Master's Thesis Checklist

Graduation Information for Master's Students

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.  If you have any questions, please use our FAQs.  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 CatalogForms referenced on this page may be found on the Graduate School Forms web page.

Master's 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 our 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
  5. For more information about DocuSign, please see this handy video or read these FAQs. 
Check your DegreeWorks audit 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 submission of an academic petition.
All students (doctoral, master’s, certificate) must apply for graduation by the published deadline in the final term.  Check your DegreeWorks audit if you're not sure if you applied to graduate.

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 Spring 2023 Graduation February 10, 2023
Application Deadline for Summer 2023 Graduation JUne 28, 2023
  1. Submit the Appointment of the Master's Thesis 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.

Immediately after the thesis proposal defense:

  1. Submit the Proposal Defense for Master's Thesis Report.
    • If your research requires IRB/IACUC/IBC approval, the approval memo email should be forwarded to once it is received or at the latest within one day of the FINAL defense. Please specify "Master's Documents" in the email subject line.
Deadline Date
Master's Thesis Proposal Deadline for Spring 2023 Graduation February 20, 2023
Master's Thesis Proposal Deadline for Summer 2023 Graduation June 5, 2023

Students are highly encouraged to attend a Formatting Workshop prior to their thesis defense and final submission to ProQuest. Workshops occur approximately every two weeks and can be found on the Center for Graduate Life and Learning's calendar. There is formatting information under the Thesis and Dissertation tab of this website.  A Formatting and Submission playlist can also be found on the Center for Graduate Life and Learning's YouTube channel. For further questions, please email Laura Pagani

Note: There is no official formatting review requirement prior to the final submission to ProQuest. 

After the thesis final defense:

  1. Submit the the Final Defense Report for Master's Thesis or Master's Project form to
    • Note that although the Defense Report should be initiated in DocuSign directly after the defense, it often takes a day or two before it reaches us.
  2. Forward the signed thesis title page to Please specify "Master's Thesis Documents" in the email subject line. 
    • 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 you received an IRB/IACUC/IBC approval memo and have not yet forwarded it to, please do so now.
    • Disregard this step if your work did not require IRB/IACUC/IBC approval.
Deadline Date
Master's Thesis Defense Deadline for Spring 2023 Graduation May 1, 2023
Master's Thesis Defense Deadline for Summer 2023 Graduation July 27, 2023

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

  1. Submit the Master's Thesis Submission and ETD Signature Form to
  2. 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 payments directly to ProQuest.
  3. Create your ProQuest account and submit a PDF of your thesis. For ProQuest's submission instructions, see 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 thesis will appear in ProQuest as well as in UNC Charlotte's institutional repository, Niner Commons

Deadline Date
Master's Thesis Submission Deadline for Spring 2023 Graduation May 8, 2023
Master's Thesis Submission Deadline for Summer 2023 Graduation August 3, 2023

For thesis formatting information contact Laura Pagani (

For graduation clearance information, contact