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Graduation & Commencement


Congratulations! You are approaching the last steps in completing your Master’s or Doctoral degree.

It is important to note that registering to participate in Commencement and applying to graduate are two separate processes and result in different outcomes. Participating in Commencement does not mean that your degree has been conferred.

Graduation Requirements

Doctoral Degree:

Please complete the following requirements by their respected deadline. For more detailed information, review our Checklist for the Doctoral Degree Completion:

Master's Degree:

Please submit the following requirements by their respected deadline. Master's Along the Way students must still complete the requriements listed below. Please connect with your Program Coordinator if you have any questions. For more detailed information, please review our Checklist for the Masters Degree Completion.

Option 1 Thesis:

Option 2 Comprehensive Examination:

Option 2 Capstone Project:

Additonal Resources:

For more information on your Thesis, Capstone Project & Dissertation Submission, please visit the following page: Dissertation & Thesis Submission.

To receive an expected degree conferral letter, please complete the following: Request for Expected Degree Conferral.


Registering to Participate in Commencement

Commencement is a ceremony held twice a year that honors students who just have or will soon graduate, which means completing all requirements of their degree program. Participating in Commencement does not automatically mean that a student has graduated. This is a ceremonial occasion to celebrate with friends, family and colleagues.

How do I register for Commencement?

Master's and doctoral degree candidates graduating as part of the Spring or Summer class can participate in the Graduate Division Commencement Ceremony. Ph.D. candidates will be hooded by their faculty advisor as part of the ceremony. The Graduate Division will help coordinate with your faculty advisors as needed.

In order to participate in the Spring 2024 ceremony, please ensure you have applied to graduate with the Office of the Registrar AND completed the registration form by April 14, 2024.

For additional details, please visit:

Who is eligible to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony?

Students who applied to graduate for Summer 2024 or Spring 2024.

Should I attend the Grad Fair?

The Spring 2024 Grad Fair will take place on Tuesday, April 3rd and Wednesday, April 4th from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Conference Center on campus. 

Grad Fair is an opportunity for graduates to receive information on tickets, parking, take graduation photos to purchase, order regalia, class rings, flower leis and more. Please continue to check your UC Merced email addresses for additional updates and communications. 

Note that Ph.D. and master's degree students participating in the ceremony will be required to wear academic regalia which can be purchased during the Grad Fair or through the campus bookstore.

What does it mean to apply to graduate and how do I apply to graduate?

A student should complete the application to graduate if they expect to finish all work for their degree requirements. This would mean you have completed all coursework, and degree requirements such as Advancement to Candidacy, written and defended your dissertation/thesis as well as have all the appropriate paperwork completed by the end of the term you are applying to graduate.

Directions on filing out the official form to apply to graduate with your master’s degree or Ph.D. can be found here: Apply to Graduate.

Helpful Links

Dates & Deadlines

Graduate Division Forms

Graduation Application