Preparing to Graduate

So that you may begin your preparation, here is the checklist of graduation requirements to be completed no later than the end of the quarter you plan to graduate, before leaving UCSF:

  • Obtain the approval of your thesis committee that you are ready to write your thesis and graduate
  • Check your graduate quarter/year in the student portal and make sure it is current and correct
  • Initiate Graduation Application in your Student Portal
  • Check your transcript in the student portal and resolve any incomplete grades
  • Present a thesis talk
  • Submit your thesis online
  • Submit your signed PhD Title Page to the Graduate Division
  • Submit your completed Exit Information

General Guidelines

THESIS COMMITTEE APPROVAL: Approval to write the thesis and graduate is usually communicated during your last thesis committee meeting and noted in the online thesis meeting report. Once you have confirmation from your committee, please notify your Program Coordinator of your planned graduation quarter.

GRADUATION APPLICATION: You can find the Graduation Application in your student portal. This option only becomes visible after passing the qualifying exam and advancing to candidacy. Go to StudyList/Grades -> Graduation Application.

THESIS FORMATTING AND DEADLINES: You can find detailed information on how to format your thesis HERE and the Graduate Division’s additional requirements and deadlines HERE. Please read through these guidelines carefully. The Graduate Division has asked us to let students know that these deadlines are FIRM. Please plan accordingly for the deadlines in the quarter you plan to graduate.

Your thesis or dissertation may require formatting revisions, so we suggest that you follow the Graduate Division deadlines. If you plan to graduate BEFORE the last day of the quarter, we suggest turning in your thesis at least 2 weeks before your planned last day at UCSF.

The title page will be submitted electronically. You can find the instructions HERE.

THESIS TALK: The Tetrad Program requires that you present a Thesis Talk before you graduate. Let your program Coordinator know the day and time you prefer and we will reserve a room for you. Please send your talk title no later than 2 weeks before your talk so that we can create and distribute flyers.
THESIS COMMITTEE CHANGES: If any of your thesis committee members have changed, you must formally petition the Graduate Division to make the changes official BEFORE you turn in your thesis/obtain signatures. You can submit a Change Committee Petition in your student portal.

STIPEND/PAYROLL: Your stipend or payroll appointment will end EITHER on the last day of the quarter, OR your last day at UCSF, whichever comes first. Please let your program know right away if you plan to complete your requirements earlier than the last day of the quarter so payment can be stopped accordingly.

HEALTH INSURANCE/GYM: Your health insurance and gym membership will end on the last day of the quarter, even if your last day at UCSF is before the end of the quarter, with the following exceptions: 1) if you are graduating in Spring quarter, or going on filing fee for Summer quarter, your health insurance will still continue until the end of August; 2) if you are going on filing fee for Fall, Winter or Spring, your gym membership will be ended.

FILING FEE: Filing fee is a special designation with a reduced registration cost for students who are finished with bench experiments and are only focused on writing a thesis.

  • You do not need to have filing fee status to graduate, but you do need to be EITHER registered OR have filing fee status to graduate
  • If you plan to apply for filing fee status, please notify your Program Coordinator BEFORE the beginning of the quarter you plan to graduate (and before September for Fall quarter) to avoid gaps in health insurance and stipend
  • Students on filing fee can only be paid by stipend on a non–Federal fund (they cannot be paid by a research grant while on filing fee)
  • Students on filing fee who wish to keep UCSF student health benefits can enroll in UC SHIP extension insurance
  • Students on filing fee will lose gym membership
  • Filing fee is a one-time option - students on filing fee who do not graduate while on filing fee status will re-register for the following quarter

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUMMER QUARTER GRADUATION: Students are not usually registered in Summer Term. However, you must be EITHER registered OR on filing fee to graduate in Summer Term. Registering for Summer Term requires that you submit a specific form to the registrar to be allowed to file your study list in Summer. If you are considering graduating in Summer Term, please reach out to your Program Coordinator in Spring quarter to confirm details.

GRADUATE DIVISION COMMENCEMENT: The Graduate Division holds a formal graduation ceremony annually in May for all PhD and master's students who have completed their program requirements in the previous fall and winter terms, or who reasonably expect to finish in the spring, summer, or fall terms following the ceremony. Invitations are sent to students in March of each year. In order to be invited to the ceremony, please be sure your graduation term and quarter are within those parameters. You can see more details HERE.

PROOF OF GRADUATION FOR POSTDOC/INTERNSHIP/JOB: Your graduation date is always the end of the quarter, no matter when you complete your degree requirements. If you need proof of graduation earlier than the end of the quarter, and you have met all degree requirements, Tetrad can provide a letter from the Program verifying that all degree requirements have been met and request that you be afforded all the rights and privileges of your PhD.
IF YOU ARE STAYING ON IN YOUR LAB AFTER GRADUATION:  If you are planning on staying on in your lab as a temporary postdoc after you complete your degree requirements, please know that your Department is responsible for this process, not your graduate program. Most Departments require that you start this process AT LEAST 30 days before your last day as a student.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact your Program Coordinator.


Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines

Thesis Title Page Information

Access to UCSF Electronic Systems (including e-mail) after graduation