Degree Information


APPLICATION FOR DEGREE

Students wishing to obtain a degree must formally apply within their my.harvard account. The link can be found on the Student Home page. PhD students must also provide a completion code for the GSAS Exit Survey within the application.  In unusual circumstances, late applications may be accepted for one week past the deadline only; a late fee of $50 will be applied to the student’s term bill.

If a student applies but does not receive the degree, they must submit a new application for the degree period they intend to graduate in.

2020-2021  GSAS DEGREE APPLICATION DEADLINES

Degree Conferral:          November 10, 2020       March 1, 2021                May 27, 2021
Application Deadline:    August 14, 2020              December 1, 2020         April 1, 2021
Degree Submission:        September 8, 2020*     January 19, 2021           May 13, 2021

*Students who wish to retain health coverage for the fall 2020 term (through January 31, 2021) and who would like to be charged accordingly should submit the dissertation from September 9, 2020 – October 9, 2020

NOTE: Your stipend will end based on your dissertation submission date, not the date of diploma availability. If you submit your dissertation before the 15th of the month, the stipend will be terminated at the end of that month. If you submit your dissertation after the 15th of the month, the next month’s stipend will be the final month the student is paid, at the discretion of the advisor.

Please review the Steps to Degree website for more specific information about the November, March and May degree deadlines and links to forms.

Important to Note:

Registration and Tuition Requirements for Degree Candidates:
All degree candidates must register continuously until completion of the requirements for the degree.  PhD candidates must have paid two years of Full tuition and two years of Reduced tuition before receipt of the degree, unless they have completed the PhD in less than four years from initial registration.  All PhD candidates must pay the PhD fee, equal to facilities fee in their last term of registration (unless a higher tuition has been paid).   This final charge is billed when a student applies for the degree; unless the student has already paid the Facilities fee for the term.

  • For students receiving degrees in November, the last term of registration is the previous spring term.
  • For degrees in March the last term is the previous fall.
  • For degrees in May the last term is the spring term (except that May degree candidates filing dissertations by very early February 2021 who do not register or pay tuition for the spring term).

Students who are uncertain whether they will finish in time for degrees in November or March are encouraged to register for the fall or spring terms respectively, either in residence or on leave of absence, to avoid late registration fees if they miss the degree deadlines.  Should they finish in time their registration for the term will be cancelled.

Student health insurance expires on the last day of coverage for the last term of enrollment. Please visit HUHS for more information. November degree candidates should visit the GSAS academic calendar for important deadlines and information regarding health coverage eligibility.

Delivery of the Dissertation Following the Examination

Following the defense examination, the student, with the help of the Dissertation Advisor, should make any necessary corrections to the thesis. It is then the student’s responsibility to submit a copy of their dissertation:

GSAS requires submission of one electronic copy of the dissertation, submitted online through the ETDs @ Harvard online submission tool to the FAS Registrar’s Office for approval for the degree.

The electronic copy submitted must meet the specifications described in Formatting Your Dissertation. A dissertation that does not conform to the minimum standards set by GSAS may have to be reformatted and resubmitted. In that event, the degree cannot be awarded until a dissertation in satisfactory form is completed and deposited with the Registrar.

Students interested in printed and bound copies can order personal copies through Thesis on Demand.

For more information regarding the PhD Dissertation, please see this website: https://gsas.harvard.edu/academics/dissertations