1. Schedule your dissertation defense date, you’ll want to email the Academic Programs Coordinator, early on in the semester so we can book the conference room and publicize your defense. All defenses are public and anyone is welcome to attend. YOU MUST BE ENROLLED THE SEMESTER YOU DEFEND, NO EXCEPTIONS.
  2. As soon as you know when you are planning on defending APPLY TO GRADUATE. You do this through the Registrar’s Office website, this is what actually gets your diploma in your hands, even if you are not 100% sure that you will graduate apply anyway, it does not hurt you at all.
  3. Review your GradPlan progress, make sure that you have taken all the classes that you said you would take and passed the languages that you said you would pass. You should have everything filled out except for the dissertation defense date (the Graduate Secretary input that) and your official title for your dissertation. You are not able to fill in the dissertation title until the defense date has been put in, this is the title that will appear on all the records SO MAKE SURE IT’S CORRECT.
  4. Once you defend and pass your need to submit your dissertation to the Grad School. Look at the Instructions for Electronic Submission (pay close attention to #2) and also look at the deadlines for submission. Those dates are for FINAL approval, if you submit your paper that day it will not be approved and you will NOT graduate that semester, you’ll want to submit your paper AT LEAST 2 week prior to your given semester’s deadline.
  5. Resolve any outstanding bills that might hold up your transcript or diploma.
  6. Commencement- this is not the same as graduating, for more information about commencement go to Keep in mind that there isn’t a summer commencement, students graduating in the summer usually walk in the previous spring.

Any questions about graduation or dissertation defenses can be directed to the Academic Programs Coordinator.