Ph.D. graduation requirements

Graduate dissertation defense examinations are public events and open to the university and wider community. The student should submit their name and project, thesis, or dissertation title and the date, time, and location of their defense examination to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to their defense examination date. The Graduate School, along with the home program, department, college, or school, will advertise the examination.

The defense examination includes a public presentation of the dissertation moderated by the chair of the graduate advisory committee, followed by a private executive examination by the committee.

You may submit your Public Defense Annoucement to the Graduate School using the submission form found on the Forms webpage

Here is listed all the required paperwork for all Ph.D. students.

For more details on the timelines for deadlines to submit these, please visit our dates and deadlines page.  You may file these forms through the new online platform linked to the forms page. 

  • Report on Comprehensive Exam 
    Oral and/or written as required by your program.

  • Report on Thesis Defense   

  • Application for Graduation 
    See deadlines at the bottom of this page.

  • Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form 
    This is NOT the same as your Report on Defense form 

  • Publishing-Agreement | new and required
    Click here to sign electronically via Docusign.

A PDF copy of your dissertation must be uploaded via ProQuest
For details instructions on how to submit your thesis, please visit the ProQuest ETD submittal page.

This 50-word abstract is necessary for the Commencement Program every spring.

Every Ph.D. graduate MUST provide a short version of their abstract. You can do so by filling out the form below, or wait until the Graduate School emails you the link in the spring.

GUIDELINES:

  • Word count: The abstract must be 50 words or fewer. Abstracts longer than 50 words will be returned to you for revision.

  • Tense: Write in past tense. This research is already done and you are reporting on the conclusions. An exception might be stating the problem the research addressed.

Example:

Air inversion, a challenge in arctic open-pit mines, contributes to health problems and is influenced by aerodynamic and thermodynamic processes. A 3-dimensional Eulerian CFD model was developed to study heat and pollutant transport in an arctic open-pit mine under inversion. Natural ventilation alone did not suffice to mitigate the problem.

  • Voice: Write in third person. Passive construction is OK in this context.

  • Clarity: Use simple declarative sentences to summarize the research.

Avoid phrases such as:

The overall goal of this research was to…
This study explores…
This research investigated the challenges…
This study evaluated…

Instead use sentences such as these:

Narrative strategies available to biography were explored through the life of Margaret Keenan Harrais — teacher, educational administrator, judge and activist.

Climate fluctuations drove major migrations in the history of the boreal forest.

A central question in the study of vertebrate development is how genes direct the creation of the organs of the vertebrate embryo during development.

  • Do not use the name of the researcher in the abstract since the author of the dissertation is clearly identified elsewhere.


    Here is an example of an abstract revised to follow these guidelines:

    • Original:

I investigated genetic differentiation between highland and lowland populations of Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) using molecular markers, evaluated morphological differences between the two subspecies to better understand the forces shaping morphology in the different environments, and provided information on the taxonomic relationships and natural history of the Crested Duck.

Revised:

An investigation of genetic differentiation between highland and lowland populations of Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) used molecular markers to evaluate morphological differences between the two subspecies to better understand the forces shaping morphology in different environments, and provided information on the taxonomic relationships and natural history of the Crested Duck.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. students MUST submit an Interdisciplinary Degree Title Form.

Responsibility: You are responsible for meeting all requirements for graduation. Your Advancement to Candidacy must be received by the Graduate School the semester before you intend to graduate.

  • All Ph.D. programs
    • You must be registered for a minimum of 3 graduate-level credits within your discipline the semester that you successfully defend your thesis or project and plan to graduate.
    • If you have already successfully defended but missed the previous semester graduation deadline, then you must be registered for a minimum of 1 graduate-level credit within your discipline the semester that you plan to graduate.

UAF issues diplomas to graduates three times each year: in September following the summer sessions, in January at the close of the fall semester, and in May at the end of the spring semester. All students who complete degree requirements during the academic year are invited to participate in the annual commencement ceremony at the end of spring semester.

Names of students receiving degrees appear in the commencement program and are released to the media unless a written request not to do so has been received by the graduation department. Students who do not want their names to be released may so indicate on the application for graduation form.

Graduates are responsible for ordering caps and gowns through the UAF bookstore in early spring. Master’s students also must order hoods; the color of the hood is determined by the graduate’s school or college. Doctoral students who attend the commencement ceremony will receive a doctoral hood on stage during the ceremony. 


Important deadlines

Graduation application deadlines
Graduating semester Priority deadline ($50 fee) Late deadline ($80 fee)
Fall October 15 November 15
Spring February 1 March 1
Summer July 15 No late deadline available

 

Graduating semester Thesis and thesis approval form upload deadline Other paperwork due
Fall November 28 December 15
Spring April 7 April 24
Summer August 1 August 15
*Thesis and Thesis approval form deadline to upload to ProQuest (must be routed through committee, department chair and dean of school/college for approval BEFORE being uploaded to ProQuest)