Ph.D. Timeline

Timeline for chemistry Ph.D. students
Task Deadline
Attend both the Chemistry Department and the Graduate School Orientation (RSVP for Graduate School Orientation) Review Admissions packet for date
Download your registration form from UAOnline, fill out with your advisor, and return to Department Office Registration forms are only required for the first semester of study
Turn in Appointment of Advisory Committee By the end of the first semester of study
Turn in Graduate Study Plan By the end of second semester of study
Turn in Report of Graduate Advisory CommitteeAnnual Report, and Department Program Assessment Form Every year to the Chemistry Department Office by May 10th to make sure paperwork is processed by May 15th Graduate School deadline
Complete core coursework Usually first two years of study
Complete comprehensive exams, which differ by Program.  See the attached document for a description of the  Environmental Chemistry Comprehensive Exam  exam.   See the attached document for a description of the Biochemistry and Neuroscience exam. Usually the summer after second year of study
Complete research proposal in the format of a fellowship or grant in the student's research area and have approved by the committee -- see the program-specific comprehensive exam plans in the prior row for details. Two weeks before the scheduling of oral examination
File Report on Comprehensive Examination with Graduate School.  Check only the written examination box at this time. Upon approval of written comprehensive exam by committee
Request outside examiner for oral examination 3 weeks prior to examination
Complete oral examination with committee and external examiner.  Bring to this examination the Report on Comprehensive Examination, which the committee will sign regarding the oral portion of your comprehensive exams. No later than the end of the semester following your written comprehensive exams
Turn in Advancement to Candidacy After completing comprehensive exams, and at least one semester prior to graduation. See Graduate School website for due dates
Attend thesis formatting workshop and review thesis guidelines Before turning in final thesis draft
Turn in a final draft of your dissertation to your advisor

At least 6 weeks before Graduate School thesis submission deadline
(approx. Spring: 2/24, Summer: 6/20, Fall: 10/17)

Request an Outside Examiner

3 weeks prior to defense

Reserve a room for defense. Contact the Chemistry Office for details – it varies depending on which building the defense will be held in.

3 weeks prior to defense

Turn in final draft of your dissertation to your committee members

At least 2 weeks prior to defense

Provide Department Office with details of your defense, including date, location, thesis title, and thesis abstract (these details will be forwarded to the Dean's Office)

2 weeks prior to defense

Prepare a flyer from a department template (choose 1 or 2) and email to Chemistry Department Office

2 weeks prior to defense

Make sure that the defense on the UAF Science calendar

2 weeks prior to defense

Dissertation defense - approximately 40 minute public presentation followed by a closed session oral examination.

At least 4 weeks before Graduate School thesis submission deadline. When possible, do not schedule defense during last two weeks of a semester.
(approx. Spring: 3/7, Summer: 7/3, Fall: 10/28)

Turn in Dissertation Defense Report.

Within 15 days of your defense

Apply for graduation.

Visit Graduate School website for deadlines

Make any changes to your thesis that were suggested by your committee.

Before obtaining committee signatures

Bring signature page to Graduate School to be double checked before anyone signs it.

Before obtaining committee signatures

Obtain committee member signatures on signature page on thesis paper.

Before submitting to Department Chair

Email post-defense electronic thesis to Chemistry Department Chair.  You will get comments and send a finalized electronic version back to the Chair.

At least 2  weeks before Graduate School thesis submission deadline
(approx. Spring: 3/18, Summer: 7/11, Fall: 11/3)

The department chair will email the finalized electronic version of the thesis to the Dean's office for this stage of review.

At least 1 week before Graduate School thesis submission deadline
(approx. Spring: 3/31, Summer: 7/25, Fall: 11/17)

Submit your Signature page with all the signatures (two originals - regular paper) and the UAF Publishing Agreement Form to the Graduate School.

Submit your thesis as a pdf and pay required fees through the ProQuest ETD website (details found here).

Email Graduate School a 50-word version of your abstract (guidelines here) and a good-quality photograph of yourself for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. 

Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).

Graduate School thesis submission deadline

(approx. Spring: 4/7, Summer: 8/1, Fall: 11/28)

Make formatting changes to the thesis required by the Graduate School and resubmit through ETD.  Turn in all other paperwork to Graduate School.

Graduate School thesis submission deadline

(approx. Spring: 4/24, Summer: 8/15, Fall: 12/16)

Complete the anonymous Exit Interview.  Contact the department chair for information on how to do this.


Return keys, catalog experimental samples and data, release lab notebooks and clean research area.



See posted graduation date and UAF's walk-through policy.


Leave of Absence

If a student needs to temporarily suspend studies while earning a graduate degree, they must submit an approved Leave of Absence Form to the Graduate School. Students who do not meet registration requirements and fail to file an approved leave of absence may request reinstatement to their graduate degree program. A Reinstatement to Graduate Degree Status Form must be filled out and signed by the student’s advisor and the appropriate department head, and approved by the Director of the Graduate School. There is a $50.00 reinstatement fee that must be paid to the UAF Bursar's Office or at UAOnline.