Graduation Procedures

Steps to Graduate*: Deadline to Apply for APRIL 2021 Graduation: January 22, 2020.

  • *Not following the requirements listed in the materials distributed by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies each term, could jeopardize your graduation plan.

  • 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 December graduation is March 26th. No exceptions.

  • All Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) authors must submit the approval form (PDF) to their ETD Student Services staff, Ms. Philippa Carter, in the Dietrich School of A&S Graduate Studies by the deadline: Friday, April 9, 2021, Noon. The patent form (PDF) is only for those requesting their ETDs be withheld for patent purposes.

    Important Changes Due to COVID-19: Students no longer need to pick up a packet from our office.  Doctoral students no longer need to submit title pages or initialed abstracts with their graduation materials.  We just need the etd approval form and the various receipts that are spelled out in the checklists linked below.

  • Prior to the term you plan to graduate (to avoid any surprises) and no later than after you have completed the Application Form to graduate, you must meet 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.

  • Complete Department Exit Survey - the Graduate Administrator will email it to you after you defend.

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

  • 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, PhD or Masters checklists, reviewed doctoral defenses tips. Please read all of these materials carefully to ensure that you are in full compliance with all rules and regulations.
Remember to meet with the Graduate Administrator or Director of Graduate Studies to review your record and plans. 

Leyla has prepared some additional procedural information (used last term). Some redundancy may occur.

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.

Deadlines, Requirements, and Support for December 2020 Graduation

*The last day to apply for April graduation is March 26th. No exceptions.

Make certain that you have completed all the necessary paperwork according to the PhD Checklist including 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.

*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.

Application Form: Materials are provided by Ms. Abby Fite of 5141 Sennott Square, 5th Fl., Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Student Services.

Doctoral Defense Tips

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.

  • A request must be sent at least 30 days in advance of the student's need for such a letter.  The Graduate Dean's office responds to everything in the order they receive it and cannot guarantee a turn-around of a letter in just a week or so. .

  • Completion of all course requirements and milestones required for the degree..

  • Be certified for graduation by the department (this is provided by the DGS and Graduate Administrator).

  • Candidate must submit ALL required graduation paperwork for the degree.

  • Candidate must submit a finalized ETD (this process may requjire multiple revisions and stretch across weeks or months).

  • The request must include the name, contact information for the letter and a deadline date by when it must be received

Checklists for Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

A special message from the Student Payment Center (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.  

Please share this information with others in your area who need to be aware, and let us know if you have any questions. 

Thank you!

The Student Payment Center

For more Information Visit:

CONTACT the department Graduate Administrator, afterwhich, if needed:

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