School of Engineering Academic Requirements for Ph.D. Students


Programs may require specific course enrollment options.

Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of 24 graded engineering graduate level credits (5000 level and above), and a total of 72 credits consisting of graded coursework and research to satisfy the Engineering School’s academic requirements while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0.  The student’s department may require specific courses. These requirements are outlined in the Graduate Record and are part of the Academic Requirements report in SIS.

Steps to Graduation for Engineering Doctoral Degree Beyond Course Requirements

Your department may require additional or earlier steps; check with your advisor or departmental graduate coordinator.
    • Apply for graduation in SIS at the beginning of the semester in which you plan to graduate (by October 1 for December graduation, by February 1 for May graduation, and by June 1 for August graduation).
    • Enroll in courses, research, or affiliated status - Students must be enrolled in a UVA degree-granting program for the semester in which they expect to graduate.
    • En Route Master’s Degree - A doctoral student may request approval to earn a master’s degree (thesis or non-thesis) within their home department. The departmentally approved request must be submitted to the Graduate Registrar’s Office by the dates for applying to graduate (February 1 for May; June 1 for August; October 1 for December). En route master’s candidates should NOT apply for graduation in SIS. The registrar will add them to the degree list once their master's plan has been created. Before requesting the en route master’s, students must verify that the master’s academic requirements will be completed by the semester they intend to earn the master’s degree. Credits used to satisfy the en route master’s degree cannot have been used to satisfy requirements toward a previous degree. A student may not earn a Ph.D. and en route masters in the same semester.

  • Request appointment of your Doctoral Advisory Committee by sending the Doctoral Advisory Committee form to your program’s Graduate Coordinator for approval, then it is submitted by the Graduate Coordinator to the Graduate Registrar’s Office at least two weeks prior to the Ph.D. Examination.  Note: Some departments use a standard committee for students taking the Ph.D. Examination/Qualifying Exam and do not require their students to complete the Doctoral Advisory Committee form until they propose their doctoral dissertation.

  • Prepare and successfully defend your Dissertation Proposal with advisement of your Doctoral Advisory Committee.  If not completed in step 1, or if changes were made, the Doctoral Advisory Committee form must be approved at least 2 weeks prior to the proposal.  The Dissertation Proposal must be successfully completed at least one semester prior to the Final Dissertation Defense.  Submit the completed and approved Dissertation Proposal and Admission to Candidacy form and accompanying assessment form to your departmental Graduate Coordinator, who then submits them to the Graduate Registrar’s Office.

  • Verify in SIS that your academic requirements for your degree program have been satisfied.  Students are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their UVA transcripts and that there are no blank or incomplete grades.  Transcripts and grades cannot be amended after degree conferral.  The University Registrar will not confer a degree if there are any blank or incomplete grades.

  • Verify in SIS that there are no outstanding tuition or fees due.  The University Registrar will not confer a degree if any monies are due to the University.

  • Submit your Final Examination (Defense) Committee form to your departmental Graduate Coordinator for approval. It is then submitted by the Graduate Coordinator to the Graduate Registrar’s Office and approved at least two weeks prior to your defense.

  • Prepare and successfully complete your Final Dissertation Defense. Complete and have signed by your defense committee the Report on Dissertation Final Examination form and accompanying assessment form.  Submit these forms to your departmental Graduate Coordinator, who then submits them to the Graduate Registrar’s Office

    • Verify that your title is correct before submitting the form. Any changes to your title require the approval of your entire committee.
    • If requesting a dissertation embargo, the approved embargo request form must be submitted at the same time as the Report on Dissertation Examination and assessment.

  • After your successful defense, ensure that any corrections required by your dissertation committee are made to your dissertation, and the title matches what was on the submitted Report on Dissertation Final Examination form. 

  • Prepare your dissertation for the Libra upload. Incorporate a title and approval page into your dissertation by inserting them at the beginning of your dissertation.
    You may create your own cover page and approval page, or use the provided Thesis/Dissertation and Approval Page Template

    NOTE: If you choose to create your own, be sure that the date of your dissertation matches the degree-granting month and year. For example, if you defend in March but graduate in May, your dissertation should be dated May and the year, not when you defend. Also, the committee members' names should be typed, not signed. You should include your own signature, however. Consult with your advisor and committee regarding the Libra “Access and Visibility Options” for electronic theses and dissertations which include Public Access, Limited Access, and Embargo. 

    Your dissertation and title may not be changed once it has been uploaded.

  • Review the Libra web site for formatting and instructions on the upload process. Then upload your dissertation to the University Library’s online repository, Libra. Questions or concerns regarding the Libra upload should be directed to them via email: libra@virginia.edu.  

    If students do not complete required corrections to their dissertation and/or do not upload it by the deadline to upload the dissertation to Libra, they must request to delay their graduation until the following semester by contacting the Graduate Registrar's Office

  • After your successful defense, you must complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates. Submit a copy of the Certificate of Completion via email to the graduate registrar.