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Graduation Guidelines

Recommended step by step process for MS and PhD students in Computer Science

General Instructions

  • Send email request for “Graduation Check” to at least one month prior to the term you intend to graduate. Include your name, UIN, program (if MS identify thesis, project or coursework only option), and expected graduation term. Student Affairs staff will respond with requirements you completed and/or are missing. The early check allows you ample time to modify your registration, if necessary, for your final semester.
  • Be aware of graduation deadlines. CS Student Affairs will email a reminder about these deadlines at the beginning of each semester. Deadlines are also available on the Graduate College academic calendar and are non-negotiable.
  • Apply to Graduate via the portal. See the “Academics” tab of the student part of the portal (you may also have staff and faculty sections if you work on campus and/or are a teaching assistant). Go to the “Records” sub-tab and then choose “Declare your Intent to Graduate.”
  • Inform your advisor of your intent to graduate (this does not apply to MS students in the coursework-only option).

Thesis/Dissertation process:

  • Submit the Committee Recommendation Form at least three weeks prior to your defense date. The form must be filled out online, printed, signed by your advisor and submitted to the CS Student Affairs office (SEO 905). Handwritten forms are not accepted.
  • If any committee member is not part of the UIC graduate college faculty (postdoc or visiting faculty) or if any committee member is non-UIC faculty, that person's CV must be submitted with the committee recommendation form.
  • All PhD students must attach an abstract to the committee recommendation form for both their preliminary exam and final dissertation defense.
  • All students must send an email announcement for advertisement at least a week prior their defense to
  • The Graduate College will return an Exam Report after it approves the Committee Recommendation Form. The CS Student Affairs office will notify you of receipt.
  • Consult the Graduate Thesis Manual for information on all required forms and format of the thesis.
  • Schedule your defense date at least two weeks (for PhD) and 10 days (for MS thesis) prior to the thesis submission deadline.
  • Just prior to or immediately following your defense, email a PDF copy of your thesis to for a format check.
  • Pick up the Exam Report form from the CS Student Affairs office to take to the defense. All committee members must sign the form, and it should be returned immediately to the CS Student Affairs office.
  • All thesis documents are submitted electronically. Information on electronic submission is available on Graduate College website:
  • All required forms must be completed and signed before submitting them to Graduate College. A detailed checklist of the required forms is available in the thesis manual.

MS Project process:

  • Make sure your advisor and the second committee member have ample time (at least one week) to read and approve your project.
    • All CS lecturers, assistant, associate, full professors and adjunct faculty are eligible to serve as a primary advisor and secondary committee member. The secondary committee member also can be a full-time faculty member at UIC (non-CS faculty or adjunct faculty) with pre-approval from the primary advisor and the director of graduate studies. One of the committee members should hold at least a 50% appointment in the CS department.
  • Your advisor and second committee member must sign Certificate of Approval form.
  • Submit a hard copy of the project report and the Certificate of Approval form to the CS Student Affairs office by the department project deadline.
  • Minimum format guidelines for the project report:
    • Cover page – should include title, name, UIN, committee names and semester of graduation
    • Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Introduction, chapters, conclusion and appendix/cited literature
    • Begin each chapter and section on a new page

Final Steps

  • Have your advisor submit grade changes for all your DFR, I, or M grades of your research hours (597, 598, and 599).
  • Return all borrowed equipment and keys to SEO 1120.
  • Note: If you do not graduate in the semester you submitted your Intent to Graduate, you have to submit the request again during the term you intend to graduate.  The previous request will NOT be carried over to the next semester automatically.