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College of Graduate Studies

Graduation & Commencement

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Graduation Enrollment Requirements

A graduate student shall be enrolled during the term in which the degree is awarded unless all requirements have been completed by the last day to register.

Application for Graduation

In addition to satisfying all degree requirements, a candidate for a degree must submit an Application for Graduation (found on our online forms page) during these specific dates for each semester: Summer - January 1st, Fall - June 1st, and Spring - September 1st.  A graduate student shall be enrolled for a course approved by the graduate advisor during the term in which the degree is awarded unless all requirements have been completed by the last day to register for the term.

If a student applies for graduation but fails to satisfy graduation requirements, the student must reapply; this must be done by the date appearing in the online calendar. 

All forms and memorandums required for graduation must be filed in the Graduate School Office no later than one (1) week prior to commencement, with the exception of the defense form and comprehensive exam form which are due four (4) weeks prior to commencement. Transcripts from other universities used as transfer credit on a program of study must be received no later than two (2) weeks after the commencement date.

The advisory committee approved copy of the thesis/dissertation must be submitted through the eTD Administrator (ProQuest) for format review no later than three (3) weeks prior to commencement. It is advisable that the student make an appointment with a Graduate School staff member for format review consultation prior to the deadline. The final copy for publication through ProQuest must be submitted via the eTD Administrator one (1) week prior to commencement.

You may apply NOW to graduate by completing the online form. 

Congratulations from President Oldham!

As you prepare for graduation from Tennessee Tech University, let me be among the first to congratulate you on your outstanding accomplishment. Whether you are a first generation college graduate or this is your second or third degree, there’s no doubt you have worked hard to reach this milestone. Along with the faculty and your friends at Tennessee Tech, I applaud your commitment to finish your degree. In the years to come, you will appreciate the lasting value of a diploma from Tennessee Tech University, as it is a critical step toward reaching other goals in your life. Commit to being a lifelong learner, and the knowledge you gained at Tennessee Tech will be just the start of applying wisdom to your daily decisions about career, family and other pursuits. This is your day. Enjoy it, and take pride in being an awesome alum of Tennessee Tech University.

All the best,
Phillip B. Oldham

Commencement Information


Men: slacks (no jeans or shorts), shirt, and comfortable shoes (no sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes).

Women: dresses or skirts, slacks or capri pants (no jeans or shorts) and comfortable shoes (no tennis shoes or flip-flops).

Those candidates receiving commission from the ROTC department may wear their uniform under the cap and gown but are required to wear the mortar board.

There is no place to leave personal belongings, so please leave those with family members.

Keep in mind you will be standing for quite a while, so choose clothing and shoes for comfort.

Tasteful minor decorating of the mortar board is acceptable; however, excessive decorations will not be permitted.

Graduates' attire will be monitored at several intervals. Anyone wearing attire deemed to be inappropriate for a commencement ceremony will be asked to adjust his/her attire appropriately. If not corrected in a timely manner, graduate will not be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony.



Anyone under the influence of alcohol is subject to being removed from the line of march.

Use of cell phones during the ceremony is prohibited.

Use of air horns and other such devices is prohibited and will be confiscated.

Graduation and Rehearsal

Candidates need to enter at the Ticket Office entrance – there will be signs directing you to the appropriate area of the concourse for lineup.

Graduate candidates are alphabetical with their college or school.

Graduate candidates are alphabetical by degree level.

Personnel from the Graduation Office, the Graduate School, or other staff will be checking the line of march.

You must check in with the person for your line otherwise your name will be removed from the list and your name will not be called out.

Tickets for guests are not required – seating is first come first served.

Special Facilities

Any candidate requiring special facilities to participate in the ceremony due to a physical disability should contact the Accessible Education Center at 931-372-6119 or Academic Services - Graduation Office at 931-372-3303.  Questions concerning disabled parking areas may be directed to the University Police at 931-372-3234.


Each commencement ceremony will last approximately 2 - 2 ½ hours.

Candidates who plan to participate are required to stay for the entire time.

No participants are allowed to leave until the ceremony is over.

Participation in the ceremony does not confirm clearance for receipt of a diploma – do not cite participation as evidence of graduation.

All candidates participating will receive a diploma cover as they cross the stage and will receive their diploma in the mail after confirmation of graduation.

Cap & Gown

The cost of your cap and gown is included in the General Access fee paid each semester and will be provided to you at no additional charge.

Senior Salute is held two days in the spring semester and two days in the fall semester in the Tech Pride Room of the Roaden University Center. Please check the University Calendar for dates.

If you cannot attend either of those dates, caps and gowns will be available in the University Bookstore on the ground floor of the Roaden University Center. You can pick up your cap and gown at the University Bookstore anytime during business hours. 931-372-3131.

Specialty regalia or tam must be ordered roughly four weeks in advance. Contact the bookstore for details 931-372-3131.

Staff from the bookstore will be at the commencement ceremony with limited supply of caps, gowns, tassels.


GradImages will be the official photographer at your graduation ceremony. Following commencement, your photos will soon be available to view and order by visiting the website at GradImages.

Simply enter your Last Name, your School Name: School and select the year from the dropdown menu. Once you see your name, click on the link to view your photos. If you need additional help to locate your photos, call the customer service department at 800-261-2576 or email


Packages including announcements, envelopes, thank you notes, and address labels can be ordered by visiting Balfour's Tennessee Tech announcements website, or by visiting and clicking "Graduation". Individual items can also be purchased or added to a package by visiting the 'Individual products' page.

Class Ring

The official Tennessee Tech centennial ring is available in a variety of metals and finishes.

  • 10k and 14k yellow gold
  • 10k and 14k white gold
  • Balfour Premium Silver
  • Antiqued or not

Personalize your ring with your degree letters and graduation year, and place a special engraved message inside the band. Show your Tech Pride and celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event at the same time! Class rings can be ordered by visiting Balfour's website and selecting either 'His Rings' or 'Her Rings'.


Outstanding University Debt

Chapter 654 of the Public Acts of 1976 prohibits state institutions of higher education from issuing diplomas, transcripts, or grade reports of any nature to any student unless the student has satisfied all debts or obligations owed to the institution. Parking tickets or other outstanding debts must be cleared with the Business Office (DH100) by 3:30 on the Friday before commencement.


Diplomas are not issued at commencement. The College of Graduate Studies will prepare diplomas after all grades are submitted. Diplomas will be mailed by the end of the month. Notify the College of Graduate Studies of any mailing address changes before your diploma is mailed. The University cannot accept responsibility for incorrect addresses, faulty postal service, or diplomas damaged en route. Any student who fails to pay all indebtedness to the University may not be issued a diploma or a transcript.

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