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Graduate School Student Handbook Chapter 2: Academics

2.1 Graduation

The University would like to publicly acknowledge your educational achievement, and to that end we hope you will attend the University’s commencement ceremony. Commencement is held at the end of the fall, spring, and summer C semesters. One-Stop Student Services will send candidates for graduation detailed instructions for participating in the ceremony, including instructions on how to obtain tickets (which are required for admittance). Information on commencement, including date and time of ceremonies, is also available on the Commencement website.


UNF Graduate School Graduation Requirements

Work required for a degree must be completed and certification of completion must be posted in the UNF student record system prior to the college approving the candidates for their degrees. Please refer to the Catalog for detailed information on graduation requirements and to review the University’s official policy.


You must satisfy both the general university requirements and your program’s specific requirements. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you should be eligible to graduate.  

  1. Have you submitted your application to graduate?
  2. If you are on a thesis, dissertation, or doctoral project track, have you completed your Thesis/Dissertation Committee Membership form and submitted it to both your Graduate Program Director and the UNF Graduate School?
  3. In the course of your program, have you, or will you have, enrolled in and completed with sufficiently high grades in at least 30 credit hours of course work?  
    • Have you, or will you have, maintained an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 (“B”) or higher?  
    • Have you, or will you have, enrolled in and passed with sufficiently high grades at least 18 hours at the 6000-level?  
    • Have you, or will you have, completed all 6000-level coursework with a GPA 3.0 or higher?      
  4. Have you completed all work within six years of being fully admitted to the graduate program or eight years for a doctoral program?  
    • If you have completed courses at UNF more than five years prior to the end of your program, have you petitioned the program director to validate and apply these courses to your program and to inform the Graduate School?
    • If you have completed course work at other universities, have you made sure that the Graduate School has received an official copy of your transcripts by the posted deadline (on or before the last day of UNF’s final examinations for the term in question)?  
    • If you intend to complete course work at another institution to satisfy UNF degree requirements, have you obtained written approval to do so prior to the term in which you intend to graduate?  
    • If you have or will have completed course work at another institution to satisfy UNF degree requirements, have you made sure the Graduate School has received an official copy of your transcripts and a complete Transfer of Credit Request form by the posted deadline?      
  5. Have you, or will you have, successfully completed all culminating requirements, exclusive of scheduled classes – including the thesis, a non-thesis project, or a master’s examination – by the posted deadline?  
  6. If you have written a thesis or dissertation have you satisfied all department and college requirements?  
    • Have you submitted that project to the UNF Graduate School?      
  7. If you were required to submit a thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School, has the Dean of the Graduate School accepted the document and signed the Certificate of Approval page?  
    • Have you submitted the Availability Agreement to the UNF Graduate School?      
  8. Have you satisfied all your financial obligations to the University?  

Applying for Graduation

You are required to apply for graduation during the first month of the term in which you expect to graduate. Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline may affect your ability to graduate and can result in the delay of your diploma and transcripts. 


The formal graduation application must be completed online in MyWings by signing into Student Self-Service, then selecting Student Records, then Graduation Application.


Graduation Ceremony

All platform participants and students graduating will be attired in the appropriate academic regalia. Master's candidates will wear hoods with caps and gowns during the ceremony. Doctoral candidates will be hooded on stage by their department/dissertation chair.


For additional ceremony information, please refer to the Commencement FAQ website.

2.3 Important Forms

Graduate Student Forms

2.4 Resources

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is available to answer any questions regarding your graduate education. Please contact us:



Telephone: (904) 620-1360

Fax: (904) 620-1362


Mail Address:

The Graduate School

University of North Florida

1 UNF Drive

Jacksonville, FL 32224


On-Campus Address: 

Building 1, J.J. Daniel UNF Hall, Suite 2100

Graduate Program Director (GPD)   

Graduate programs are not administered by a single person. Governance is shared, at any given time, among the department chair, the graduate program director (or coordinator), the departmental graduate studies committee, and, really, the rest of the department faculty. Over time, governance is shared among all those individuals who take a turn at these roles.


The Graduate Program Directors are an excellent resource in that they work to accommodate the needs of the graduate students in their respective departments. The graduate program directors’ responsibilities include, but are not limited to, advising students concerning the design of their programs of study, their progress in their programs of study, their capstone experiences (comprehensive exams, presentation of creative works, thesis, dissertations, defenses, and so forth) and to prepare the student for graduation. 


Center for Institutional Research and Technology (CIRT)

The mission of the Center for Instruction & Research Technology (CIRT) is to offer expertise, resources, and training to assist faculty and qualified GTAs and GRAs in ways that enable them to develop greater capacities for using technology for teaching and research. CIRT also disseminates ideas, frameworks, and materials that apply pedagogical knowledge to the teaching and learning process.


For additional information, please refer to the CIRT website.


Disability Resource Center

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) coordinates and ensures services and accommodations for registered students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. DRC also acts as a gateway for disability-related information and guidance. These services provide equal educational opportunities to students by minimizing the impact of functional limitations upon their academic and non-academic lives. 


For additional information, please refer to the DRC website.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy act (FERPA) is a federal law which affords applicants and students certain rights with respect to their educational records. The intent of this Act is to protect the privacy of students and their records.  FERPA provides precise guidelines regarding access to student information for parents, faculty, and staff. Maintaining confidentiality of education records is everyone’s responsibility. 


For additional information, please refer to the Privacy of Student Records and FERPA website



The UNF Library is an excellent resource for students conducting research, preparing their thesis/dissertation, borrowing materials, reserving study carrels, etc. Some of the services available to graduate student include (but are not limited to):

  • Interlibrary loan
  • Printing & copying
  • Laptop checkout
  • Citation & reference managers

For more information, please refer to the Library website.


The UNF Library also has requirements for formatting ALL theses and dissertations. It is wise to incorporate these elements early in the writing process.  Please refer to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Deposit Guide for the UNF Library’s complete guide and policies regarding thesis/dissertation preparation.


Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP)

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) serves as the University's central administrative unit responsible for securing external resources through grants and contracts and providing financial and contractual stewardship of awards. ORSP provides dynamic and proactive services to cultivate and maximize external resources for relevant research, scholarly and creative pursuits. ORSP provides guidance and support to the university community in an environment that fosters the creative process and the enrichment of teaching and learning, while ensuring protection of the university's financial, contractual, and regulatory obligations as well as accountability to external funding sources.


Research Integrity

All UNF personnel conducting research with living organisms (few exceptions) must follow specific procedures to obtain permission for working with their subjects before any research can begin.  The two main entities responsible for ensuring that research is conducted in an ethical manner are the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for work with human subjects, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for work with animal subjects.


For additional information, please refer to the Research Integrity website.


Student Ombudsman

The Office of the Student Ombudsman is here to help make your academic career at UNF successful.  If you have a University-related problem, the Ombudsman can assist you in obtaining the information needed to help you resolve it. The Student Ombudsman will listen, advise, define options, help you choose a resolution strategy, and make recommendations on how it may best be implemented. In addition, the Ombudsman can make referrals to individuals who have more expertise in a specific area.


For additional information, please refer to the Student Ombuds website.

2.5 Thesis and Dissertation Requirements

Graduate students in programs that require the completion of a thesis or dissertation are required to submit committee and department approved, signed, and properly formatted projects to the UNF Graduate School by the posted deadline. The Dean of the Graduate School is the final reviewer and signatory on that project and subsequent graduation. Please view the Thesis and Dissertation Procedures for detailed information. Make particular note that the Graduate School will need a copy of your Committee Membership form as soon as your project is declared and your committee formed.