Graduation Procedures

Preparing for Graduation

Deadline to Apply for December 2021 Graduation: September 16, 2021 (Late Deadline is November 26, 2021). ETD Deadline is December 10th at Noon.

Note: You must be registered for at least 1 credit or FTDB 3999 (0 credits) in the term that you will be graduating in unless explicitly told otherwise.

1. Graduation Application Form - Submitted via the Microsoft Office Graduation Submission Form.

 A late fee of $25 will go into effect on September 17th and will gradually increase throughout the term. Students must be logged into Office 365 through their Pitt provided email account to access this form. Students no longer need to pick up a packet from our office.

2. Prior to the term you plan to graduate, check in with the Graduate Administrator to make sure academic requirements have been met. 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. Complete
a Request for Remote Participation if defense is going to be remote or hybrid.

3. Distribute your dissertation to your 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 ETD Deadline: December 10, 2021 at 12:00PM (noon).

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):
a. Defense Approved ("DD" Checked)
b. Dissertation Approved ("DAD" Checked)
2. ETD Approval Form
3. Request for Remote Participation* - Completed by Committee Chair (*for first meeting & defense if meeting/defense is going to be remote or hybrid)

6. Complete required surveys. These are:

  1. Dietrich A&S Survey
    The survey should take about 5 minutes and must be completed at one time. You cannot save and go back. Once you have completed the survey, please save the certification screen at the conclusion. You will need to email a copy of the certification screen.
  2. The Survey of Earned Doctorate (SED)
    At the survey registration website, you will be asked to provide your name, institution state (PA), institution name (Univ. of Pittsburgh), school/college (Graduate School), graduation month (August), graduation year (2021), and an e-mail address, then you will go directly to the survey. An e-mail with the URL of the online survey, plus a PIN and password will be sent to you in case you suspend the survey and need to go back in at a later time. You will need to email a copy of the survey receipt.
  3. AAUDE Doctoral Exit Survey
    You will need to log in with your PITT account to access the survey. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete Dietrich Graduate School Checklist for PhD Applicants and will collect satisfaction information about students graduate education experience at PITT and their post-PITT plans. You will need to email a copy of the receipt.
  4. Department Exit Survey
    Email the completed form to

7. Get Receipt for $50 ETD Processing Fee

Students can contact the Payment Center during regular business hours (Monday-Thursday, 8:30 AM 4:45 PM and Friday, 9:30 AM 4:45 PM). Requests can be sent to or made over the phone (412-624-7520).
To initiate the thesis processing fee payment:

  1. Students should send an email to and provide the student ID, dollar amount, and academic term (2221).
  2. The $50 fee will then be posted to the students account. Once the fee is posted, the Payment Center will notify their student at their Pitt email address or by phone (if phone is requested in the initial email).
  3. Once the fee is posted, the student can see the charge in PittPAY on the Account Activity tab; the payment can be processed on the Make Payment tab.
  4. PittPAY will email the student a receipt as soon as the payment is made. This receipt should be forwarded to

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

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

10. Review the revised Proquest information*. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are submitted in a timely manner.

*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.

Graduation PDF Instructions/Checklists (Summer 2021)

Other Graduation Materials

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

Graduation Certification Letters

Students who are requesting a letter certifying their degree, prior to final degree transcripts being available, should plan at least one month (4 weeks) in advance.
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.

The student must:

  • Complete all course requirements for the degree
  • Complete all milestones required for the degree (milestone cards must be DocuSigned and sent via email. Include remote attendance form for thesis & dissertation defense milestones, if applicable.
  • Be certified by the department for graduation (a departmental certification memo must be DocuSigned and sent via email).
  • If completing a thesis/dissertation, submit all required ETD paperwork.
  • If completing a thesis/dissertation, submit a finalized ETD (this process may require multiple revisions and stretch across weeks or months).

To request a letter, students must submit a request form at the Office Form Here.


If you have ARCOs or are enrolled in a certificate program, please include these items on the graduation application. If they are not included on the graduation application, the student cannot be certified for the ARCO or certificate.

Diploma Name Request Form

Students may request to have a preferred name printed on their diploma (“Diploma Name”). Please note and acknowledge the following:

  • Only the first and/or middle name may be changed to a Diploma Name; the last/family name must remain the same as the full legal last name in the University records system.
  • Use of a Diploma Name is not permitted when it is used for the purposes of avoiding legal obligations, in jest, or for misrepresentation.

Complete the Diploma Name Request form here.

ETD Patent Form

If you believe some of the work described in your thesis or dissertation is patentable, you may request a patent here.

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.


Complimentary copies of diplomas are expected to be mailed the week of February 1st to the address on your graduation application. However, official transcripts with degrees posted are available for purchase January 12th if you cannot wait for the batch process mailing. If an address change is needed after submission of the graduation application, you must make certain you update it in the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Forms List


Past Graduation Deadlines

August 2020-2021: Graduation Application Due May 21, 2021 (Late Deadline July 26th). ETD materials due August 6, 2021.

Contact Information

Brandi McClain
Graduate Administrator