6.6 Degree Completion

A student approaching the end of a degree program is responsible for ensuring that all program, Laney Graduate School and University requirements and deadlines are met. Failure to do so may result in failure to receive the degree until the following semester. All deadlines are published on the Laney Graduate School Academic Calendar, which can be found on the LGS website. Details are on the Degree Completion page on the LGS website.

Click on a topic below for more information.

(A) Candidacy

See the LGS Candidacy page for appropriate forms and process.

PhD candidates must have been admitted to candidacy at least one semester before applying for a degree. To apply for candidacy, students must complete the appropriate forms and complete the online process.

(B) Registration and Awarding of Degrees

Students must be registered full time in the semester in which they receive their degrees. If students have not defended, they should: enroll in course 599R if not in candidacy and in 799R if they are in candidacy. If the student has defended, then she/he should enroll in the appropriate course to satisfy the requirement. Master’s students should enroll in course 599R.

(C) Application for Degree

Students must submit a formal Application for Degree to be awarded in a particular semester: spring, summer, or fall. The form is available on the LGS website on our Degree Completion page. The application can also be completed online, in OPUS, if the student’s record indicates that the current semester is his or her anticipated semester of graduation. For questions about this, contact the LGS Associate Director of Enrollment Processes and Records. 

A student who is also completing a certificate needs to complete the certificate section of the Application for Degree. [Note that the Certificate Declaration Form that students submit when they start a certificate is not the same as an application to receive the certificate. To receive a certificate, complete the certificate section on the Application for Degree.] 

Students should submit the completed form by the deadline, which usually falls near the beginning of the semester (see the LGS Academic Calendar for deadlines). The Laney Graduate School charges a late fee of $25 for applications received after the deadline - this is strictly enforced.

Applications for degree are valid only for the semester in which they are filed. A student who applies for the degree and does not complete all requirements must apply again and register full time for the semester in which the student will receive the degree.

(D) Degree Clearance Form (Completion of Requirements Report)

The Degree Clearance Form certifies that the student has completed all requirements for the degree. Students receiving a Master’s degree must attach a copy of their transcript to the form. Note: Students must upload their theses or dissertations to the ETD Repository before submitting required forms to LGS. Dates for receipt of forms can be found on the LGS Academic Calendar.

Candidates must resolve all I grades as well as P and IP grades before submitting the Clearance Form.

(E) Submitting the Dissertation or Thesis

All dissertations and theses are submitted electronically, through the ETD or Electronic Theses and Dissertation Repository. The electronic copy submitted to the ETD Repository becomes the official and archival copy.

The dissertation is reviewed by the Laney Graduate School, and must be approved by the Dean before a student can be cleared to graduate.

Detailed instructions for submitting the dissertation or thesis are in the document “Submitting Your Thesis or Dissertation,” available on the LGS Degree Completion page

(F) Graduate Education Exit Survey and Survey of Earned Doctorates

The Laney Graduate School requires that PhD candidates complete two surveys: the LGS Graduate Education Exit Survey and the Survey of Earned Doctorates. Both of these can be completed online. Certificates of completion should be printed and submitted to the Laney Graduate School with copies of other required forms. Master’s students are only required to complete the Graduate Education Exit Survey for Master's students.

(G) ProQuest/UMI Publishing Agreement

All PhD candidates must complete and submit the ProQuest/UMI Publishing Agreement. Copyrighting is optional. Master’s candidates do not need to publish their theses with ProQuest/UMI, but may do so. Master’s candidates who want to copyright their theses can do so through ProQuest/UMI.

(H) Master’s Degree on the Basis of Candidacy

Some doctoral programs award Master’s degrees to students who have reached doctoral candidacy. Students who are receiving a Master’s on the basis of candidacy must submit Candidacy, Application for Degree, and Degree Clearance forms to LGS by the published deadlines. (see LGS Academic Calendar)

(I) Financial Obligations to the University

All financial obligations to the University must be cleared before the student graduates. These obligations include tuition, student health charges, parking fines, and library fines, if any. Failure to settle outstanding charges will result in holds being placed on diplomas, transcripts, and other student records.

(J) Commencement Ceremony

University commencement is held once each year, at the end of spring semester. 

Students who graduate in the summer and fall should indicate whether they expect to return for commencement in the spring and update their OPUS record to make sure it contains a permanent email address for confirmation of their attendance plans.

Students who have a FERPA information suppression hold on their personal information should know that their names will not be printed in the commencement program. Names will be printed only if the FERPA hold is removed, and the hold can be removed only be the University Registrar’s office.

(K) Diploma Notation and Name

Students should note that while transcripts will show majors and degrees received, diplomas will not. Only the degree received is displayed on a diploma, not the major field. For example, a student receiving a PhD in English will receive a diploma stating that he or she has been awarded the Doctor of Philosophy, not the Doctor of Philosophy in English. The same applies to Master’s diplomas.

Prior to graduation, students should update their permanent mailing addresses and email addresses in OPUS.

The diploma from Emory University will be printed with the student’s official name as it appears in OPUS. For more information, see Emory’s name policy at http://policies.emory.edu/10.1.

(L) Termination of Student Stipend

Eligibility for stipend expires when a student graduates.

Last modified: 4/9/2020

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