Graduation Requirements for Doctoral Students

Graduation Process: From Defense to Hooding

Step 1: Plan Defense - check with your school or graduate support staff for deadlines and guidelines in planning and scheduling your defense.

Step 2: Apply for Graduation in Enroll & Pay

Step 3: Complete Your Defense

Step 4: Submit Required Paperwork to your School (See information below for details)

Step 5: Complete the Electronic Submission of your Dissertation

Step 6: Plan and Apply to Participate in Recognition Events & Commencement (Optional)

  • This ceremony is exclusively for doctoral graduates and candidates, as they hold the highest level of academic achievement.
  • The ceremony takes place once a year in May and doctoral graduates from the previous summer and fall terms, as well as doctoral candidates for the current spring and summer terms are eligible to participate.
  • Communications regarding the DHC application process are sent out via email to all eligible doctoral graduates and candidates. 

Learn more about the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony at the DHC Website>>

  • Individual schools, programs, and departments may have recognition events for their students.
  • Please check with your school/College for information about these ceremonies.
  • Commencement is organized by the Chancellor's office to recognize all the KU graduates for the corresponding year.
  • This event takes place once a year in May.
  • The Commencement website provides more information about the event, how to prepare and participate, as well as contact information.
  • The Commencement website also provides a comprehensive list of the individual school, program, and department recognition events for the corresponding year.

Required Paperwork

In order to graduate, a student must submit several documents in addition to the thesis or dissertation. Individual schools and the College maintain their own graduation requirements, so they may expect documentation beyond what is listed here. Students must submit all paperwork directly to the graduate administrators in their school or College, so they should check with their administrators to ensure they meet all requirements and deadlines for graduation. Students should also review the university-wide graduate calendar and take note of applicable deadlines and events.

Materials to be Submitted

  • Title page:

    • Formatting requirements, sample documents, and templates are available on the ETD Formatting page.
  • Acceptance Page:
    • Formatting requirements, sample documents, and templates are available on the ETD Formatting page.
  • ETD Release Form:
  • Survey Completion:
    • KU requires completion of the Doctoral Completion Survey and the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
    • You are not required to submit any documentation which reveals your answers, which are anonymous. However, the Survey of Earned Doctorates issues a certificate of completion which you should include when you submit your graduation paperwork.
    • More information about these surveys, and links to begin them, are available on the Doctoral Completion Survey page.

Electronic Submission

More information about submitting theses and dissertations electronically is available on the ETD Submission page.