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Graduation Information & Requirements

Congratulations! We look forward to celebrating with you!

In this section you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding graduation requirements, procedures and deadlines. Please also consult the degree requirements listed in the Graduate Bulletin  as well as your graduate program coordinator or director for details concerning specific program requirements.

If your question is not answered here, contact us at  GradGraduation@stonybrook.edu.

December 2015 Doctoral Hooding

 

Important Resources

1. Application for Graduation

Before filling out the online form to apply for graduation, please review the FAQs below as well as the instructions detailed on the Application for Graduation page.

2. Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines

The thesis and dissertation guidelines section outlines the steps involved in preparing your electronic  thesis or dissertation submission and lists the additional required documents students must submit to the Graduate School. 

This section also has links to theses and dissertation templates.

3. Instructions for a Doctoral Defense Announcement

Download and complete the Doctoral Defense Announcement form. Email the completed form to your graduate program director (GPD) for review and approval. The GPD or designated delegate should then email the approved form, as an attachment, to GradRecords@stonybrook.edu at least three weeks prior to the proposed defense date.

The form must be saved and emailed to the Graduate School in PDF format; the file name cannot contain any special characters, including apostrophes ('), commas (,), colons (:), or semicolons (;). An example of an acceptable file name is LastName_FirstName_1 June 2017_ddd.pdf.

Once approved, the Graduate School will post the announcement on the Doctoral Defense Announcement page.

Degree Requirements (All Degrees)

1. Students must be registered for the semester in which they intend to graduate. Spring (May) and Fall (December) candidates must register for at least one graduate credit. Summer (August) candidates may register for zero graduate-evel  credits in either summer session.

2. Students must apply for graduation for the semester they intend to graduate. If degree requirements are not met, students must submit a Change of Graduation Date form for a subsequent degree-awarding period .  Applications are not carried forward.  

3. Students must achieve a 3.0 overall GPA in all graduate courses taken at Stony Brook.

4.  As part of the Graduate School’s continued initiative to ensure student satisfaction, we ask that all graduate students, both master's and doctoral, complete the  Graduate School Exit Survey before leaving the university. Results are kept completely confidential.

NOTE: Students need to apply for graduation regardless of whether they want to attend any of the graduation ceremonies. Students obtaining master’s degrees while pursuing a doctoral degree need to apply for graduation for the master’s degree.

Master's Degree Requirements

1. Students must obtain at least 30 credits of graduate work. Check with your program for specific credit amounts.

2. Students who are preparing a thesis for submission to the Graduate School, if required by their program, must submit the final version of their thesis to the Graduate School by the posted deadline. The format of the thesis must be prepared according to the appropriate guidelines

Doctoral Degree Requirements

1. Doctoral students (with the exception of DMA students) must be advanced to candidacy (G5 status) for at least one year prior to graduating.

2. Doctoral students must have their defense committee approved by the Graduate School. The program needs to send a Committee Approval Request form to the Graduate School four weeks prior to the defense date.

NOTE:  Students do not fill out this form; the form is prepared by and sent by the program to the Graduate School.

3. Students must have their defense announcements posted, and must fill out a Doctoral Defense Announcement form. Students should email the  completed form to their graduate program director (GPD) for review and approval. The GPD or designated delegate should then email the approved form as an attachment to GradRecords@stonybrook.edu  at least three weeks prior to the proposed defense date.

NOTE: Failure to have a Doctoral Defense Announcement form submitted to the Graduate School according to procedure and in a timely manner may result in students defending their dissertations a second time.

4. Students must submit the final version of their dissertation to the Graduate School within three months of a successful defense.  Students must submit by the posted semester deadline if they intend to graduate that semester. For example, a student must submit by the posted deadline for May 2017 if they intend on graduating in May 2017.  

The dissertation must be prepared according to the appropriate guidelines.

5. Doctoral students are asked to fill out the National Research Council’s Survey of Earned Doctorates. The survey is available online at https://sed-ncses.orgStudents do not need to provide hard copies of this survey to the Graduate School.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Applying for Graduation

Please note, all graduate students, even those who do not plan on attending graduation ceremonies, must still apply for graduation. 

How do I apply for graduation?

Spring/Summer 2017

Master's candidates should apply online via their SOLAR Account by Wednesday, March 1, 2017 for Spring/Summer 2017 graduation in order for their name to be included in the commencement publication. Under the " Academic Records," select "Apply for Graduation."

After the March 1 deadline, master's candidates must apply through the Graduate School website.

PhD candidates do not have access to apply for graduation via SOLAR. This includes PhD candidates applying for their master's along the way. All PhD candidates should apply for graduation through the Graduate School website. In order for their name to appear in the May commencement program, PhD candidates must submit their graduation application by Wednesday , March 1, 2017.

Fall 2017

Master's candidates should apply online via their SOLAR Account by Friday, October 20, 2017strong> for Fall 2017 graduation in order for their name to be included in the Commencement Publication. Under Academic Records select Apply for Graduation. After this date, Master's candidates must apply through the Graduate School website.

PhD candidates do not have access to apply for graduation via SOLAR. This includes PhD candidates applying for their Masters along the way. All PhD candidates should apply for graduation through the Graduate School website. In order for candidates name to appear in the Commencement Publication for December commencement, PhD students must submit their graduation application by Friday, October 20, 2017.

The application form and instructions is available in the Graduation Application section.

Will I receive a confirmation?

Once a degree application is processed in the system, an email notification is sent to students. This contains information on graduation and related procedures. Students should expect to receive this email notification shortly after they apply.

For your records, please keep the summary page that appears after your application is complete.

What if I need to change my degree date?

Students who apply for May 2017 graduation and find later in the semester that they need to become an August or December 2017 candidate will need to submit a change of graduation date form for August or December 2017.  They should also email  GradGraduation@stonybrook.edu to have their May 2017 candidacy removed.

What if I need to change my diploma name, diploma address, or dissertation title?

As long as their degree date remains the same, students who need to update diploma name, diploma address or dissertation title should not apply again. Instead, email   GradGraduation@stonybrook.edu with your updated information.

Any updates to the diploma address should be made before the degree is awarded.  For further information, see the section Awarding the Degree below.

When will my application show up on the system?

Degree candidacy may not show up immediately on the system after the application is complete. The Graduate School runs retrievals of online applicants periodically, so students should expect the application to show up approximately two weeks after application.  During our peak processing periods, it may take an additional week or two for it to appear.

I applied for graduation, but cannot register for the semester that follows the degree date. What should I do?

Sometimes students who apply for graduation will not become term activated (eligible to register) for the following semester because the system ‘thinks’ they are graduating. If you find that you need to cancel your degree application, email your program coordinator a completed Change of Graduation Date form for approval.  The program will then forward the approved form to GradGraduation@stonybrook.edu.

Is this application also for attending the graduation ceremonies?

No. The Application for Graduation  is separate from the Ceremony Registration form. The Ceremony Registration form is administered by Conferences & Special Events, and is only to be filled out if a student wishes to attend any of the ceremonies.

The Ceremony Registration form is filled out via SOLAR by both PhD and Master's students who plan to attend the University commencement ceremony.

See the Ceremony Information section for more details.

Questions About Theses & Dissertations

Students must submit the final version of their thesis (if required by program) or dissertation online through Stony Brook University's ProQuest/UMI ETD administrator site. Students must submit the final version of their thesis or dissertation on or before the deadline date to be considered for that semester’s graduation. Online submissions must be received by 4:00 pm ET of the deadline date.  No extensions will be granted.

Students who submit after the deadline date will become a candidate for the following semester and will need to reapply for graduation and register appropriately. 

Please note, the thesis/dissertation deadline date for  May 2017 is Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm ET

Please note, the thesis/dissertation deadline date for  May 2017,SUNY-Korea candidates is Friday, June 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm ET

Please note, the thesis/dissertation deadline date for  August 2017 is Friday, August 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm ET

Please note, the thesis/dissertation deadline date for  December 2017 is Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm ET

How and when do I submit my thesis/dissertation?

Effective May 2010, students must submit theses and dissertations  online.  Further information about procedures is available on the  Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines  section of the website.

Do I need an appointment?

No appointment is necessary. Students are always welcome to visit during our regular office hours of 8:30 am through 4:00 pm.

Do I have to wait until the week of the submission deadline to submit my thesis or dissertation?

No.  If students are ready to submit your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School early in the semester, they can do so without any change to their student status, even with a submission on the first day of classes. When a student submits their thesis or dissertation, nothing regarding their student status in the University system changes: 

  • International students are not out of status.
  • A student with a tuition scholarship or TA/GA/RA will not lose funding.
  • A student who lives on campus will not lose housing.
  • Students retain all University privileges (such as library access) until their degree is posted to their record.

How do I prepare my thesis/dissertation?

Theses and dissertations must be prepared according to the guidelines, which are outlined in the  Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines  section of the website. Students can also reach us at  GradGraduation@stonybrook.edu with any questions.

Questions About Graduation Ceremonies

When are ceremonies held?

In May, the university hosts two ceremonies: the doctoral hooding ceremony, where doctoral degrees are conferred,  and the main commencement ceremony, where master's and bachelors degrees are conferred.

The December commencement ceremony confers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees. No ceremonies are held in August.

Visit  Conferences & Special Events' Commencement website for current dates and times.

Who can attend? 

Doctoral Candidates:  To participate in a hooding ceremony, doctoral candidates must have completed their degree requirements by the Ceremony Registration form deadline. More information  is available on the Commencement website

August candidates are permitted to attend the May doctoral hooding ceremony. However, they must apply for graduation prior to completing the Ceremony Registration form on SOLAR.

If May candidates are unable to attend the May doctoral hooding ceremony, they should email doctoralhooding@stonybrook.edu to defer their ceremony participation.

Students will have access to the Ceremony Registration form on their SOLAR account on specific dates. Please see the Commencement website for these dates. Questions regarding the Ceremony Registration form should be directed to  Conferences & Special Events at (631) 632-6320 or conferences.events@stonybrook.edu

Master's Candidates: The Graduate School does not have any policy regarding what master's students can walk in the December commencement ceremony. Questions should be directed to  Conferences & Special Events at (631) 632-6320 or conferences.events@stonybrook.edu

Departmental Ceremonies: The Graduate School does not have any policy regarding who can participate in departmental ceremonies. Questions should be directed to the graduate program coordinator. 

When is information sent out?

Students will have access to the Ceremony Registration form on their SOLAR account on specific dates. Please see the Commencement website for these datesQuestions should be directed to  Conferences & Special Events at (631) 632-6320 or conferences.events@stonybrook.edu

The Graduate School will also send information about the hooding ceremony to all doctoral candidates shortly after receiving their Ceremony Registration form. Contact the Graduate School at DoctoralHooding@stonybrook.edu for any additional questions. More information is also available on the  Commencement website.

Questions About Awarding Degrees

When will my degree be posted?

Programs send a completion statement to the Graduate School once students have completed all requirements for their degree. This can only happen when the semester of graduation is complete and all grades have been posted (including for the last semester).  These completion statements are then reviewed and processed by the Graduate School.

The Graduate School cannot review your record for clearance without first receiving the completion statement form from the program, so students should first consult with their program regarding the status of their clearance before contacting any other office.

The Graduate School generally begins reviewing students' records for clearance during the third week of the month following the degree awarding date.  Degree awarding dates are May, August and December.

Records are reviewed in the order the completion statement forms are received.

It takes approximately 4 weeks to review all candidates’ records, as the Graduate School processes an average of 500 degrees per semester.

Due to the time involved, the Graduate School cannot consider requests to process certain degrees or individuals first.

When the Graduate School clears students for their degree, the degree is immediately posted to their transcript.  At this time,  official transcripts requested from the Registrar will reflect the degree.

While waiting for their degree conferral, PhD candidates can request a letter of completion for their employers.  The form is available in the Forms section of our website. Master's candidates can request a letter directly from their program.

When will I receive the diploma?

It takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the date of clearance by the Graduate School for candidates to receive their diploma.  The Registrar handles the diploma process with an outside vendor, and the vendor produces and mails out the diplomas.  Students can view the ordered or mailed date of their diploma on their checklist through SOLAR.

NOTE: Once a diploma has been ordered, the diploma address cannot be changed. Students should make sure that their diploma address is accurate before the degree is awarded.

Financial holds, including those from Student Accounts, Library, or Parking Services, prevents the release of official transcripts and diplomas. Candidates should make sure all fees and fines are paid by graduation.

Important Deadlines

 

Spring 2017 Deadline Dates  
Advancement to Candidacy* Friday, Feb 3, 2017
Defense Committee Request due to the Graduate School Four weeks before the defense
  Application for Graduation (to be included in commencement booklet) Wednesday, March 1, 2017
  Thesis/Dissertation Deadline   Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

   *The Advancement to Candidacy deadline relates to G4 doctoral students who are going to be advanced to candidacy (G5 status). The advancement to candidacy request must be received by the Graduate School from the program by this date for the advancement to take effect for Spring 2017.

Summer 2017 Deadline Dates  
Advancement to Candidacy* Tuesday, September 7, 2017
Defense Committee Request due to the Graduate School Four weeks before the defense
Application for Graduation   Friday, August 18, 2017
  Thesis/Dissertation Deadline   Friday, August 18, 2016=7
Fall 2017 Deadline Dates  
Advancement to Candidacy* Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Defense Committee Request due to the Graduate School Four weeks before the defense
  Application for Graduation (to be included in commencement booklet) Friday, October 20, 2017
  Thesis/Dissertation Deadline   Wednesday, December 20, 2017 


More Questions? Contact Us!

Graduate School
2401 Computer Science Building, 2nd Floor
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4433
631-632-GRAD
E-mail: GradGraduation@stonybrook.edu

Conferences & Special Events
Director’s Suite, Charles B. Wang Center, Suite 302
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-1603
631-632-6320
Website:  http://stonybrook.edu/cse/
E-mail:   conferences.events@stonybrook.edu

 

 

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