PhD Graduation

To get started, check your graduation term of interest below for important dates to begin your application to graduate.

December 2021 Graduation

August 23 - September 22, 2021: December graduation applications without a late fee

September 23 - October 3, 2021 : Applications due with a $15 late fee.

October 4th - November 1, 2021: Applications due with a $25 late fee.

November 2 - December 3, 2021: Final applications due with a $35 late fee

December 20, 2021: Final Certification Deadline. All ETDs and paperwork due.

January 12, 2022: Official Transcripts with degrees posted available through the Transcript Office, G-3 Thackeray Hall

February 1-7, 2022: Begin mailing diplomas for December 2021 Graduates

December 18, 2021: Official degree date for December 2021 graduation 

April 2022 Graduation

January 4, 2022 – January 28, 2022: April graduation applications due without a late fee

January 31, 2022 – March 6, 2022: Applications due with a $15 late fee

March 7, 2022 – March 27, 2022: Applications due with a $25 late fee

March 28, 2022 – April 6, 2022: Final applications due with a $35 late fee

April 29, 2022: Final certification deadline.  All ETDs and paperwork due

April 30, 2022: Official degree date for April 2022 graduates

June 6, 2022: Official transcripts with degrees posted available through the Transcript Office, G-3 Thackeray Hall

All documents required for graduation can be downloaded from this site using the links below. Please read all of these materials carefully. If you have any questions about graduation or ETDs, please contact Lauren Zielinski at lez26@pitt.edu or 412-383-7866.

What To Do Before Your Defense

Graduation Application: Submit page 2 of the graduation application to Lauren Zielinski at lez26@pitt.edu by the date indicated above. *Your dissertation title does not need to be finalized when you complete your graduation application.

Application for Graduation

Dissertation Defense Announcement: In order to meet University publishing regulations, this form must be submitted 4 weeks prior to your defense date.
  • Complete and submit the Dissertation Defense Information Form 
  • Your defense should be held at least 2 weeks prior to the final certification deadline
  • Your dissertation title must be finalized at this point

Dissertation Defense Information Form

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Information: All of the information you need regarding ETD formatting and submitting can be found on the ETD Website.

  • You are required to attend a training session regarding the formatting of your ETD.
  • You can register for an ETD Workshop at The ETD Training Website
  • The information provided at this training is imperative to the successful submission of your ETD. An incorrectly formatted ETD could prevent you from graduating.
  • Students most often experience difficulty with bookmarking the ETD. It is important to bookmark every page of your ETD beginning with the title page. Refer to the instructions section of the ETD website above.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty, ETD Support offers Walk-In help (Microforms/Maps Area on the Ground Floor of Hillman Library)


Preferred Name on Diploma: Students may request to have a preferred name printed on their diploma ("Diploma Name"). In order to request a preferred name on your diploma, you must complete and submit the Diploma Name Request Form to the Office of the University Registrar in G-3 Thackeray Hall.

Diploma name request form

What To Do the Day of Your Defense

There are three forms which require original signatures of all members on your dissertation committee; your Program Coordinator will work with you to get these forms completed and signed in DocuSign:

  1. Dissertation Defense Report,
  2. Dissertation Approval Report, and
  3. ETD Approval Form.

- These forms are also due by the final certification deadline.
- No exceptions will be made.

What To Do After Your Defense

You must accomplish/submit all of the following to Lauren Zielinski by the Final Certification Deadline.

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD)
You must upload the final pdf version of your ETD to D-Scholarship for formatting review.

Milestone Forms
The two milestone forms with original signatures: (1) Dissertation Defense Report and (2) Dissertation Approval Report.

Completed and Signed ETD Approval Form
Download and complete the ETD Approval Form.

etd approval form

  • Check that all information on the first page is completed.
  • Obtain the signatures of your dissertation committee on the first page.
  • Select an availability option on the second page.
  • Sign Parts A and B on the second page.
  • Obtain your dissertation advisor's signature on Part B on the second page.
  • As a warning, beware of predatory publishing firms, such as OmniScriptum who may attempt to obtain rights to your work. If you want a print copy of your dissertation, you have the option to request this when you are completing the ProQuest ETD Administrator step of your ETD submission process: ETD- What to Do After You Defend


Receipt for Processing Fee
The processing fee for a PhD degree is $50. You can pay this at the Student Payment Center in G7 Thackeray Hall. The Student Payment Center only accepts cash, check or money order. If you prefer to pay by credit card (Visa not accepted), you can call the Student Payment Center (412-624-7520), ask them to charge you the $50 processing fee and pay via PittPAY.

Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED)
There is no longer a hard copy form. To access the electronic SED, go to The SED Website
-For School/College, the only option of "Graduate School" is correct.
-After completing the registration page, you will receive an email with the URL to the actual SED, a unique PIN and password.
-You will be able to save and complete later by using the PIN and password given to you in the email.
-Once you have submitted the SED, immediately following the email confirmation page, you will be taken to a certificate of SED completion. You must print and submit this certificate with your other materials by the final certification deadline (listed above (b)).

AAUDE Doctoral Exit Survey
Effective for doctoral students who are graduating in the Fall 2021 and beyond, graduates are required to complete the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE) Doctoral Exit Survey . The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and will collect satisfaction information about your graduate education experience at Pitt and your post‐Pitt plans.

ProQuest UMI Dissertation Publishing Agreement
- The library will ensure that your dissertation is copyrighted to you by default.
-If material copyrighted by others is included in your dissertation, attach three copies of the copyright permission letter(s) from the copyright owner(s). Such letter(s) should state that UMI may supply copies on demand.
-If your dissertation contains executable software owned by another party, attach three copies of a letter from the owner of the software license granting permission to use it. Such letter(s) should state that UMI may supply copies on demand.
- Any additional services that students wish to purchase from ProQuest will be done directly with ProQuest. If you elect to purchase bound copies of your dissertation, you should not expect to receive it sooner than 3-6 months after the final certification date (listed above).

A Copy of Your Updated CV
Please do not forget to upload a copy of your updated CV as a pdf (preferred) or word document in the Alumni Form below

Alumni Form
Please complete the Alumni Form:

alumni form