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Doctoral Completion Checklist

Please print this page and keep this checklist to assist you in your countdown to graduation!

The School of Graduate Studies must certify that all requirements for graduation have been satisfied before your degree can be officially awarded. It is your responsibility to determine that all requirements for the degree have been met.

Please review the following list to determine that the requirements pertaining to your program have been fulfilled.

Checklist for All Graduate Students

  • Confirm that you have been fully admitted to your graduate program and have met any conditions set at the time of your admission.
  • Be sure that all the courses on your Approved Program of Study Form were completed within the seven-year time limit for completion of the program. Review your degree audit online through e-Services.
  • Print your transcript online. Check your transcript to determine that all completed course work is included. If transfer credits do not appear on your transcript and they have been approved as a part of your official program, contact the School of Graduate Studies at once.
  • Complete all courses as listed on your degree audit.. ALL COURSE CHANGES MUST BE APPROVED BY PETITION: verbal approval by your adviser is not sufficient. Petition forms are available online on the student forms page or in the School of Graduate Studies, room AS-121
  • All incompletes must be completed and grades submitted by the instructor. Remind your professor to submit a grade change for all incompletes(I), IP, or RC grades. This includes dissertations, field studies, theses, creative works, and starred papers. Check your transcript to determine if the necessary changes have been made.
  • A 3.0 grade point average in the major, the total program, and overall graduate courses attempted must be recorded on your transcript. A 3.25 grade point average is required for the Specialist degree in Educational Administration and Leadership. Students who have not achieved the required grade point average are not eligible to take either the oral or written final examinations.
  • A grade of C- or lower or a grade of ā€œUā€ cannot be used toward a graduate program.
  • Fulfill the residency requirement. Candidates for the specialist degree and master’s degree must earn a minimum of 20 semester hours in residence. Candidates for the doctoral degree must earn a minimum of 45 semester hours in residence.
    Courses offered on the SCSU campus and in the following formats are considered to be in residence.
    • Courses offered at graduate study centers or through cohort groups established by the University are considered on-campus credit.
    • Established ITV and web-based programs are also considered on-campus credit.

Please Note: Individual departments may establish residency policies requiring a period of full-time study. Students should consult with their adviser to determine specific departmental requirements


Please note: To participate in commencement and receive the graduation date for the application term, doctoral students must have completed all requirements for the degree including final submission of the doctoral dissertation prior to the deadline for submission of the culminating project. Please see the recommended timeline below.

  • Review School of Graduate Studies policy regarding the completion of a dissertation.
  • A preliminary conference must have been completed at least one term prior to the final oral examination. Signed approval of the proposal must have been submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Students conducting research with human subjects must complete the Institutional Review Board process.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the Final Oral Examination with committee members selected prior to the preliminary conference. The final oral cannot be held in the same semester as the preliminary conference. Final orals must be scheduled a minimum of seven weeks prior to the end of the term in which the student wishes to graduate.
  • Submit the Doctoral Dissertation Meeting Request form to the Center for Doctoral Studies a minimum of two weeks prior to the preliminary or final oral conference to allow for the paperwork to be prepared.
  • One complete formatted copy of your work must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for format review at least seven weeks prior to the end of the term. This is not a final copy. The dissertation must be formatted according to the School of Graduate Studies Thesis guide.
  • For assistance with formatting, please visit the Culminating Projects page and view the online formatting presentation.
  • After approval by your committee and the format reviewer, submit a minimum of three final copies or your dissertation by the appropriate deadline.
  • Signatures of committee members are required on each approval page.
  • The dissertation is then registered in the School of Graduate Studies for binding and fee payment.
  • If the student desires a bound copy(ies) of the dissertation, one or more additional copies must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Two additional signed copies of the abstract are required for further distribution by the School of Graduate Studies.
  • An abstract IS required for the dissertation.
  • All final copies must be submitted on 100% cotton paper for binding.
  • The student is responsible for the binding fee of $10 per copy plus a one-time $10 microfilm fee. The $10 per copy fee and $10 microfilm fee will be added to your student account. The minimum fee is $40.
    • The diploma and transcript will not be released until your binding fee has been paid.
  • Remind your adviser to submit a grade/change of grade for the dissertation. A mark of “S” is recorded for an approved dissertation.

Recommended timeline for completion of the dissertation

2014 -15 Graduation Date Specific Deadlines (.pdf)



Fall 2014 Deadlines

Spring 2015 Deadlines

Select Chair & Committee Members

Early Fall

Early Spring

Obtain approval for committee members not on roster

Complete Dissertation Committee Member Petition form at least two months prior to proposal meeting

Not later than March 3, 2014

Not later than October 13, 2014

Schedule Dissertation Proposal Meeting

Complete Dissertation Meeting form at least one month prior to proposal meeting

Send committee members copy of proposal

At least 2 weeks prior to preliminary conference

Dissertation Proposal

At least 1 semester prior to final defense

May 3, 2014

December 13, 2014

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Process takes approximately 1 month

Schedule Dissertation Final Defense Meeting

Complete Dissertation Meeting form at least two weeks prior to final defense meeting

Send committee members final copy

At least 2 weeks prior to final defense conference

Final Defense

Meeting no later than mid-semester

November 4, 2014

March 31, 2015

Make Final Revisions

Submit for Format Review

Please allow at least three weeks

November 18, 2014

April 7, 2015

Final Approval Received from Committee Signature sheets submitted to Graduate Studies at least two weeks in advance of commencement. December 11, 2014 April 28, 2015

Submit Formatted and Approved Copies for Binding

December 20, 2014

May 8, 2015

Official Graduation Date

December 21, 2014

May 9, 2015

Eligible to Participate in Commencement

December 21, 2014

May 9, 2015



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