Steps To Graduation - Checklist for Ph.D. Students

All Graduate School paperwork is due to the CS Graduate Office 3 business days prior to the Graduate School's official deadlines and these deadlines could be earlier than listed below so be sure to check them*

Dissertation Defense Preparation Steps

Scheduling Your Defense: Guidelines and Procedures

  • Defending Deadline: To ensure you have ample time to meet all necessary requirements, the CS Graduate Office recommends scheduling your defense at least two weeks before the final dissertation submission deadline
  • Please fill out the Oral Exam Scheduling Form with the requested information. Please note that failure to complete this step could lead to the cancellation of your defense. To book the exam location, please use the reserve feature in your UMD google calendar. You can see here for instructions on how to request a room and here for information on room capacities

Dissertation Seminar and Defense Procedure

  • Committee Dissertation Distribution: Provide a copy of your completed dissertation to your committee at least 10 business days before the defense. This allows committee members adequate time to review your work in detail
  • Committee Signatures: Following the defense, your committee must sign the Report of Examining Committee. It is crucial that this step is completed no less than 3 days prior to the final deadline set by the final Graduate School deadline
  • Dissertation Revisions: After your defense, finalize all recommended revisions to your dissertation. Once complete, seek final approval from your advisor and/or committee
  • Remind your advisor to sign off the Report of Examining Committee (REC) form by the deadline

Final Dissertation Submission Process

  • Submission to Graduate School: Submit the Final Dissertation to the Graduate School using ProQuest ETD by the Graduate School deadline
  • Embargo Option: If desired, students have the option to place an embargo of up to two years on electronic access to their document via ProQuest's Digital Dissertations and DRUM without the need for approval from the Graduate School. You may submit a Dissertation Embargo Request via CS Graduate Form Submissions if you’d like to place an embargo that’s more than 2 years

Post-Dissertation Submission Procedure

  • Survey: Complete the Graduate School Surveys
  • Financial Responsibility: Ensure any remaining balance on your student account is fully paid. It's important to note that you won't be able to receive your diploma until all outstanding balances are settled
  • Address Confirmation: Verify your address in the UMD system. This is to make sure all future communications, including the mailing of your diploma, are sent to the correct address
  • Student Status: Remember that you will maintain your student status until the official conferral date of your degree. This implies you can't move to a non-student appointment on campus until after the conferral date. If you're an international student on an F-1 visa, refrain from registering for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to commence before your degree conferral date
  • Certification of Completion: If necessary, and especially if you're in the midst of a job search and defended early in a semester, request a Certification of Completion letter via Letter Request to prove you have finished your program
  • CMNS Commencement Registration: Make sure to register for the CMNS Commencement (Mid-Semester, Fall & Spring). For more information on commencement, refer to the CMNS website.