Graduation Procedures

Deadline to Apply for August 2021 Graduation: May 21, 2021 (Late Deadline is July 26th)

Overview of Steps Needed for Graduation:

1. Application Form
Students are responsible for completing this form by the deadline to avoid Late Fees.The form can be delivered to or submitted as a signed PDF to Katelyn White at Full application "packets" are available in 5141 Sennott Square, 5th floor, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Student Services. Announcements are sent to all departmental graduate students prior to deadline and throughout each term.

Important Changes Due to COVID-19: Currently, there will not be late fees assessed for graduation. This may change throughout the summer if operations are moved back onto campus. The application takes 5 minutes to fill out and must be emailed to The last day to apply for August graduation is July 26th. No exceptions.

2. Prior to the term you plan to graduate, check in with the Graduate Administrator to make sure academic requirements have been met. You are reminded about "Presence of Committee Members" at the PhD defense.  Keeping track of the information provided to you on your Annual Graduate Student Status Report, will help to avoid delays in graduating. Confirm that the names of your committee members are still as they appear in your admission to candidacy letter or any previously approved “change of committee” letter, if applicable.  If  a change of committee needs processed, discuss with the Graduate Administrator about completing a Change of Committee Form.

3. Distribute your dissertation to committee 4 weeks prior to defense. Send the Graduate Administrator your Title, Abstract, Date/Time of defense, photo, and zoom information at this time.

4. Submit your dissertation at Please note the following guidelines:

  1. At a minimum there must be bookmarks for the following pages in the following order:
    1. Title page
    2. Abstract
    3. Table of contents
    4. List of tables (if there are tables)
    5. List of figures (if there are figures)
    6. List of schemes (if there are schemes)
    7. Each chapter
    8. Each appendix
    9. Bibliography
  2. E-mail after upload is complete You may upload a draft of your ETD at any time.

For questions, please see our department's student services staff.
Jasmine Dixson
Coordinator for Graduate Student Services
Phone: 412-624-8280

5. Contact the Graduate Coordinator to make sure all forms have been completed (see below). These must be signed via DocuSign.

  1. Milestone card(s):
    1. Defense Approved ("DD" Checked)
    2. Dissertation Approved ("DAD" Checked)
  2. ETD Approval Form
  3. Remote Attendence Form (If applicable)

4. Complete Department Exit Survey.

5. Return keys, access card, and any departmental textbooks you may have used when assigned to be a TA.

6. Meet with Payroll Coordinator for new address for university business and particularly for the university to mail W-2 forms the following January.

Ready to Graduate?

Make certain that you have completed all the necessary paperwork by reviewing the following checklists and the revised Proquest information*. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are submitted in a timely manner. You must be registered for at least 1 credit or 3999 – 0 credits' in each and every term that you think you will be graduating unless explicitly told otherwise.

*The University has adopted the ProQuest Paragraph option effective immediately for all students submitting an ETD in D-Scholarship. This means that students will agree to release their thesis or dissertation to ProQuest within the D-Scholarship system as part of the ETD submission process (screenshot attached). Students will no longer be required to complete the ProQuest electronic form or submit proof of completion as part of their ETD paperwork. (Previously, this form was required for all graduating PhD students.)  This change will be in effect for August 2020 graduation and onwards.

Vice-Provost Alberta Sbragia has announced (October 2012) a new service for dissertation students: The Graduate Study Room. It is a very quiet space on the 4th floor of Hillman Library with comfortable chairs and individual work spaces (carrels) with locked drawers in which students can leave their research materials, etc. The carrels and chairs are in a new locked area of the 4th floor; registered students will receive a key for entrance to the entire space.

Other Graduation Materials

The following information may or may not apply, depending on your situation.

Graduate Certification Letters

LETTER CERTIFYING COMPLETION OF YOUR DEGREE? Students who are requesting a letter certifying their degree, prior to final degree transcripts being available, should plan in advance and view the 2020-21 Instructions Here.
Since such a letter officially confirms that the student will be graduating, it cannot be written before the student has completed ALL graduation requirements. Review criteria below for requesting certification.

Student Payment Center Notice (April 2020):

The Student Payment Center is operating remotely at this time. Although our doors are closed to in-person traffic, you may contact us during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 4:45 PM, and Friday 9:30 AM to 4:45 PM.  Send requests to or call 412-624-7520.

We continue to post charges and accept payments for Thesis Processing Fees. 

Students should send an email to and provide the student ID, dollar amount, and academic term. 
We will post the fee to the student’s account, then notify the student at their Pitt email address when that is done, or by phone if they ask in their email for us to call them.    
The student can see the charge in PittPAY on the Account Activity tab, and process payment on the Make Payment tab. 
PittPAY will email the student a receipt (see sample below) as soon as payment is made. The student can forward the receipt to you for your records.


Forms List


Contact Information

Coordinator of Graduate Student Services
Kenneth P. Dietrich Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
5141 Sennott Square
210 S. Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Telephone: 4412-383-3427
Fax: 412-624-6855