Office of the Provost

Wilson Hall, Room 205
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2190

Graduate Ceremony (Masters and Doctoral)

Fall Graduate Ceremony (Masters and Doctoral)

On Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.  Oakland University will honor its masters and doctoral graduates during commencement exercises in the Athletic Center O'rena.

Undergraduate Students please see the Undergraduate Ceremony Link.

The ceremony is an opportunity for the university to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree and an opportunity for you to share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with faculty, fellow graduates, family and friends. We hope you will join in the celebration of your achievements at this very important event.

Please attend the commencement fair on Saturday, November 16 or Thursday, November 21, 2019, located in the Ballrooms and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Oakland Center, to pick up guest tickets.   

Application for Degree
To be eligible to graduate, you MUST complete a Graduate Application for Degree online at the commencement website by clicking on the applying to graduate link. You must file the application prior to the published deadline for the semester or session of intended graduation. Only degree seeking students may participate in commencement. Students earning graduate certificates are not eligible to participate.

For questions regarding your Degree Application or Diploma call: (248) 370-3460

Graduate Arrival and Line-Up
Graduates should arrive at the Recreation Center one hour prior to the start of their ceremony and proceed immediately to the lower level where they will pick up their name card from the registration table. Faculty marshals will be there to direct and assist graduates in lining up (in pairs) for the processional and with questions they may have. When the ceremony is ready to begin, graduates will process into Athletic Center O'rena. Each ceremony will begin promptly at the scheduled time and will last approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Graduates must not carry purses, backpacks, jackets, etc. Alcohol, food, beverages, toys, (i.e., beach balls, frisbees, bubbles, or noisemakers) are not allowed in the O'rena. All cell phones, pagers, and electronic devices must be turned off prior to the start of the procession.

Doctoral candidates should attend rehearsal on Friday, December 13, 2019 (time TBD) in the Athletic Center O'rena.

Other candidates may view a virtual rehearsal video at the Commencement Fair or on our website; Virtual Commencement Rehearsal Video.

During the ceremony, marshals will direct graduates to the stage. Each graduate will be recognized as they cross the stage. The Provost will hand them a diploma cover and the President will shake their hand. They will exit the stage using the center stairs and return to their seat.

Graduate Seating
Graduate seating is reserved and tickets are not required. Special accommodations are made for the physically challenged at each ceremony. Please contact the Office of the Provost at (248) 370-2190 if you have specific seating requirements or if you will need assistance ascending and descending the stage during the ceremony.

Guest Seating
To ensure a pleasant, high-quality experience and to guarantee seating for your guests, each graduate may request tickets for family and friends.

Important Guest Ticket Procedure
Guest Tickets will be distributed to graduates at the Commencement Fair on Saturday, November 16 or Thursday, November 21, 2019. If you are unable to attend the Fair, please make arrangements to have them picked up by a family member or friend. Provide them with a signed permission letter naming the person picking up the tickets and a photocopy of your picture ID.

On commencement day, the O'rena will open for guest seating one hour before the start time of the ceremony. All guests are asked to be seated 10 minutes before the ceremony begins. Note: The doors will temporarily close during the processional (at the beginning of the ceremony) and will open again for late guests.

Children are welcome to attend; however, it is the parents’ responsibility to keep them quietly seated during the ceremony.  All guests, including children aged 3 and over, must have a ticket to enter the O'rena.  Children aged two and under may share a seat with an adult.

Each of the ceremonies will be interpreted in American Sign Language.  Handicapped (wheelchair) accessible seating for guests is available. A handicapped accessible parking lot is located across the street from the O'rena P16 (see campus map).

Photo Opportunities
Oakland University has contracted with Grad Images, a national professional company, who will photograph each graduate three times during the ceremony; once receiving their diplomas and two walk by commencement portraits. Grad Images will contact each graduate concerning purchasing of photos. There is no fee for the photo sessions. Grad Images guarantees complete satisfaction to the students and their parents, or money will be refunded. For graduation photography questions please contact GradImages at (800) 261-2576.

Ceremony General Information
For general information on commencement ceremonies, please click Ceremony General Information on this website.