Degree Conferral, Diplomas and/or Certificates

​Through the course of their degree progress, students should be working with their Academic Departments to determine the appropriate coursework that that they will need to pass successfully to earn a degree from Saybrook University. 

The Degree Conferral process begins once all coursework has been completed, and students have met their degree requirements.  As students are about to complete their requirements they should submit a Petition to Graduate form​ to notify the Registrar’s Office that they are ready for the Degree Conferral process. 

The Registrar’s Office will review degree requirements listed in the Academic Catalog based on the year that the student was admitted.  (For special scenarios such as Program Changes, please direct questions to the Registrar’s Office.)  Once it is determined that all requirements have been met successfully, the Registrar’s Office will process the degree conferral which will be documented on the student’s official transcript.  This process generally occurs at the close of each semester or the close of each month for students who are working to complete the dissertation process. 

For relevant deadlines concerning document submission and processing, please refer to the Academic Calendar

Once a student’s degree/certificate has been conferred, a diploma order will be placed and the student will receive their diploma in the mail.  Students should complete the Diploma Name and Address Confirmation​ form (link: to ensure that the Registrar’s Office has the correct information on file.  Please note that diplomas/certificates take 6-8 weeks to arrive after the Degree Conferral deadline. ​

Degree Conferral Checklist for Doctoral Students

Please also note that the following tasks must all be completed prior to having your PhD degree officially conferred:

  1. IRB Approval – Submit a copy of your IRB approval letter for your doctoral research, which is a PDF at the bottom of your IRB application file in Mentor IRB, to the Office of the Registrar ([email protected]).
  2. Petition to Graduate – A completed Petition to Graduate form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the Fall or Spring semester prior to your intended graduation term. A copy of the form may be found on the Student Portal.
  3. Committee Approval - Your committee must approve your completed Dissertation, including your Abstract, and you must successfully pass your dissertation orals.
  4. Proofreading/Editing - You will need to contact the Center for Writing and Dissertation Excellence to finalize the formatting of your Dissertation and Abstract. They can be reached at: [email protected]. The Center will send the approved dissertation and abstract directly to the Office of the Registrar. Please note you must be enrolled in the Dissertation Finalization course until editing is complete. As noted above, you can check out the Formatting Dissertations & Theses ( resource to get started.
  5. Abstract Approval – The Office of the Registrar will provide the Dissertation Chair with a copy of the editor-approved dissertation and abstract for a final review. Upon completion, the Chair will provide the Office of the Registrar with a) a copy of the approved Dissertation b) a copy of the approved Abstract c) a completed Abstract Review Checklist. The Department of Research will be provided with the approved abstract.
  6. Publishing - You will need to publish your Dissertation with ProQuest. You may access ProQuest and begin this process here: You can upload a draft version of your dissertation to complete this step; we will update your submission later with the finalized, proofread document we receive from your editor.
  7. Fiscal Clearance – To get this step checked off, you will need to contact student accounts by calling 1-888-253-5100 or by emailing [email protected]. Your diploma will not be released if you have an outstanding account balance.
  8. Library Clearance – If you have any books or articles out on loan from our library, please return them at your earliest convenience. Your diploma will not be released until all items are returned.
  9. Confirm Name and Address – You will need to submit a Diploma Name and Address Confirmation form in order to verify your diploma name and mailing address. A copy of the form can be found on the Community Site:
Degrees are conferred at the close of each semester OR the end of each month, in favor of conferring students as soon as possible. Please refer to the Saybrook University Academic Calendar to determine deadline dates for inclusion in upcoming degree conferrals. The Commencement team will reach out to you with details as regarding the ceremony as it approaches.

Access Changes

Please also note that your access to Saybrook resources will change as an alumnus.  Please reference the below to familiarize yourself with the updates to your access:

  • Zoom Account: Alumni retain basic access to Zoom. For more information about Zoom basic account, please see Zoom's article here.
  • Library Services: Alumni will lose access to Library Services within a few days of their degree conferral. However, they can use Open Access Databases. To learn more about the databases and other library services and support, click here
  • Office 365 and Email: Alumni have limited access to Office 365 after graduation. All alumni retain email for life through Outlook, meaning they can continue using their university email through Outlook even after graduation. However, Office 365 applications and their features such as OneDrive and Microsoft Office software installed on a device, will be removed.
  • Canvas: Canvas access is tied to alumni email access, so students will retain access to Canvas for life.
  • IRB Services: Alumni interested in Saybrook IRB services must collaborate with an active Saybrook faculty member.  Alumni IRB applications are submitted through Mentor IRB and must include a Saybrook faculty member as a co-principal investigator (co-PI).  Alumni engaged in independent research may use external fee-based IRB services instead. Please contact the Saybrook IRB ([email protected]) for more information.