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Graduate Degree Paperwork

Before starting the steps below, the student should reach out to the Administrative Coordinator in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences to help you throughout the process to your degree.

Doctoral Degree Steps

  1. The student should meet with their faculty advisor to come up with a degree plan.
  2. The student will need to complete their degree plan in DPSS system (Your degree plan will need to be filed at least 90 days before the Preliminary Exam is taken).
  3. The student and faculty chair will need to review the students eligibility requirements for the preliminary exam. The ARCS system will also perform an audit to verify your eligibility to schedule the Preliminary Exam.
  4. If the student is eligible and once a Preliminary Exam date is determined by the student and faculty chair, the student will then need to submit a Preliminary Exam Request through ARCS in order to schedule the exam. This request must be submitted through ARCS within 10 days of the scheduled exam and the preliminary exam must be completed at least 14 weeks prior to the Final Exam (i.e. defense date).
  5. After your prelims, the student will need to submit the Research Proposal Approval Form through ARCS. This form must be submitted through ARCS at least 20 working days prior to submission of the Final Exam Defense Request. 
  6. Once the student completes the Proposal Approval form, the student can check with the Administrative Coordinator or run a degree evaluation in Howdy to make sure that their Residency and Candidacy requirements are met (prior to submitting the Final Exam Defense Request).
  7. The student can apply for a degree online at the Howdy portal; pay graduation fee.
  8. The student will need to submit the Final Exam Defense Request through ARCS. This request must be received by OGAPS at least 10 working days before the final exam date! The student must follow the OGAPS calendar for deadlines.
  9. Once the student successfully completes the Final Exam (i.e. Defense), the student’s chair and committee members will submit their decision for the Final Exam in the ARCS system.
  10. The student will need to upload one approved final copy of the dissertation or record of study as a single pdf file to and submit the fully signed Dissertation/Record of Study Approval Form through ARCS to OGAPS. Make sure that you are following OGAPS calendar for deadlines.
  11.  Arrange for Cap and Gown: Graduation Information


*You can also use the OGAPS STEPS TO FULFILL A DOCTORAL DEGREE as a guide that will provide you with the necessary steps toward getting your degree requirements fulfilled.*

Please utilize the ARCS Student Guide as resource for everything you need to know about ARCS, including how to access the system and how to complete the requests, forms, and documents you need to submit.

Departmental Forms