Graduate Student Degree Timeline

Committee formation 

In your first semester, begin discussions with your mentor about your thesis/dissertation and graduate committee members. Ask your mentor about forms required for your degree.

Submit a Committee Assignment Form in the first two semesters of your graduate program.


Program of Study 

The Program of Study identifies coursework for your degree.

Submit the Program of Study no later than the beginning of the third semester (or second Summer Session if enrolling only in summers).

Note that you need to submit the Program of Study after your Committee Assignment Form is approved and on file with the Office of the Registrar.

If at any time you need to make a change to your approved Program of Study, please submit a Request for Change in Graduate Program.


Research proposal or project plan

At your first committee meeting (ideally in your first two semesters) discuss your research proposal or project plan.


Preliminary exam (doctoral students only)

The preliminary examination will be held at least 15 weeks prior to the final examination/defense. Please note, doctoral candidates have four years from the semester of the preliminary exam to complete the degree process.

Submit the Report on Preliminary Examination for Admission to Candidacy to the Registrar’s office, regardless of whether you pass or fail.

If interdisciplinary, please copy when you submit your form to the Registrar’s office.


Completed research product or project

Submit your thesis/dissertation or project to your committee three weeks prior to the final examination/defense.


Declare graduation

An Anticipated Graduation Date form must be submitted for the semester in which graduation is planned. Log into WyoRecords to declare your Anticipated Graduation Date and pay the associated graduation fee.

If graduation does not occur during the projected semester, the student must contact the Office of the Registrar to change their anticipated graduation date.


Commencement participation

After you declare the semester you intend to graduate, register via the survey located on the commencement website.


Final examination/defense

The final examination/defense may not be held until after the beginning of the semester or session in which coursework is completed.

The date, time, and place of the examination must be announced to the public a minimum of two weeks before the final examination is held.

The oral and/or written examination should be held by the student’s graduate committee at least 10 calendar days before the end of the term of graduation (last day of finals).


Thesis or dissertation revisions

Please complete necessary thesis or dissertation revisions compliant with UW format approved by your committee.


Report of final examination

Submit your approved Report of Final Examination form to the Registrar’s office on or before the last day of classes in the semester you plan to graduate. Note: EdD degree please use this form.

For those looking to embargo their thesis/dissertation (an intentional delay in the publication of its results), an embargo request must be included with compelling written justification and a proposed embargo period not to exceed one year. All embargo requests are subject to approval by the School of Graduate Education and the Research and Economic Development Division.


Upload thesis or dissertation

Upload your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest.


Survey of Earned Doctorates (National Research Council)

All PhD students must submit the Survey of Earned Doctorates on or before the last day of classes in the semester you plan to graduate.



  • All paperwork is due by the last day of classes in the semester you plan to graduate.
  • All graduate forms must be submitted electronically. Students and advisors should monitor the progress of the forms as they pass through the signature chain to ensure that forms are processed as quickly as possible.


Important Resources

For a print out of this information, please see our Graduate Student Degree Timeline


Contact Us

School of Graduate Education

Knight Hall 250

Phone: (307) 766-6478


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