UW Graduate School

Preparing to Graduate

This page provides graduation timelines, checklists, and frequently asked questions for all students, as well as information specific to those submitting an electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD). Students submitting an ETD should also review our formatting guidelines for information on required sections for your document, templates, and an overview of common formatting revisions requested by the Graduate School (GEMS).

Final Quarter Graduation Timeline

The below timeline is a general guideline based on Graduate School policies and procedures, to help students understand the graduation process. Check with your graduate program for any department-specific requirements, procedures, and deadlines.

Eligibility for graduation is determined by satisfactory completion of all Graduate School and program degree requirements by the last day of the quarter a student intends to graduate. Refer to Dates and Deadlines for quarterly deadline information and Memo 46: Graduate Degree Requirements to review Graduate School degree requirements.

First Week of the Quarter:

  • All students: Register! Students must maintain registration as a full or part-time graduate student for the quarter the degree is conferred.
  • All master’s students: The Master’s Degree Request (application to graduate) for the current quarter in session, becomes available to complete on the first day of instruction until the last day of instruction.
    • Submitting this request will generate a degree audit. Any incomplete or in-progress requirements should be discussed with your graduate program advisor.
  • Doctoral students: login to MyGrad and review your committee information for accuracy. Ensure your Reading Committee members are properly identified and your final exam is scheduled in MyGrad.
  • International students: review the ISS final quarter registration information and checklist.

Last Day of Instruction:

  • Master’s students: This is the last day to file a master’s degree request for the current quarter. Students who miss this deadline will not be graduated until the following quarter. Those who miss this deadline should refer to the Registration Waiver Fee.
  • Note: this deadline is one week earlier than the last day of the quarter.

Last Day of the Quarter:

  • Master’s (Thesis Option) and doctoral students: This is the deadline to submit your ETD, committee approval form, and SED Certificate (PhD only) to the UW ETD Administrator Site (at 11:59 p.m.). Those who miss this deadline should refer to the Registration Waiver Fee.

After the Quarter Ends:

  • Master’s (Thesis Option) and doctoral students: GEMS advisors review ETDs as they are submitted throughout the quarter, but the highest volume of ETDs are received and reviewed at the end of the quarter.
    • You will be notified if any revisions are needed to your document and will also be notified when your ETD is accepted. All requests for revisions are sent via email to the student directly, with a new deadline to re-upload the document with the requested changes.
  • All students:
    • Graduate programs submit degree recommendations to the Graduate School (GEMS) during the week after the quarter ends. GEMS cannot graduate a student until the department has recommended their graduation. Once recommended, GEMS advisors will review individual degree audits for each student and award degrees.
    • You will an email when your graduation has been recommended by your department and when your degree has been granted by the Graduate School.
    • Your degree will post to your UW transcript 2 business days after the Graduate School processes your graduation.
    • Diplomas are mailed by the Office of University Registrar 2–3 months following graduation.

 Graduation Checklists

Graduation Checklist: Thesis Master’s Students
  1. Submit a master’s degree request via MyGrad – Student View at the beginning of your intended graduation quarter but no later than the last day of instruction.
    • Select “Thesis Program” and enter a thesis title.
    • If you are a concurrent student, follow the instructions of submitting a color-coded transcript to the GEMS office early in the quarter.
  2. Confirm your name and thesis details on record with the UW and the Graduate School (as listed in MyGrad – Student View).
    • If you will publish your thesis using your Preferred Name, you must officially set that name in Identity.UW.
  3. Check your unofficial transcript in MyUW for any missing grades from previous quarters. Contact your professors to submit change of grade requests if you see “X” or “N” grades on your transcript.
  4. Create an account in the UW ETD Administrator Site.
    • We recommend creating your account before you submit your thesis. The beginning of the quarter you intend to graduate is a great time to complete this step and familiarize yourself with the site.
    • Verify your name and thesis details entered in the UW ETD Administrator Site match your record in MyGrad exactly.
  5. Review ETD Formatting Guidelines and insert the three required sections into the body of your thesis (the first three pages of the document):
  6. Obtain the necessary signatures on your Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form.
  7. Upload your Committee Approval Form to the Administrative documents section of the UW ETD Administrator Site.
  8. Upload your thesis to the UW ETD Administrator Site.
  9. SUBMIT your (1) thesis and (2) Committee Approval Form via the UW ETD Administrator Site by the quarterly deadline (last day of the quarter at 11:59 p.m.).
  10. Confirm submission: after a successful submission, the message “Your dissertation/thesis has been submitted” will appear in the UW ETD Administrator site.
    • You will also receive an e-mail from “Administrator of University of Washington” that you have submitted to the University of Washington.
  11. Monitor your email after submission for any requests for revisions.
    • You will either receive an email notifying you the ETD was accepted or requesting formatting revisions. If you are asked to make revisions, the email will indicate a new deadline. Upload the revisions by the provided deadline.
  12. Monitor your UW email after the quarter ends for any time-sensitive requests or questions that might arise as your department and GEMS reviews your request to graduate.
    • You will receive an email when graduation has been recommended by your department and when your degree has been granted by the Graduate School.
    • Your degree will post to your UW transcript 2 business days after the Graduate School processes your graduation.
  13. Update your diploma address in MyUW. Diplomas are mailed by the Office of University Registrar 2-3 months following graduation.
  14. Review Commencement details if you plan to participate in any graduation ceremonies.
Graduation Checklist: Non-Thesis Master’s Students
  1. Submit a master’s degree request via MyGrad – Student View at the beginning of your intended graduation quarter but no later than the last day of instruction.
  2. Check your unofficial transcript in MyUW for any missing grades from previous quarters. Contact your professors to submit change of grade requests if you see “X” or “N” grades on your transcript.
  3. Monitor your UW email after the quarter ends for any time-sensitive requests or questions that might arise as your department and GEMS reviews your request to graduate.
    • You will an email notifying you when your graduation has been recommended by your department and when your degree has been granted by the Graduate School.
    • Your degree will post to your UW transcript 2 business days after the Graduate School processes your graduation.
  4. Update your diploma address in MyUW.
  5. Review Commencement details if you plan to participate in any graduation ceremonies.
Graduation Checklist: Doctoral Students
  1. Schedule a doctoral final exam via MyGrad – Student View. Your exam must be formally scheduled in advance with the Graduate School to be valid.
    • If you are a concurrent student, follow the instructions of submitting a color-coded transcript to the GEMS office early in the quarter.
  2. Verify accuracy of your Supervisory and Reading Committee membership in MyGrad. Contact your graduate program advisor if any corrections are needed.
  3. Confirm your name and dissertation details on record with the UW and the Graduate School (as listed in MyGrad – Student View).
    • If you will publish your thesis using your Preferred Name, you must officially set that name in Identity.UW.
  4. Check your unofficial transcript in MyUW for any missing grades from previous quarters. Contact your professors to submit change of grade requests if you see “X” or “N” grades on your transcript.
  5. Create an account in the UW ETD Administrator Site.
    • We recommend creating your account before you submit your dissertation. The beginning of the quarter you intend to graduate is a great time to complete this step and familiarize yourself with the site.
    • Verify your name and thesis details entered in the UW ETD Administrator Site match your record in MyGrad exactly.
  6. Review ETD Formatting Guidelines  and insert the three required sections into the body of your dissertation (they will be the first three pages of the document):
  7. Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) online. Upon completing the SED, you will receive an email from SEDWEB@norc.uchicago.edu, which includes your SED Certificate of Completion. Save a copy of this certificate.
  8. Obtain the necessary signatures on your Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Approval Form.
  9. Upload your Committee Approval Form and SED Certificate of Completion to the Administrative documents section of the UW ETD Administrator Site.
  10. Upload your dissertation to the UW ETD Administrator Site.
  11. SUBMIT your (1) dissertation, (2) Committee Approval Form, and (3) SED Certificate of Completion via the UW ETD Administrator Site by the quarterly deadline (last day of the quarter at 11:59 p.m.).
  12. Confirm submission: after a successful submission, the message “Your dissertation/thesis has been submitted” will appear in the UW ETD Administrator site.
    • You will also receive an e-mail from “Administrator of University of Washington” that you have submitted to the University of Washington.
  13. Monitor your email after submission for any requests for revisions.
    • You will either receive an email notifying you the ETD was accepted or requesting formatting revisions. If you are asked to make revisions, the email will indicate a new deadline. Upload the revisions by the provided deadline.
  14. Monitor your UW email after the quarter ends for any time-sensitive requests or questions that might arise as your department and GEMS reviews your request to graduate.
    • You will an email notifying you when your graduation has been recommended by your department and when your degree has been granted by the Graduate School.
    • Your degree will post to your UW transcript 2 business days after the Graduate School processes your graduation.
  15. Update your diploma address in MyUW. Diplomas are mailed by the Office of University Registrar 2–3 months following graduation.
  16. Review Commencement details if you plan to participate in any graduation ceremonies.

Committee Approval Forms

A completed and signed approval form is required for students submitting an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) as part of their degree requirements. These forms certify that the student’s faculty committee has examined the final copy of the thesis or dissertation, have found it complete and satisfactory, and confirm that any and all revisions required by the final examining committee have been made by the student.

ETD Frequently Asked Questions

I created an account in the ETD Administrator site, but I’m not ready to submit my ETD. Can I come back to my account later?”

Yes. If you need to finish your submission later (for instance, if you need to update your PDF file before uploading it), you can save your information and come back to finish. No information will be lost.

I submitted my ETD but would like to make an edit to the document. How can I edit my submission?”

Once your thesis/dissertation is submitted, no additional changes to the document are allowed with the exception of a major data error in the document. In this circumstance, a letter outlining the necessary changes is required from your supervisory committee chair.

What will the Graduate School be reviewing after I submit my ETD?”

Submissions are reviewed by GEMS advisors for formatting requirements for the three required sections—title page, copyright page, abstract—before they are delivered to ProQuest for publication. We are checking for accuracy and consistency. Refer to the Formatting Guidelines for detailed information.

I submitted my ETD and haven’t heard anything yet. When will it be reviewed?

We try to review all ETDs as they are received, but if you submit early in the quarter it may not immediately be acted on. If you need to confirm completion of your degree requirements to an external agency or employer, please contact uwgrad@uw.edu requesting a Letter of Certification. In general, ETDs are reviewed in the last 2–3 weeks before the quarter ends and after the last day of the quarter. When your submission has been accepted by a GEMS advisor, you will receive email confirmation.

How can I tell if my ETD was submitted and received by the Graduate School?

When your ETD is successfully submitted and pending review, the status will read “Submission in Review”.

When will my ETD be made available for access?

This depends on the type of access restrictions you selected when creating your account. However, your submission will be delivered to ProQuest for publishing 4-6 weeks after graduation and you will receive email confirmation when this has occurred. It should be available in UW ResearchWorks around the same time.

What if I am missing a faculty signature for my thesis or dissertation, or I have encountered difficulties in uploading my ETD? Must I pay the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee and graduate in the following quarter?
If you encounter these types of situations, contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services (206.685.2630 or uwgrad@uw.edu) as early as possible and no later than the last day of the quarter in which you intend to graduate.

Need help with your ETD submission?

If you need help with the ETD Administrator site or submission process:

  • Review the ETD Frequently Asked Questions.
  • For technical assistance, you may call 1.877.408.5027—available 9:00 a.m.—7:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday (excluding U.S. holidays) or submit a request through ProQuest Support.
  • Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) is also available to help and can be contacted at 206.685.2630 or uwgrad@uw.edu