Must Know Graduation Details
You can graduate in April, June, August, or December
- Be sure you have met all graduate academic requirements for graduation
- Be sure you are registered for the term in which you want to graduate
- Apply for graduation
- If you're completing a dissertation or thesis, make sure to pay your $50 processing fee
- If you’re a doctoral candidate, make sure:
- Your defense is properly announced well in advance (see below for details)
- You complete the AAUDE Doctoral Exit Survey
- You complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates
- 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
- Complete the exit survey.
- 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
If you postpone graduation, you no longer need to reapply. e-mail email@example.com with your new expected graduation term. updated prior degree forms are still required. The application deadline still applies, so make sure to let us know before then!
Note: If you applied before December 2022, you will need to reapply using the new online graduation application
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Graduation Deadlines and Important Dates
First day to apply
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 Graduation 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 on April 29 at 11 a.m. at the David Lawrence Convention Center. Graduates and their families are also invited to a special event surrounding a new Jonas Salk exhibit on April 28 at 4 p.m.
- 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Be sure to include ...
- Your name and contact information
(include phone number and Email address)
- Title of the dissertation
- Date, time, and place of defense
- Your department and advisor
- 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.**
- Your name and contact information
- 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.
- Thesis/Dissertation Template
- Essay Template (email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the updated template)
*Note: Your Abstract cannot be more than 350 words.
**Review the new ETD Support Guide rule on tables spanning multiple pages. You will need to add continued captions at the top of the page on which the table continues.
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:
- a wealth of information on training
- in-person (not telephone) support
- uploading the manuscript (with questions, contact email@example.com)
- security settings and use of non-Pitt email (doc)
Note: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
- Report on Requirements - Certificate (completed form sent to certificate director/admin)
- Report on Requirements - Doctoral Degree (send to department liaison)
- Report on Requirements - Master's Degree (send to department liaison)
- Essay Approval Form (send to email@example.com)
- ETD Approval Form (for thesis and dissertations) (send to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Thesis / Dissertation Processing Fee
Students completing dissertations or theses must pay a processing fee of $50:
- Send email@example.com an email and provide your Student ID, the academic term, and the amount due ($50)
- The Student Payment Center will post the fee to your account and will then notify you by your Pitt email when it is added
- The charge will appear in PittPAY on the Account Activity tab and you can process the payment on the Payment tab
- Once complete, please forward your processing fee receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
- School-wide MPH Essay/Thesis Completion Policy
Requesting committee chair/main reader and/or faculty advisor and additional committee members/readers:
Students will confer with their academic advisor or other designee about the essay/thesis in the semester prior to the one in which they plan to graduate.
Students will request faculty members to serve as committee members/readers no later than the end of the semester prior to the one in which students plan to graduate.
Timeline for submitting drafts to committee members/readers:
The chair/main reader and student together will determine the timeline for submitting drafts, as many as are needed, so that the student can produce a high-quality paper and graduate on time, without putting undue pressure on readers.
Students will submit the final version of the essay/thesis to committee members/readers at least two (2) weeks prior to...the defense date, in the case of the thesis, or the final upload date, in the case of the essay. only the director of the program can request the Office of Student Affairs to grant an extension to complete work on the thesis/essay. The Office of Student Affairs will not grant extensions directly in response to student or advisor requests. After the readers/committee members have indicated their final approval of the essay/thesis by turning in the fully-signed ETD form for theses and the Essay Approval Form to Student Affairs, students may work directly with the Office of Student Affairs on formatting issues and any extensions that may be required for those. not adhering to this timeline can result in the failure of the student to graduate in the desired semester, necessitating registration for an additional credit in another semester.
The master’s essay/thesis is a scholarly work that reflects the student’s acquisition of knowledge, ability to synthesize information into a well-organized, coherent document, and development as a professional.
ExpectationsStudents are expected to keep their main advisor apprised of all correspondence and discussion with their thesis committee members or essay readers. Students and their thesis advisor/essay main reader should discuss the process for getting feedback from other readers. While quality of the paper and extent to which feedback from outside readers is incorporated are up to the discretion of the student’s department, there is an expectation that papers will be of high quality and that feedback from all readers will be reviewed and considered.
- Copyright General Information
The following links contain helpful information on copyright rules.
- Copyright information for graduate students writing a thesis or dissertation
- The University Library System's copyright page
Use of Copyrighted Material
When using text, tables or figures from a published work, whether your own article or that of another author, you must receive the permission of the journal in which it was published. As a courtesy, you should also request permission of the author. You can use a sample template for contacting publishers and/or many journals have on their websites a copyright permission request form. A copy of the letter or email giving you permission to use the article, table, or figure must be submitted along with other documents that you submit for your thesis or dissertation. Do not incorporate the permission letter into the paper.
- Using Published Papers in Document
Some departments and advisors allow students to submit published or publication-ready manuscripts as thesis or dissertation chapters. Such papers may be included either in the body of the document or in the appendix. They must be based on work done during the student's enrollment at Pitt Public Health. In general, the student should be the primary author on such a paper, but that is not absolutely required. The thesis or dissertation should include a preface listing the authors, the full citation (if published), and the role of the student in the work.
The articles must be logically connected by added text and be integrated into the document in a coherent manner. They must be presented in a manner consistent with the remainder of the text, i.e., identical typeface, paper, margins and consistent number of tables, figures and footnotes. Bibliographic citations should be integrated with those for the rest of the document. Everything must be consistent with University ETD guidelines.
If your article is already published or in press, you will need permission from the publisher in order to reuse the article, unless you own the copyright.
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
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.