Steps to Graduation


Please make sure to let Jennifer Hamlin know if you have a reasonable probability of graduating in a given semester. Students must apply to graduate in SIS during the semester you plan to graduate. Deadlines in SIS for applying to graduate are:

  • October 1 for Fall semester
  • February 1 for Spring semester
  • July 1 for Summer

Graduation deadlines

(by which time you must have completed your defenses and all thesis corrections, and uploaded your thesis, online survey of earned doctorates, and signed final exam form) are:

  • December 1 for Fall semester
  • May 1 for Spring semester
  • August 1 for Summer

Writing the Dissertation

The guidelines presented below should be followed for the dissertation.

  • Develop a timeline with your mentor and first reader, with consideration to the deadlines below.
  • The dissertation is to be prepared in close consultation with the mentor. After the student has addressed all of the mentor’s concerns and suggested corrections, the dissertation can be forwarded to the first reader for review.
  • The first reader must receive the thesis at least 2 weeks before the final version is distributed to the full committee.
  • The full committee must receive the thesis at least 1 week before the defense.
  • Writing Tips for Thesis can be found HERE.
  • The title page of the dissertation should be formatted according to the approved template.


Students must receive permission from your Thesis Advisory Committee prior to scheduling your Defense. Public and Private defenses should be scheduled sequentially on same day.
Please let Jennifer Hamlin know as soon as you have a date so that she can advertise.

Final Details – After the Final Defense

  • Email or bring the signed Final Exam form to Jennifer Hamlin by the deadline and she will enter the milestone in SIS and scan and email the form to the SOM Registrar. That evening the student will receive an email from LIBRA with their personalized link to use to upload their thesis.
  • After the Public and Private defenses, the student must upload their thesis and complete all the graduation requirements before the graduation deadlines Fall: December 1, Spring – May 1, Summer – August 1.

Each graduating student can order bound thesis copies. The MIC Department pays for one bound thesis for the student and one bound thesis for our MIC Library. There is also the option to order one for the student’s mentor (at their cost). Once the order is placed with Wert Bookbinders, the turnaround time is typically 2-3 months. After successful completion of the Public/Private Defenses please contact Jennifer Hamlin for details on how to place your order.

Summation of Thesis to UVA Library’s LIBRA System

Doctoral students must upload the final, approved version of their dissertation to the University Library’s digital repository, also known as LIBRA, adhering to the same deadline for the Final Exam form.
Information regarding the repository, the submission process and copyright law is available through the LIBRA web site. Please note the following:

  • As mentioned above, the title page of the dissertation should be formatted according to the approved template. Signatures of the dissertation committee members should appear only on the Final Examination Form and not on the title page of the document uploaded to LIBRA.
  • The student is responsible for ensuring they upload the final, approved version of their thesis. Documents submitted to LIBRA cannot be deleted or corrected.
  • The thesis title submitted to the BIMS Administrator is entered in SIS and will appear in the LIBRA upload interface. If the title listed in LIBRA does not match the final title of the thesis being uploaded, the student must stop the upload process and inform the BIMS Administrator of the correct title.
  • LIBRA will accept the thesis as a single PDF document up to 100MB. Students also have the option to upload supplemental files.
  • Formatting Requirements: There are no formatting requirements or restrictions.

Survey of Earned Doctorates

All graduating students are required to complete the online National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates during the term when they graduate. This online survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. The survey link can be found in SIS under the Academic Requirements.