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Final Semester Instructions

Below are some things to keep in mind as you get ready to finish. For more detailed information and to find current deadlines and requirements, please visit the UF grad school website and that of the editorial office:

If you haven’t registered for the past two or more semesters, you’ll need to apply for readmission. Register for at least 3 research credits for spring or fall semesters or 2 credits for summer.

Apply for the degree to the UF Office of the Registrar (222 Criser Hall):

Early in the semester (or better yet, the semester prior to graduation), confirm that you have enough credits to graduate, and no issues such as “I”, “NG”, etc. You will want to clear these up well before graduation (or you will not be able to graduate). If you want to be sure you have met the Geology Department requirements, print out your class record from ISIS, count up your Geology formal classes, seminars, and research credits, and then pass along this information to the graduate coordinator to check. See the Departmental handbook for guidelines:
Geological Sciences Graduate Student Handbook (PDF).

Defense Preparation

Schedule your defense room and time as soon as your advisor agrees you are ready. Your advisor can give you detailed advice on defense format. Typically, you’ll give a presentation of your work (~30-35 mins for MS, ~45-50 mins for Ph.D.), answer general audience questions, then answer committee questions. Prior to your defense, make sure (check with the Geology office) that you have any forms that you need.

Plan on getting your thesis/dissertation to your committee 2 weeks before your defense.

Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Submission

The deadline for submitting the final formatted defended thesis is typically a month prior to the end of the semester for MS students. That means you have to defend far enough before this to have time to revise and format.  For Ph.D. students,  you’ll submit an undefended version ~2 months before the end of the semester, and a final version shortly before the end of classes.

“Clear prior” is a safety net. If you just can’t make the deadline, you will officially graduate the following semester, but will not have to register (and pay for the credits) as long as you complete all requirements before the first day of classes. See the Graduate Student Handbook or the Editorial Deadlines guide for more details.


If you plan on taking part in the graduation ceremony, be sure to reserve your cap and gown in advance. If you are a Ph.D. student, let your advisor know so they can plan to attend and reserve a cap and gown if necessary.