NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 closure of UCI campus for all non-essential operations, PhD defenses will be held via Zoom. Please refer to the Thesis Defense Zoom Guidelines.

Three months prior to your final quarter

  • Speak to your faculty advisor about creating a graduation timeline, this should include the following:
    • An approximate defense date
    • An approximate date for thesis/dissertation submission
    • Lab specific exit requirements
  • Determine an approximate graduation date. If you are graduating during Fall, Winter or Spring quarter you must end your employment on, or after, the last day of the quarter. If your graduation date does not align with the last day of the quarter (listed below) please schedule a meeting with Morgan Sibley to discuss funding implications. 
    • Fall Quarter: December 10, 2021
    • Winter Quarter: March 18, 2022
    • Spring Quarter: June 10, 2022
  • Submit the Chemistry Graduate Student Exit Form
  • Review Graduate Division Degree Completion Information
  • Review Thesis/Dissertation Manuals from UCI Libraries

Within 30 days of submitting the Graduate Student Exit Form

Two weeks prior to your defense date

  • Email Garrett ( the following information for the Department of Chemistry website:
    • Defense title
    • Defense date and time
    • Abstract
    • Picture (optional)
  • Ask your PI to create and share the second Zoom meeting for your defense with your committee (see Thesis Defense Zoom Guidelines).

After defending

Beginning Summer 2020, Graduate Division has implemented a new DocuSign e-signing system for all of their forms. Students are no longer required to obtain signatures on their own; instead, after completing these steps, Garrett will prepare the DocuSign form for you, and your committee will receive an email notification when it is their turn to sign electronically. 

  • Complete all edits to your dissertation required by your committee.
  • Verify with your committee that your dissertation is ready for UCI library submission.
  • Submit your dissertation to the library via ProQuest.
  • Notify Garrett of submission, who will then prepare your final paperwork in DocuSign.
  • Remind your committee to expect a DocuSign email notification from
  • When you receive an email notification, complete and sign all sections and forms of your final paperwork, in DocuSign, by the filing deadline.

Degree Certification: It is recommended that you request a letter of degree certification from Graduate Division when you submit your final paperwork through DocuSign. Your diploma is typically available four months after the end of the quarter in which you graduate. This letter will be processed approximately 14 business days after you submit your paperwork and can be shown to employers while you wait for your diploma.

Before your last day at UCI

  • Review UCI Diploma Information.
  • UCI keys must be returned to the department from which they were issued. Department of Chemistry keys can be turned into the Chemistry Main Office between 8am-12pm & 1-5pm.
  • If applicable, you are responsible for returning your UCI parking permit.
  • Certain payroll deductions (including automobile insurance, credit union, charitable contributions, employee organization dues, etc.) must be cancelled by the employee. Contact the specific organization to make arrangements for private coverage/cancellation and/or payments.