Graduation and Degree Application

Graduation and Degree Application  

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. 

This information is for graduate students in the Physical Sciences Division. All other students should refer to information from their respective school or program.

Jump to Graduating Student Tasks

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Graduating Student Tasks in Graduation Quarter

Complete the Application to Graduate Online 

Graduating students are required to complete an online application to graduate by 11:59 PM on Saturday of the first week of the quarter. To complete this application, students should visit and complete the application to graduate.

If you receive a notification at that you are ineligible for graduation, you likely need to update your graduation quarter in your student portal. Click here for instructions on updating your graduation quarter. 

If you experience any issues submitting your application to graduate, please reach out to your departmental administrator right away for assistance.

If you are a PhD student receiving your transitional Master's degree (TMS) prior to completing your PhD program, click here for instructions on that process. 

Please note that applications withdrawn after Friday of the fifth week of a quarter will be subject to a fee.

PhD Students Only - Complete the PhD Final Quarter Form

All students receiving their PhD must complete the PhD Final Quarter Form by the end of the second week of their graduation quarter. This form should take 1-2 minutes to complete. This information ensures that we have clear and accurate information about your registration and funding plans in your final quarter.

Check in with your Departmental/Program Administrator 

If you have any questions about whether you have any remaining requirements to fulfill, you should check in with your departmental/program administrator early in your graduation quarter (or in the quarter prior).

Check your Student Profile Information 

Once you have completed your application to graduate, you should make sure your diploma mailing address is accurate in your student profile. You can make updates to addresses in your student profile by following these instructions.

If you are having your diploma mailed to an address outside the US, you must also update your phone numbers to include an international phone number where you can be reached after your graduation quarter so that the courier has a point of contact for delivery.

Review Information about Email Account Closure 

You should review information about 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.

Graduation Ceremonies 

Autumn Quarter Graduation Reception

The PSD holds a graduation reception at the end of Autumn Quarter (typically the last Friday before the end of the quarter). All Autumn Quarter graduates and their guests are invited to attend this event, which features brief remarks from the Dean, light hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments, and photography opportunities for students and their families.

Autumn Quarter graduates and their guests are invited to return to campus at the end of Spring Quarter for the PSD Annual Diploma Ceremony and University-wide Convocation. Individual graduates are recognized (cross the stage) at the PSD Annual Diploma Ceremony at the end of Spring Quarter.

Tickets are not required for this event. Autumn graduates will receive an email in mid-Autumn Quarter with a short RSVP form they should fill out with their expected number of attendees if they plan to attend.

PSD Annual Diploma Ceremonies

The Physical Sciences Division offers MS and PhD diploma ceremonies during Convocation Week at the end of Spring Quarter. All graduates receiving a degree* during the academic year are invited to participate, as well as students who anticipate earning their degree in Summer Quarter. The MS Diploma Ceremony and PhD Diploma and Hooding Ceremonies are held on separate days, and lunch is available for graduates and their guests.

To participate in the PSD Annual Diploma Ceremony, students must complete the online registration process for the diploma ceremony. This form must be completed in addition to the application to graduate. Online registration for the diploma ceremony will open in late March for eligible graduates from all quarters.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, students receiving their MS or PhD in any of the following quarters can participate in the diploma ceremony at the end of Spring Quarter 2024:

  • Summer Quarter 2023
  • Autumn Quarter 2023
  • Winter Quarter 2024
  • Spring Quarter 2024
  • Summer Quarter 2024

* Any student in a PhD program who is receiving their transitional MS (TMS) degree and continuing on with their PhD program will be invited to participate in Spring ceremonies in the year in which they receive their PhD rather than the year they receive their TMS.

Click here for detailed information about the PSD MS Diploma Ceremony. 

Click here for detailed information about the PSD PhD Diploma and Hooding Ceremony.

University-wide Convocation 

Convocation is held annually at the end of Spring Quarter. At the University-wide Convocation Ceremony, the President of the University of Chicago verbally confers all degrees to degree candidates from all Divisions at the University. More details are available on the Convocation website.

Graduating students in the PSD and their guests are welcome to attend the University-wide Convocation Ceremony. Tickets are not required. Graduating students participating in the University-wide Convocation are required to wear full academic regalia for the ceremony.