To be eligible to earn an advanced degree, students must fulfill appropriate requirements as established by their major department and the Graduate School, and have an approved Candidacy Application. Procedures and final deadlines required by the Graduate School are described below. Note: Please submit paperwork first to your department and allow time for review before Graduate School deadlines.
Commencement Dates & Requirements
For December 16, 2021*
For May 5, 2022
*Note: although there is no campus-wide ceremony, students may have degrees awarded in August and December.
Online Graduation Application
Only students who have applied online to graduate by the deadline for the semester they intend to graduate will be checked for graduation. If you do not graduate when you anticipate, you must apply online to graduate in a new semester. This online graduation application is required whether or not you plan to attend the commencement ceremony.
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense
The final examination report form for committee approval should be sent by the department to the Graduate School at least 2 weeks before the exam is held. Approximately 1 week after the exam has been held, the signed form, with the committee member signatures, should be returned to the Graduate School.
Registration During the Semester of Final Exam/Thesis Defense
PhD students must be registered for a minimum of 5 dissertation hours during the semester of their dissertation defense. DMA students must be registered full time for DMA dissertation credits (8200-8399) or TMUS 8029 during the semester of the final exam. AUD students should be registered for 5 hours of graduate level credit during the semester of final exam. Students who wish to schedule an examination/defense between semesters may use either the previous or the upcoming semester’s registration to meet this requirement. Note: summer session is considered a separate semester. For the purpose of this registration requirement, a new semester has begun on the first day of class for that semester. Registration for submitting the dissertation only is not required if the defense was held in a previous semester. International students should contact ISSS to discuss graduation and registration issues.
Copies of the University of Colorado Graduate School Specifications for Preparation of Master’s Theses and Doctoral Dissertations are available online on the Thesis and Dissertation Specifications page. Graduate School staff can conduct a preliminary formatting review by e-mail (send your document to firstname.lastname@example.org) and these pre-checks are strongly encouraged. The thesis must be submitted online and approved by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day. The Thesis Approval Form (TAF) must be uploaded as a supplemental file with the thesis in order for the submission to be complete.
Animal & Human Subjects Research
Any research involving the use of animals or human subjects must have approval from the Animal Care and Use Committee or the Institutional Review Board before such research can be undertaken. A thesis involving animals and/or human subjects that has not been reviewed by the appropriate committee may be disallowed. For the guidelines and procedures for submitting research proposals to the necessary committees, see the following web sites.
Graduation Ceremony Information
Students who have applied online to graduate by the posted deadline may receive an e-mail containing information about the commencement ceremony. Receiving such notification, and attending the ceremony, does not mean that you have completed all requirements. To verify graduation contact the student advisors at the Graduate School by e-mailing email@example.com. Commencement ceremony information is available at on the Commencement site.
Check the Office of International Education site for graduation information.
Survey of Earned Doctorates
The survey collects information from all research doctorate graduates in the country to assess characteristics of the doctoral population and trends in doctoral education and degrees. This compiled information is used by policymakers in evaluating the nation’s work force, and it is important for CU to be accurately represented. More information about the survey.
The information provided on the questionnaire remains confidential, and is reported only in a way that does not identify individuals. The survey can be completed in advance of the deadline listed above, and we encourage early completion to facilitate timely degree clearance and award. Students must register and complete the survey online by the posted deadline.