Wrapping Up at Brandeis and Officially Graduating

To receive your degree, you must first file an application to graduate, available through the registrar’s website early in the spring semester. The current deadline to file this form is March 1, 2023 for May degrees. You should also fill in your diploma name and address in Workday; the Registrar’s office will mail your diploma to your home.

If you are a PhD candidate submitting a dissertation or a master’s student submitting a thesis, visit GSAS’s Thesis and Dissertation Guide for information on formatting and submitting it, including submitting the associated forms.

The current deadline to defend a dissertation is March 23, 2023 for May degrees. As part of the defense process, you must schedule your defense and submit this calendar form to GSAS at least two weeks before the defense date so that your defense can be included on the public GSAS calendar. For the present, you and your committee can work together to determine whether the defense will be in-person, remote, or hybrid; we plan to retain the option to have the outside reader participate remotely even when public health conditions improve.

Towards the end of your last semester, you will receive an exit survey from GSAS and, if you are earning a PhD, the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) from the National Science Foundation. The GSAS exit survey asks specific questions about your experience in your program here, while the SED collects information that helps assess trends in doctoral education. Please complete both surveys, as they will help us learn about your experiences here and make needed improvements for future students.

People who graduated in the previous August or February, as well as people graduating in May, are all invited to participate in the annual Commencement ceremony. In March (following your graduation if you are an August or February graduate or preceding your graduation if you are a May graduate), you will also receive an email from GSAS with information about ordering regalia for Commencement. Once you have ordered, your regalia will be available to pick up in the GSAS office in Bernstein-Marcus in the week prior to Commencement. When you come to pick up your regalia, you will be able to fill out a short form about your post-graduation plans or get information about how to set up an appointment with Professional Development to discuss next steps. You will also receive information about ordering Commencement tickets from GSAS, and information about locations, diploma ceremonies, and overall logistics will be available on the Commencement website.

Practical Support For Your Next Steps


The current policy is for students to retain their Brandeis email addresses indefinitely; however, it is a good practice to check your inbox periodically or set up your email to forward to a different account so that you do not miss any changes. To set up forwarding:

  1. Go to the Brandeis Account Management webpage.
  2. Click the "Manage my account" link.
  3. Click the "Mail & Directory Settings" link.
  4.  Click "Forward my mail off-campus" and then fill out the "Forwarding address" box.
  5. Finally, click the "Update My Mail Options" button at the bottom of the window.

Returning Materials to Brandeis

Please return any library materials by the end of your last semester. You can visit the library’s website for information about library services for alumni. Please return any office keys to whoever you received them from.

Health Insurance

If you currently have the Brandeis student health insurance plan, it runs until August 14, 2023 at midnight. You should look into alternate health coverage now, as the process can take some time. Graduate students are on a student rather than an employee health plan, so they are not eligible to receive COBRA. If you need a Certificate of Health Plan Coverage to enroll in a new plan, please contact University Health Plans (contact information can be found on the University Health Plans website). The “Insurance Info for Graduating Students and Dependents” link on the UHP website provides additional information and will also direct you to the Massachusetts Health Connector where you may sign up for health insurance plans. Many of these plans start on the first of the month, so be sure to leave time to contact them.


If you need a copy of your transcript, please fill out a form through the Registrar's office.

A Special Note to International Students

You should contact the ISSO prior to completing your program to discuss your options.

Professional Support for your Next Steps

Visit our professional development website to learn more about diverse career paths, access career information about where recent alumni are working, and find resources and templates for CVs, resumes, LinkedIn, informational interviewing, and more!

Professional development serves alumni as well as current students. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with our team to talk through your next step in your career.

Join our alumni network on LinkedIn to build your network!

You will automatically become a member of the Brandeis Alumni Association, which will allow you to stay connected to the Brandeis family. Check out the Alumni Association’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages for opportunities to connect with other alums in your field. As an alum, you can participate in alumni clubs and groups, use the B Connect online network, and access additional alumni benefits.