PhD Checklist

-- (AOS Program and Graduate School) --

a)      The first step is to pick a date and get it approved by all persons who are to attend the defense. Include the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). 

b)     Check date with Anna V. for any conflicts with the department calendar.

c)      Give yourself at least 1½ months or sooner to complete the process from start to finish. Especially keep that in mind, if you are pressed to receive your degree by a specific date.

         Degree Deadline for 2023-2024:                   Degree to be Awarded on:

         Thursday, August 31, 2023                              Saturday, September 23, 2023
         Tuesday, October 31, 2023                              Saturday, November 18, 2023
         Friday, December 29, 2023                              Saturday, January 27, 2024
         Thursday, February 29, 2024                           Saturday, March 23, 2024
         Thursday, May 9, 2024                                     Tuesday, May 28, 2024

d)     The following process must be done to meet the specific degree deadline date you choose:

  • You must have successfully defended your dissertation;
  • All paper work must be completed and signed;
  • After completing Mudd Library’s process (see #3 below), the signed paper work must be submitted to the Graduate School by the designated deadline date you choose, in order for your Ph.D. to be approved and awarded on the Degree date you selected.

Dissertation requirements are on the Mudd Library home page.


1.      Two bound and/or final copy of your DISSERTATION is due in your department at least two full weeks before your defense date. The department copy does not have to be professionally bound (Submit copies to Anna V.)

2.      A completed ADVANCED DEGREE APPLICATION must be submitted electronically to Graduate School, 14 days prior to the proposed Ph.D. defense date. (NOTE: when counting the 14 days, do not include Sundays or Holidays.) This online ADVANCED DEGREE APPLICATION can be accessed via SCORE and should contain:

  • TITLE PAGE OF THE DISSERTATION (The correct degree award date, as on the Degree Application Form, Trustees’ Meeting date, month and year only, must appear at the bottom of the title page.) Anna Valerio uploads
  • DISSERTATION ABSTRACT(Should not exceed 350 words ) Anna Valerio uploads
  • Optional -  Ph.D. DISSERTATION EMBARGO REQUEST AND APPROVAL FORM (Required only if the student is requesting an embargo on the dissertation. Request must be submitted electronically as part of the FPO application. (Candidate completes the form and after approval, submits original to Anna Valerio to upload.)
  • READER REPORTS (Given to the Committee of Examiners – At least two Reader Reports, at least one of which must be a faculty member in candidate’s home department. Additional readers may be assigned by department. (Outside reader: someone outside the candidate’s department or outside Princeton University. Include a CV for outside Princeton University readers – Anna Valerio uploads CV.)

                  NOTE: Readers should submit their reports in PDF form to [email protected]
                   within the 14 day deadline. (Anna Valerio uploads the reader’s reports.)

  • PRIOR PRESENTATION AND PUBLICATION FORM (Signed by Candidate’s Advisor) Candidate completes form, gets signed by advisor, then gives to Anna Valerio to upload

    NOTE: There must be at least three principal examiners, all of them normally members of the Princeton Faculty at the rank of assistant professor or higher, at least two of whom have not been principal readers of the dissertation.

3.     Authorization memo approving Final Public Oral (FPO) Examination (Will be sent electronically to department after Graduate School deans have approved FPO. Must be posted in department at least three full working days, including Saturdays, prior to the defense.) (Anna Valerio posts notice.)

4.     Submission of dissertation to Mudd Manuscript Library, to be completed normally by the end of the day of the student’s successful completion of the Final Public Oral Exam (If the advisor and examining committee recommend that minor, non- substantive changes be made in the text, the student must submit the corrected final copies within two weeks of successfully completing the FPO):

Full details of the Mudd Manuscript Library’s requirements.

  • Before submitting final paperwork to the Graduate School, graduate students must take the following steps);

  • FPO form signed by Chair of FPO or Committee or DGS (Anna Valerio will upload signed form)

  • Submit dissertation PDF to Princeton’s ProQuest ETD site(link is external), paying any applicable publishing and copyright fees (the Graduate School requires traditional or open access publication and does not allow publication restrictions);

  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates(link is external) (hard copy of the "Certificate of Completion" page of the SED);
  • Complete the Exit Survey (hard copy of the "Confirmation of Completion" page must be submitted);
  • Complete the checkout process for students departing the University in TigerHub(link is external).
  • Once all actions are complete, graduate students must log in to TigerHub(link is external) to complete the submission of the final paperwork process.  All final paperwork is normally submitted immediately following the successful completion of the FPO examination, but in no case later than two weeks after the defense or by the degree deadline, whichever comes first.

    Please note, students are required to submit a bound copy of your dissertation, prepared according to the specifications in the Dissertation Formatting Guidelines(link is external) to the library within six months of the FPO (Attn: Sara Logue, Special Collections Suite, Firestone Library, One Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544-2098); 

All documents must be received by the degree deadline.

Enrollment and Benefits following the FPOEnrollment and benefits typically end the first of the month following the successful defense.  Students may wish to consult benefits and status after the FPO for information about benefits you may receive between FPO and degree conferral. Additional information can be found here: Status Changes and End of Student Benefits.