Doctoral Graduation

Graduation Instructions for PhD Candidates

What You Will Need

The PhD Graduation Packet Includes:

  • Notification for Scheduling the Final Oral Exam — The form must be completed and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies at least three weeks before your defense date.
  • Final Certification of the PhD Degree — Complete the certification form with all relevant signatures. Submit form to the School of Graduate Studies with other final materials.
  • ETD (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation) Submission Checklist — Includes important information regarding format requirements and submission of the dissertation.
  • ETD Document Approval Form —Have this signed by you and your dissertation advisor and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. Offers important information about the electronic publishing process.
  • SED Informed Consent Document — Important details related to the Online Survey of Earned Doctorates. You are encouraged to keep this for your information.
  • Online Survey of Earned Doctorates —The U.S. government compiles higher education statistics based on the information on this form. As a major research university, CWRU is committed to its representation in this national effort. The aggregated data is used for comparative purposes to be used in planning by the university, as well as used by the government for developing funding initiatives. 
  • Request for Waiver of Registration — If you cannot meet the deadlines to complete all the requirements to graduate in one term but can finish before the next term begins, you can apply for a waiver of registration for the next term. You must be registered for at least one credit hour in the semester preceding the one for which you intend to use the waiver (includes Summer).

Doctor of Musical Arts  Students completing the DMA should contact Brandon Bowman for instructions.

Steps to Completion

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Graduation through the Student Information System (SIS) by the posted deadline for the term.
  2. Work with your advisor and committee members to decide on a date, time and place for your final oral exam (defense). Make certain the defense date occurs before the established deadline for the term. Your advisor has to agree that the dissertation is ready to defend.
  3. Submit the Notification of the Final Oral Exam form to the School of Graduate Studies at least three weeks prior to your defense date.
  4. Submit copies of your dissertation to the members of your defense committee at least two weeks prior to your defense date.
  5. Have all committee members sign the Final Certification for the PhD Degree form at the conclusion of your successful defense
  6. Make corrections, if required, then have your advisor sign the certification form where indicated. If no corrections are required, have your advisor sign the form at your defense.
  7. Obtain your department chair/program director's signature after your advisor has signed the certification form.
  8. Submit a completed copy of your dissertation .pdf file to the School of Graduate Studies ( for a format check.
  9. Submit Final Materials (see below) to the School of Graduate Studies by the posted deadline.
  10. Upload the final, approved copy of the completed dissertation as a .pdf file to OhioLINK.

Final Materials

  • Final Certification form with all appropriate signatures
  • ETD Document Approval Form
  • One printed copy of your dissertation's Title Page
  • Online Survey of Earned Doctorates
  • Your ETD as completed and approved by your committee and Graduate Studies, then uploaded to OhioLINK

Registration Requirement

All PhD students must be registered for at least one credit hour of 701 in the term in which they defend and/or graduate.