Deadlines, Milestone Requirements, and Forms Guidance
Refer to the University academic calendar on the Registrar’s website for a complete list of dates and deadlines.
Milestone Exams: The Graduate School will continue to require that milestone exams (e.g., preliminary/comprehensive/qualifying exams, foreign language proficiency exams, and all defenses) be conducted remotely through videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom in Spring 2022.
Requests to conduct a milestone requirement in person may be made to the Dean of the Graduate School. Such requests should be initiated by the graduate coordinator or committee chair, and they are asked to consult with department heads prior to making an in-person exam/defense request. Requests must include justification and identify all participants as well as the proposed location, date, and time. In-person exams/defenses must follow all health and safety requirements set by the University.
Public Defense Requirements: For graduate programs that require a public defense of theses/dissertations, this requirement has been reinstated. Public defenses should be made available through videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom.
Outside Observers: The Graduate School returned to assigning outside observers to thesis, dissertation, and synthesis project defenses/presentations as required by University policy. Outside observers also may be requested using the Outside Observer Request Form.
Approval Signatures on Milestone Forms: Many milestone forms are now available as webforms via the forms webpage. For forms still unavailable as a webform, approvals will continue to be accepted as follows:
The student should initiate the process by completing all parts of the form and forwarding it by email to the appropriate faculty member in their department (most often the graduate coordinator) for review and approval.
Upon review and approval, the faculty member/graduate coordinator will convey approval to the Graduate School by sending the completed form as a pdf document to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Approval signatures from required individuals will be accepted:
whenever possible, on the scanned form with actual ink hand-signed signatures
from a UL email account from which the approver indicates their approval on the form itself or in the body of the email to which the form is attached
from a professional email address of an approver external to UL Lafayette (i.e., outside committee member) from which the approver indicates approval on the form itself or in the body of the email to which the form is attached
Clear Prior Guidance and Deadlines: The “clear prior” requirements and deadlines for students will continue to be adjusted through the deadlines identified below to provide accommodation to delays caused by Covid-19 disruptions.
“Clear prior” offers a grace period to complete the final review and approval process to graduate students who have satisfied all degree requirements except submission of the successfully defended thesis/dissertation/synthesis project manuscript to the Graduate School. While the degree is not officially conferred until the following semester, students who meet the clear prior deadline are exempt from paying additional tuition and fees for the semester in which the degree is officially awarded.
Requirements for clear prior will continue to be modified temporarily to require only submission of the successfully-defended, committee-approved manuscript for Graduate School review and approval by the following deadlines:
January 12: Clear Prior deadline to be exempt from Spring 2022 tuition and fees
June 6: Clear Prior deadline to be exempt from Summer 2022 tuition and fees
During normal times, the final thesis/dissertation/synthesis project manuscript would be required to be not only successfully defended and committee approved but also completely through Graduate School review and approval by these deadlines.