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School of Natural Sciences


Commencement marks the transition from "student" to "graduate." Upon successful completion of all degree requirements, students are celebrated by faculty, staff and administrators in this time-honored academic ceremony.

In anticipation of the successful defense of their dissertation, a student may determine the term in which they plan to graduate and submit an online Graduate Student Graduation Application by the published deadline on the Registrar’s website and pay the appropriate fee(s).  Students can refer to the Ph.D. Checklist for Degree Completion to get started.


Students should review their progress to degree via the student portal and contact their Graduate Student Coordinator with questions or to resolve issues. When the student passes their dissertation defense, they must turn in the Report on Final Examination form to the Graduate Division and submit their finalized dissertation manuscript electronically to the UC Merced ProQuest ETD website by the published deadline on the Registrar’s website.


Students may participate in the Commencement ceremony they selected on their graduation application. This event is a significant recognition and celebration of student achievement.


Degrees are conferred at the end of the academic semester in which all requirements have been satisfied. After final approval by the Graduate Dean, students will be notified by mail of formal degree conferral and may submit a Request for Certification of Completion form.