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GRADUATION FAQs

In order to graduate and receive an Associates Degree from the college, you must apply, even if you are not planning to attend the Commencement Ceremony.

Complete the Application for Graduation, and submit it to the Office of Registration and Records or the HUB.  If you want to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, you must purchase a cap and gown (approximate cost, $65.00) through the Herff Jones website.

It is prudent to apply before the beginning of what you expect will be your last semester of enrollment, so as to be certain the courses you are taking are sufficient to meet requirements. The deadline is during that last semester of enrollment, with specific dates provided on our web site.

The deadlines are:

  • Fall Completion: November 1
  • Spring Completion: March 1
  • Summer Completion: July 1

* If the deadline date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline date will be the next business day.

Applications for Graduation are accepted year round, however deadlines for semesters are firm. Students applying after the deadline for a certain semester will automatically be placed in the next semester’s graduation.

Ocean County College now officially graduates students in January, and will now confer degrees three times per year – January, May and August. We will still have the one Commencement Ceremony in May, and all applicants for that academic year are eligible to participate. Students who graduate in January are eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony the following May.

Although you cannot officially graduate until all coursework is complete, you can participate in the Commencement Ceremony. The Commencement Ceremony is open to all students who complete requirements during that academic year, which does include the upcoming summer terms. The academic year runs from September through August.

If you still have incomplete requirements, you did not graduate (though you may have participated in the Commencement Ceremony, at which actual diplomas are not given). Actual graduation requires all courses be successfully completed. Many students participate in the Commencement Ceremony in May, and then complete requirements over the summer. In this case, the graduation date, which will print on the diploma and the transcript, is in August. If you completed or will complete the requirements in the next academic year (after August), and did not contact the college to request the extension, you need to complete and submit another graduation application.

Students can pick up diplomas in the HUB, approximately three to four weeks after the official graduation date (exact dates for particular semesters are available on the main Graduation page and will also be included with your Commencement Ceremony invitation). Please bring identification.

Students who live out of the area can submit a request for their diplomas to be mailed by completing the Permission to Mail Diploma Form (PDF). The college will mail uncollected diplomas, but this will not take place until the following spring. The college is not responsible for diplomas lost in the mail (usually due to a student moving and not providing the college with an updated address). The college cannot reprint diplomas, so please be careful to get your diploma as soon as possible after it is available. If you are out of the area, you can designate a family member to pick it up for you; just provide that person with a note authorizing it.

Other graduation notes:

  • Be certain the college has your correct current address before you apply to graduate. Putting a new address on the graduation application is not sufficient to change your address. You must submit a Change of Information form to update your address, and again, do this before you apply to graduate.
  • The Application for Graduation asks how you wish your name to appear on your diploma.
    • Print clearly, particularly if you are spelling out a middle name that we do not have on record.
    • Include the last name we have in our system. You cannot request a last name on a diploma if we do not have it in our system, unless you first officially change your name with the college (providing proof of the change). For instance, you cannot request your diploma to state what will be your future married last name. We can hyphenate or add a last name, if that is what you want, but the name in our system, at the time of application, must appear on the diploma.
    • Suffix means “Jr,” “II” or “III.”  It does not mean “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” etc.; these are prefixes, not suffixes, and they don’t belong on the diploma. Leave the suffix blank on your application for graduation, unless “Jr” or “II” is part of your legal name.
    • Be cautious of using shortened versions of your first name, even if this is what you are commonly called. This is a formal document, and it is appropriate to have “Joseph,” rather than “Joe”, printed on your diploma.
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