Graduation Clearance and Commencement

Graduation Clearance

Students are responsible for reviewing their Degree Works transcript with their adviser each semester to make sure all grades and registrations are accurate, the correct degree and concentration are listed, and any approved transfer credits have been entered by the Office of Enrollment Services.

Students who have completed all degree requirements in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Bulletin of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education are conferred with degrees by the University. Degrees are conferred in February, May, and September on students who have completed their requirements in the fall, spring, or summer semesters, respectively.

In order to be cleared for graduation, a student must apply for graduation on according to the calendar deadline in their final semester in the program, (which is normally during the second week of classes). This process can be completed on by following these instructions.

Students who apply for graduation are cleared by their faculty adviser and the assistant dean, who verifies that all required coursework has been successfully completed and that the major paper and overview, or dissertation, has been approved by their mentor and the dean. 

After the dean’s office gives academic clearance, the Office of Enrollment Services verifies financial clearance. 

It is the students’ responsibility to check the academic calendar for specific dates for each deadline. If the graduation application is not submitted on time, or if the student does not complete pending requirements, the degree will be awarded in a subsequent semester. If this occurs, the student must register for maintenance of matriculation (M.A. and certificate), or mentoring (doctoral), for the semester directly preceding the conferral of the degree, according to the continuous enrollment policy. The student must also reapply for graduation in the new term.

Students who receive September degrees must be registered for the summer session or maintenance of matriculation immediately preceding the conferral of their degrees.

Overview Survey

Along with your other degree requirements, each graduating student in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education is required to complete an overview survey. The survey provides students with an opportunity to tell us about their experience at GRE, and will assist us in our efforts to improve the quality of education we provide.

Access the survey here. It should take 30 to 40 minutes to complete and must be completed in one sitting. The survey should be completed by June 15 for September graduates, October 15 for February graduates, and February 15 for May graduates. Students who do not complete this survey on time may not be approved to graduate.

Ph.D. Dissertation and D.Min. Project Submission

Ph.D. dissertations and D.Min. projects must conform to the guidelines outlined in the requirements section of each respective program.

Students must submit Ph.D. dissertations and D.Min. projects online after successful completion of the oral defense and final corrections have been approved by their mentors and the dean. 

  • Visit
  • Click on "Student," then "Submit."
  • Follow the instructions to create an account.
  • Continue to the online submission process.

You will receive confirmation from Proquest once you have successfully completed the submission process. The dean’s office may contact you if there are issues or concerns regarding your online submission.

Dissertations and doctoral projects will be available online through the ProQuest dissertation database. Note that they will not be placed in the Fordham library stacks.


Commencement ceremonies are held each May. Students who receive their degrees anytime during the preceding academic year are invited to participate. Students who have submitted the graduation application on time will receive information about commencement and about obtaining the proper commencement apparel. Commencement ceremonies include the University commencement, followed by diploma ceremonies for each school. During the GRE ceremony, diplomas are distributed to master’s and doctoral candidates, and hoods are bestowed upon the doctoral degree candidates.

Additional Commencement Requirements for Doctoral Students

Only doctoral students who have passed format review and successfully defended their dissertations may walk in the commencement procession, be seated on the dais, and have their names announced during the University commencement ceremony.