University of Virginia


Thesis Submission and Graduation

Students who have completed all degree requirements in both their program and their school and who have observed the rules and regulations of the University, including the Honor Code, may graduate only after applying for and receiving approval for the degree sought. A transcript of the applicant's previous academic record, detailing the content of his or her baccalaureate degree, must be on file with the Office of Enrolled Students.

Candidates who do not receive a degree in the semester for which their application has been approved must renew their application in proper form at the beginning of the semester in which candidacy for the degree is desired. Candidates who find that they will not be able to receive their degree in the semester for which their application was approved must remove their name from the degree list by May 1 for spring graduation, August 1 for summer graduation and December 1 for fall graduation.

Students must be registered during the semester in which they plan to graduate.  Before completing the application for the degree, students should check their transcripts for errors, as errors will not be corrected after a degree has been conferred.  Please follow the steps below, following the deadline for the desired term of graduation.  Please also note that the following are standard requirements and procedures for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Individual departments may maintain additional requirements and procedures.

Step One: Degree Application in SIS

Students must apply for their degrees online in SIS by the deadline for the term in which they plan to graduate:

  • Fall - October 1
  • Spring-  February 1
  • Summer - July  1

Doctoral students applying for a master’s degree en route should submit the PhD Continuation form to their departments for signature and apply to graduate online in SIS for the PhD.  GSAS will adjust their records in SIS accordingly.  

Step Two: Verify Requirements and UVa Transcripts

Students must verify in SIS that the academic requirements and milestones for their program have been fulfilled.  Students are also responsible for verifying the accuracy of their University of Virginia transcripts before degree conferral. Errors identified after graduation will not be corrected.

Step Three: Dissertation Title

Doctoral students who are graduating in the spring term must submit the titles of their dissertations to their departments by March 15.

Step Four: Final Examination Form

Doctoral and master's students whose degree requires the submission of a thesis must obtain a signed final examination form at the conclusion of their defense, submit this form to their departmental graduate administrator, and proceed with the steps below.

Master's students for whom a thesis is not required must obtain a signed final examination form and submit this form to their departmental graduate administrator or to the GSAS Registrar. No further steps are required for the degree application.

Step Five: Survey of Earned Doctorates

Doctoral students must complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates online in advance of submitting the dissertation.

Step Six: Upload Thesis to Digital Repository

Doctoral and master's students whose degree requires the submission of a thesis must upload the final, approved version of the thesis to the University Library’s digital repository, also known as LIBRA, by the following deadlines:

  • Fall - December 1
  • Spring -  May 1
  • Summer - August 1

Information regarding the repository, the submission process and copyright law is available through the LIBRA web site.  Please note the following:

  • The title page of the dissertation should be formatted according to the template approved by GSAS. Signatures of the dissertation committee members should appear only on the final examination form. These signatures should not appear on the title page of the document that is uploaded to LIBRA.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that they upload the final, approved version of their thesis. Documents submitted to LIBRA cannot be deleted or corrected.
  • The thesis title submitted to the department in step four above will appear in the LIBRA upload interface. If the title listed in LIBRA does not match the final title of the thesis, the student must stop the upload process and inform his or her departmental graduate administrator of the correct title. The thesis title listed in SIS, LIBRA and the student's transcript should be identical.

LIBRA will accept the thesis as a single PDF document up to 100MB. Students also have the option to upload supplemental files. There are no formatting requirements or restrictions; however, students should adhere to traditional physical standards if they wish to purchase bound copies from Printing and Copying Services.