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Current Students

Preparing for a Master's Defense


Student Status

You may submit the final corrected copies of your thesis as soon as you address any remaining comments that were brought up during the defense or noted in the registration copy of your thesis, which will be returned to you usually within a few days before or after the defense. Your degree conferral date will depend on when you submit the final corrected copies of your thesis document and complete all remaining credits for your program of study.

Final Corrected Copies of the Thesis

You need to submit two unbound copies of your final thesis to the Graduate Studies Office.

Department/Program Requirements Prior to Termination of Student Status

Each department and program has its own process for students who are ending their student status. Be sure to check with your Graduate Administrator to determine if there is additional paperwork that you’ll need to complete before your student status is terminated.

Publishing Your Final Thesis

The University of Rochester requires all master’s thesis candidates to deposit their theses for publication with the University libraries. Two hard copies of the thesis (unbound) are required by the Graduate Studies Office to provide to the Library.

Binding Your Final Master’s Thesis

Your department may want a bound copy of your thesis. Please check with your Graduate Administrator to determine this and how the cost of binding is covered. You may also want a bound copy for yourself and others.

Date of Degree Completion

Degree requirements are met on the day your final thesis document is submitted to the AS&E Graduate Studies Office and all credits for your program of study are complete.

Date of Degree Conferral

Conferral is the act of officially awarding a degree. The University of Rochester Board of Trustees confers degrees 3 times each year (October, March and May). Your conferral date will be determined by the semester in which all degree requirements are completed.

  • Completion May through late-August = October conferral date
  • Completion Sept through mid-January = March conferral date
  • Completion late-January through late-April = May conferral date

Exact deadlines for completion in a given semester are published in the AS&E academic calendar.


The graduation ceremony for all University of Rochester master’s degree candidates is held in May of each year. Diplomas are distributed at Commencement or mailed to those who do not attend.

Information on the Commencement Ceremony and graduation regalia will be mailed to you in early-March.

Proof of Completion

Many employers want “proof” of the degree earned. The AS&E Graduate Studies Office can provide you with a letter indicating the date degree requirements were satisfied and the date the Board of Trustees will confer/conferred the degree. This is your best option for proof of degree immediately following graduate school.

You may also supply employers with your official transcript, which will be notated to include the date of degree conferral after conferral occurs (October, March or May).

Your diploma can also be used as proof of the degree if you wish to copy it for an employer.

Some employers work with agencies that search for, screen and hire employees. They often submit forms to the academic institution that request enrollment information as well as degree verification. The Registrar will provide this information to an agency if your signature is provided with the forms indicating approval of the release of information.

Student Loans

If your student loans have been in deferment, you’ll need to notify your loan servicer of a completion date. Some loan servicers accept the completion date via a phone call while other servicers require that you submit a final loan deferment request form or letter from your Registrar before the repayment process can begin. Once a completion date is reported, your loan servicer will provide you with the information needed to start repayment or to continue deferred status, when applicable.

Health Insurance

Your end of program decisions may impact your health insurance options. You should check your health insurance status to assure continuing coverage and access to health care following graduation. If you are enrolled in the University-sponsored Aetna Student Health Insurance plan, coverage continues through the end of the semester in which you cease to be a full-time registered student. If you are graduating in the fall, the end date is December 31. If you are graduating in the spring, coverage ends on July 31. Your dependents’ coverage ends the same time that your coverage ends.

To learn more about your insurance options upon graduation, visit the UHS Insurance website.

UR Email Address

Student UR email addresses will remain active for one year after completion of the degree. You will receive reminder notices before your account is de-activated. If you have questions about this, please contact University IT. If you remain at UR after your defense, your email address will be transferred to a non-student account by the hiring department.

Stay in Touch

Please provide us with your whereabouts so we can keep in touch, provide you with useful, up-to-date information about professional development opportunities and about the University of Rochester, and celebrate all your successes along the way!