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How to Graduate


Procedures and planning

The procedures for graduate students planning to graduate are provided on the college's Graduation Forms and Processes page. The Director of Graduate Studies will distribute the deadlines for graduation at the start of each semester. For reference you can also find an updated copy of graduation deadlines sent by the college here. Keep in mind that Eberly College students must meet all college deadlines, which may be earlier than posted University deadlines.

Both MA and PhD students planning on graduating must apply for graduation online. This should be done early in the semester in which you plan on graduating. You can apply at the University Registrar's Graduation & Diploma page, which also includes dates for when applications are accepted each term.

Commencement is optional

Note that commencement is optional, for both MA and PhD students, and that registering for commencement is a completely separate process from applying to graduate. Information about upcoming commencement ceremonies and future commencement dates can be found on the university's Graduation page. 

You should also receive information regarding registering for commencement from the Eberly College. If you would like your advisor or another member of the political science faculty to hood you at your commencement ceremony, you should ask them if they will be available well in advance. If a faculty member of your choosing is not available, another representative form the department will hood you.

For graduating PhD students

As you can see on the Graduation Forms and Processes page, graduating PhD students must take several additional steps related to the dissertation defense process. These steps include submitting the following items:

  1. Eberly College thesis and dissertation defense date declaration form. This officially sets your defense date. You must submit this form no less than two weeks prior to the defense. The completed form should be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies.
  2. Eberly College thesis and dissertation defense form. You use this form to record the results of a defense. You should print this prior to your defense and ask your dissertation advisor to collect the decision and signature of every committee member. This form must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies immediately after the meeting.
  3. Final version of your dissertation. After any revisions required by your committee at the time of your defense have been incorporated and approved, you must submit your final dissertation to WVU's electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) database by the set deadline. This process includes submitting a WVU Libraries committee signature form. The student and all members of the committee who attend the defense must sign the form. Instructions for formatting and submitting your dissertation, along with the committee signature form, can be found on the ETD website.

    Please note that the instructions for both formatting and submission are detailed, and that the process of submitting one's dissertation to ETD typically involves a significant amount of work.