Once your thesis has been approved and you have been cleared for graduation, you will be sent a letter confirming that you are now eligible for graduation. In the lead up to your graduation ceremony, you will need to submit your final digital copies to the library and prepare for your graduation ceremony.


Submit Final Digital Copies to the Library

All candidates who satisfy the requirements for the award of their degree must submit two digital versions of their thesis to the Library, one public and one confidential.

The public version will be made available online immediately, unless you have requested an embargo period. If you have any third party copyright material in your thesis for which permission for public access has not been given, you will need to modify the public version of your thesis to exclude this material.

If you are applying for an embargo on your thesis for a period of two years or less, you can indicate this at the point that you submit the two final digital copies of your thesis to the Library. If you now realise that you need to embargo your thesis for a period longer than two years, please refer to the restricted access application process outlined in Before Submission.

The confidential version of your thesis will be archived by the Library, and should contain the following documents:

Please be aware that you will not receive your testamur at your graduation ceremony if you have not submitted the digital copies of your thesis.

More information about these final digital copies can be found in the Thesis Format Guide.


Preparing for Graduation

There are three steps to graduation:

1. Completion letter confirming that your thesis has been approved

2. Degree Conferral

3. Graduation Ceremony



Conferral is an administrative process by which your degree is awarded to you. This means that you are considered a graduate of UNSW once your conferral date has passed, and you are entitled to use your qualification and title.

The conferral process is separate from the graduation ceremony and does not affect your entitlement to attend the graduation ceremony.



Once your thesis has been approved and you receive your completion letter, you will need to prepare for the graduation ceremony. Before the ceremony all HDR graduands must:

1. Check and update your postal and email addresses via MyUNSW

2. Ensure that the student record shows your correct name. All graduands need to submit a Change of Name Form and the required documentation if their name is not correct.

3. Ensure that all debts with the University have been cleared. This includes all fees, loans, library fines, and equipment.

4. Ensure that the digital library copies of the thesis have been submitted at least four weeks before the scheduled graduation ceremony.

5. Read the graduation information on the UNSW Graduations webpage.

A graduation information package is sent to all HDR graduands approximately three weeks before the scheduled ceremony. It includes information about academic dress hire, a Graduation Information Guide, details about the ceremony and three guest tickets. Extra guest tickets cannot be issued at the time of allocation to ceremonies but research graduands may request additional tickets by emailing the Graduations Office. If tickets become available, the Graduations Office will be in contact.

Graduation ceremonies for all Faculties are held in May, August, and December. A graduation schedule is published each year showing the Faculties, dates, times, and locations of the ceremonies. The schedule is published in mid-December on the UNSW Graduations website.

HDR graduands who are unable to attend the scheduled graduation ceremony will need to change their status in MyUNSW to have their documents mailed to them. Documents will be mailed out after the scheduled ceremony and should be received 6-8 weeks after the ceremony date.

UNSW Alumni

Once graduated you can register as an Alumni with the UNSW Alumni and Engagement Office. Alumni can expect invitations to a variety of exciting public lectures and networking events, to receive the flagship publications UNSWorld Magazine, as well as access to the global network of UNSW graduates. Graduates can also take advantage of a variety of offers as members of the UNSW community. To see the current benefits and services check the UNSW Alumni webpage.

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