Advanced Degree Application Process

Preparing for the FPO


More Than Two Months Before FPO

At Least Six Weeks Before FPO

  • Distribute: Distribute a final draft of your dissertation to readers.
  • Edit: Incorporate suggested edits into your dissertation.
  • Embargo: If applicable, discuss the need to embargo the dissertation with your adviser(s).

Four Weeks Before FPO

  • Submit dissertation: Submit a final PDF copy of your dissertation to your department.
  • Apply for degree: Complete the advanced degree application through TigerHub.  

Requirements for a Complete Degree Application

For an application to be considered complete, the following materials (as PDFs) must be included:

  • Materials Submitted by the Student Approximately Four Weeks Before FPO
    • A copy of the title page, correctly formatted (sample title page)
    • A copy of the abstract (350 words or less)
  • Materials Submitted by the Department to the Graduate School No Less than Two Weeks Before FPO
    • Reader Reports completed by principal readers of the dissertation
    • A CV of any external examiner or reader and approval from the Graduate School. Committee membership from someone outside the University must be approved by the Graduate School prior to completion of the advanced degree application.

At Least Three Days Before FPO

  • Confirm FPO approval: Confirm that your FPO has been approved and the announcement has been posted.

Day of FPO

  • Defend!

Following the FPO

Final paperwork must be submitted a maximum of two weeks after the FPO date or on the degree deadline, whichever comes first. Please review the degree deadlines when planning for your final defense. Before submitting final paperwork to the Graduate School, graduate students must take the following steps:   

  • Submit dissertation PDF to Princeton’s ProQuest ETD site: Pay any applicable publishing and copyright fees (the Graduate School requires traditional or open access publication and does not allow publication restrictions).
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates: Save an electronic copy of the "Certificate of Completion" page of the SED to attach to your final paperwork.
  • Complete the Exit Survey: The electronic copy of the "Confirmation of Completion" page must be attached to your final paperwork.
  • Complete the checkout process: The process for students departing the University is managed via TigerHub.


Enrollment and Benefits following the FPO

Enrollment typically ends the first of the month following the FPO. Please review the timeline by which enrollment and benefits end following the FPO to better understand the changes. 

If you are serving as an Assistant-in-Instruction (AI) in the semester that you are defending the dissertation, consult with your department about the FPO date to ensure that you may remain enrolled and eligible to serve as an AI through the end of the term. Enrollment continues only through the end of the month in which a student's FPO is held. Any exceptions must be discussed with Academic Affairs in the Graduate School.