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Graduation Checklist

Summer 2024

  • Deadline for Application for Degree - June 10, 2024
  • Deadline for Final Defense – July 12, 2024

Fall 2024

  • Deadline for Application for Degree - September 3, 2024
  • Deadline for Final Defense – November 15, 2024

Spring 2025

  • Deadline for Application for Degree - January 21, 2025
  • Deadline for Final Defense – April 4, 2025

For more information, including approval forms and deadlines, please see the Graduate School's Plan I page.


  • Preparing to Graduate / Defend Your Dissertation
    After receiving permission from the graduate committee to write the thesis; completing Graduate School, GBS and Theme minimum course credit and other requirements (or having an approved plan to finish all requirements within the semester of graduation); follow these steps to graduate:

    1. Determine a date, time and location for your public and private defense and communicate this information to your Graduate Study Committee members, theme directors, and the GBS Program Administrator.
    2. Refer to the theme-specific guidelines on the theme page or with the theme directors for any theme-specific requirements regarding the timing of the private and public defense.
    3. Submit a completed online Application for Degree form through Blazernet. A $50 charge will appear on your student account, for which you are responsible to pay.
    4. No later than 14 business days before your public defense, submit the GBS Dissertation Advertisement Form to the GBS Office so the announcement and flyer can be prepared and distributed. Should meeting this deadline not be possible, then the announcement and flyer will be prepared and distributed as soon as possible after the information is received. The announcement flyer will be sent to you for approval before being distributed.
    5. Needed information: Defense Title, Private Defense Date, Public Defense Date, Time, Location, the student’s GBS Theme, the name and email of the student’s mentor, and the names of the student’s graduate committee members.
    6. No later than 10 business days before your private defense, the finished dissertation must be emailed to your committee members and Theme Directors.
    7. If it is not possible for this deadline to be met, the student must petition the Theme Director(s), in writing, no later than 3 days prior to the deadline. Specific reasons for the request, along with written permission of the graduate committee is to be included in the petition.
    8. No less than two weeks before your public defense, submit the Dissertation Approval Form to the Graduate School. You will receive an email letting you know when your forms can be picked up in the Graduate School (Lister Hill Library G03) within 5 business days of submitting your request. These forms are to be signed off by your committee, indicating approval for awarding of degree and returned to the Graduate School.
    See the GBS Final Defense page for further specifics on defense requirements.
  • Defending Your Dissertation
    • Communicate with your committee members and Theme Directors to determine a date and time for your dissertation defense.
    • Notify your committee members, Theme Directors, and the GBS Program Administrator of the date, time, location and title of your defense.
    • GBS will advertise your defense by creating and posting paper fliers and also by sending email notifications and listing it in the GBS student newsletters. The GBS Program Administrator is your contact for this and they will contact you to request a photo for use on your flier.
    • Your dissertation approval form will be generated and sent electronically to your committee members the day of your public defense for signatures.
    See the GBS Final Defense page for further specifics on defense requirements.
  • Actions to be Completed After Your Successful Defense
    • No later than 10 business days after your public defense submit your final, completed dissertation as a SINGLE PDF. This is done online at the following ProQuest website and a $65 charge is assessed.
    • No later than 10 business days after your public defense, complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
    • Complete the UAB Graduate School Exit Survey, which is administered through Canvas. Graduating students receive an email from the Graduate School with an invitation to submit the exit survey.
  • Graduation
    If you plan to participate in the UAB Graduate School Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremony - visit this page for information and important deadline dates about the hooding ceremony relative to your semester of graduation.

    To Do List:
    • Apply for degree by the appropriate deadline. See the Academic Calendar for more details.
    • Verify that your address is correctly listed in Blazernet. This will indicate your diploma delivery location.
    • 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. Typically, this is to be completed a month prior to graduation.
      • Each candidate should ask his or her dissertation committee chair or a committee member to participate in the hooding ceremony. If no one from your committee is available to serve in this capacity, the person whom you ask to assist in the hooding must be a faculty member in your program. You will need to identify the faculty member who will hood you to confirm his/her availability. Faculty should inform the Graduate School of their plans to attend and to provide the names of any doctoral candidates they intend to hood.
      • Attire. Full regalia attire is required for this ceremony.
      • This may be purchased by contacting Greer Hallmark at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; the deadline to order will be posted on the Graduate School website.
      • This may be rented; visit the UAB Commencement page for further information on doctoral and faculty regalia order forms, to view the deadline for placing your order, and instructions on order pick-up.
      • Attendance of Guests. Guest Tickets will not be required for this event. Please arrange for your guests to arrive early so that they may be seated before the academic procession begins. Seating will be available for families and friends.
      • Ceremony Procedures. Candidates and Faculty will report to the designate commencement venue early on the day of the hooding ceremony. You will proceed to pick up and complete the name card that you will use in the ceremony, check your regalia with Bookstore representatives, fold your hood, receive instructions regarding the ceremony, and line up with your faculty mentor for the procession.
      • Doctoral students will be hooded by their mentor and the Dean of the Graduate School.


UAB’s Graduate Biomedical Sciences (GBS) PhD program of study is an umbrella program designed to attract students to various biomedical research areas of study. Eight different thematic programs are included under the GBS umbrella and these are Biochemistry, Structural & Stem Cell Biology; Cancer Biology; Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology; Genetics, Genomics, & Bioinformatics; Immunology; Microbiology; Neuroscience; and Pathobiology & Molecular Medicine. PhD students who join one of these programs may work with one of 400+ UAB faculty members who have affiliation with the GBS thematic programs. The UAB Biomedical Science Departments have ACHE privileges to grant degrees, and the PhD degree awarded to the student upon completion of the program requirements is from the home Department of the faculty member. Students in GBS are assigned their degree based on their mentor’s primary and/or secondary appointment at UAB.

ACHE Approved Degrees: 

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Neurobiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • If you plan to leave your position before the end of your final semester, please complete the Final Semester Registration Adjustment Form to determine your registration hours for correct stipend and tuition payment. 
  • Click here for UAB Dissertation Format Manual
  • If you are reprinting a published article or previously published illustrations, you must also submit permission to reprint from the copyright holder. (see the Gradate School Editing and Publishing page).
  • Order bound copies of your dissertation for your personal use by going to the Graduate School and requesting forms.
  • To request a letter of degree verification for your post-doc appointment or other employment, contact the Graduate School at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Should the student not be able to meet the above deadlines, the student may hold the public and private thesis defense during the intended graduation semester and have a graduation date of the following semester. The Graduate School will allow students to forgo registration during their graduation term but only if they will have completed all degree requirements on or before the last business day prior to the start of the graduation term. It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with the Graduate School to ensure all degree requirements have been met if they want to forgo registration.  Otherwise, all students are expected to enroll in 1 hour unless international or dependent upon departmental funding, financial aid, or student health insurance which may require additional hours.