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Graduate's Checklist

The big day is almost here! Use this checklist to prepare for graduation and to participate in the Commencement ceremonies.

Step 1: Apply for graduation
  • In order to graduate and receive your diploma, you must have applied for graduation. Please contact the Graduation area of the Registrar’s Office at 315-312-2235 or [email protected] to confirm your graduation status or if you would like to verify information regarding your Graduation Application.
Step 2: Make sure you’ve met all graduation requirements
  • Review your degree status on myOswego. Please note that holds on your account can prevent you from graduating and/or receiving your diploma. To check for holds, log in to myOswego, and view your Student Profile on the Student Records tab.
  • Check with your advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate.
  • If for any reason you need to change your graduation term, would like to update your name and permanent address, or you do not wish to have your name included in the Commencement Program, please contact the Registrar at 315-312-2235 or [email protected].
Step 3: Order your cap and gown
  • Academic regalia will be available for purchase in the Marano Campus Center from April 29 through Commencement.
  • Order from the College Store online. Please be sure to include height as well as degree to be awarded. Payment plus $8.95 for shipping and handling is required at time of order.

Commencement Day Procedures

Commencement is a time for family, friends, faculty and staff to take pride in graduates’ accomplishments and congratulate them on a job well done. The ceremony symbolizes the culmination of many years of hard work. SUNY Oswego personnel strive to make commencement as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

  • Wearing the traditional academic gown and mortarboard is required for participation in Commencement.
  • The appropriate attire to wear with a cap and gown is a dress, skirt or slacks and dark shoes. Adornments such as corsages, jewelry and purses detract from the formality of the ceremony.
  • Campus policy prohibits air horns and alcohol at Commencement.
  • To provide a safer environment for the public and to expedite entry into the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall, University Police reserves the right to inspect bags and purses as necessary. Please allow additional time for entry and please plan accordingly.
  • Please remember to bring your name card and all parts of your cap and gown to Commencement.


Before the Ceremony

The traditional academic procession will form 45 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. Undergraduate candidates for gradation should report to the assembly area of the Marano Campus Center Food Activity Court. Graduates will line up behind the appropriate sign for their school or college. 

Masters and Advanced Certificate candidates for graduation should report to the Chu Atrium in Marano Campus Center with their gowns, hoods, and cords 45 minutes before the ceremony. The hospitality lounge will be a gathering place for graduate students, families, and supportive faculty and staff to meet before the commencement ceremony, and will serve as the assembly area and official starting point for the ceremony procession for graduate students. The lounge is open one hour prior to your commencement ceremony.

  • Students from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, report between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m.
  • Students from School of Business, report between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m.
  • Students from School of Communication, Media and the Arts and School of Education, report between 3:00 and 3:15 p.m.

We ask all guests of the graduates to be in the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall 15 minutes before the ceremony start time. The ceremony will start promptly at 10:00 a.m.

15 minutes prior to the ceremony start time, all graduates and Commencement participants are to be in place and prepared to move into the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall. When you enter the arena, please do so with a sense of dignity as the ceremony has started. Follow your marshal to your row, enter, and be seated.

During the Ceremony

Conferring of Degrees. When the candidates for your degree are instructed to rise, stand as a group and remain standing until your degree has been conferred; then take your seat as directed.

Receiving Recognition. When you are instructed to come to the platform, move out of your row, proceed to the ramp behind the platform, give your name card to the reader, and proceed across the platform to receive congratulations from your Dean and the Officer in Charge. Upon leaving the platform, re-enter the row that you vacated.

Note: If your name is difficult to pronounce, help the reader by writing your name on the card phonetically.

Master’s Degree candidates will have their hood bestowed upon them during the ceremony. You will receive instructions on the procedure to be followed when you report to the assembly area. Graduate Students should report with their gowns, hoods/cords to the hospitality lounge located in the Chu Atrium.

Students receiving Post-Baccalaureate certificates will not have a hood but will process with the Master's Degree candidates. Certificate of Advanced Study graduates (Educational Leadership, School Psychology or Counseling only) should already be wearing your hoods as you walk across the stage.

Mortar boards and programs are extremely dangerous when thrown. Please help us make this a safe ceremony for everyone.

The Recessional. Graduates are to remain seated while the platform party and faculty leave the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall. Graduates will then rise and follow the faculty.

After the Ceremony

A reception for graduates and guests will be held immediately following the ceremonies. All guests and graduates are invited to proceed to the reception tent on the northeast side of the Marano Campus Center, in Lot 31.

Accommodations for Guests with Disabilities

If you or a member of your family attending commencement require special seating an area is reserved on both the concourse and upper levels. To reserve this seating please contact Accessibility Resources at 315-312-3358 prior to Friday, May 3. Modified restrooms are located on both levels. A sign language interpreter and reserved seating for individuals with hearing disabilities are also available. There is an accessible drop-off on the west side of Marano Campus Center and handicapped parking is located at lot 31 (west side of Penfield Library) as well as the lower level of lot 17 and lot 10. Once you have entered the building please contact an usher about accessible seating. Anyone requesting accessible seating or parking should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.


For graduating students, there will be an information table inside the west entrance (Penfield Library side) to the Marano Campus Center.

For families and guests, information will be available at the welcome center on the second floor.


SUNY Oswego requests that guests remain seated during the ceremony. Professional photographers will be taking pictures of the graduates as they cross the stage. Graduates will be emailed a link from the photography company to view their photos. Graduation pictures can be ordered online at


The cost of the diploma is paid by SUNY Oswego. Diplomas will be mailed to the address indicated upon degree application. Any change of address after degree application should be reported to the Registrar’s Office. All requirements, as stipulated by the SUNY Oswego catalog, must be completed before diplomas are mailed.

All Commencement ceremonies and activities will be held in accordance with New York State health, safety and capacity guidelines in place at the time of the event.