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Graduate Student Handbook: Graduation

The culmination of the efforts made to fulfill the M.S. and/or Ph.D. degree requirements is the awarding of the degree – GRADUATION!  

  • All the instructions and necessary forms needed to apply for graduation are available online for the M.S. degree and for the Ph.D. degree.
    • Ph.D. students submit only the Online Application for Graduation (OAG). This is done through OSCAR.
    • M.S. students submit OAG, and fill out the ECE coursework form.
  • The OAG and the coursework form must be completed no later than the deadline provided by the Academic Office


Enrollment in the Graduation Term
  • It is an Institute requirement that students be enrolled for a minimum of three hours in the term in which they graduate.  
  • M.S. thesis option and Ph.D. students who have no requirement to be enrolled on a full-time basis (i.e. no GRA or GTA, no fellowship support, no visa requirements) are permitted to register for a single hour in their final term. The one-hour option can only be used one time. Students who do not graduate in their expected term may have to enroll in the next term in order to graduate.
  • Students who complete all of their degree requirements before the close of registration of the next term are eligible to graduate without being enrolled (with an enrollment waiver). This option is also only available on a one-time basis.
    • In order to request an enrollment waiver, the student must complete a form (signed by the thesis advisor - where applicable - and the ECE Graduate Affairs Office) certifying that all degree requirements have been met and that the student will not be making use of any of Georgia Tech’s facilities during the term of graduation.  
    • In cases where a thesis is being submitted, this waiver is filed with the required thesis submission paperwork after the thesis or dissertation has been uploaded electronically.  
    • Where a thesis is not required, the enrollment waiver is filed with the degree petition.

NOTE: International students (those with F or J visa) who plan to register for less than a full-time course load in their graduation term must file additional paperwork for reduced course load with the Office of International Education.  Failure to do so, could result in the student being considered "out of status" in their final term.

Candidates for degrees are not required to attend commencement.  However, Georgia Tech's commencement program is worth attending. Information concerning each commencement is available on the GT website.


Graduation Invitation Letters

It is Georgia Tech policy that neither academic nor administrative units provide “Graduation Invitation Letters.” Student wishing to have family members who would need visas in order to enter the U.S. attend their graduation ceremony may write invitation letters for their relatives, but no official letter from ECE or Georgia Tech will be issued.


Online Master’s Degree Students
  • It is Georgia Institute of Technology policy that Online Master’s Degree students must graduate in the term following the one in which they complete their degree requirements.  
  • In addition to completing the OAG and the coursework form, online students must include a completed enrollment waiver form found at http://grad.gatech.edu/theses-dissertations-forms. (The enrollment form is located under “Additional Forms.") 


Reactivating/Reapplying to Graduate
  • M.S. and Ph.D. students who do not graduate in the term for which they applied must reapply by submitting an Online Application for Graduation (OAG).

Last revised July 30, 2021