Degree Conferral | Overview

May Doctoral Graduation Checklist

Below is a list of items to complete in preparation for May degree conferral and ceremony. Please note that this is NOT a complete list of things that need to be done; your department or the Office of the Registrar might require other items to prepare for graduation. Please keep in touch with your graduate administrator for all activities surrounding degree conferral and graduation; verify all deadlines using the academic calendar.

All degree candidates:

  • Let your graduate administrator know that you plan to graduate this semester. Verify that all necessary degree requirements have been or will be met.
  • Submit your Petition for Candidacy form by the deadline.
  • Verify with your graduate program administrator that you have petitioned for candidacy. If you have not, petitions are available here. Please note, that this petition may have been completed at an earlier date.
  • Submit an application for Degree (Available in ESTHER) to the Registrar's Office by the deadline.

Defend and submit your thesis:

  • Defend your thesis. Complete instructions can be found here.
  • Submit your final thesis by the deadline.
  • Complete instructions can be found here; a last semester timeline here.

Graduation Ceremonies and Degree Conferral

  • Register for Doctoral Commencement. Instructions on how to register for this will be sent to your Rice email, typically before the end of February. If you do not receive an email regarding these events by then, please email
  • Students whose degrees were awarded in August and December are invited to doctoral convocation, advanced degree convocation and the plenary commencement in spring, provided you did not attend the December graduation ceremony.
  • Order your regalia by the deadline. Regalia must be ordered from the Campus Store by the end of March for best selection.
  • Check your Rice email and visit and for additional information regarding commencement activities.
  • A full list of activities can be found here.

Degree Conferral

Degrees will be conferred mid-May (and dated May). Diplomas will be mailed no later than the end of June. Occasionally a degree recipient may require an official document on letter-sized paper confirming their Rice degree. In these instances, a Rice University degree recipient may request a miniature facsimile diploma. Facsimile diplomas are only available after degrees have been conferred in May.