Timeline for Spring or Fall Graduation

With the exception of the UNC deadline for the final electronic submission of the dissertation, the timeline for graduation activities follows Duke deadlines. All graduation activities should be performed at both schools because both campuses need to “clear” each student for degree conferral.

  1. The first deadline is for the application to graduate, typically in late January for May graduation and in September for December graduation.

By this time the “Apply for Graduation” form needs to be submitted at Duke (via ACES).

Also by this same (Duke) deadline, you must “Apply for Graduation” at UNC (via ConnectCarolina).

  1. The second deadline: At Duke, all of you will need to ensure that your final Ph.D. Committee has been approved by the Duke Graduate School a minimum of 30 days before your final defense date. You can see your current committee on ACES. Your Prelim committee was approved before your Prelims; however, you will most likely need a new approval, since any changes or additions must be approved. For example, if you were to plan to defend on April 1, you would need to ask the Duke German Department to submit a committee approval form before the end of February. The committee must be approved by the Duke German DGS, after which the form is submitted electronically to the Duke Graduate School.

At the same time, you should also submit the names of your final Ph.D. Committee to the UNC GSLL staff, so that it can be submitted to the UNC Graduate School.

  1. The third deadline is the final date to hold the dissertation defense to receive the degree. This date is determined by the Duke Graduate School and is generally in early April for May graduation and in November for December graduation. The day and time for your defense should be scheduled well in advance.

At least 10 days prior to the defense, in order to obtain the Duke final doctoral exam card, all students should provide the Duke Graduate School their Dissertation Defense Announcement and Advisor Statement specifying the dissertation is ready to be defended. This form should be submitted to the CDG staff at both universities. Once approved, the CDG staff will submit to the Duke Graduate School at gradacademics@duke.edu, after which students will be asked to make an appointment to pick up their card at the Duke Graduate School.

  1. The fourth deadline is the final date to submit the electronic version of your approved dissertation to the UNC Graduate School, including any revisions requested by your committee at the time of the defense. Do note that if revisions are requested and the defense took place very near the final date allowed, the timing between the defense and filing/submission could be very tight. This date is determined by the UNC Graduate School and is generally in mid-April for May graduation and in mid-November for December graduation.

Please note that the Duke deadline for the dissertation defense (#3 above) MIGHT sometimes fall after the deadline to upload your dissertation at UNC (#4 above), so please always time your defense early enough to allow yourself time to meet the submission deadline.

  1. The fifth deadline is the final date to be cleared for all degree requirements at Duke and be placed on the graduation list for approval by the Duke Board of Trustees. Students should note in the university exam schedules when their final course exams are scheduled and determine when final grades are expected. Please speak with your advisor and CDG program staff as early as possible if timing could be tight between your last exam and the Duke final clearance date. This date is determined by Duke and is generally 72 hours after all final grades are due at Duke each term.

Departmental Timelines:

Please note: The information above relates to Graduate School deadlines. There are also CDG Program expectations for the dissertation defense process that, while a bit more flexible, are nonetheless to be respected.

These include:

  1. Submitting a CDG Milestone form, signed by either your advisor or a DGS, to both departmental offices, as soon as you know the date you will be defending.
  2. Getting a copy of the completed dissertation to your committee four weeks in advance of the defense, and a penultimate version of the dissertation to your faculty advisor two weeks before that.
  3. In other words, for all intents and purposes, the dissertation needs to be basically finished (and properly formatted) by mid-February for a May graduation or by mid- to late September for a December graduation.