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The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Student Handbook 2021-2022

5 - Graduation

5.1 -  Alumni Information

At the end of each semester, the Office of Admissions and Records forwards graduate information to the Alumni Office on the Norman campus.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Admissions and Records at (405) 271-2359.

5.2 - Graduation Guidelines

Below is the Policy Guideline for Implementing Graduation:

  1. A deadline to complete the Application for Graduation has been established for each semester and summer session. The dates are: October 1 for Fall graduates, March 1 for Spring graduates, and July 1 for Summer graduates. Candidates must apply for their diploma prior to receipt of the diploma. It is the responsibility of the college and the student to make sure that the appropriate application is submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records by the published deadline.
  2. Neither an official transcript nor a diploma will be issued until a student has met all of his/her obligations to the University and all holds have been cleared.
  3. Students declared as degree candidates after the deadline date will not appear in the Commencement Program of Degree Candidates.  However, all students who complete their degree requirements during a given term will appear in the official publication of Degrees Awarded.
  4. The Office of Admissions and Records prints diplomas following submission of the Certified Graduation Report from each college.
  5. The date of graduation for each term will normally be the last day of examinations in the fall, the date of commencement in the spring, and the last day of classes in the summer (Refer to Academic Calendar for specific dates).
  6. To entitle the student to graduate as of the established date, all academic work required for the degree must be satisfactorily completed prior to the first day of classes of the next semester or summer session, with the following exceptions:
    1. Students completing degree requirements by enrollment in an internship or a Health Sciences Center professional program which are in session during the graduation term and extend beyond the University's cutoff date.

    2. Students completing degree requirements by enrollment in another institution during the graduation term when the other institution's semester or session runs concurrent with, but extends beyond the University's cutoff date.

      • Such students will be counted with the graduates of that term, but their diplomas will be held until the official records of the required work have been filed with the University and the student is officially cleared for graduation.

    3. Graduate students completing degrees that require a thesis or dissertation are given an additional "grace period" of up through the last day of late enrollment of the next term to complete all requirements (including the microfilming fee and the deposit in the Library of their thesis or dissertation) and are not required to enroll for that term. The diploma and the official date of graduation will reflect the term in which all requirements were met.

      • If the student has not completed requirements by the end of the last day for enrollment, the student must enroll again in a minimum of two semester hours of thesis or dissertation and the diploma will be issued for that term.
  7. All students shall be required to have all work needed for graduation submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records no later than (10) ten working days following the last day of finals for the term in which the student wishes to graduate. This would include transfer work from another institution, correspondence courses, incomplete grades, and any other correction or addition to the student’s academic record. This deadline does not take the place of the existing deadline for all work to be completed, which is “all work required for the degree must be completed satisfactorily by the last day of finals of the semester or term.” This is an additional requirement that the notification of the completion of this credit must be submitted in a timely fashion in order for the student to graduate within that term. The appropriate deadline for receipt of that notification is within ten (10) working days after the last day of finals.
  8. All official records required for clearance of graduation requirements must be filed with the Office of Admissions and Records prior to degree clearance.
  9. Diplomas will be printed under the name appearing on the student's official academic record at the time of graduation or as submitted on the application for graduation. Variations are allowed, such as adding a maiden name and/or dropping the full middle name and using an initial; however, the first and last name must be spelled out so that the name on the diploma and the academic record can always be matched.
    1. The adding of a suffix is acceptable providing the student completes a name change form with evidence of the suffix being part of the legal name.
    2. Students who want to make changes as to how their name appears on their diploma must file a new application for graduation with the Office of Admissions and Records at the beginning of the term in which they anticipate graduation. Students who request a legitimate name change after diplomas have been printed will be required to pay an additional cost for the reprinting of the diploma.
    3. Married names cannot appear on the diploma if the marriage has not taken place at the time of the diploma printing. Students who change their names after the graduation date may request a new diploma at their expense.
  10. Should a student complete all academic requirements for graduation and apply for the diploma before the end of the term, the student will be entitled to receive a certified statement of completed degree requirements bearing the date academic requirements were completed from the graduating college. Such a statement will be entered on a student's permanent academic record when the Office of Admissions and Records receives notification from the college.
  11. Should a degree candidate fail to successfully complete graduation requirements as of the graduation date for which the student applied, the student will need to contact the appropriate college to move the graduation date forward and then reapply for graduation during the appropriate term.
  12. Students who qualify for graduation with both college distinction and University honors will be graduated with honors. Undergraduate degrees can be awarded with the following designations: Distinction, Special Distinction, Outstanding Distinction, Cum Laude, Summa cum Laude, and Magna cum Laude.
  13. A lost, stolen, or damaged diploma may be replaced by submitting a notarized affidavit and a $50 replacement fee to the Office of Admissions and Records.  If possible, the original diploma must be returned prior to release of the new diploma.

For additional information, contact the Office of Admissions and Records at (405) 271-2359 or visit the OU Commencement Website.

5.3 - Graduating with Distinction and Honors

Graduating with Distinction

The with distinction degree designation is conferred by the student’s degree-recommending college. Each college has established unique requirements for graduation with distinction or special distinction. Distinctions are based primarily on the student’s grade point average. Both the transcript and the diploma carry the designation. Contact your academic advisor for specific requirements.

Those graduating with distinction wear a gold hood with their gown. Academic distinction hoods may be purchased for an additional fee when you purchase your gown at Graduation Gear-up or through the University Bookstore in Norman.

Graduating with a 4.0 GPA

Undergraduate students with an overall 4.0 GPA are eligible to receive a 4.0 University medallion on a crimson ribbon. Students must have a 4.0 on all OU work and on any work transferred from other institutions. They may wear the medallion during Commencement and Convocation exercises. In addition, their names will be listed in a special section of the May Commencement program, and they will be invited to attend a special 4.0 University medallion presentation by President Boren.

Students who qualify will be notified by their degree-recommending college. The Graduation Office will provide information regarding the presentation by President Boren. Presentations are held during the spring semester. If students are unable to attend the presentation, they may pick up their medallions in the Graduation Office (Wagner Hall, Suite 203). All 4.0 medallion students are also eligible to wear the gold Academic Distinction hood or the crimson Honors College hood with their gown.

Graduating With Honors Requirements

Honors College acceptance.

To graduate Cum Laude you must complete:

  • Honors Perspectives (HON 2973), 3 hours
  • Honors Colloquium (HON 3993), 3 hours
  • Honors Electives*, 9 hours
  • Honors Reading**, 2 hours
  • Honors Research, 3 hours

*This may include Honors designated courses, OU study abroad programs, and OSLEP, Feaver-MacMinn, Puterbaugh, or Neustadt seminars.

**This requirement is typically waived by your senior capstone, and the exceptions to this rule are based upon major; please contact the Honors College for more information. Some departments require 7 hours of reading/research.

Submit the Honors College graduation form during the first two weeks of the semester you plan to graduate.

  • Submit Honors Thesis (generally, Honors Reading and Research project) to the Honors College office.
  • Maintain OU/HSC retention GPA and combined retention GPA of 3.40 or above.

Undergraduate students completing the Honors College curricular requirements will have a degree designation of:

  • Cum Laude (3.40-3.59)
  • Magna cum Laude (3.60-3.79)
  • Summa cum Laude (3.80-4.00)

Honors College graduates and graduation candidates wear a crimson hood with their gown, which may be purchased for an additional fee when you purchase your cap and gown.

5.4 - Graduation Ceremony

Health Sciences Center students participate in commencement in Norman each spring.  Individual colleges hold convocations following commencement. Doctor of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy students have independent commencement ceremonies in the spring, and the Physician Associate and Assistant students have commencement ceremonies at the end of the fall semester. While there are no graduation exercises in August or December, diplomas are awarded three times a year.

Students completing degree requirements during the summer or fall semester may participate in the May graduation exercises the following year.  Students who will complete or expect to complete requirements prior to, or by the end of, the following summer session may also, with the academic dean’s permission, participate in the spring commencement.

All students graduating from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center must complete an Online Application for Graduation before a diploma will be issued. The online application must be accessed through the OUHSC Student Self-Service System and be submitted by the following deadlines:

March 1 – Spring Graduates

July 1 – Summer Graduates

October 1 – Fall Graduates

The responsibility for meeting graduation requirements lies with the student.  All students are advised to check with their College Student Affairs Office to verify that all degree requirements have been satisfied.

5.4.1 - Cap and Gown

Representatives from the University Bookstore on the Norman campus visit the Health Sciences Center prior to spring commencement so that students may rent caps, gowns, and order graduation announcements.  Students are encouraged to contact their College regarding other vendors and dates the University Bookstore will be at the Health Sciences Center.

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