Review the list of essential deadlines for doctoral candidates, and view the academic forms and thesis submission sections for additional resources to guide you in the completion of your degree. If at any time you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Graduate School at

Graduation Deadlines

This includes all the deadlines for upcoming semesters. Forms must be submitted to the Graduate School by the deadlines for the indicated graduation. These deadlines apply regardless of attendance at the commencement ceremony. (Note: if you do not meet the graduation deadline for your final exam, but can complete the exam before the first day of class for the upcoming semester, you will not be required to register for another semester, but your paperwork will be processed for the next scheduled commencement date. Plan ahead carefully, as this means the exam must be done on or before the Friday before classes begin.) International students in F-1 or J-1 status must consult with International Student and Scholar Services (located in the Center for the Community, room S355) in these cases.  F-1 and J-1 regulations require enrollment in order to maintain valid F-1 or J-1 status.  You must be advised by an ISSS advisor if you will not have future enrollment.

Candidacy Application for an Advanced Degree  

This form was required to have been filled when you passed the comprehensive exam. If your candidacy application has been approved, it does not need to be filled out again unless there has been a change to the course plan being used toward your degree.

Online Graduation Application 

Students must must apply online to graduate through buff portal on the “apply for graduation” card in order to have the degree awarded. This notifies the Graduate School and your department that you intend to graduate, and it provides necessary information to the Registrar's Office for ordering and shipping diplomas. If you do not complete requirements for the graduation you indicate on the online application, you must apply online to graduate for the new graduation date. You must apply to graduate online whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony.  Detailed instructions for applying to graduate can be found on the Registrar's site. PhD students must enter their dissertation title as part of the online graduation application.  This title will appear in the commencement program and on your transcript. You may update the title through your portal until the deadline to cancel/update. 

Doctoral Final Examination Report 

All students completing a doctoral degree must hold a final defense of their dissertation (or a final exam for DMA and AuD students). Notice of the examination must be provided to the Graduate School using the doctoral final examination form two weeks before the exam with the date and committee members names, for committee approval.Through a workflow process, the Graduate School and your graduate program must approve your committee, and the form will be sent to your committee members. The completed form with committee member signatures will be returned to the Graduate School and your graduate program.

Thesis Specifications & Submission Information 

The specifications document includes all the necessary information formatting the PhD dissertation. The Graduate School strongly encourages you to email your document for a pre-check of the format, prior to the deadline date, before submitting your dissertation electronically. Please email a pdf of your document to gradinfo@colorado.eduThe dissertation must be submitted electronically, by the deadline, to ProQuest/UMI. The Thesis Approval Form (TAF) must be uploaded as a one page supplememental file with the thesis in order for the submission to be complete. 

Dissertation Final Grade Report

All students completing a PhD will be assigned a grade for dissertation hours. Please contact your graduate program assistant to ensure that the final grade report process has been initiated by your department.  

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.

Commencement, Transcript, and Diploma Information

Be sure to see the CU Boulder commencement website for information about upcoming conferral, recognition and commencement activities.. Ensure that you have updated your diploma name and address by the posted deadline; learn more about diplomas and transcripts on the Office of the Registrar's website