Grad Central

Applying for Graduation 

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Think you are ready to apply for graduation?

  • Are you within 15 credits of completing your academic program?
  • Are you matriculated in your degree program?
  • Have you met with your advisor?
  • Have you registered for your final semester of coursework?
  • Have you fulfilled all program requirements?
  • Have you had any transfer credits evaluated?
  • Have we received your final high school transcript?

If you have answered “no” to any of these questions or are unsure, please see your advisor before applying for graduation.

If you are ready to apply for graduation, please log in to your WebAccess account and click “Application for Graduation” in the Academic Planning section. 

Please note:
Students must have submitted an application for graduation by April 27th in order for their name to appear in the May Commencement program. Students that apply after April 27th are eligible to participate in the ceremony, pending review of degree requirements.

Late applications may result in the student's name being omitted from the commencement program and other printed materials. Students who fail to complete all degree requirements by the end of the term for which they applied to graduate must reapply in order to graduate later.

One Year Before You Plan to Graduate:

Meet with an Advisor. Each student should plan ahead to take the necessary classes to graduate.

Apply for Graduation. Students should initiate the graduation application process at the end of the semester prior to their final semester of study. Grad Central representatives will be available at Student Central to answer any questions you may have.

Two Months Before Graduation:

In Mid-March students will receive a letter regarding the commencement ceremony. 

Register to Participate. Visit the Grad Central website to say you will be attending commencement.

Visit Grad Central. Meet with the graduation coordinator at Grad Central to answer specific questions concerning graduation, ensuring you are on the right track to degree completion.  It is located at Student Central in the Gordon Student Center.

Order your Cap and Gown. Students should arrange to purchase a cap and gown from the Onondaga bookstore approximately 8 weeks before the commencement ceremony. (Students will be notified by mail when the regalia is available for purchase).

Notify Guests. Families, friends and the general public are cordially invited to attend the commencement activities. Seating at the SRC Arena is ample, thus no tickets are needed for guests to attend.

At Commencement:

Arrive Early. Both students and guests should arrive at least one hour before the ceremony begins. Graduates should follow the signs for check in. The procession will begin promptly at the appointed time.

Wear Appropriate Academic Attire. Wearing of the traditional academic gown and mortarboard is required for participation in the Commencement ceremony. Students usually purchase the cap, gown and tassel at the Onondaga Bookstore. Students graduating with honors (3.4 cumulative GPA or higher) will receive a gold cord at graduation check-in. Phi Theta Kappa gold tassels are available at Student Central, at no charge and stoles can be purchased at Bursar. These items designate you as a PTK member. Neither is mandatory. They are available if you choose to wear them for the ceremony.

Hold on to your Name Card. At check-in you will pick up your name card and be asked to check the spelling of your name.  If you have a difficult name to pronounce, you will be instructed to write it phonetically.  Volunteers will be on hand to assist. 

Graduation FAQs

What does the term “matriculate” mean?

A matriculated student is one who meets all admission requirements, has been formally accepted into a degree or certificate program, and is enrolled at the college. A student must be matriculated in his or her program in order to apply for graduation.

How many credits do I need to graduate?

Please refer to the College catalog to review your particular program’s overall credits and degree requirements. All A.A.S., A.A. and A.S. degrees include at least 60 academic credits. Certificate programs include at least 30 academic credits.

How do I have transfer credits evaluated?

The application of transfer credits is subject to department guidelines. Approval from the Office of Registration and Records must be obtained in order to transfer in credits for the degree. Therefore, official transcripts from other institutions from which you wish to earn transfer credit must be mailed to the Office of Registration and Records in the Gordon Student Center. Students are encouraged to have transfer credits evaluated upon acceptance to Onondaga so credits are in place prior to applying for graduation. Please note that at least 24 credits must be completed at Onondaga.

Can I earn more than one degree from Onondaga?

You may earn more than one degree at Onondaga. A concurrent degree is one in which the student pursues courses of study in two disciplines leading to degrees in both at the same time. A dual degree is one in which the student graduates in a program, and then pursues another degree.

For multiple degrees, a minimum of twenty of the academic credits for any associate’s degree and ten academic credits for any certificate must be credits which have not been applied to a previously or concurrently awarded degree. If you are interested in pursuing more than one degree you should meet with your advisor.

What is a minor? How do I declare a minor?

Minors are specialized areas of study consisting of twelve credits of approved coursework. If you have interest in one of these areas, consult your advisor on how to set up your class schedule to complete the required coursework. Minors in any of these areas are not open to students who are majoring in that same area. Please fill out our online form

How do I apply for graduation?

After meeting with your advisor, you should submit an application for graduation through WebAdvisor. You will choose the application for graduation link found under the academic planning category. Please note that you only need to apply once.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be available for pick-up 6-8 weeks after the end of the term. Students will receive a notification that diplomas are available via email.  They then have one month to pick up their diploma. Any students who do not pick up their diploma will have it mailed to the address on file.  If you have had or anticipate having an address change after graduation, please contact Grad Central via the [email protected] email as well as Student Central and notify them of the change.  Students with outstanding balances on their accounts will receive a notification via email that their diplomas are being held. Per SUNY policy, we retain these for one year.  Onondaga Community College must retain any unclaimed diplomas for a minimum of one year, per the SUNY Retention and Disposition policy.  After that time, graduates will be required to reorder their diploma.

How do I replace my diploma?

To order a replacement diploma, fill out the Diploma Replacement Form and return it to Student Central. Payment in the form of check or money order must accompany the form in order for a diploma to be ordered.

How are honors determined for graduation?

Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude will be recognized at the commencement ceremony based on the cumulative GPA recorded prior to commencement. For May graduates, the cumulative GPA at the end of the fall term will need to be used as final grades from the spring term are still in progress. However, honors will be designated on your official diploma based on the student’s final cumulative program GPA.

  • Cum Laude 3.4 - 3.59
  • Magna Cum Laude 3.6 - 3.79
  • Summa Cum Laude 3.8 - 4.0

Commencement FAQs

When is commencement? 

OCC's Commencement Ceremony is held in May every year. The ceremony will be held at the SRC Arena and Events Center. The event date and time will be announced at a later date. 

Where do we park? 

Free parking is available at various campus parking lots adjacent to the SRC Arena and Events Center.

How many tickets can I get? 

Seating at the SRC Arena and Events Center is ample, thus no tickets are needed for guests to attend. You may invite as many as you wish to join in celebrating your accomplishment. To register for commencement, please fill out the  online form.

What do I wear?  

Wearing of the traditional academic gown and mortarboard is required for participation in the Commencement ceremony. Caps and gowns are available for purchase at the Onondaga bookstore during regular business hours beginning on Monday, April 1, 2019. The cost is approximately $38.98. Please check with the bookstore as soon as possible to allow time to place an order in case they do not have your size in stock. Pick up your gown early and hang it up so that the wrinkles will “fall out.”

Corsages, jewelry, and other adornments should not be worn with academic gowns. Please do not carry a purse, valuables, cellular phone, or any amount of money. Onondaga Community College is not responsible for storage or loss of any of these items during the ceremony. 

The mortarboard should be worn level, not on the back of the head. Women never remove their mortarboards during the ceremony. Men must remove their mortarboard for the national anthem.

Tassels are worn on the right side toward the back of the mortarboard, not in front of your face. During the ceremony, you will be instructed when to move the tassel from the right of the mortarboard to the left. 

I’m graduating with honors, are there special instructions for me?  

Students graduating with honors (3.4 cumulative GPA or higher) will receive a gold cord at graduation check-in. For May graduates, the cumulative GPA from the end of the Fall term will be used, since grades have not been posted yet. 

I’m a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is there anything I need to know?  

Ceremonial Phi Theta Kappa(PTK) tassels and stoles will be available at Commencement and are free. Through OCC Foundation donor support, regalia is free for PTK and Honors graduates and can be obtained at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

I’m a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, is there anything I need to know?

Members wishing to purchase tassels and stoles for Commencement need to visit the organizations web site 

What will happen that day?

Upon arrival at the SRC Arena and Events Center, graduates should follow the signs to the Allyn Hall Gym to check in. At check-in, you will pick up your name card and be asked to check the spelling of your name. If you have a difficult name to pronounce, you will be instructed to write it phonetically. Volunteers will be on hand to assist. Please be sure to keep your name card as you will need it during the ceremony. 

How do we line up?

Graduates line up by academic program. There will be signs directing you to the appropriate area for each academic program. Lineup will begin at 9:00 a.m., but we ask you to get to the SRC Arena and Events Center by 8:30 a.m. in order to check-in and find your academic program area. 

What happens during the ceremony?

After the welcome and remarks made by graduation speakers, you will be directed to stand and approach the stage. When it is your turn, you will hand the reader your name card. Pause a moment at the podium for your name to be read, and then proceed across the stage to receive a diploma cover from President Crabill. Please adhere to appropriate decorum during the ceremony. 

Can my family take pictures?

Photos may be taken from your seat in the SRC Arena and Events Center. Genesee Photo Systems will also be taking a photograph of each student as they receive their diploma. They will mail a color wallet-size proof to you at no cost. For a fee, the company will print additional photographs. You are under no obligation to purchase additional photos.

Ordering flowers for Commencement?

Customers can purchase and reserve their products ahead of time and have them available for pick-up at OCC the day of Commencement. The web address for your school is:

If I need an accommodation such as an assistive listening device, enlarged print program, accessible seating or sign language interpreter, what should I do?

Contact the Disabilities Services Office, at (315) 498-2245.

If my guest needs these accommodations, what should I do?

Assistive listening devices, enlarged print programs, and a sign language interpreter will be available at the ceremony. If your guest requires wheelchair accessibility, please notify an usher who will direct you to the appropriate seating area. A limited amount of general seating is available in this section. If you need additional information, call the Office of Accessibility Resources at (315) 498-2245.

How can I find out more?

Visit the Commencement web site for updates at, or visit an Enrollment Associate at Student Central located in the Gordon Student Center.

Caps and gowns will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Nobles Bookstore in Whitney starting in April. Cap, gown and tassel will be approximately $38.98.

Pre-order your graduation flowers or commemorative t-shirts. Flowers will also be available at the ceremony.

Diploma frames can be purchased at the bookstore, at the graduation ceremony, or directly from Framing Success.

Class rings are available through Balfour. Pick up a catalog at the bookstore or visit Balfour's website.

For more information, visit the Bookstore's website.

Questions? Contact [email protected] 315-498-2350.