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What is the difference between graduation and commencement?


is when a student is awarded a certificate or degree once they have satisfied all certificate or degree requirements as verified by Student Services. After the verification process, the certificate or diploma is printed, mailed and posted to the student’s TBCC record. The mailing and posting process for certificates and diplomas usually takes 6 to 8 weeks after Spring term.


is a ceremony that allows students, family and friends to celebrate in the student’s academic accomplishments. Participation in the ceremony does not mean the student has graduated and students do not receive official certificates or diplomas at the ceremony.

Students at Tillamook Bay Community College will receive degrees and/or certificates upon completion of requirements for the student's recorded program of study. Opting out of an institutional award requires contacting Student Services at (503) 842-8222. Multiple credentials may be institutionally awarded within a student's program of study.

Steps to Graduation

1) Declare your program of study.
  • You should submit the Application for Graduation [pdf] before the term you will complete the degree requirements. To declare a new program of study, access the Update My Degree/Major link from the MyTBCC Admission tab. Call the Student Services desk at (503) 842-8222 if you have any questions.

2) Complete requirements as published in the academic catalog you are following
  • If you are completing alternate requirements, the Course Substitution Form [pdf] must be filled out and signed by you and your department chair, and submitted to Student Records.
  • If you have attended a previous college or university, you must submit official transcripts to TBCC and have them evaluated before graduation.

3) Degree evaluation
  • During your final quarter of your program of study, the Student Records office will review your academic history to confirm all requirements will be met for your degree or certificate. You will receive an email confirming your final courses are in progress. This email will include information about submitting your diploma name and diploma address. If you are in your final term and do not receive an email by Week 8, contact your department or Student Records.
  • If you would like additional degrees or certificates, outside of your declared program of study, you should submit the Application for Graduation [pdf] before the term you will complete those requirements.
  • Students completing their final requirements in Summer term, and who wish to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, should submit the Application for Graduation [pdf] by the published deadline.

4) Degree awarded
  • When all requirements have been met, your degree or certificate will be awarded. Awarding takes place in the weeks following the term's end and, once posted, transcripts reflecting the award date may be ordered via MyTBCC. Your diploma or certificate will be mailed to your address of record at TBCC 6 to 8 weeks after the term has ended.

Academic Catalog Requirements

You may meet the requirements in the TBCC Catalog that was current when you earned your first credit(s) at TBCC, or you may choose to meet the requirements of a later catalog, as long as one or more credits is earned each academic year since that catalog was published. If GRAD Plan does not reflect the academic catalog requirements you are following, please contact Student Records.

An edition of the catalog is valid for six academic years. For example, a catalog that takes effect fall term 2010 is valid through summer term 2016. However, some programs may impose shorter time limits on accepting credits for degree or certificate requirements. All degrees require basic competencies of math and English.

Related Forms

For further information, contact Student Services Office at (503) 842-8222 ext. 1100


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