Notre Dame Dissertation Checklist


There are three graduation dates for students in the Graduate School’s programs: August, January, and May. Degrees are conferred and diplomas are awarded at the time of each graduation.

Commencement Ceremonies

The Graduate School holds one Commencement ceremony in May of each year; students who graduate in August and January are invited to participate in the Commencement celebrations the following May. This year, alumni who graduated in August 2017 and January 2018 and students set to graduate in May 2018 may participate in the May 2018 ceremonies.

Doctoral recipients will be hooded, and doctoral and master’s degrees for May graduates will be conferred, at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 19. Note: Separate ceremonies are held for graduate students in architecture, business, and law. Please consult your program for additional information.

Dr. Laura Carlson, dean of the Graduate School will host the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony; Fr. John Jenkins, president of the University, will confer degrees to candidates as presented by the college deans. Witnesses to the conferral of degrees will include Dr. Tom Burish, provost of the University, other senior academic officers, and family and friends in the audience.

For information on the broader Sunday University Commencement Ceremony, see the Registrar’s Commencement website.


The Graduate School Commencement Ceremony will be held in the Compton Family Ice Arena on the south edge of campus.

The ceremony will also be streamed online for guests that cannot be in attendance. See the Registrar’s Commencement website for more information. A DVD of the ceremony will also be available for purchase.

Commencement Forms Required

  • All eligible participants should complete the Registrar’s Graduation Application, regardless of whether they plan to attend the University Ceremony on Sunday.
  • All eligible participants should complete the Graduate School Commencement Form regardless of whether they plan to attend the Graduate School’s degree conferral ceremony on Saturday. Prior to completing the form, PhD. graduates who plan to attend this ceremony should confirm whether their advisor or another faculty member will perform the doctoral hooding.


All students, staff, faculty and friends and family of the participants are invited to attend the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday. Guest tickets are not required for this ceremony, but we do ask that you provide a rough count of those who will be attending to ensure adequate seating arrangements.

Tickets are required for the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday; the student must request tickets through the Registrar’s Graduate Application. See the Registrar’s Commencement site or their Commencement FAQ for more information.

Commencement Weekend:
Schedule of Events

Friday, May 18
11:30 AMGraduate Mass and Blessing (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). All members of the Notre Dame community are invited, especially graduating masters and doctoral students and their families and guests.
Saturday, May 19
9:00 AMAssemble for academic procession (Compton Family Ice Arena)
9:40 AMAcademic procession. (Cap and gown attire required.)
10:00 AMGraduate School Commencement Ceremony. Estimated end time: 11:30 AM.
Sunday, May 20
8:45 AMAssemble for academic procession into the University Ceremony. Graduate students will line up by the college from which they are receiving their degree (e.g., Arts and Letters, Engineering, Science). See the Registrar’s Commencement site for more information.
9:30 AMAcademic Procession
10:00 AMUniversity Commencement Ceremony. See the Registrar’s Commencement site for more information.

Commencement Contact Information

  • Graduate School Commencement (Saturday) questions: Please email questions to or contact the Graduate School main office at 574-631-5536.
  • University Commencement (Sunday) and diploma-related questions: Please email

Important Links

Dates and Deadlines

20Academic regalia: Purchase/rent academic regalia at the Hammes ND Bookstore Graduation Fair (9AM–7PM).
21Academic regalia:After the Graduation Fair, students may rent doctoral regalia or purchase master’s regalia at the second floor jewelry counter of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Master’s students may also order online at If you have questions or are unable to visit the bookstore to rent a doctoral gown, contact Trish Aschenbrenner at or (574) 631-1399.
22Deadline to submit the Registrar’s Graduation Application and request name, degree, or hometown updates for the diploma and Commencement program. Changes requested after this date will incur an additional fee.
22Deadline to order tickets for the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 20. Complete the Graduation Application to request tickets.
31Deadline for the Graduate School Commencement Form. All eligible participants (August 2017 – May 2018) are expected to submit the Graduate School Commencement Form, regardless of whether they plan to attend the Saturday ceremony.
6Deadline to purchase a doctoral gown. Orders may be placed at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore second floor jewelry counter, or by contacting Trish Aschenbrenner at or (574) 631-1399.
27Deadline to rent a doctoral gown. Gowns ordered after this date may incur an additional fee.
17-18Pick up doctoral gowns on the second floor of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.
23Deadline to return rented doctoral gowns to the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Late fees will be incurred after this date.

Resources for Current Students

Career Builders

  • Academic iNDex
    Use Academic iNDex to record your academic and professional development, including grants, presentations, publications, awards, and more.
  • Versatile PhD
    Versatile PhD is an online resource to help humanities, social science, and STEM graduate students, PhDs, and postdoctoral scholars in all fields identify, prepare for, and succeed in non-academic careers.


Students should consult their directors of graduate studies or departmental handbooks for program-specific deadlines and milestones.


Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses

Financial Support and Reimbursement

Fellowship and Grant Opportunities

Summer Tuition Support

Travel Grants

Dissertation or Research Support

Forms, Policies, and Handbooks


Policies and Procedures


Family Support Resources

University Offices and Resources

Disability Services
Division of Student Affairs
Graduate Student Life
Graduate Student Union
Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning
International Student Services and Activities
Multicultural Student Programs and Services
Office of Financial Aid
Office of Information Technology
Office of the Registrar
Office of Residence Life and Housing
Office of Student Accounts
University Counseling Center
University Health Services
University Libraries

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