Grad Central

Applying for Graduation 

57th Commencement, Sunday, August 9 at 2 p.m. - OCC Campus - Class of 2020

Students ready for graduation will automatically have a graduation application created for them in the Office of Registration and Records. Students will then be notified via OCC student email that a grad app has been created and they are pending graduation. If you have not received an email and believe you are ready to graduate, please reach out to your advisor or contact the Office of Registration and Records at [email protected].  

Graduation Photos 


Graduation Checklist 

One Year Before Your Plan to Graduate 

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

Two Months Before Graduation

In Mid-March students will receive an email notifying them of their pending graduation status, as well as a notification regarding the commencement ceremony. 

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

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. 

OCC Commencement Diploma Festival 

When is commencement? 

OCC's Commencement Ceremony is held in May every year. However, this year due to COVID-19 the ceremony will be held on Sunday, August 9 at 2 p.m. 

Graduates that have confirmed their attendance will receive a designated time to arrive at OCC for the ceremony. The ceremony will commence at 2 p.m. but graduates will be assigned one of two arrival times once the registration deadline is complete.

  • All cars will enter through Parking Lot 15…main entrance on Route 175 (West Seneca Turnpike)
  • Cars will be greeted by OCC faculty/staff and each graduate will be given an OCC face mask to wear, Commencement program, and a special card to fill out with name and degree program to be handed to the reader once the graduate gets to the main stage tent area.
  • Cars will be directed to move around the ring road where they will be greeted by OCC faculty and staff with items to celebrate, including bottled water, snacks, noisemakers, candy etc.
  • Students must adhere to CDC Guidelines and Ceremony attire:  
    • Wear masks (each grad will be given an OCC mask upon arrival)
    • Cap and Gown
  • Staff must adhere to CDC Guidelines:
    • Wear masks at all times
  • At a specified location, the graduate, in their cap and gown, will be asked to emerge from the vehicle and asked to stand in a designated spot marked on the sidewalk. All other individuals will remain in vehicles for the entire process while on school premises.
  • There will be a queue of 3-5 spots, spaced at least 6 feet apart, for graduates to process to the ceremony point and the graduate’s vehicle will proceed along with the student through the parking lot.
  • As one grad re-enters their vehicle to leave, another will be asked to emerge from their vehicle and students in queue will move up one spot keeping social distancing procedures in place.
  • Grad will arrive at ceremony point, receive their academic dress (honor cords, etc., if applicable), have their name announced, walk across the blue carpet, receive diploma cover, move tassel from the right to the left, and pose for a photograph with President Crabill.
  • Grad will stand briefly as family members in vehicle have a moment to take pictures and celebrate.
  • Grad will then walk down to Whitney where they will get a professional headshot.
  • Graduate will then re-enter their vehicle and exit campus as directed by staff. Congratulations, you are now a proud alum of Onondaga Community College!
  • Actual diplomas will be mailed at a later date. NOTE: Nursing graduates and families will be asked to arrive between 12:30 and 1 for a special pinning ceremony at 1 p.m. on Wilbur Field.

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 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 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?

There is no need to apply for graduation.  The Office of Registration and Records will automatically create a grad app for you once your degree evaluation is pending completion.  You will receive an email notifying that a grad app was created for you.  You may check your degree audit progress in Student Planning.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed to the current address on file 8 -10 weeks after the end of the term. If you have recently had or anticipate having an address change after graduation, please contact the Office of Registration and Records at [email protected] to 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 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



  • Caps and Gowns will be available to purchase in-store at the Bookstore beginning July 1st. The price for cap, gown, and tassel will be $38.98. You can also order your cap and gown directly from our Regalia partner Oak Hall Cap & Gown.
  • 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]  or 315-498-2350.

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