Doctoral Checklist

Graduation Information for Doctoral Candidates

Below you will find step-by-step guidance to walk you through the graduation clearance process.  Please click on each "checkmark" below to navigate your way toward graduation.  Each milestone links directly to the necessary requirements, such as forms, iThenticate, the Survey of Earned Doctorates, and the payment portal.  If you have any questions, please use our frequently asked questions.  Congratulations on reaching this achievement in your education.

Programs may have earlier deadlines. Graduate School deadlines are published in the official Academic Calendar.  Students are responsible for following the policies published in the Graduate Catalog. Forms referenced on this page may be found on the Graduate School Forms web page.

Doctoral Student Forms are submitted electronically through DocuSign unless otherwise noted.

  1. To begin a new form, simply click the link for the necessary form on the Forms page. Follow the instructions on the Powerform Signer to enter names and NON-ALIAS email addresses for your advisor/committee chair, committee members, and graduate program director, depending on the requirements of the form. 
  2. Enter your NinerNet credentials when prompted and then follow the instructions for data entry, etc. on the form.
  3. You can track your form within DocuSign by logging into using your email address and NinerNet credentials and following the instructions for managing envelopes.
  4. If you have questions or need to make a change after submitting, please contact your college liaison. Information for connecting with your college liaison can be found in the block on this page.
  5. For more information about DocuSign, please see this handy video or read these frequently asked questions.

Check DegreeWorks to ensure you are on track to graduate. DegreeWorks is the definitive record for graduation clearance.  Students, faculty, and staff may access DegreeWorks via Students are encouraged to routinely check their degree progress in DegreeWorks.

If you received a master’s degree from UNC Charlotte or another institution and plan to use those courses toward your Doctoral Degree, you must file a Graduate Academic Petition to transfer those courses from your Master’s program into your Doctoral program. Course substitutions and/or other exceptions to your program’s curriculum also require the submission of an academic petition.

All doctoral students (DNP students excluded) are required to pass a qualifying examination.  Qualifying assessments are administered by graduate program faculty.  To sit for this examination, the student must have at least a 3.0 program GPA.

The graduate program sends the completed Exam Report of Comprehensive/ Qualifying Examination for Doctoral Students to the Graduate School immediately following the exam.

  1. Submit the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation or Scholarly Project Committee Form
    • ​​Students cannot proceed to the proposal defense without an approved committee.  You will receive a copy of the committee approval letter via your University email when your committee is approved.  For more information about choosing your Graduate Faculty Representative, please visit the Graduate Faculty Representative web page.

Doctoral students must defend their proposal at least a full semester prior to their final term.  Otherwise, there is no calendar deadline for the proposal defense.

  1. Submit the Proposal Defense Report for Dissertation promptly following the proposal defense.
    • If your research requires IRB/IACUC/IBC approval, the approval memo should be forwarded to your college liaison once you receive it, or at the latest within one day of the final defense. Please specify "Doctoral Documents" in the email subject line. Information for connecting with your college liaison can be found in the block on this page.

All students (doctoral, master’s, certificate) must apply for graduation by the published deadline in the final term.

Students who fail to apply for graduation by the published deadline will not be evaluated for graduation and will be ineligible to participate in the commencement ceremony.

How do I submit the ‘Online Graduation Application’?

  1. Log into

  2. Under Academic Resources, select ‘Student Records’.

  3. Under ‘Student Records’, select ‘Online Graduation Application’.

  4. Click "Continue" if this is the first time a graduation application has been submitted or "Create a New Application" if one has been submitted previously.

  5. After all sections are complete, click the "Submit" button.

The ‘Online Graduation Application’ triggers a review of your academic progress by the Graduate School.  Students who apply to graduate but appear short of meeting all degree/certificate requirements will be notified by email.  As the definitive record for graduation clearance, your individual DegreeWorks audit must reflect that you are on track to graduate in a given term.

Deadline Date
Application Deadline for Summer 2024 Graduation June 27, 2024
Application Deadline for Fall 2024 Graduation September 19, 2024
Application Deadline for Spring 2025 Graduation February 13, 2025

Students are highly encouraged to attend a Formatting Workshop prior to their dissertation defense and submission to ProQuest. Workshops occur approximately every two weeks and can be found on the Center for Graduate Life and Learning's calendarFormatting information can be found under the Thesis and Dissertation tab of this website.  There is also a Formatting and Submission playlist on the Thomas L. Reynolds Center for Graduate Life and Learning YouTube channel. For further questions, please email your college liaison. Information for connecting with your college liaison can be found in the block on this page. 

Note: There is not an official formatting review requirement prior to the final submission to ProQuest. 

At least two weeks prior to your final defense:

  1. Share your dissertation and iThenticate similarity report with your committee.
    • If you do not see your committee members' names in iThenticate, download your report and email it to them.
  2. Submit your dissertation defense announcement.

Immediately after the defense:

  1. Submit the Final Defense Report for Dissertation or Scholarly Project.
  2. ​Submit the signed dissertation title page to your college liaison. Information for connecting with your college liaison can be found in the block on this page. 
    • Though forms should be initiated in DocuSign directly after the defense, it often takes a day or two before they reach us. 
    • There is no form for the title page. However, you can request signatures through DocuSign. When you log into DocuSign you should see a gold button that says "New," and beneath that there is the option to create a new envelope. That is where you upload your PDF and specify who the signers are. You can also collect signatures by whatever other means may be convenient for you. 
  3. If IRB/IACUC/IBC approval was required for your work, and if you have not yet forwarded it to your college liaison, please do so now.
Deadline Date
Dissertation/Scholarly Project Defense Deadline for Summer 2024 Graduation July 25, 2024
Dissertation/Scholarly Project Defense Deadline for Fall 2024 Graduation November 12, 2024
Dissertation/Scholarly Project Defense Deadline for Spring 2025 Graduation April 9, 2025

After the dissertation defense and after you have completed any revisions required by your committee: 

  1. Submit the Doctoral Dissertation Submission & ETD Form.
  2. Ph.D. students must complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
    • DNP, Ed.D. and DBA do not complete the Survey. 
  3. Pay the required $45 submission fee and optional $75 copyright registration fee through our Payment Portal.
    • Another option is to register your copyright yourself for only $65 at, which you can do at any point. However, you must pay the $45 submission fee regardless!
    • Hard copies ordered through ProQuest must be paid for on ProQuest's website; otherwise, you will make no payment directly to ProQuest. 
  4. Create your ProQuest account and submit a PDF of your dissertation. For ProQuest's submission instructionssee this page.
    • If you receive a request for revisions, please revise and resubmit as soon as possible. (Note: reviews will continue for several days past the posted final submission deadline)

Congratulations! Within several weeks your dissertation will appear in ProQuest as well as in UNC Charlotte's institutional repository, Niner Commons

Deadline Date
Dissertation/Scholarly Project Submission Deadline for Summer 2024 Graduation August 2, 2024
Dissertation/Scholarly Project Submission Deadline for Fall 2024 Graduation November 18, 2024
Dissertation/Scholarly Project Submission Deadline for Spring 2025 Graduation April 21, 2025

For dissertation formatting information or graduation clearance information, please contact your college liaison. Information for connecting with your college liaison can be found in the block on this page.