Awarding of Certificates and Degrees

Degrees or certificates are awarded on the recommendation of the faculty and Dean of the College. The student must be certified as having completed all requirements of the program by the Program Director, the Graduate Education Council, the Office of the Registrar, and the Administrative Council. MS and PhD students must be cleared by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The College does not automatically award degrees upon completion of scholastic requirements. To be considered for a degree, a student must apply to graduate and pay the graduation fee. Students who are close to completion should consult with their mentor and program director regarding when to apply for graduation. Applying to graduate and paying the fee does not guarantee that the certificate and/or degree will be awarded that semester.

Students who fail to meet graduation requirements in the term in which they applied and paid to graduate must continue to register for classes for subsequent terms in accordance with the College of Dentistry continuous enrollment policy, must re-apply to graduate in a subsequent term, and must pay all fees related to the application to graduate.

When Certificates and Degrees are Awarded

Certificates are awarded throughout the year by the University when a Program Director certifies that a student is eligible and notifies the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) of the completion date. Once clearance has been verified by ORGS and the Office of the Registrar,  the Certificate will be awarded, bearing the date indicated by program requirements. Some programs require the completion of the Master of Science degree before awarding the Certificate.

The MS or PhD in Oral Biology is conferred in May, August, or December of each year.

Commencement Ceremony

Commencement ceremonies are held in Dallas, for the College of Dentistry, in May of each academic year. Even if you do not plan to participate in the commencement ceremony, you still must apply online for graduation and pay the corresponding fee.

There is no ceremony held in Dallas for August or December graduates. Students who are awarded diplomas in August or December are invited to return to participate in graduation ceremonies in College Station or wait for the next College of Dentistry commencement ceremony, in May of the next year. It should be understood that it is the student's responsibility to contact the Office of Graduate Studies no later than February 1 of the next year of their intent to participate in commencement.  Those who decline to return for that ceremony will still have their names listed in the commencement program.

Eligibility to Participate in Commencement Ceremonies

In order to participate in graduation ceremonies and be listed in the commencement program, a student must have completed all requirements for the Specialty Certificate, MS and/or PhD Degree by published deadlines.

Special Circumstances for Clinical Certificates

Some Certificate programs are not scheduled for completion until after spring commencement exercises. With the approval of the Program Director, those students may participate in graduation and have their names listed in the program with the Certificate designation. They may be required to sign a letter acknowledging the understanding that their name in the program is not an official recognition of their specialty certification and that only after successful completion of their requirements will the Certificate be awarded.

Special Circumstances for Combined Certificate/MS

Students in most combined (Certificate/MS) programs are required to have an acceptable draft of their thesis completed prior to the awarding of the Certificate. Some combined Certificate/MS programs require the MS degree to be conferred before the Certificate will be awarded. The MS is awarded only upon completion of all requirements. MS candidates not meeting the deadline will receive the diploma at the next conferment date and are not eligible to participate in commencement prior to the conferment date. Students in combined programs who have completed the clinical requirements for the Certificate, but not the MS degree, are eligible to participate in commencement if the MS will be completed within the 30 days following the scheduled commencement ceremonies. Student who cannot complete all MS requirements within the 30 days following the scheduled ceremony will not be eligible to participate in commencement. They will instead be invited to participate in the next scheduled ceremony for which they have completed all requirements for the MS degree and Specialty Certificate.

Research and Graduate Studies

Larry L. Bellinger, PhD
Regents Professor and Associate Dean

Kim Luttman
Graduate Studies Program Manager

Jill Newsom
Administrative Associate

OGAPS Main Contact

Phone: 979.845.3631

Other OGAPS Contacts

Thesis and Dissertation Services

Graduate Records Processing Services

Degree Plan & Committee Submission

Other TAMU Contacts

Office of the Registrar

Other Resources

Graduate and Professional Catalog