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Final Defense

See the GBS Graduation Checklist for specific deadlines and tips for graduation as well as the Graduate School's Plan I page for their requirements.

After your committee has cleared you for final defense:


It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the specific requirements of your theme, which may have requirements above those of the Graduate School and GBS requirements.

  • Submit an outline of your dissertation to the theme director for approval before writing your dissertation.
  • Submit a completed Application for Degree form; it must be submitted no more than three weeks into the semester you plan to graduate.
  • Set a date, time, and place for both your private and public defense.
  • Notify the GBS office of your intent and the dates.
  • Submit the Dissertation Advertisement Form no later than two weeks prior to your public defense so that handouts can be made and your defense advertised.
  • Obtain approval forms from the Graduate School no less than two weeks before your public defense. These forms are to be signed off on by your committee, indicating approval for awarding of degree, after your private defense.
  • No later than 10 business days after your public defense, submit your final, completed dissertation as a single PDF. This is done online.
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.


  • Three weeks into semester you plan to graduate: Submit Application for Degree.
  • Two weeks or more before your public defense: Obtain approval forms from Graduate School.
  • 10 business days after public defense: Submit your dissertation.

UAB Dissertations

Print copies of UAB dissertations and theses can be found on the second floor of Lister Hill Library under the W4 call number.

UAB theses and dissertations can be found online in the ProQuest Database.

Application for Degree

Students are responsible for completing the Application for Degree by the UAB Graduate School deadlines. The Application for Degree/Certificate is accessible through BlazerNET by clicking on Links/Forms and selecting the Apply for Graduate Degree/Certificate link. You can find more information about the application process in the Completion of a Degree section of the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Dissertation Approval Form

No later than two weeks before your dissertation defense, submit a request for your Dissertation Approval Form. It must be completed after you have submitted your application for degree.

The committee members on your approval forms must exactly match those on your official records. If any member of your committee has changed, that change must be submitted on an official Change of Graduate Study Committee Form.

Public Dissertation Defense

Some programs, like GBS, hold private and public defense meetings. GBS recommends choosing an earlier defense date to allow time to complete final requirements before graduation, but the FINAL defense, whether that's the private or public defense, must be given no later than the UAB Graduate School deadlines. The Graduate School (and GBS) will only advertise a student's public defense.

Students should schedule their final defense well in advance with committee members, and determine when they require a completed copy of your manuscript for review. 

Students can find more information about the public dissertation process in the Completion of a Degree section of the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Submission of Dissertation

Your committee-approved thesis or dissertation and all applicable forms are due in the Graduate School no later than two weeks following your public defense. More information about submitting your dissertation can be found in the Graduate Catalog and on the Graduate School website:


Dissertation Defense Forms

  • Application for Graduate Degree/Certificate
    Students planning to graduate in the upcoming term can access the Application for Graduate Degree/Certificate online through BlazerNET by clicking Links/Forms and selecting Apply for Graduate Degree/Certificate. 
  • ProQuest Submission Site
    All Doctoral students must submit a PDF of the final committee-approved dissertation for final review by the Graduate School. 


To request a letter of degree verification for your post-doc appointment or other employment, please contact UAB Graduate School at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


*If a student's defense falls after the Graduate School's final defense deadline date, but before the start of the next consecutive term, the student will not be required by the Graduate School to register for their graduation term as long as all appropriate degree requirements are complete. The only exceptions would be for international students or students dependent on departmental funding, financial aid, or student health insurance in which registration during the graduation term may be required. 


If you have further questions, please contact the GBS Program Administrator.