will be available to assist you with ordering a cap, gown and hood, as well as announcements and invitations, UH rings and diploma frames. Information about joining the Houston Alumni Association also will be available.

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

If you have questions regarding these items, call the bookstore at 713-741-7095 or visit the UH Bookstore website. Remember, you are responsible for picking up and dropping off your rented cap and gown.

Confirm Your Participation

Not all students who graduate choose to participate in the University or College graduation ceremonies. All eligible students who plan to attend must complete the Graduation RSVP Form for in-person ceremonies. On the form, 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.

Ed.D. and Ph.D. Candidates

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

Students with DisABILITIES 

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

Students who are mobility impaired should contact College of Education Graduation Coordinator Paula Canada for any additional assistance or requests.

At the Ceremony

The following information pertains to in-person ceremonies once they resume.

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.

Get Your Card/Line Up by Number

  • 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. A number will be put in the top left-hand corner of this card.
  • Get familiar with your place in line. Know who is in front of you and who is behind you.
  • You will keep this card and should be prepared to hand the 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, you cannot rejoin the line.

Your Walk Across the Stage

  • 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 below 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

Carrying your doctoral hood: You will keep your doctoral hood with you throughout the processional and ceremony.
  • Before doctoral candidates 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 and 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 no more than two hours.

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