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 8, 2023
    • Winter Quarter: March 15, 2024
    • Spring Quarter: June 7, 2024
    • Summer 2024: September 11, 2024
  • Contact committee members to set deadline for draft dissertation. It is common practice to provide committee members a draft dissertation two weeks prior to the scheduled defense.

  • 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 Bailey Spelman( and the following information for the Department of Chemistry website:
    • Defense title
    • Defense date, time and location
    • Abstract
    • Picture: The Division of Career Pathways (DCP) offers a free professional photo booth

Final Degree Paperwork

Once you have successfully defended and completed all of your dissertation edits, you can begin the final degree paperwork.

  • Email Bailey Spelman ( to start your final degree paperwork. Include the names and emails of your dissertation committee members. This information will be used to route your final degree paperwork in DocuSign. The final degree paperwork will be routed to your committee members first. They will receive an email notification from

  • While your committee members are approving your paperwork, you should submit your final dissertation to the UCI library. Once your Dissertation has been accepted by UCI Libraries, you will receive a verification email from ProQuest. This email will need to be uploaded to the DocuSign final degree paperwork. 

  • Once all of your committee members have approved the document, it will be routed to you. If you have not received your paperwork through DocuSign, and the final degree filing deadline is approaching, please contact Bailey Spelman ( for assistance. 

  • When you receive your final degree paperwork via DocuSign, please review the following sections:

    • Title of Dissertation

    • Embargo of Dissertation (Optional): Please discuss with your PI if your dissertation should be withheld from publication for a period of time. You can select Six Months, One year, Two Years, Three Years, Four years, Five Years or Six years.

    • You will be required to complete two additional surveys (Survey of Earned Doctorates and UCI Ph.D. Exit Survey) and upload the confirmation to the DocuSign form. 

    • Request Degree Certification Notification (Recommended): Your diploma is typically available four months after the end of the quarter in which you graduate. This letter 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 Monday-Friday.
  • 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.