Fifth Year

Register at least 9 credits of Graduate Courses to be Full Time

CHEM 690 Research Seminar in Chemistry (if attending seminar)

CHEM 692 Research Seminar Presentation (Only if presenting research seminar)

CHEM 697 Directed Research, enough credits to complete a total of 9 graduate credits.

Present Dissertation Seminar and Register CHEM 692 Instead of CHEM 690

Check the seminar schedule on Blackboard and submit the form for date selection with the Graduate Administrative Assistant a semester prior to presenting your seminar. Failing to present your seminar on the date you select will grant you a U grade in CHEM 697 for that semester. You should present your dissertation seminar the same semester you are graduating, however, the seminar is not tied to your thesis defense and therefore they can be scheduled on different dates.

Present Dissertation Defense

You must submit your thesis manuscript to your committee two weeks prior to your defense. You are responsible for coordinating date and location with your committee, and must provide such information to the Graduate Administrative Assistant along with the title of your thesis, so that pertinent signature forms can be prepared for the day of the defense. The format is similar to the oral candidacy exam, whereby you are expected to make a 20-minute presentation summarizing your thesis, followed by a session of questions from the committee (~2 h). Once signatures on your Electronic Dissertation/Thesis (EDT) form are collected be sure to deliver it to the Graduate Administrative Assistant for further approval by the dean’s office and graduate school. Make corrections on your thesis following committee’s recommendation and put it in the format described in the EDT manual located at Summer graduations are highly discouraged as this would require registering 1 credit of CHEM 697 and presenting the seminar when the course is not offered.

Steps for Graduation

  • Express intent to graduate on e-services before the deadline stipulated in the calendar of the semester you plan to graduate. Academic calendars are posted on the main VCU website under the Academic Programs tab or at
  • Submit paper graduation application with the Graduate Administrative Assistant including first round of signatures (same deadline as the online intent).
  • Submit graduation application with second round of signatures to the Graduate Administrative Assistant to confirm or withdraw the application.
  • Submit signed EDT form to Graduate Administrative Assistant.
  • Upload Electronic Thesis on the VCU Scholar Compass website as instructed in the EDT manual. Deadline for uploading thesis during the current semester is posted on the Academic Calendar website.