Graduation and Degree Application

Overview 

Graduation is a recognition of your hard work and academic accomplishments, and we look forward to celebrating with you. Below you will find information about important tasks you need to complete and an overview of how the University and Division celebrates its graduates. 

Tasks for Graduating Students

  1. Complete your application to graduate online no later than Saturday (11:59 PM CT) of first week of the quarter you plan to graduate.
    1. Degree applications are valid only for the quarter in which they are made. If you are unable to graduate by the end of that quarter, you will need to reapply. If you need to withdraw your degree application, please contact the Dean of Students Office at psd-dos@lists.uchicago.edu. Please note that applications withdrawn after Friday of the fifth week of a quarter will be subject to a fee.
  2. Complete the PSD Graduating Student Survey so we can contact you in the future about whether you plan to participate in any Divisional graduation ceremonies. The survey also asks you a few brief questions about your post-graduation plans. The survey should take 2-3 minutes to complete. 
  3. Check in with your Student Affairs Administrator to make sure you have completed everything you need to do to be eligible to graduate
  4. Double-check your diploma mailing address in my.uchicago.edu. This should be an address where you can receive mail several weeks following graduation
  5. Notify your current-quarter instructors that you are graduating. You should notify them as early as possible in the quarter. 
  6. Resolve any holds on your student account well in advance of the end of the quarter
  7. Review information about email account closure and prepare your email forwarding. Alumni do not retain indefinite access to their UChicago email address. Email accounts typically close two quarters after graduation. Graduating students are encouraged to review information about email for alumni. More information is available on the ITS website

If you have any general questions related to graduation, please email psd-dos@lists.uchicago.edu.

Diploma Ceremonies and Convocation

Students are eligible to graduate in each quarter at the University. The Physical Sciences Division hosts two major events at the divisional level to celebrate graduates:

  • Autumn Quarter Reception: this event is typically held in Eckhardt Research Center on the final Friday of Autumn Quarter. Light refreshments are served.
  • PSD Spring Quarter Diploma Ceremony: this event is held on campus and is the Division’s diploma ceremony for the entire academic year. It is typically held on or around the same date as the University-wide Convocation
    • Students who graduated in Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer of the current academic year are eligible to participate
    • Students wear full academic regalia to participate in this ceremony
    • Students are individually recognized and cross the stage at the ceremony. PhD candidates are hooded by their advisor
    • Students must RSVP in addition to applying to graduate to participate in the ceremony

In addition to these events, the University hosts a University-wide Convocation ceremony at the end of Spring Quarter. More information is available at https://convocation.uchicago.edu. Individual candidates are not recognized at the University-wide ceremony; students wishing to be recognized should RSVP to the Divisional Diploma Ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I completed my application to graduate – does that mean I RSVP’d to the Divisional ceremony?

No. The application to graduate is an administrative step that declares your intention to graduate that quarter. You will need to separately RSVP to participate in the Divisional Diploma Ceremony. Please see below:

  • Students graduating in each quarter should also complete the PSD Graduating Student Survey. We will use this information to follow up with students about whether they intend to participate in any divisional celebrations, so this step is extremely important

Q: Do I have to participate in the University-wide Convocation or the Divisional Diploma Ceremony?

Participation is not required but is encouraged so we can celebrate your tremendous accomplishments. Students are not required to participate in the University-wide Convocation to be able to participate in the Divisional Diploma Ceremony and vice versa.

Q: How do I know if I RSVP’d to participate?

You can always reach out to psd-dos@lists.uchicago.edu if you have questions about whether you RSVP’d. You will also receive a confirmation email when you complete the RSVP form. You should keep a copy of this confirmation for your records.

Q: Do I need regalia to participate?

Regalia is required for two events: the University-wide Convocation and the Divisional Diploma Ceremony (both in Spring Quarter).

Regalia is available at the University Bookstore.

MS candidates’ regalia includes: Master’s robe, cap, tassel. You do not need a hood.

PhD candidates’ regalia includes: doctoral robe, tam, tassel, hood.

Q: Can I bring guests to the Autumn reception or Spring ceremonies?

Guests are welcome. Please note that for the Spring Divisional Diploma ceremony that ticketing may be required depending on the number of students who choose to participate.

Q: I want to invite guests from abroad for the Divisional Diploma Ceremony. Can the PSD help with that?

The Dean of Students Office is happy to provide letters for students whose guests plan to come to the US on a visa to celebrate graduation. If you have guests coming from abroad, please contact Sonia Lizardo to request an invitation letter that may be useful during their visa application process.