Dissertation Defense and Graduation

To defend your dissertation and graduate, you must be registered for at least three dissertation hours.

Apply to Graduate
At the beginning of the semester, apply to graduate by completing the online Doctoral Degree Candidate form.  The Graduate School’s Deadlines and Forms page has links at the top of the page for doctoral students, with a link to this form, with deadlines, dissertation submission information, and a checklist for the process.

Confirm Your Committee Members
If you have been in dissertation hours for a number of years, check to see who is officially listed as a member of  your dissertation committee

  • Any changes or updates to the committee can be made only by submission of the Petition for a Change in Doctoral Committee to the Graduate School and with the agreement of all committee members
  • Any changes to the committee must be finalized by the Graduate School a minimum of 30 days prior to the date of the dissertation defense

The Dissertation
Submit the final draft of your dissertation, reviewed for technical and grammatical correctness by your supervisor, to each of your committee members at least four weeks before the dissertation defense date.

The Pink Form
All the details to set the time and date for the dissertation defense can be found on the Instructions for Submitting the Request for Final Oral page.

  • This page also has a link to the Request for Final Oral form (also known as the Pink Form).
  • The completed form and required paperwork must be submitted to the Graduate School a minimum of two weeks prior to the defense date.
  • The form must be printed on pink paper.


  • The only graduation ceremony for graduate students (Convocation) is held at the end of the Spring semester.  If you are  unable to complete and upload your dissertation and submit the signature sheet and other required paperwork, you cannot walk at this graduation ceremony.
  • Read about graduation and the Convocation ceremony here.  Academic regalia is required to walk at graduation and may be ordered from the University Co-op.
  • You must be enrolled in dissertation hours in the semester that you graduate

In Absentia Registration (Summer Session Only)
An extension is allowed for students registered in the Summer Session who are unable to submit the dissertation by the last class day of the Summer Session.  This option is called  in absentia registration.  This is an option only at the end of the Summer Session and is not offered at any other time.   Prior to requesting in absentia registration, you must upload your dissertation and submit required dissertation paperwork to the Graduate School.

General information, forms, guides, and news for current Art History graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin.