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.

The College does not automatically award degrees upon completion of scholastic requirements. To be considered for a degree, a student must apply and pay the graduation fee online through Banner.

Students who are close to completion should consult with mentors/program directors regarding when to apply for graduation. Applying to graduate and paying the fee does not guarantee award of the certificate and/or diploma that semester. Students who fail to meet requirements for graduation in the term in which they applied/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.

The Texas A&M College of Dentistry continuous enrollment policy requires students to be enrolled for a minimum of 1 credit hour until and including the semester in which the diploma or certificate is awarded.

When Certificates and Degrees are Awarded

Certificates are awarded throughout the year by the University when the Program Director certifies that the students is eligible, and notifies the Graduate Office of the completion date. Once clearance has been approved by the Graduate Office and the College of Dentistry Registrar,  the certificate will be awarded at the end of the month in progress. Some programs require the completion of the Master of Science degree before awarding the certificate.

The M.S. in Oral Biology is conferred in May, August, and December of each year. Degree award dates for each semester is posted on the academic calendar each year.

Commencement Ceremony

Commencement ceremonies are held 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 at the end of the Summer or Fall semesters. Students who are awarded diplomas in August or December are invited to return to participate in the commencement ceremony in May of the next year. However, 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 have their names listed in the commencement program as "Students Who Received Certificates/Degrees Since the Last Commencement".

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, Master's Degree and/or PhD Degree by four weeks before graduation.

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 will 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 Clinical Certificate/MS Degree

Students in most combined (Certificate/MS) programs are required to have an acceptable draft of the thesis completed prior to the awarding of the Certificate. Some combined Certificate/MS programs require the M.S. degree to be conferred before the certificate will be awarded.

  • The M.S. is awarded only upon completion of all requirements. Master's 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 M.S. degree are eligible to participate in commencement if the M.S. will be completed within the 30 days following the scheduled commencement ceremonies.
  • Student who cannot complete all M.S. 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 M.S. degree and clinical certificate.

Contact COLLEGE OFFICE OF Graduate Studies

Larry L. Bellinger, Ph.D.
Regents Professor
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

Richard Cardenas
Program Manager

Kim Luttman
Senior Administrative Coordinator

Jill Newsom
Administrative Assistant


Phone: 979.845.3631
Fax: 979.862.1693

Other OGAPS Contacts

Thesis and Dissertation Services

Graduate Records Processing Services

Degree Plan & Committee Submission

Other TAMU Contacts

Office of the Registrar

Other Resources

TAMU Graduate and Professional Catalog