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Graduation Deadlines

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Last updated April 15, 2021

Graduating in May '21


Graduating in Sept. '21


Graduating in Dec. '21



January 25, 2021


June 15, 2021


October 15, 2021


Deadline to apply for graduation

Log into DukeHub and navigate to Academics. Scroll down to Program/Degree Selection and select it to open the application for graduation, which should include a list of degree programs for which you are eligible to apply.

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

If you are completing a certificate program, you must apply to graduate for it separately in DukeHub.


March 15, 2021


July 6, 2021


November 8, 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.
  • At this appointment you will receive your final examination certificate, and doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to fill out our exit survey.

April 1, 2021


July 20, 2021


November 22, 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.


April 15, 2021


August 3, 2021


December 6, 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.