PhD Degree Completion

Scheduling the final examination is the responsibility of the candidate and the members of the committee. 

  • The date of the examination must be early enough to allow the student sufficient time to meet the published deadlines for submitting the completed dissertation and all supporting materials to The Graduate School (TGS). 
  • The final exam must be approved by a faculty committee.  A minimum of three individuals must serve on the final exam committee.  At least two members of this committee, including the chair, must be members of the Northwestern University Graduate Faculty
Filing Requirements and Forms
In addition to completing coursework, gaining admittance to candidacy, successfully defending a prospectus, completing final examinations, and a degree-related dissertation, students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree must file the following required documents prior to graduation:
  • Application for Degree: this form must be filled out via CAESAR. Login to CAESAR, click on "Main Menu"-> "TGS Forms" and navigate to "Application for a Degree" form.
  • PhD Final Exam Form: this form must be filled out via CAESAR. Login to CAESAR, click on "Main Menu" -> "TGS Forms"  and navigate to "TGS PhD Final Exam" form. Print out a hard copy of the completed form to take to your final exam. Have each committee member sign the form next to their name. The signed form should go to your Director of Graduate Studies (or program/department assistant) who will finish the approval process online; the form will be submitted to The Graduate School electronically for final approval, with the signed hard copy to follow.
  • Dissertation submission via ProQuest's website, at Once your dissertation has been approved by your committee and all edits and revisions are complete, submit online via ProQuest. The dissertation must conform to TGS formatting standards at Once you have submitted your dissertation online your Student Services representative will review your formatting and confirm via email that your dissertation is acceptable or if changes need to be made.
  • Change of Grade forms: Students with Y or K grades on their transcript must work with their program/department to ensure the appropriate change of grade forms are submitted to The Graduate School by the published deadline.

Graduating PhD students are also requested to complete the following: