Final Semester

Intent to Graduate and Final Semester

This information is provided so you will know what is
expected of you as you complete your final semester.


E-mail Me:
Ms. Tonya Walker

Graduate Services Specialist
College of Sciences

Updated Icon 19 February, 2015

important Look for items marked as Important!

Intent to Graduate

You were directed to this site because you filed an intent to graduate this semester.

How do I know that everything is okay for graduation?

When you first file your intent to graduate, your status will be noted as “Applied.” If there are any outstanding issues with your program of study, the COS Graduate Office or your graduate program will notify you.

After College of Sciences’ approval (which will occur by mid-semester), the Graduate College accepts your intent to graduate and your status will be updated to “Pending.” This will remain the status of your intent until you are certified for graduation. Once you are certified, your intent status will be updated to “Awarded.”

But how will I be notified that everything is okay for graduation?

Are you checking your e-mail? Please be certain to check your Knights E-mail, as this is your official university e-mail account and any correspondence or reminders regarding graduation (including thesis and dissertation deadlines) are only sent to this account.


You must be enrolled the semester you plan to graduate OR you must have an official waiver of enrollment granted by the Graduate College.

I’ve not yet defended, but I finished the minimum required number of thesis/dissertation hours? Do I still have to be enrolled?

Yes. If you have not yet defended your thesis or dissertation, you must be enrolled into three credit hours of XXX6971/7980 until you successfully defend your thesis or dissertation.  If you have completed all minimum program coursework and thesis hours, and receive approval from your committee chair or adviser, you man enroll in minimum of one credit hour of XXX6971/7980.

What if I’m not completing a thesis or dissertation, but I’ve completed all my classes?

If you have completed all your classes, but have not yet completed all of the requirements of the degree, at a minimum you must enroll into an administrative course: IDS 6999 (this course is only enrolled by override – please see your program’s director for more information).

For example:

  • If you have completed all your courses, but have not yet taken your comprehensive exams, you must enroll into IDS 6999.
  • If you have a final presentation requirement, you must enroll into IDS 6999 or some other advised course enrollment equivalent to at least one hour of enrollment.
  • If you have actually completed all requirements of the degree, then you can request a waiver of enrollment from the Graduate College by e-mailing

What if I completed my thesis or dissertation, can I get an enrollment waiver?

For students completing a thesis or dissertation to be granted a waiver of enrollment, at a minimum you must have met the format deadline and the defense deadline in the preceding semester (the document must be complete except for final upload). To request the waiver of enrollment, please notify the editor ( of your interest, and she will confirm if you are eligible and notify both you and the college that the waiver has been granted.

Your Intent to Graduate

What if I want to change my diploma mailing address?

You can change your diploma mailing address by e-mailing the Graduate Records office at This can be done until the day of Commencement.

What do I do if I need to withdraw my intent to graduate?

As soon as you realize that you will not be able to graduate, please make certain that your proram and the COS graduate office know. To officially withdraw your application, contact the Graduate College at Be certain to include your full name and the name of your graduate proram in the e-mail.Any student who withdraws their intent to graduate will need to file a new one in order to be eligible for degree certification in a future semester.

I was admitted as a part of a cohort, but still have one more requirement to complete. Even though I won’t be receiving a degree, can I walk in the ceremony with my classmates?

Master’s degree students have the option of participating in the ceremony without earning the degree (the classification is known as “walk only”). This is normally only allowed if you are within one semester of graduation. If you select to do this, you will need to let us know as you will need to file your intent via a form as opposed to electronically. Your online intent to graduate will be withdrawn, but the hardcopy form will keep you on the graduation list so you are able to order your cap and gown and receive tickets for your guests.

Program of Study

Review your graduate plan of study

Your graduate plan of study (or GPS) is found in your myUCF Student Center. Please review your plan of study so you can confirm for yourself that everything looks okay to graduate.

What do I do if there are problems on my GPS?

The GPS is the technical document we use to certify you for degree completion, so it is very important that all of the information on it is correct. If you find any problems with the way your audit looks, please bring this to the attention of your graduate program director or the graduate staff person in your department.

Thesis/Dissertation – Final Semester Requirements and Information

Not completing a thesis or dissertation? Click here to skip to the next section: Non-Thesis Option.

The Thesis and Dissertation pages within the Graduate College’s website are an excellent source of additional and detailed information about this process. Please make sure you are familiar with the resources available from these pages.

importantBe certain to check out the Thesis/Dissertation final semester checklist, called Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation (it’s on the Graduate College’s website).


There are a few critical deadlines associated with your ability to be certified to graduate this semester. These deadlines are found in the UCF Academic Calendar.

If you miss any of the three deadlines discussed below, this will prevent you from being certified to graduate in the semester you intended.

Format Review Deadline

  • Formatting, if you have not set up your document from the start, can be time consuming – don’t wait until the last minute to address formatting.
  • You can find information about formatting assistance within various pages of the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.
  • Submit your document for review via the Thesis and Dissertation Services website. You will also receive feedback regarding your format review via this site.
  • During the format review, the thesis editor is looking only at format, not content. She (Nathalia Bauer – needs to know that your title page is correct, your PDF is bookmarked correctly, headings are consistent, your margins are correct, your tables/graphs are formatted correctly, etc.
    • Your document does not have to be completed to undergo the format review (you can even be missing your final chapter), you just need enough content so the review is useful.
    • If you have been formatting your document as you’ve been writing it, I suggest getting the format review out of the way as soon as possible. This way, you can concentrate most of your energies on finalizing the content and not worrying about format.
    • A successful format review will result in approval from the editor, and with the approval e-mail you will receive the final upload instructions.
    • If you are asked to resubmit your document for format review, you must do so before the final deadline.
    • Note: you have met the initial format deadline with your original submission.

What if I need help with formatting my thesis / dissertation?

The thesis editor ( is always available if you have questions about the your electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD). In addition to this office, the Office of Instructional Resources (OIR) and theUniversity Writing Center (UWC) offer formatting assistance either in person (by appointment) or online. Please review the Thesis and Dissertation website for more resources and information.

Defense Deadline

  • You want to discuss a defense date early in the semester because you will have to coordinate this date with multiple committee members, arranging for them to be in the same place at the same time.
  • Additionally, your defense date gives you a “final deadline” by when you know you must have everything completed, and you can organize your own, your committee’s, and the university’s deadlines from that date.

Final Deadline

  • This is the date by which everything must be completed: your document’s format approved and uploaded, all paperwork signed and submitted, any fees (if applicable) paid.
  • If your format review received final approval, the editor will send you an e-mail with final upload instructions.
  • If your format review indicated that updates and another submission are needed, make certain that you resolve any issues well in advance of the final upload deadline.

What if I need help with submitting my thesis / dissertation?

The thesis editor ( is available if you have questions or problems uploading your document. It’s best not to wait until 5pm of the deadline to do this….

In the academic calendar, you will find a suggested deadline by which you need to have your review completed. While it is suggested fairly early in the semester, ideally you will want to have this review conducted when your document is most complete so the feedback will be the most useful.

Your thesis advisor is responsible for reviewing your document through You may have to upload it to the website, or your advisor may ask for it electronically so s/he can upload it. Your advisor receives training through the Office of Research and Commercialization to gain access to If your advisor has any concerns about, there are resources available at the Office of Research and Commercialization for him/her.

No results of the review are reported to the Graduate College; however, what is revealed should be reviewed by you, your advisor, and your committee. When your advisor and committee sign off on you final thesis/dissertation approval form, they are also indicating that they have conducted this review.

How does iThenticate work?

The review is an automated process that allows the uploading of documents (including among others, proposals, manuscripts, thesis, journals, etc.), and screens them against millions of published documents available through the Internet and multiple web-based databases. The results will reveal any text matches to be reviewed by your advisor for proper citation.

I’m concerned that my document becomes “property” of iThenticate, and if I try to submit it for publication it’s already considered “published”?

That is not the case, and here is why:

iThenticate does not add your manuscript to ANY databases. Unlike many free plagiarism checker services, iThenticate does not store, share or resell uploaded files.

When my master’s thesis is developed into a dissertation, iThenticate flags the majority of the dissertation as “copied” material. Will I risk action for plagiarism?

Students should know that the faculty doing the dissertation review will be able to see that the previous/duplicate work was a part of the student’s thesis. The same information is available when a student submits a draft version of their document that is followed by a final version.

Any Questions?

For information about iThenticate at UCF, please see iThenticate on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) website, Office of Research and Commercialization. For iThenticate’s login (set-up) actions and/or system-related questions, thesis and dissertation chairs should contact RCR at  The UCF Thesis and Dissertation editor and Patricia MacKown of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are also available to answer questions.

Release Options (Dissemination)

importantPlease submit this form at least five business days prior to your defense. Once you select your option, it is reviewed by the Graduate College and updated to your final signature page.

During your final semester, you will indicate your dissemination preferences in the TD Release Option eForm found within your myUCF Student Center. Within this form, you will indicate your thesis or dissertation title, defense date, whether patent disclosures apply or not, and release option choices:

  • Immediate (worldwide) public dissemination
  • Patent/Proprietary Issues: Delayed for six months and then public release
  • Patent/Proprietary Issues: Delayed for six month, then limited dissimenation within the UCF community, and then public release after a total of one, three or five years
  • Proprietary Issues: Released only to within the UCF community, and then public release after a total of one, three, or five years

Carefully review the questions about availability that are being asked, and review the options with your advisor. If you have any publications, patents, or additional research that you are pursuing; you may want to delay dissemination of your document’s information. If you or your advisor have questions about this form, please see the Graduate College’s FAQ for Thesis/Dissertation or contact the thesis editor.

The title for your thesis/dissertation that you indicate with your release options is the title that will show up in your student milestones. Remember, if your title changes, you can update this on your Defense Approval Form found within your Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The title you indicate on your final approval form and that you use with your final submission should be the correct and final title that you use for your document.

Once you submit your dissemination options, both you and your advisor will receive an e-mail that includes your defense date and the release option information.

Note: UCF does not require doctoral students to submit their dissertation to UMI/ProQuest for publication.


What can I expect at my defense?

Your best resource to find out what to expect at a defense is your thesis or dissertation advisor. S/he can tell you how to prepare, what you should bring, what any norms or protocol are with respect to defenses, and answer any other questions you may have.

You can also attend thesis and dissertation defenses. As stated in the defense announcement, these are open to the public. This is a great opportunity to also find out exactly what happens.

What do I do if one of my committee members can not physically attend my defense?

All of your committee members are required to attend your defense. If you have a committee member who cannot physically attend your defense, with the approval of your program’s graduate committee, and the dean of the College of Sciences, this member can attend via tele- or video-conference (ex. Skype or Adobe Connect). Be certain that that member also receives a final copy of your thesis or dissertation in advance of your defense.

What if more than one member can not physically attend my defense?

In the unlikely event that you have two members that cannot physically attend your defense, it is best to find a defense date when all of your members can attend. Until university-supported software is available that allows complete and integrated video-conferencing, the university will not allow more than one remote attendee.

Defense Announcements

All thesis and dissertation defenses should be announced at least a week in advance of the defense. Contact your program’s graduate director or graduate program assistant for information about having your announcement made public.

Please refer to the Academic Calendar for defense deadlines. The template for the defense announcement is found in the Thesis/Dissertation Manual (it’s in the appendix).

Signature Page

The committee identified on your signature page is the one that the University has approved and on file. If you change your committee, please be certain to officially update this information using the Doctoral Committee/Candidacy Status Form or the Thesis Advisory Committee Form. Both of these forms are found within the Graduate College’s Forms & Files page.

importantCOS_FinalApprovalPage_Diss (pdf)
(While this is a sample dissertation approval page, the information within is applicable to both thesis and dissertation students.)

The Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form (the final signature page) can be printed from the Graduate College’s Thesis and Dissertation Services website. After logging in to this site, you will be able to review your committee and edit general information about your thesis or dissertation (such as the title of your document, your name, the date of the defense, etc.). If any of the information is incorrect, please contact your graduate program.

important Make certain that you have identified your release options and they are showing on your signature page. You can update this information in myUCF (it will update to your defense page in 24 hrs).

You should take your final signature page to the defense. After you successfully defend, your committee, your department’s chair, and the dean of the college will sign this form.

How can I obtain the signature of a committee member who wasn’t physically at my defense?

If you a committee member who participated in your defense via tele- or video-conference, you will need to make arrangements to e-mail/mail/fax your final signature page to them. You need to keep in mind the timing for this so you have time to receive the document back and obtain the Dean’s signature in advance of the final deadline.

Do the signatures on my Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form have to be original?

No. These signatures can be a stamp, scanned image (PDF, jpg, or other format), copied, or faxed.

What happens if a member of my committee refuses to sign?

The majority of your committee members must sign your Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form for you to successfully defend.

In the event that one of your committee members does not support your defense, but the majority of your committee do, the member who does not support your defense does not sign; therefore, their signature line will be blank. Do not delete or otherwise remove the name of the member who does not sign, as your committee form will be invalid if a previously approved name is missing. It is then up to the chair of your department to determine if the defense was successful. The chair may require additional information or may review your thesis/dissertation to determine if s/he supports it.

Additional Signatures (those required beyond your committee)

In addition to your program director’s signature, the College of Sciences requires that your Thesis or Dissertation Approval is also signed as approved by the chair of the department or the director of the school that houses your degree and by the Dean of the College. Please ensure that these two signatures are obtained before turning your document in to the Graduate College.

important Chair’s/Director’s Signature

You will have to add the title information for the Chair of your Department/Director of your School. If you do not know who this person is, please speak with your thesis advisor or your program’s director or refer to the COS Website.

Dean’s Signature

To obtain the Dean’s signature, please bring your signature page to CSB 201 (the College of Sciences Dean’s Office). At this time, your approved committee will be re-verified – so if you make changes to your committee, be certain to officially file these changes with your program director.

If the Dean is available, he will want to meet with you to sign your approval page.

If the Dean is not immediately available for a signature, please leave your approval page with a staff person in the front office. You must also provide contact information so that you can be called to pick up your signed form. Given the importance of this document and the time constraints generally associated with this process, we cannot deliver your signature page to the Graduate College. If you are unable to drop-off and pick-up your signature page, you will need to make arrangements with someone to handle this for you.

Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies’ Signature

Once all departmental and college signatures have been obtained, the signature page can either be hand delivered to the Graduate College or scanned and e-mailed to the thesis editor ( for final approval by the Dean and Vice Provost of the College of Graduate Studies. You should only submit one final signature page for approval. This is the final location of the signature page (it will not be returned to you). If you would like a copy of your completed signature page, you can request this by e-mailing Only electronic copies will be sent to students.


Binding your thesis/dissertation is optional. There is a list of binders available from the Graduate College’s Thesis and Dissertation website.

Non-Thesis Option – Final Semester Requirements

Master’s programs that do not offer the thesis as a culminating experience will have some other final requirement that must be completed in order for the degree to be awarded. This will vary by program, and may include comprehensive exams, a research report and presentation, a capstone course, the production of publishable research, etc. If you are in a non-thesis program, please be certain to discuss with your program’s director the specific expectations and requirements to which you are held for completing the program.


You will be asked to complete a university “Graduating Graduate Student Survey”. This survey is found in your myUCF Student Center and became available in your “to do” list when you filed your intent to graduate. While this survey is not required for us to certify your degree, we appreciate your feedback and the information you will provide in this survey.

Doctoral Graduates

In addition to this university survey, all doctoral students who have received format approval are asked to complete a College of Graduate Studies’ “Graduate College Doctoral Student progress to Degree Survey” and the National Opinion Research Council (NORC) online Survey of Earned Doctorates. The Graduate Studies survey will be available within your myUCF student center.

The NORC survey is optional, and you will be able to access this survey online after you receive final approval from the thesis editor for your ETD. The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is a federal agency survey conducted by NORC for the National Science Foundation and five other federal agencies (National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).  For more information, please see the NORC website.


The graduation ceremony takes place at the end of each semester in the UCF Arena, located on the main, Orlando campus.

The official commencement dates are found on the University Registrar’s Website. Please see this website for specific information regarding dates, times, ticket distributions, and Cap & Gown ordering. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of their website for all processes and procedures related to commencement.

All graduates of the College of Sciences will walk with the College of Sciences ceremony.

Commencement Guide

About a month after the start of each semester, the Registrar’s Office publishes a comprehensive Commencement Guide (found on the Commencement website). This guide provides extensive, detailed information about the graduation ceremony, tickets (when they are available), regalia (how to order/purchase), hotel accommodations, viewing options, and much more…

Tickets and Regalia

The UCF Bookstore, located next to the UCF arena, coordinates tickets and regalia information.


Students are normally issued five guest tickets (you do not need a ticket, yourself). Check the commencement website for the actual number. Tickets are available to you based on your cap and gown order.

Doctoral students are provided guest tickets that allow reserved seating (close to the arena floor and near the stage). Doctoral students will pick up their tickets from the university’s Office of Constituent Relations in Millican Hall (rm. 396).

How do I get more tickets?

If you need extra tickets, it’s first worth asking your graduating classmates if they will need all of their tickets, and each semester there is a lottery for additional tickets. Any extra tickets obtained through the lottery are for general seating. Please contact the UCF bookstore or refer to the Commencement Guide (when available) for more information.


Cap, gown, and hood are ordered through the university bookstore’s representative: Hreff Jones. Each semester, an online order system is made available, and you can order your regalia through about mid-term. You can also order your regalia in person from the bookstore.

If you are interested in purchasing your regalia, we recommend placing this order in person at the bookstore so you are able to review robe options and ensure correct measurements.

Check the Registrar’s Commencement Website (see: Official Regalia – Cap & Gown Order) for more information about ordering regalia and the deadline for placing rental orders.

Doctoral Graduates

Doctoral students who attend the commencement ceremony are hooded by their major advisor (or advisors, if you have co-chairs) and the Dean of the Graduate College. If your major advisor is not able to attend your ceremony, you can select from your committee or ask another faculty member or the Chair of your department to hood you at the ceremony.

Your advisor will be contacted prior to the commencement ceremony and provided instructions about the hooding ceremony.

What do I do if I have a co-chair (two chairs) who I would also like to hood me?

If you have a dissertation co-chair, he or she can also participate in your doctoral hooding. When you file your intent to graduate, please note both Advisor 1 (your chair) and Advisor 2 (your co-chair). Both of them will receive an e-mail communication regarding the student and hooding ceremony.

… but what if I forgot to indicate my co-chair when I filed my intent to graduate?

If you forgot to include an Advisor 2 (your co-chair), then you can e-mail and request that that person be added as your co-chair to also participate in the hooding.

You will receive an e-mail from the Graduate College with information about the ceremony, the hooding, as well as confirmation of the names of the advisors hooding.


Diploma at Commencement

Doctoral graduates who are enrolled only into dissertation (7980) or who are enrolled into dissertation and/or another S/U graded course will receive their diploma at graduation.

Diploma by Mail

Doctoral graduates who are enrolled into any letter graded (A/F) course during the final semester will have their diploma mailed to them after the final GPA and degrees are certified. All master’s graduates will receive their diploma by mail. The Graduate College publishes that diplomas are normally mailed within 10 weeks of commencement.

What if I need to change my diploma mailing address?

You can change your diploma mailing address by e-mailing the Graduate Records office at This can be done until the day of Commencement.

Degree Certification

Your transcripts, showing the degree has been awarded, may not be available for up to six weeks after commencement. The Registrar’s Office has an online site where you can order your final, official transcripts and you can request to have it held for delivery until it shows the degree has been earned.

In advance of your final transcripts being available, if you need an official letter showing that you have met all of the degree requirements, you can request this from the Graduate College, please e-mail or call (407/823-2766 ext. 0) that office for more information.