How to Graduate

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences awards master's and doctoral degrees at the end of each month, with the exception of June. The university conducts commencement exercises annually in mid-May.

Read the 2016 Apply to Graduate memo sent to all graduate students.

Application for Graduate Degree

Students must file an Application to Graduate (instructions below) in order to receive their degree. Applications must be submitted via MyAccess by end of the first business day of the month in which they intend to graduate. Students will then be given until the last day of the month to meet all degree requirements.

Students who do not meet all requirements by the monthly deadline will have their Applications carried over to the following month during the current academic term (Fall, Spring, or Summer). If students do not fulfill the degree requirements by the end of the academic term, however, they MUST submit another Application for Graduate Degree for the following academic term.

Students applying for graduation in May must submit their theses or dissertations with faculty and program approval and be accepted by the Graduate School no later than the first business day of May.  All other degree requirements must be met by the Monday preceding May Commencement.

How to Apply to Graduate

  1. Login to MyAccess.
  2. From the main menu, select the Student tab
  3. Click on Student Records
  4. Click Apply to Graduate
  5. Select the appropriate program or degree
    • Dual/joint degree students will have the option of which degree they will be applying for. If a student is applying for two degrees at once (i.e. MPP/MA-ECON) the student will have to apply for each degree separately. A student may not apply for both degrees at one time.
  6. Select the month in which you want to graduate
  7. Click Continue
  8. Identify whether or not you will be attending the commencement ceremony
  9. Click Continue
  10. Select the name you want to appear on your diploma
    • If the name already listed is NOT the name you want to appear on your diploma, select "new" and enter your name as you want it to appear on your diploma. Note that some divergences from the system name will require a name change with the Registrar's Office.
    • It is traditional to show the full name on a diploma.
    • If your name has special characters (accent marks, etc.), enter them in MyAccess. After you have completed the application to graduate, please e-mail us so that we can track the exception.
  11. Click Continue
  12. Select the address to which you want your diploma mailed. If the address you want is not currently listed, select "New" and enter the appropriate information.
  13. Verify the information you have entered. If everything is correct, click "Submit Request" to complete the process.


*    If you are planning to graduate in May, you may apply online at the link shown above. Please select the May 31, 2016 option. Your degree will still be conferred on May 20, 2016.

 *   If you are planning on applying for a master's in passing this Spring, please ensure your Student Petition for Change to Graduate Program is submitted to our office by the February 1, 2016 deadline.

How to Check your Graduation Application (prior to graduation only)

  1. Follow the instructions above to Student Records.
  2. Click on the View Application to Graduate link.
  3. On the next screen headed Graduation Application
    •  Under that heading, you will see the Request Date and confirmation that you have an "Active Application" that will be processed for the month noted in the Graduation Date in the next section.
    • Under Diploma Name, you will see the name as it will appear on your diploma
    • The heading Diploma Mailing Address, shows the address where the diploma will be sent if you are unable to come pick it up
  4. If you need to change any of this information, please email

Graduation Deadlines

Students must apply to graduate no later than the first business day of the month in which they intend to graduate.

Monthly Graduation Deadlines
Intended Graduation Month Application Due Date
July 2015 July 1, 2015
August 2015 August 1, 2015
September 2015 September 1, 2015
October 2015 October 1, 2015
November 2015 November 2, 2015
December 2015 December 1, 2015
January 2016 January 4, 2016
February 2016 February 1, 2016
March 2016 March 1, 2016*
April 2016 April 1, 2016*
May 2016 May 2, 2016*
June 2016 * (none)*
July 2016 July 1, 2016
August 2016 August 1, 2016

*Special deadlines for spring graduates apply. Be sure to read the "Spring Semester Graduation Deadlines" note below.   The Graduate School DOES NOT graduate any students for the month of June.



Special deadlines apply for Spring semester graduation, as noted below:

You MUST apply to graduate NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 1, 2016 if you wish to:  (a) have your diploma available at the May graduation ceremony and (b) have your name and graduation information printed in the Commencement Book. This early deadline is necessitated by the production schedules of both the diplomas and Commencement Book.

After February 1, 2016, you may still apply for monthly graduation by the first day of the respective month. If you do so, you will still be able to participate in the May commencement ceremony, but your diploma will NOT be available at that time and your graduation information will NOT be in the Commencement Book.


As always, all questions about graduation and other academic topics may be directed to the general Graduate Student Services email account at: 


Information regarding the annual Spring Commencement Ceremony can be accessed on the Graduate School website at:



Upcoming Dissertation Defenses