Doctoral Degree Steps to Completion

Doctoral Programs Coordinator

Kelsey Sims

Kelsey Sims
Office of Graduate Studies

Throughout these steps to degree completion, Kelsey will be answering your questions and reviewing your materials.

  • Candidacy

    February 1

    Preparation for Graduation

    June 17

    Application for Final Oral Examination

    July 15

    Final Oral Exam Deadline

    July 29

    Report of Completion & Deposit

    July 29

NOTE: Departments may have earlier deadlines. Please check with your advisor or graduate handbook.

Supervisory Committee
Deadline: Prior to the completion of 45 credit hours.
  • What to submit: Appointment of Supervisory Committee form
  • When to submit: Prior to completing half of the coursework, including transfer hours, but excluding research or language tools.
  • Who to submit to: Doctoral Programs Coordinator

You will be notified by email when your committee is approved.

Program of Studies
Deadline: At least 45 credit hours remaining to be taken.
  • What to submit: Program of Studies form
  • When to submit: Prior to completing half of the coursework, including transfer hours, but excluding research or language tools. May be submitted at the same time as the Appointment of Supervisory Committee form.
  • Who to submit to: Doctoral Programs Coordinator

NOTE: Requests to change an approved Program of Studies must be submitted by the student’s major advisor via email to the Doctoral Programs Coordinator. DO NOT submit a new Program of Studies.

For full policy, see Program of Studies in the Graduate Catalog.

Form: Program of Studies
Comprehensive Examination & Candidacy
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit: Application for Admission to Candidacy form
  • When to submit: After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, no later than date TBD
  • Who to submit to: Doctoral Programs Coordinator

For full policy, including registration requirements, see Comprehensive Examination and Candidacy in the Graduate Catalog.

The comprehensive examination must be completed 7 months prior to graduation.

The Application for Admission to Candidacy form must be submitted when language and research tool requirements have been met and the comprehensive examination(s) have been passed.

Form: Application for Admission to Candidacy
Preparation for Graduation
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit: Complete the Application for Graduation in MyRED. The online Application for Graduation will become available in MyRED the semester following Admission to Candidacy. Students participating in commencement must also complete the Hooding Participation form.
  • When to submit: The Application for Graduation and Hooding Participation form must be completed no later than: date TBD

Failure to complete this step will result in a diploma not being ordered for you and your graduation date will be postponed.

Form: Hooding Participation
Application for Final Oral Examination
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit: Application for Final Oral Examination form, with the signatures of the two readers and supervisory committee chair(s).
  • When to submit: Due at least 2 weeks prior to Final Oral Examination. Last date to submit the Application for Final Oral Examination: date TBD

    Last day to hold Final Oral Examination: date TBD

  • Who to submit to: Doctoral Programs Coordinator

For full policy see Final Oral Examination in the Graduate Catalog.

Form: Application for Final Oral Examination
Dissertation Rough Draft Submission
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit:
    • Title page
    • Abstract
    • Full dissertation rough draft

    The formatting will be reviewed and students will be notified of any needed changes. No content will be reviewed. Any formatting changes must be made prior to final dissertation deposit.

  • When to submit: Submit Rough draft with Application for Final Oral Examination at least 2 weeks prior to Final Oral Examination. Last date to submit the Application for Final Oral Examination: date TBD
  • Who to submit to: Doctoral Programs Coordinator

For full policy see Dissertation in the Graduate Catalog.

  • Formatting resource: Preparing a Dissertation.
  • Following approval by the major advisor, the dissertation and abstract should be presented to the Reading Committee for review at least four weeks prior to the oral examination (defense).
Final Dissertation Review
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit: Final and complete dissertation as a PDF
  • When to submit: date TBD
  • Who to submit to: Doctoral Programs Coordinator

    Student will be notified when dissertation has been approved for upload to ProQuest (required) and UNL Digital Commons (optional).

For full policy see Dissertation and Final Oral Examination in the Graduate Catalog.

Upload to ProQuest
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit: Final dissertation in .pdf format.

    ProQuest will recognize you are a UNL student and not require payment for basic upload. If placing an embargo, ProQuest will delay distribution of your dissertation. You will need to be specific about the length of time.

    If requesting copyright registration through ProQuest, complete the additional ProQuest form and pay the associated fee.

  • When to submit: After final formatting approval has been given by Graduate Studies. No later than: date TBD
  • Who to submit to: ProQuest

NOTE: Upload only after approval by Graduate Studies. Uploads to ProQuest will be queued for addition to UNL Digital Commons while respecting embargo timelines. Changes cannot be made to the dissertation once it has been uploaded to ProQuest and UNL Digital Commons.

Deposit Fees
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit: Final dissertation deposit fees - $25 dissertation processing fee (required)
  • When to submit: No later than: date TBD
  • How to submit: Paid in MyRed (To-do list) by credit or debit card.

NOTE: This payment is not part of your student account. You will receive email confirmation of this payment.

Report of Completion and Final Required Dissertation Actions
Deadline: date TBD
  • What to submit:
    • Finalized Report of Completion form

      NOTE: A majority of the committee must be in attendance and sign the Report of Completion form.

    • Resolve Incomplete Grades - Outstanding incomplete/no report grades for Dissertation credits need final grades to be entered. The advisor/committee chair of record should use the form found on the Registrar's tutorial page to complete the grade change for outstanding incomplete/no report Dissertation credits.

      NOTE: Current semester grading should be completed through the grade reports.

    • Abstract
    • Title page
  • When to submit: After your defense and no later than: date TBD
  • Who to submit to: Upload Form

Note: Ph.D. students must complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates. The Doctoral Programs Coordinator will automatically receive a notice of completion.

Form: Report of Completion

The PDF forms on this page are Reader-Enabled: you can type in the form, save the PDF on your computer, then later reopen the file and change what you typed — if you use a current version of Adobe Acrobat software, such as the free Acrobat Reader. Other PDF-reading software may or may not support these features. See also: Troubleshooting Forms.