Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Graduate School Policies
Procedures for Graduation

Students anticipating degree or certificate completion must file an Application for Degree (AFD) through the Graduate Student Degree Menu in HokieSPA. Students who earn more than one degree and/or certificate in a semester must use the Degree-Certificate Conferral Request form (the paper equivalent of the AFD form in HokieSPA) for the additional degree/certificate after submitting the first request through HokieSPA. Deadlines for those wishing to complete their degrees in time to attend Commencement are posted at

Graduation Clearance Procedures
Summary of Procedures

Summary of Procedures for a candidate for the master's or doctorate degree:

1. Students must be enrolled at Virginia Tech in the term in which the degree is awarded.

2. Filing of Application for Degree, payment of fee. This form makes an individual degree completion checklist available to the student on Hokie SPA. It must be submitted prior to the last day of classes of the term in which the student intends to graduate.

3. Submission of the Request to Schedule Final Examination, two weeks before the proposed examination date for students who have been enrolled during the last year. For those who have been out of residence for more than a year, and require Readmission, the Readmission process should be completed before requesting the Final Examination.

4. Taking Final Examination.

5. Submitting the final version of the thesis or dissertation, approved by the student's Advisory Committee through the Electronic Signature System, as an Electronic Dissertation or Thesis (ETD) within two weeks after the defense.

6. Submitting any applicable supporting documentation for the ETD (e.g., copyright permission letters to reproduce items from other publications, Institutional Research Board approval or exemption notices (if appropriate), UMI form, Survey of Earned Doctorates).

7. Payment of the archiving fee which is required of students at the time the ETD is submitted.

8. Degree Completion requires ETD approval by the Graduate School and completion of all other requirements for the degree.

Commencement Participation

Master’s students who have completed their degree requirements, and those nearing completion, can participate in Commencement. However, diplomas are not issued until all degree requirements are met. Summer graduates may attend either fall or spring commencement but must confirm their attendance through Hokie SPA.

Doctoral candidates, to be eligible to participate in the doctoral hooding ceremony, must have completed all degree requirements including ETD approval by the Graduate School by the deadlines published each semester on the Graduate School website:

Degree Conferring Dates

In addition to the traditional twice-a-year commencement, two additional "Degree-Conferring Dates" have been established. These dates appear on the diploma for qualified graduates. These additional degree-conferring dates fall on the last day of final examinations of First Summer Term and Second Summer Term. No commencement ceremonies are conducted during the summer. Students who complete degree requirements during summer may attend the next commencement; students must confirm commencement attendance via Hokie SPA. All degrees conferred between commencements are listed in the next commencement program. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates by first class mail.

Academic Regalia

Information on master’s and doctor’s regalia is available from the University Bookstore, Clothing and Gifts department, 540/231-5991