Information for Graduating PhD Candidates

For detailed answers to specific questions, contact the department’s academic program coordinator, Elissa Zurbuchen.

Graduate Board Dissertation Process

The Graduate Board considers candidates for PhD degrees three times each year: August, November, and May. The degree becomes effective when the Graduate Board approves it. While there is only one commencement ceremony, held annually in May, degrees completed during the preceding academic year are conferred periodically throughout the academic year and diplomas are issued at the end of the summer, fall, and spring semesters.

Notify the department’s academic program coordinator as soon as you have a tentative timeline identified for the completion of your degree requirements.

  • All outside examiner requests and documentation should accompany the examination form and must be received by the Graduate Board for review a minimum of four weeks before the scheduled Graduate Board Oral Examination.
  • All Graduate Board Oral Examination forms not requiring outside examiner approval must be completed, signed by the chair, and submitted to the Graduate Board three weeks before the proposed examination date.

The GBO exam, reader’s letters, dissertation, and department certification must be completed and submitted by the posted deadlines for the graduate student’s name to be put on the Graduate Board’s degree completion list.

Required Graduation Forms

All graduate students expecting to graduate must submit a series of forms (listed below). All documents listed below are to be submitted to the indicated office by the deadlines specified in the Graduate Board deadlines calendar.

  • Application to Graduate (PhD AND master’s candidates)
    Deadlines for submission are posted by the Registrar’s Office. PhD candidates should complete this form online through SIS self-service. The online form is not available to non-final master’s candidates. Non-final master’s candidates must apply in-person in the Registrar’s Office. Candidates who do not complete this form WILL NOT be included on the degree candidates listing presented to the president of the university and therefore will be delayed in having their degree conferred.
  • Graduate Board Oral Exam (PhD only)
    All PhD candidates must defend their dissertation. Our department considers the defense of your dissertation as your Final GBO Oral Exam.
  • Readers Letter (all PhD candidates)
    This document is provided to the Graduate Board by the student’s adviser and must be sent to the Graduate Board by the deadline given on the Graduate Board Calendar.
  • Certificate of Advanced Degree (all PhD candidates)
    This form is only available to department administrators to fill out and should be submitted to the Graduate Board by the deadline given on the Graduate Board Calendar.
  • Doctoral Dissertation (all PhD candidates)
    Dissertations are to be submitted via the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation process
  • Dissertation Submission Email to the Graduate Board
    Graduate students are required to forward the ETD confirmation email to and with the title of their dissertation typed in the body of the email with correct spelling and punctuation. Please do not use all capital letters in the title.