GRADUATING

Graduating is THE most important part of our school experience. Every graduate student who enters the university desires to graduate successfully! Since the process is complicated, we are providing detailed information here that hopefully helps prevent confusion.

If any of the below information is incorrect or incomplete, please let us know! Our goal is to be as accurate as possible about this incredibly important process. If the university told you something different from the below information, please ask us about it. If our information is indeed incorrect, follow the official university policy instead!

Takeaway: If you want to participate in May Commencement, FINISH the full draft of your dissertation by LATE MARCH (which takes about 12 months to draft)!

UNIVERSITY RESOURCES

CRITICAL DATES

There are 3 official degree conferral dates per year: January 31, May 31, and August 31 (see the Registrar's Graduation webpage for details). We recommend finishing the first draft of your dissertation/thesis 7 weeks before your desired graduation date, as follows:

Graduating

The term "graduating" is defined herein as the day you obtain the last committee member signature on the Signatory Page of your thesis/dissertation. Ideally, your oral defense is 2 weeks before your "graduation" date, which allows time for final revisions, review, and approval by your committee members. Also, after your "graduation" date of obtaining all committee member signatures (and if the timing is right, participating in the mid-May Commencement ceremony!), you have 2 additional weeks to finish all remaining administrative steps to get your degree (aka your degree conferral date).

TIMELINE OVERVIEW

Below is an overview of the graduation steps. See the complete details of each step in the subsequent sections.


1. BEFORE FINAL SEMESTER

MOST IMPORTANT: Before your last semester, meet with your advisor to discuss your transcript, courses taken, and all other degree requirements to be SURE that you are eligible to graduate! This is especially critical for programs that don't have clear curricula in the Academic Catalog.

VERY IMPORTANT: Also before your last semester, speak with each committee member, your program director (or department chairperson), the Graduate Studies Office, AND the Registrar to be sure that you meet their requirements for graduating, since they will decide if you can graduate or not! This is especially critical for programs that don't have clear curricula in the Academic Catalog.

2. BEFORE WRITING

Before you begin writing your thesis/dissertation, email the Graduate Studies Office and ask them for their Formatting presentation (which isn't on their website). The 2019 version is also here. After you obtain it, review it thoroughly.

Also before you begin writing, review the University Resources listed in the above section, especially the "Thesis Guidelines" and the "Instructions for Submitting Electronic Thesis" documents.

Also before you begin writing, ask your Graduate Program Director what line spacing the program requires (single-, 1.5-, or double-spaced). Also ask them for the complete, correct title of your graduate program. Also ask if your program requires a printed copy of the final thesis/dissertation, an electronic version, or none.

Also before you begin writing, ask your advisor if they have a preferred reference citation style, reference software, and any other preferences for theses/dissertations.

To begin writing, use the Thesis or Dissertation Word or LaTeX Template from the Grad Studies Office to draft your thesis/dissertation 1 chapter at a time. After you finish writing the first chapter, send it to your advisor for review. While you are waiting for comments back on that chapter, begin writing the next chapter, and so on.

3. BEGINNING OF FINAL SEMESTER

At the beginning of your final semester, log into COIN --> My Advising Center --> Academic Summary and verify that your Expected Graduation semester is correct. If not, contact the Registrar asap!

Also at the beginning of your final semester, log into COIN --> Academics --> My Academics, and in the Graduation drop-down menu click Apply For Graduation. Then click the Apply for Graduation button, and click the UMDAR Graduation Survey link to take the survey. Note that it is long, and will take about 20? minutes to complete.

Also at the beginning of your final semester, after you have submitted the UMDAR Graduation Survey, log into COIN --> Academics --> My Academics, and in the Graduation drop-down menu click Apply For Graduation. Then click the Apply For Graduation button, verify that the information is correct, and click Submit Application.

Also at the beginning of your final semester, after you have submitted your Application to Graduate, log into COIN --> Academics --> My Academics, and in the Graduation drop-down menu click View My Graduation Status. Edit your Diploma/Certificate name and address as desired.

Also at the beginning of your final semester, after the $195 Graduation Fee has been charged to your student account, pay that fee.

4. BEFORE DEFENDING

Start the below process 7 weeks before the date that you want to "graduate" (i.e., 9 weeks before your desired degree conferral date). For the mid-May graduation ceremony (May 31 degree conferral date) begin the following process in late March, or for an August 31 degree conferral date begin the below in late June, or for a January 31 degree conferral date begin the below in mid-November (includes an extra 2 weeks for holidays).


7 WEEKS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO GRADUATE:


6 WEEKS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO GRADUATE:


5 WEEKS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO GRADUATE:


4 WEEKS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO GRADUATE:


3 WEEKS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO GRADUATE:


2 WEEKS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO GRADUATE:

5. ASAP AFTER DEFENDING

Start the below process 2 weeks before the date that you want to "graduate" (i.e., 4 weeks before your desired degree conferral date). For the mid-May graduation ceremony (May 31 degree conferral date) you should begin the following process in late April, or for an August 31 degree conferral begin the below in late July, or for a January 31 degree conferral begin the below in mid-December (includes some extra time for holidays).



***CONGRATULATIONS, you've just "GRADUATED!"***


5. If all committee member signatures are obtained as per the previous step by Commencement Day (usually in mid-May), you can now walk in the Spring graduation ceremony!

6. ASAP AFTER GRADUATING

Start the below process 2 weeks before your desired degree conferral date. For the mid-May graduation ceremony (May 31 degree conferral) you should begin the following process in mid-May, or for an August 31 degree conferral begin the below in mid-August, or for a January 31 degree conferral begin the below in mid-January (includes some extra time for holidays).



***CONGRATULATIONS, you just got your degree!!!"***

7. END OF FINAL SEMESTER

SUBMIT FEEDBACK

If anything is inaccurate or questionable, please let us know ASAP by submitting the Feedback Form below! We also welcome any updates or additional info you have relating to graduating; please help us improve this page by submitting your suggestions.

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