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Applying to Graduate

Graduation is the final stage in the PhD examination process; only once graduation has occurred is the degree conferred, can the candidate use the title of 'Doctor'. Candidates must apply to graduate either in person or in absentia at the appropriate ceremony online via eVision.

Once the exact opening date for applications has been confirmed for each round of ceremonies, these will be published in the Opening and Closing Dates for Applications section of the Graduation Ceremony Dates, and Application Dates of the Graduation at Otago webpages.

For all doctoral candidates, we strongly recommend applying to graduate in the group of graduation ceremonies after the group of ceremonies immediately following submission. For example, if a candidate submits in December, we recommend that they apply in the following year for the August ceremony, rather than a May ceremony. Statistics show, while not impossible, it is very doubtful that candidate's will meet requirements and deadlines to graduate at a ceremony immediately following submission of their thesis for examination. Graduating in the next set of ceremonies is also not guaranteed, but it is much more likely.

It is each candidate's responsibility to ensure that they apply for a place in the ceremony allocated to their discipline before the closing date for the ceremony. As there is a limit to the number of people who can graduate in person at each ceremony; the closing date may be brought forward if this limit is reached before the closing date. Candidates should apply promptly to avoid disappointment.

There is no limit to the number of people who can graduate in absentia, but an application must be received by the closing date.

Graduation in Person

If a degree is to be conferred in person, a brief summary (120 words or less) of the research and findings will be included in the graduation ceremony booklet. Candidates should download the Graduation Booklet Form for Doctoral Candidates, complete it and email it to the Graduation Office ( as soon as possible, and at least five weeks prior to the ceremony they wish to attend.

Graduation in Absentia

If candidates are graduating in absentia, the graduation ceremony booklet will list the title of their thesis, but will not include a summary, so they do not need to fill the Graduation Booklet Form for Doctoral Candidates mentioned above.

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