Select Page
Home » Navigating Your Degree » Dissertation Timeline

Dissertation Timeline

Actual time to complete varies by discipline and departmental requirements.



Verify your committee has been approved by reviewing your unofficial transcript through Wolverine Access six months prior to Group Pre-Defense.

Review Rackham Format Guidelines in The Dissertation Handbook and the Dissertation Formatting Checklist. Visit the U-M Library’s Guide to Microsoft Word for Dissertations, for answers to questions about formatting your dissertations and to download templates.


If you have supplemental materials (such as data) that should also be made publicly available and associated with your dissertation, consider reaching out to [email protected] for help determining whether these should be deposited into one of the Deep Blue repositories.



Register for the required pre-defense review with Rackham at least three weeks before the Oral Defense.



Complete pre-defense review with Rackham at least 10 working days prior to the oral defense.



Distribute the dissertation and abstract to committee members at least 10 working days prior to the Oral Defense.



Apply for graduation for your doctoral degree through Wolverine Access.

Complete the required online Survey of Earned Doctorates.



View Wolverine Access three days prior to the oral defense to confirm that Dissertation Evaluations have been received from all committee members. Follow up with committee members as needed.



Print Oral Report form from web after receiving email that it is ready to print, and take to Oral Defense.



Oral Defense of Dissertation



Verify with Chair that they have submitted the Final Oral Examination Report to Rackham OARD.



Complete any changes, corrections, or revisions to your dissertation as required by your committee Chair or Co-Chair.



Verify that Chair or Co-Chair has submitted the Certificate of Dissertation Committee Approval through the Rackham online system.



Arrange for a post-defense submission with Rackham OARD, referencing the Doctoral Degree Deadlines.



Complete online submission of the final dissertation (PDF) and abstract (text). Note that revisions and re-submission may be required. Once Rackham OARD has approved the submission, no changes or corrections may be made to the dissertation. Follow up with any additional outstanding requirements. All requirements must be submitted and approved by Rackham no later than 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day.



Graduate Degree Completed



Graduate Degree Conferred

Contact Academic Records and Dissertations

0120 Rackham Building
915 East Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Phone: 734.763.0171
Fax: 734.936.3335


Academic Records and Dissertations is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.