Texas Tech University


[Major revision–posted 7/2/18 (replaces 5/17/10 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 30.16: Commencement

DATE: July 2, 2018

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to clearly articulate a standardized commencement policy for the university.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in May of even-numbered years by the Senior Vice Provost with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President.


The Convocations Committee is charged with planning and managing commencements, except for those of the School of Law, which plans and manages its own commencement ceremonies. Responsibilities of the Convocations Committee include, but are not restricted to, reviewing proposed changes to any part of the ceremonies, approving the seating arrangements and décor of the commencement venue, music and musicians, organizing the processions, photographing and videotaping of the ceremony, and appointing and assigning marshals. Recommendations for major changes in the details of commencement are subject to approval by the Office of the Provost and/or the Office of the President.

As a result of the large number of students graduating, it is often necessary to have two or more separate convocation ceremonies. Colleges will be assigned a commencement time designed to distribute the number of students as evenly as possible across the various ceremonies. As noted previously, the School of Law conducts a separate commencement ceremony at a time that does not conflict with other ceremonies.

Graduates will be required to RSVP to their colleges for their respective college ceremony so that they have a seat reserved for the ceremony. The Commencement Coordinator and the college representatives will work together to distribute communications to the graduating students concerning the required RSVP.

If necessary, ticketing will be required for audience members. Tickets will be reserved by graduates when they RSVP to their ceremony. Graduates will be allotted a number of tickets based on the projected number of participating students and seating space available for a given ceremony. Graduates requesting more than the allotted number of tickets may be added to a waitlist if additional tickets become available. The waitlist will be managed by the Commencement Coordinator and Convocation Committee.

Faculty members are encouraged to participate in commencement exercises in full academic regalia. This does not include teaching assistants or other part-time instructional personnel. Regalia for rental may be ordered from the TTU Bookstore. A deadline for orders is announced by the TTU Bookstore several months before each convocation.

Diplomas are awarded at the end of the spring and fall semesters and following the second summer term of each commencement exercise. In some instances, it may be necessary to mail diplomas to students after the commencement exercises are held.

Operating Policies & Procedures