Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 2/3/23 (replaces 5/13/20 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 30.16: Commencement

DATE: February 3, 2023

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 Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness 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 and the School of Veterinary Medicine, which plan and manage their commencement ceremonies. Responsibilities of the Convocations Committee include, but are not limited to, reviewing proposed changes to any part of the ceremonies, approving the seating arrangements and décor of the commencement venue, selecting and approving music and musicians, organizing the processions, photographing and videotaping the ceremony, and appointing and assigning marshals. Recommendations for significant changes in the commencement details are subject to approval by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the President.

Due to the number of students graduating each academic term, 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 and the School of Veterinary Medicine conduct a separate commencement ceremony at a time that does not conflict with other ceremonies.

Graduates will be required to RSVP for their respective college ceremonies so that they have a seat reserved for the ceremony. The Commencement Coordinator and the college representatives will work together to notify 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 tickets based on the projected number of participating students and the seating space available for a given ceremony. Graduates requesting more than the allotted number of tickets will be added to a waitlist, and additional tickets may be provided if they become available. The waitlist will be managed by the Commencement Coordinator and Convocations Committee.

Faculty members, other than teaching assistants and part-time instructional personnel, are encouraged to participate in commencement exercises in full academic regalia. Regalia for rental may be ordered from the TTU Bookstore. The TTU Bookstore announces a deadline for orders several months before each convocation.

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

Operating Policies & Procedures