Ceremony Information

Graduation deadlines:

  • Apply for Graduation in the counseling office by Friday, July 31 in order to have your name listed in the Commencement Program.
  • Students may continue to apply for graduation and participate in the ceremony until Monday, August 17.
  • If you have an address change, please update your address at any campus Student Services Office as soon as possible so your diploma is mailed to the correct address.


  • Tickets will be required of all guests attending Commencement. Graduating students do not need a ticket. Please refer to Ceremony Tickets below for more information.
  • Students earning an Applied Science degree (AAS or AASX) and/or a certificate (CT) will attend the morning ceremony this year. This degree or certificate will take precedence should a student be earning multiple degrees.
  • Students earning an Arts degree (AA), a Business Administration degree (ABA), a Science degree (ASC), a Liberal Arts degree (ALA), or a General Studies degree (AGS) will attend the afternoon ceremony this year.


  • Students may purchase their cap/gown/tassel and announcements at the campus bookstore website now through August 20. Honor cords, veteran cords, and separate pieces (cap, gown, or tassel) are also available at a campus bookstore for your convenience.
  • Caps and gowns will NOT be available on the day of Commencement. Students may not march ungowned. Please dress appropriately for the occasion. (Shorts and flip flops are discouraged.)
  • Allowable gown adornments include Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) stoles, honor cords, National Society for Leadership Success regalia, and/or veteran cords.


  • Graduating students do not need a ticket.
  • The student must be the one to pick up the tickets with picture ID. Tickets will not be mailed.
  • As the O'rena has limited seating, OCC will be incorporating a ticket issuance process to ensure up to four (4) guests per graduate are able to attend. If there are questions, please contact a campus representative listed below.
  • Four (4) tickets will be distributed to students upon request in the campus bookstores until Friday, August 14.
  • Distribution of tickets will be subject to bookstore hours. NOTE: On Fridays, the bookstores close at 1 p.m.
  • Tickets will be color-coded for each ceremony (Morning - 10 a.m. - white; Afternoon - 2 p.m. - green). Infants seated on a lap do not need a ticket.
  • Tickets cannot be duplicated.
  • Replacement tickets will NOT be available.
  • Additional Tickets May Be Available: On Monday, August 17, and Tuesday, August 18, any remaining tickets will be made available at the campus bookstores. Available tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. No more than ten (10) additional tickets will be distributed per graduate. NO tickets will be available at the bookstores after August 18.


  • Graduating students do not need a ticket.
  • The morning ceremony begins at 10 a.m. so graduates attending that ceremony MUST arrive no later than 9:15 a.m. for check-in at the Recreation Center.
  • The afternoon ceremony begins at 2 p.m. so graduates attending that ceremony MUST arrive no later than 1:15 p.m. for check-in at the Recreation Center.
  • Graduates should enter the Oakland University campus from either Squirrel Road or Walton. Signs to the O'rena will be prevalent. Maps are available through the Location & Maps link.
  • Graduates are to enter the Recreation Center adjacent to the O'rena and follow directions to the lower gymnasium area for check-in.
  • All graduating students are encouraged to attend their Commencement Ceremony (the appropriate morning or afternoon ceremony, but not both). The ceremonies will each last approximately 90 minutes.
  • Please plan to remain for your entire ceremony honoring your fellow graduating students.
  • Graduates are not allowed to use cellular phones during the ceremony.
  • Late arrivals are not guaranteed participation in the ceremony. Remember to account for construction and Commencement traffic.
  • At Commencement, you will receive a diploma cover. Your official diploma will be mailed to the address on file within 90 days after the semester of degree or certificate completion.
  • New Information: Graduates will be processing out following awarding of diplomas. Guests of graduates will meet outside the Recreation Center after the ceremony.
  • Please Note: Guests must remain in the stands during the ceremony. Photos must be taken from the stands to avoid disruption of the ceremony and other graduates.
  • Guests will be asked to leave promptly following each ceremony to meet their graduate outside the O'rena and Recreation Center to prepare for the next ceremony.
  • Graduates will not have access to the check-in area after the ceremony as set up for the second ceremony will be ongoing.
  • Graduates should not bring purses, flowers, etc., to the check-in area. Items may not be left in the check-in area, and you will not be allowed to carry any items out with you to the ceremony.
  • Children will not be allowed to sit with or walk across the stage with graduates. Please make arrangements for their care during the ceremony.


  • Guests will require a ticket to attend the ceremony noted on the ticket.
  • To help guests determine seating, graduates with a last name beginning with the letters "A" through "K" will be seated on the left side of the main floor when facing the stage, and graduates with a last name beginning with the letters "L" through "Z" will be seated on the right side of the main floor when facing the stage.
  • Guests should enter the north entrance (the main entry) to the O'rena.
  • Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. ceremony and at 1:30 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Due to ceremony timing, graduates will be processing out through the Recreation Center, and guests will be asked to leave promptly following each ceremony to meet graduates outside.


  • The O'rena and Recreation Center are both handicapped accessible for graduates and guests.
  • For graduates needing disability assistance, staff volunteers will be available to assist you at check-in.
  • For guests with a disability, there are nearly 100 seating accommodations in the arena where family members may sit nearby. Family members should provide assistance getting to or from the seating area.
  • Sign language interpreters will be present at both ceremonies.
  • For questions/concerns, please view the Contact Information listed below.


  • Helium balloons
  • Noisemakers including air horns and whistles
  • Glitter or confetti of any kind
  • Outside food and drink
  • Alcohol/tobacco/vaping products - Oakland University is a smoke-free campus.
  • Camera or video tripods
  • Weapons of any kind

Contact Information

Auburn Hills

Anne Palmer
Phone 248.232.4136

Ordering (cap, gowns, etc.)
Auburn Hills Bookstore
Phone 248.232.4320

Highland Lakes

Sue Henke
Phone 248.942.3335

Ordering (cap, gowns, etc.)
Highland Lakes Bookstore
Phone 248.942.3020

Orchard Ridge

Belynda Gambrell
Phone 248.522.3510

Ordering (cap, gowns, etc.)
Orchard Ridge Bookstore
Phone 248.522.3420

Royal Oak/Southfield

Kim Combs
Phone 248.246.2611

Ordering (caps, gowns, etc.)
Royal Oak Bookstore
Phone 248.246.2420

Disability Assistance

Michelle McLane
Phone 248.522.3481

For the hearing impaired,
please use Michigan Relay
Phone 800.649.3777

Steve Linden
Ken Faulk