Graduation Information


A graduate student receiving a diploma

Spring 2021 Graduates

The Spring 2021 KU Commencement and School of Engineering Recognition Ceremony plans are still very fluid. Updates will be posted on the Commencement and School of Engineering web pages as they become available.


As you prepare to complete your graduate program in the School of Engineering, there are several important steps to follow. Because graduation requirements are different at each degree level (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees), students are encouraged to talk to their departmental/program coordinator in advance when they are ready to complete a milestone in their academic career. In cooperation with departmental/program staff, the School of Engineering Dean’s staff is responsible for processing graduation each semester and coordinates the Engineering Recognition Ceremony in the fall and spring.

All Students should refer to KU’s Academic Catalog to review degree requirements for their program and the Academic Calendar to be sure they meet posted deadlines for graduation requirements.

Preparing to Graduate

The School of Engineering Dean's staff, departmental/program faculty and staff, and students each play a major role in the graduation process. It is important to understand the roles and responsibilities that each unit plays in the graduation process:

Students

Students should utilize the degree timelines, the graduation checklist and Academic Calendar as a guide to all enrollment and degree requirements and deadlines. While departments and Dean’s staff make every effort to provide information and assistance, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to ensure that all degree requirements have been met and necessary documentation submitted by the semester deadline for degree completion.

It is also the student’s responsibility to schedule academic milestones (i.e. final exams and defenses) at least 3 weeks in advance of the date of the exam. This is done by contacting the department/program coordinator with your exam date, time, exam location, and committee members. The 3-week timeline provides ample time for both the department/program coordinator and the Dean’s staff to approve degree eligibility and process exam outcomes. Failure to schedule academic milestones at least 3 weeks in advance can result in a delaying the final exam/defense to the following semester, thus delaying graduation.

Departmental/Program Staff

The departmental/program staff provide confirmation to the Dean’s staff that all degree requirements have been met by approving the graduation checklist, and work with their individual faculty to resolve any outstanding grade issues. Departments must also observe the universities deadline to submit outcomes of final exams/defenses and approve graduation in Enroll & Pay for the University Registrar to process the degree conferral.

School of Engineering Dean’s Office

The Dean’s staff reviews a student’s academic file to ensure all items on the graduation checklist are completed by the Application for Graduation deadline, which can be found on the Academic CalendarAny requirement not submitted or submitted after the deadline will cause the student's graduation to be postponed to a later semester and may require additional enrollment.  In addition to the checklist items, the Dean’s staff verifies final degree certification in the following ways:

  1. The resolution of any Incomplete, Missing or Waiting grades
  2. Final GPA of 3.0 or above after all grades post (this takes place after the graduation deadline)
  3. Verifies a complete and approved plan of study on file
  4. Satisfactory completion of the final exam or defense
  5. Submission of the thesis or dissertation (initial uploading of thesis or dissertation and required changes from university administrator)

Graduation Requirements By Degree

All graduate degree graduation requirements vary by degree:

Doctoral Degree Requirements

  1. “Apply to Graduate” for the correct semester in Enroll & Pay
    1. Log into Enroll & Pay. After logging in, click on Degree Progress/Graduation, then click on KU Apply for Graduation.
    2. If you applied for a previous semester, you must re-apply
  2. Schedule your final examination or presentation with your department program coordinator at least three weeks in advance
    1. Failing to schedule your final examination or defense three weeks prior may be grounds for delaying your graduation to a later term
  3. Update and submit your Plan of Study (PoS) for final approval at: Graduate Plan of Study
    1. Please make sure all classes that count towards your degree are included and correct. Do not include coursework with a grade of "C- or below" as meeting graduate degree requirements. If you have any incomplete (I) or waiting grades (WG) from previous semesters, please contact your instructor or department assistant to get those changed
  4. Complete the 2020-2021 Engineering Graduate Level Report Form.
  5. Upon successfully passing your final exam, complete the School of Engineering graduation checklist, and attach the following:
    1. KU Scholarworks Electronic Theses and Dissertations Release form (PDF)
    2. The certificate of completion of the Doctoral Student Completion Survey
    3. Signed Title Page and Acceptance Pages of your dissertation
      1. Please note ALL committee members must sign the title page; only your chair must sign the acceptance page. You may upload multiple signed pages to your Graduation Checklist form
  6. Upload the unsigned PDF copy of your dissertation online (instructions)
    1. Note that the Office of Graduate Studies houses the official formatting requirements for theses and dissertations. Although students may find the general content layout of previous theses or dissertations helpful, students should not use the formatting from an old thesis or dissertation, since formatting instructions may change from year to year. Current formatting guidelines for dissertations (PDF) can also be found on the Graduate Studies website

 

Master’s Degree Requirements

  1. “Apply to Graduate” for the correct semester in Enroll & Pay
    1. Log into Enroll & Pay. After logging in, click on Degree Progress/Graduation, then click on KU Apply for Graduation
    2. If you applied for a previous semester, you must re-apply
  2. Schedule your final examination or presentation with your department program coordinator at least three weeks in advance
    1. Failing to schedule your final examination or defense three weeks prior may be grounds for delaying your graduation to a later term
  3. Update and submit your Plan of Study (PoS) for final approval at: Graduate Plan of Study
    1. Please make sure all classes that count towards your degree are included and correct. Do not include coursework with a grade of "C- or below" as meeting graduate degree requirements. If you have any incomplete (I) or waiting grades (WG) from previous semesters, please contact your instructor or department assistant to get those changed
  4. Complete the 2020-2021 Engineering Graduate Level Report Form.
  5. Upon successfully passing your final exam, complete the School of Engineering graduation checklist.  If you defended a thesis, you must you attach the following:
    1. KU Scholarworks Electronic Theses and Dissertations Release form (PDF)
    2. Signed Title Page and Acceptance Pages of your thesis
      1. Please note ALL committee members must sign the title page; only your chair must sign the acceptance page. You may upload multiple signed pages to your Graduation Checklist form
  6. Upload the unsigned PDF copy of your dissertation online (instructions)
    1. Note that the Office of Graduate Studies houses the official formatting requirements for theses and dissertations. Although students may find the general content layout of previous theses or dissertations helpful, students should not use the formatting from an old thesis or dissertation, since formatting instructions may change from year to year. Current formatting guidelines for theses (PDF) can also be found on the Graduate Studies website

 

Graduate Certificate Requirements

  1. “Apply to Graduate” for the correct semester in Enroll & Pay
    1. Log into Enroll & Pay. After logging in, click on Degree Progress/Graduation, then click on KU Apply for Graduation
    2. If you applied for a previous semester, you must re-apply

Frequently Asked Questions

As of the Spring 2021 semester, the graduation checklist is completely digital. This means that PDF copies of the checklist will no longer be accepted. All graduating students are required to complete the graduation checklist and include the required items based on the degree they are completing, per the instructions above.

Embargoes are generally advised if you have a publishing agreement for your entire manuscript, have a patent pending or if your research is of a sensitive nature. Embargoes can only be granted with the signature endorsement of your Graduate Director on your ETD Release form. By signing, your director agrees that your submission will be held from public access for up to 2 years.  More information about embargoes.

Your work is already protected, but you may choose to have UMI Proquest register copyright on your behalf with the Library of Congress (for a fee).  Please see KU Libraries' information on copyright and image copyright for more information.

Diplomas will not be available until the middle of the following semester (see Academic Calendar for actual date). You will be notified when your diploma is available for pick-up.  You may also have your diploma mailed to you by selecting this option when you complete the online Application for Graduation or online through the Registrar's website.

Diplomas are processed by the Registrar’s office after grades post for the semester you graduate (see Academic Calendar for specific dates). Diplomas are ordered after that date and shipped to the Registrar’s office to be dispersed. If there are extenuating circumstances which require a diploma, you should first ascertain if a Statement of Forthcoming Degree will suffice your needs. If a Statement of Forthcoming Degree is not sufficient, you can make a request to the University Registrar at registrar@ku.edu.

Please visit the Graduate Studies website for recommended binding companies. One local company that also provides soft-bound copies is Printing Solutions.

It is the student’s responsibility to file the thesis or dissertation before the Application for Graduation deadline, and to ensure that it meets all ProQuest and University formatting guidelines. The Dean’s staff will verify that the submission has been completed prior to the deadline, as this is a requirement of graduation. The Dean’s staff also complete a basic formatting check as a courtesy to students. We make every effort to do this check before the degree verification process is complete, though an unusually large number of graduates may cause delays. You will receive an email notification when your thesis or dissertation has been reviewed and the formatting approved, or if there are formatting changes needed.

Yes. In addition to Commencement, all doctoral degree candidates are invited to participate in the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony each May. The Office of Graduate Studies coordinates the event. This event is intended for students who completed their degree by the spring graduation deadline (although students completing in summer may attend).

To participate in the 2021 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, doctoral students must apply for graduation by March 1. No exceptions will be granted. Applying for graduation by 1 March will ensure you get information about how to register for Hooding and complete necessary steps.

Please note that due to Covid-19, the Office of Graduate Studies’ plans for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony are still fluid. Please check their website and your emails for updates as the semester progresses.

Due to COVID-19, the School of Engineering is working to provide Recognition Ceremony that will keep the health and safety of everyone a top priority while celebrating our graduates. More information will be shared soon.

All students must wear a black cap and gown. Graduate students also wear a hood (optional for master’s students) and a black tassel. Undergraduate students wear an orange tassel. School of Engineering Graduation Regalia 101 (PDF)

All regalia may be purchased at any KU bookstore. All information regarding regalia can be found on the KU Commencement website.