Understanding Deadlines and Requirements

Major Steps

Understanding the steps and associated deadlines in the dissertation/thesis and degree conferral process is necessary to establish a successful plan and realistic timeframe. The major steps are:

  1. Complete draft dissertation
  2. Schedule exam
  3. Take exam
  4. Make revisions
  5. Submit final electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) to the Graduate School

Planning Timeline

The Code of Legislation requires students to submit a completed draft for committee review six weeks prior to scheduling the exam. Submission of the final thesis/dissertation must be within 60 days of the final exam. Students who miss the 60 day submission deadline are ineligible to register in future terms.

May 28, 2023 Conferral Deadlines

  • Submit Draft to Committee: First week in March
  • Schedule Exam: First week in April
  • Take Exam: Mid April
  • Complete Revisions: End of April
  • Submission Deadline: May 1, 2023

August 31, 2023 Conferral Deadlines

  • Submit Draft to Committee: First week in June
  • Schedule Exam: First week in July
  • Take Exam: Mid July
  • Complete Revisions: End of July
  • Submission Deadline: August 1, 2023

December 31, 2023 Conferral Deadlines

  • Submit Draft to Committee: First week in October
  • Schedule Exam: First week in November
  • Take Exam: Mid November
  • Complete Revisions: End of November
  • Submission Deadline: December 1, 2023


Use this checklist to guide your process.

  • Complete your research.
  • Learn about thesis and dissertation formatting guidelines.
  • Develop a detailed outline for your approach to writing your dissertation or thesis.
  • Write the body of text for the dissertation or thesis.
  • Complete your draft thesis/dissertation six weeks prior to your final examination and submit to all members of your Special Committee.
  • Schedule your final exam one week before your final examination date, and submit a final draft of your dissertation/thesis to each special committee member.
  • Take your final exam (“B” exam), oral dissertation defense for Ph.D. candidates, or (“M” exam) an oral thesis defense for master’s candidates, six to eight weeks before conferral date.
  • Make changes as specified by the special committee.
  • Submit the final electronic version of dissertation or thesis (ETD) to Graduate School using ProQuest. See Thesis and Dissertation Submission Process for instructions.
  • Attend commencement and celebrate!