Master's Essay

Graduation Requirements

Please review the below graduation requirements. A Master’s Essay Checklist is also available to help you keep track of required paperwork. Be sure to submit everything on the checklist by the deadline. Important graduation dates and deadlines are located on Pitt Public Health’s Academic Calendar.

1. Application for Graduation

Any student who plans to graduate must fill out a Graduation Application. Please send your completed application to Students must also complete the Prior Degree Form. You may use the same application if you are applying for a degree and a certificate from the same school. Students who applied for graduation in a prior term must reapply for the current term.

2. Registration Requirements

Students must be registered for at least 1 credit or FTDR(s) in the term that they plan to graduate.

3. Incomplete Grades

All I and/or G grades including those not relevant to the degree program must be changed before the degree can be posted. Check with your department to make sure all grades are accounted for. Be sure all required credits for the degree have been met. Departments must state is writing that any incomplete courses are not required for the degree.

4. Electronic Submission for Master’s Essay

Below are the steps for submitting your electronic essay:

  1. Create an account in D-Scholarship
  2. Upload a PDF of your essay
  3. Final submissions will be reviewed for formatting so be sure to use the essay template 

Please review all graduation dates and deadlines on the Academic Calendar.

5. Preferred Name on Diploma

Students may request to have a preferred name printed on their diploma by completing a Diploma Name Request Form. Typically, the form must be delivered to the Registrar’s Office in-person; during remote operations, the form should be emailed to Linda Lieu (

Please note that students must continue to follow existing procedures for requesting changes to their legal name; the requested Diploma Name will only appear on the diploma, if it differs from the legal name. The transcript, which is considered a legal document, will still have their legal name on it. 

Also note, the Registrar’s Office is cautioning students to investigate the potential ramifications of using a Diploma Name instead of legal name if they intend on using their diploma internationally. Should the student go abroad, and they need to change the name on the diploma, the Registrar will ask for their original back before they reordered a new diploma with their legal name on it. 

As this involves only the diploma, students are still required to use their legal name on their graduation applications. Writing a preferred name on the graduation application will not result in the preferred name appearing on the diploma. They must submit the Diploma Name Request Form to Linda Lieu in person in order to change their diploma name.

Master’s Essay Checklist

Students must submit an electronic document prepared according to specific requirements using D-Scholarship@Pitt, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institutional Repository. To help students meet these requirements, a template is available to help. Please email for an updated template. The template offers many shortcuts and automatic features that allow you to quickly format your paper according to Pitt's guidelines. The template is not self-explanatory, however, so understanding how they work before using them is necessary. 

Ready to get started? Click here for format guidelines, template instructions, citation management, video tutorials, and more. 

Be sure to also review the Detailed Essay, Thesis, and Dissertation Rules which are summarized in the School’s Academic Handbook.

Essay Checklist

  1. Upload essay to D-Scholarship (remains in Student Affairs queue until reviewed)
    1. Follow the Submissions Steps. For additional guidance see the Essay D-Scholarship Account Info PDF located on the Graduation Information page.
    2. Make sure all pages are presented in correct numerical order and the proper size and orientation; that all tables and figures are present; that all references cited in the text are listed in the Bibliography; that the Table of Contents lists correct page numbers and titles; that bookmarks are created in the PDF; and that all hyperlinks and multimedia objects function properly. Note: Bookmarks are not required for a PDF essay.
  2. Email a copy of your Title Page and Abstract to
  3. Email your completed and signed Essay Approval Form to
  4. Email your completed and signed Report on Requirements Form to your departmental student services liaison. RR forms are located on the Pitt Public Health Forms page.
  5. Complete the Pitt Public Health Exit Survey available on the Graduation Information page.

Quick Links

Looking for additional ETD support? Click here.

Be sure to review all graduation dates and deadlines on the Academic Calendar.

Please contact with questions or concerns.