Graduation Information

Must Know Graduation Details

You can graduate in April, June, August, or December

  1. Be sure you have met all academic requirements for graduation
  2. Be sure you are registered for the term in which you want to graduate
  3. Apply for graduation
  4. If you're completing a dissertation or thesis, make sure to pay your $50 processing fee 
  5. If you’re a doctoral candidate, make sure:
  6. Submit your essay, thesis, or dissertation to D-Scholarship 
    • Be sure to use the University ETD formatting guidelines 
    • Be sure to get your document reviewed for formatting by Student Affairs


Academic Requirements for Graduation
It is critical that you meet with your advisor and department student services staff member to make sure that you have successfully completed all of the academic requirements for graduation. These include (but are not necessarily limited to) ...
  • All school-wide required courses, including two terms of Public Health Grand Rounds
  • All departmental required courses
  • Any practicum, internship, residency, or research requirements
  • Pitt Public Health Student Academic Integrity Module
  • All required examinations (preliminary, comprehensive, etc.)
  • Essay, thesis, or dissertation
  • If you are receiving a joint or dual degree, all requirements for both degrees must be complete (with the exception of the MSTP program)
  • You must be registered for the term in which you graduate
  • Pitt Public Health Exit Survey

In addition, you must ensure that you meet the following conditions:

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • All G, I, or Z grades must be converted to a final grade (or your file must contain a memo from your advisor stating that the course is not required for the degree)
  • Full (not provisional) admission status
Registration Requirement for Graduating Students

Degree-seeking students must be registered for at least one credit or for FTDR (for doctoral students completing full-time dissertation research) in the term of graduation. Students planning to graduate in June must register for at least one credit or FTDR in 6-week session 1. To graduate in August, you may register for summer term, or for any summer session, including 6-week session 1. If you applied for June graduation and registered for 6-week session 1, you can apply for August graduation without further registration, but you must reapply by submitting a new graduation application and prior degree form.

Note: international students need permission from the Office of International Services to register for less than a full-time credit load.

Students graduating with a certificate only do not need to register in the term of graduation, as long as they registered during the 12 months prior to graduation.

If you have not registered for three terms, you are no longer an active student. Consult with your department student services staff to discuss criteria for re-admission.

Apply for Graduation

Online Graduation Applications Starting in December 2022 (2231 term)

You must apply for graduation by submitting an application and a Prior Degree Form. See instructions below. 

We are excited to announce Online Graduation Applications is now live in PeopleSoft. Students can begin applying using the online format for December 2022 graduation (2231 term). For step-by-step instructions, click here!

Additional information from the Office of the Registrar can be found here.

Email with any questions.

Graduation Deadlines and Important Dates


December 2022




First day to apply
(no fee)





Late fees begin
($25 late fee)





Last day to apply
($25 late fee)





Deadline to upload final ETD draft (student services reviews formatting)





Official degree date





Graduation dates and deadlines can also be found on Pitt Public Health's Academic Calendar.

Please note: Conferred degrees and diplomas will not be issued until about two months after you've graduated. If you need a letter stating your degree completion for employment purposes fill out the Requirement Completion Form.

Graduation Ceremonies and Diplomas

Graduation Ceremonies

The Pitt Public Health Commencement ceremony for graduate programs is held at the end of the spring term. The next event will honor graduates from June, August, and December of 2022 and April of 2023. Details will be announced in January.

Graduation Ceremonies

Academic Regalia 

Graduates must wear academic regalia to the commencement ceremony. You can purchase regalia at the University Store on Fifth in the Spring.

Students who own caps and gowns from previous degree programs or who are able to borrow regalia do not need to purchase it. Please make sure it is the correct color.

For additional regalia information and pricing, click here

Preferred Names on Diplomas

Students may request preferred first and/or middle name for diplomas with the Diploma Request Form (also available in hard copy in G-3 Thackeray). Forms must be submitted in person with valid photo ID.

Note: existing procedures for requesting changes to your legal name are still in effect. Students are cautioned to investigate potential ramifications of using a diploma name instead of a legal name if you intend to use your diploma internationally.

Diplomas and Certificates

Diplomas are mailed by the vendor to graduates approximately six to eight weeks after the actual graduation date. Students will be notified via their Pitt email address when the diploma ships.

Certificates are printed and mailed by the Office of Student Affairs approximately six to eight weeks after graduation.

All items are mailed to the address on the graduation application. If your address changes, contact Also, to be certain that you receive your mailed diploma, complete a change of address with the Post Office, either in person or online.

Students with any unresolved financial obligation to the University will not receive diplomas or final transcripts.

Diploma Frame

Interested in ordering a frame from your diploma? Order here

Local Newspaper Announcement of Graduation

Some students have their graduation announced in their hometown newspaper. We suggest that you submit information to the editor of your local paper in the following format:

Ann Smith of River Forest, Ohio, received a master of science degree in human genetics from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. She is the daughter of Lea and Bill Smith. Ms. Smith will work at Harvard University as a prenatal genetic counselor. Ms. Smith completed an internship at West Penn Hospital, and was awarded the xyz scholarship for academic excellence.

Contact Allison Hydzik, manager of media relations, 412-647-9975, with questions about announcements.

Essays, Theses, and Dissertations

Announcing the Doctoral Defense

Doctoral defenses must be announced at least 3 weeks in advance (or as soon as you have your information). Consult with your department student services staff as soon as you know your defense date. Then email the student services person the following information and copy and Be sure to include ...

  1. Your name and contact information
    (include phone number and Email address)
  2. Title of the dissertation
  3. Abstract
  4. Date, time, and place of defense
  5. Your department and advisor
  6. Committee members and departments 

The dean's office communications team will publish your dissertation announcement to the University Calendar, etc.
** For any remote or virtual defenses, please consult the Zoom best practices document.**

Virtual Milestone Meetings and Defenses

Consult this guide for using Zoom for virtual essay, thesis or dissertation meetings and defenses.
Updated April 9, 2020


See the Pitt Public Health Academic Handbook and visit the ETD website for complete descriptions of formatting requirements. Make sure you are also aware of any departmental rules and of your advisor's preferences.

*Note: Your Abstract cannot be more than 350 words. 


Check with your departmental student services staff to confirm that your essay/thesis/dissertation committee has been approved. See the Academic Handbook for committee composition rules. 

University Resources and Instructions

All essays, theses and dissertations must be submitted electronically. The University's guidelines for submission of ETDs (electronic theses and dissertations) contain important information and FAQs, including:

Note: Please email if you are working with the ACHD as we will need to get confirmation that you completed their requirements.  

Uploading Your ETD Through D-Scholarship

When using the ETD Online System, you must login using your Pitt username and password. Once you have logged in, follow the instructions for submitting your ETD documents. 

Looking for additional help? Register for upcoming ETD workshops or connect with the ETD support team here

Students can also use the technical support form to request assistance with LaTeX.

Required Paperwork and Electronic Submissions

Electronic copies of Essay Approval Forms, ETD Approval Forms, and Report on Requirements forms are available below. Please ensure that the student name and information are included on the form, that the form is filled out and all committee/reader signatures are present. Ideally this will be accomplished on a single form, but we can be flexible (e.g. signatures on multiple copies of the same form). 

Thesis / Dissertation Processing Fee

Students completing dissertations or theses must pay a processing fee of $50:

  1. Send an email and provide your Student ID, the academic term, and the amount due ($50)
  2. The Student Payment Center will post the fee to your account and will then notify you by your Pitt email when it is added
  3. The charge will appear in PittPAY on the Account Activity tab and you can process the payment on the Payment tab
  4. Once complete, please forward your processing fee receipt to
Beyond the PDF

As part of the “Beyond the PDF” project, students are encouraged to submit supplementary materials to complement their ETD. Examples of such materials include but are not limited to: datasets, code, high resolution images, digital projects, videos, 3D scans.

If your project contains these materials that you wish to share, please submit a ticket to ETD Support as early as possible (ideally shortly after your proposal phase) and indicate that you have supplemental digital materials to submit with your ETD and a brief description of the materials. You will be connected with a digital scholarship specialist who will consult with you to prepare the materials for deposit with your ETD.

Alumni Keep Pitt E-mail for Life

Retain access to your My Pitt Email mailbox after you graduate and keep it as long as you like. An alumni account also provides access to...

  • Wireless PittNet (while on campus)
  • Eduroam (ability to obtain wireless access at participating institutions around the world)
  • Online orders for transcripts and enrollment verification
  • Online grades
  • Account management tools
  • Technology Help Desk
  • PittPAY

You will receive an email letting you know when your account will be transitioning to an alumni account sometime in the term following your graduation.

Your email address will be removed from the Pitt Public Health list upon your graduation and you will receive an email from the school when this happens. You can opt to stay on the list at that time.