You are here

Graduation Deadlines

Download a PDF of these deadlines

Last updated September 5, 2020

Graduating in SEPT. '20


Graduating in DEC. '20


Graduating in MAY '21


June 15, 2020


October 23, 2020


January 25, 2021


Deadline to apply for graduation

Log into Duke Hub and click on the "Forms and Requests" tab. Then click the "Apply for Graduation" button. The graduation list submitted to the Office of Special Events and University Ceremonies is generated from the Apply for Graduation forms.

If you applied to graduate in the previous term but did not graduate, you will need to apply again for the current term.


July 6, 2020


November 9, 2020


March 15, 2021


Deadline for initial submission of electronic doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis

The initial submission must take place at least two weeks before your defense and no later than 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date. Note: If you submit your initial dissertation/thesis on the deadline date, you cannot defend until 14 days after that.

Initial submission of the dissertation or thesis means that the document is complete. We will not check the format of an incomplete document.

  • After you submit your electronic dissertation or thesis to UMI/ProQuest, you will receive an e-mail from The Graduate School informing you of any formatting problems.
  • When you receive the e-mail (and not before), follow the link in the e-mail to schedule a time to meet with The Graduate School staff member who contacted you about formatting issues after your initial submission.
  • We must receive the letter from your adviser confirming that your dissertation is complete and ready to defend, as well as the departmental defense announcement before we can release your final examination certificate. You must come to The Graduate School (2127 Campus Drive) to pick up your final examination certificate before your defense.
  • At this appointment you will receive your final examination certificate, and doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to fill out our exit survey.

July 20, 2020


November 23, 2020


April 1, 2021


Final deadline to defend your dissertation or master's thesis

Final day to hold the Ph.D. dissertation or Master’s thesis defense to receive the degree.


August 3, 2020


December 7, 2020


April 15, 2021


Deadline for final submission of electronic dissertation or thesis

3:00 p.m.: All defended, completed PhD dissertations and master’s theses must be submitted to UMI/ProQuest.

5:00 p.m.: All PhD final exam cards and master’s final exam cards (both master’s with thesis and non-thesis master’s) must be submitted to The Graduate School.

Note: The departments for all students getting a non-thesis master’s degree (this includes the master’s on the way to the Ph.D.) must submit a Non-Thesis Master’s Examination Card, signed by their examining committee and the director of graduate studies, to The Graduate School by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date.