Completing the Ph.D. Degree (Post Defense Steps)

Read this entire page. 

Consider printing it off, and checking things off as you complete them. 

Be sure to pay attention to your emails until you are fully graduated.  Email is the only way the Graduate School will communicate with you if there is something needed to complete the degree. 


  • All completion steps must be finished by the end of the last day of the quarter.
  • Start right after your defense - don't expect to complete these steps in the last day in the last few hours.  
  • If you don't feel you will be able to meet the deadline, contact the Graduate Program Advisor (GPA) for options as soon as you realize this is a possibility.

Prepare Your Materials to Submit to the Graduate School and Department:

Committee Confirmation of Final Dissertation:

  • Prior to your defense you declared a 'Reading Committee.'  This is the part of your committee that finalizes their approval to the Graduate School that your dissertation is fully complete and ready for submission.
  • The Reading Committee signs off on your dissertation in MyGrad.  They have received instructions from the Graduate School on how to do this.
  • You can submit your materials before they have signed off.  The Graduate School will simply hold your materials though, until they get that final sign off from your committee before processing your submissions (fyi).

Submit to Graduate School:

  • Dissertation: Submit the Graduate School copy of your final thesis via ETD System
  • Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED):  Doctoral students are expected to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) online, and submit the SED Certificate of Completion to the Graduate School GEMS team (and also the department in the case of Sociology). 
    • Upon completing the SED, students receive an SED notification email from, which includes their SED Certificate of Completion. 
    • Upload the SED Certificate of Completion to the Administrative documents section of the UW Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) Administrator Site.
    • Forward this confirmation email with the SED certificate to the Sociology Graduate Program Advisor as well.  Let the department GPA know that you have uploaded it to your ETD submission area and it will be submitted along with your dissertation and committee authorization form.
  • As of 08/2019, these are the things you must submit to the Graduate School  However, be sure to check through the Graduate School web site pages listed above -- be sure to submit anything else that is required by the Graduate School that may have been added later.

Graduate School ETD Submission Confirmation:

  • When you submit, the ETD System should change to a page view showing the summary of your order/submission, and indicating "Your Submission is now complete."

    • PDF / Screen Shot this page!!  Save and send to GPA
  • Automated ETD Confirmation email should also be received.
    • Save this email for your records
    • Send a copy to the GPA for your file

Department Submissions:

  • Items Already on File with the GPA:

    • Warrant with original signatures
    • Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Approval in MyGrad (the GPA will pull a copy of this on their end).
  • Submit to the GPA:
    • Send via email to the GPA
    • Dissertation: Submit a PDF copy of your full and complete final Dissertation.
    • Abstract: Submit a copy of just the title page plus abstract, ideally in Word.
    • ETD Submitted Confirmation Email Copy to GPA: Forward a copy to the GPA for your file. This email will act as date and time stamp proof if ever needed.
    • Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED):  The results / completion confirmation of this should be submitted to the Graduate School (see instructions for the Graduate School submissions above).  Either CC the Graduate Program Advisor on the email submitting it to the Graduate School.  Or send via email to the Graduate Program Advisor independently.  The department does want a copy in your file for documentation purposes.
    • Key Words Form: A filled out copy of the department Website Submissions Key Words form  

Students with Multiple Degree Codes - Additional Task:

  • This applies if you have more than one degree, or doing an official Graduate Certificate of some kind

    • E.g., a CSDE Certificate will require this step
    • But the CSSS 'Certificate' as many call it, is not an actual Certificate.  It is a concentration, and is not specifically on your transcript as a Certificate.
    • Check with the GPA if you are not sure
  • Coordinate with the GPA regarding submitting a highlighted transcript to the Graduate School
    • The transcript needs to be highlighted in multiple colors as to which courses are going to which degree code; and which courses are being cross-counted to multiple degree codes.
    • Coordinate re who will produce and submit this transcript to the Graduate School (you or the GPA)
  • Make sure the GPA is aware of all applicable degree codes formally listed on your record
  • Relevant Web Page:

    Post Submission Emails:

    Keep watch on your email!  Emails are the only way that things are communicated if the Graduate School needs you to edit something or is missing something.
    Contact the Graduate School GEMS team for assistance to figure out what is missing or has been skipped!
    • ETD Submission Received email when you successfully finish submitting your ETD submissions to the Graduate School
    • If you need to do any revisions, an email from the Graduate School GEMS team indicating what needs to happen
    • Dissertation submission approved email from the Graduate School GEMS team
    • Graduation Approval email from the Graduate School GEMS team
    • Graduation Recorded email from the Registrars Office

    You will also see these emails, though these are not specifically about graduating the your degree:

    • Dissertation accepted and approved by ProQuest
    • Dissertation accepted and approved by the Library
    • Dissertation published by ProQuest
    • Dissertation published by the Library

    Guidelines and Resources from the Graduate School

    The following pages from the Graduate School provide more detail on the requirements necessary to your degree and submit your Dissertation.  

    Note that Graduate School procedures can change.  Make sure to read through all Graduate School Guidelines to ensure that you meet all current requirements.



    Page Last Updated 08/14/2019.