Graduating - SNRE

This document outlines the official steps required by SNRE and the UF Grad school to graduate.

Notes I’ll be making as I move toward graduation. This will eventually compliment these notes.

SNRE Checklist

Course requirements (See SNRE Plan of Study form for details)

  • SNRE Seminar. Once while signed up for the 1 course credit, and once not signed up.
  • A Principles of Ecology course. (note Shawn got this waived by having a BS in ecology).
  • 1 each of a Natural Science, Social Science, and Sustainability course. 3 courses of Research/Methods. For a list of which courses count toward these see here.


SNRE also requires a concentration. This encompasses 12 credit hours (at the PhD level, 6 for masters) of coursework. There is essentially a concentration for each department in the university, of which any can be chosen from. You then meet the requirement by taking 12 credits from that department. See the list here under “Standard Concentrations”. Alternatively you can choose a concentration which has a more varied selection of courses, see the above page under “Concentrations that require additional hours”. In either case, the credit hours that count toward a concentration also count for the other SNRE degree requirements.

Other requirements

  • Presentation at the SNRE Seminar. You must present at the weekly SNRE seminar. There is no requirement on when this happens, but people generally do it in their last semester and present some form of their defense.

Grad School Checklist

The UF Graduate school requires:

  • 90 graduate level credit hours.
  • At least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Apply to graduate and be registered in your final semester.
  • Passing the qualifying exam
  • Passing the defense
  • Submit a correctly formatted dissertation.
  • Submit the Graduate Survey
  • Submit the Proquest agreement

All these steps are logged in the Graduate Information Management Systems (GIMS). They also have very strict deadlines outlined below. There is also an official checklist.

Other Notes

Start discussing defense/graduation least 2 semesters before you intend to finish with:

  • Your advisor - tell you advisor what semester you’re hoping to finish. You’ll have a discussion about whether or not this is feasible and what tradeoffs, constraints might need to be dealt with. Once you have settled on a semester, you should form your time line.
  • Your committee - Once you and your advisor are happy with you timeline. Contact your committee to see if the general timing works for them. Will people be traveling/unavailable during the week you’re hoping to defend?
  • Karen Bray - Make sure you’re actually good to graduate. Karen will ensure your grad school requirements are complete and that you aren’t missing anything vital. Do this as soon as the semester you wish to graduate is clear to you in case you are missing credits. Also let Karen know your defense date as soon as you know it. They will provide the set of forms which will be signed by your committee.

Final Semester Milestones

Degree ApplicationEarly in semesterSubmitted on ONE.UF
Submit Transmittal letterBefore 1st dissertation submissionthis is a form signed only by your committee chair and submitted to Karen. It gives you access to make the 1st dissertation submission.
Dissertation 1st SubmissionMid semesterThe dissertation does not have to be complete, or approved by all committee members at this point. This is mostly for a formatting check.
Oral DefenseBefore Final dissertation submissionVarious forms need to be signed by the committee after a successful defense.
Dissertation Final SubmissionLate in semesterThe dissertation must be done at this point and approved by all committee members.
Dissertation Final Approval (aka Final clearance)End of semesterThe dissertation must be accepted by the editorial office by this deadline.

Deadlines change by a few days every semester but are generally around the same time. Official deadlines are available at the Editorial Office and the Graduate School Academic Calendar.

Dissertation Submission

You’ll go thru several rounds of submission. The first must be by the 1st submission deadline. In this case the dissertation does not have to be done, a single chapter will do. It’s mostly a formatting check. You’ll get feedback on this version which you’ll need to implement in your final version.

After your defense and the appropriate forms are submitted by Karen you can submit the full, 100% approved by your committee, version of your dissertation. This first “full” submission must be done by the “Final Submission Deadline”.
Once your final dissertation is submitted, the editorial office will likely return it with formatting comments. You may go thru several rounds of this. You must address all their comments and have the dissertation accepted by their office by the Final Approval/Clearance deadline. Once it has this final approval the dissertation aspect is finished.

Clear Prior

See the “Clear Prior” section in the general “Graduation” page in the lab wiki.

Dissertation Formatting

Getting your dissertation formatting correct is several full days worth of work at least. There are a slew of specific guidelines (worth noting is all the rules seem to make sure dissertations look the same as when typewriters were still used).

Main considerations

Your chapters must form one cohesive work. As this is rarely the case with dissertation chapters, you’ll need to make some writing adjustments to at least make them seem this way. Nobody in the editorial office will actually read yours in depth, so it’s not something you should invest a lot of time in.

You must have an Introduction chapter and a Conclusion chapter. These do not need to be full length chapters, just a quick introduction and outlining the contents for the intro, and a wrap up for the conclusion. Shawn’s dissertation was composed of 3 already published manuscripts. The Introduction was the first 1-2 paragraphs from each paper’s Intro, while the conclusion was the last paragraph from each conclusion. They were modified slightly to make them read as one, and each was only 2 pages double spaced.

You should utilize one of formatting templates here
If you’re comfortable in Latex, absolutely use that. There is a template on titled “University of Florida Thesis Template”. You can see how it was used for a dissertation here. Also, Kristen Sauby has an Rmarkdown template using thesisdown.

Other Resources

Editorial Office Dissertation Format Overview
Official Dissertation Guidelines
Other peoples dissertations

Other Graduation Requirements

Proquest Agreement

Along with the other paperwork you’ll fill out after defending, you’ll get a UF Publishing Agreement form. This specifies when you’d like UF to publish your dissertation and also which parts (either the full dissertation or just the abstract) UF will release to ProQuest, an online repository. Note that when you specify terms with Proquest you give them a non-exclusive licence to sell it, of which you’re granted a 10% royalty (but only if the total royalty payment is > $25). If you’d like Proquest to publish it “open-access” there is a $95 fee.

It’s unclear exactly what Proquest provides as the UF Library will host a copy of your dissertation. If you want a bound copy of your dissertation Proquest does provide that (though several websites online do as well). Regardless you must fill in your details (contact info, dissertation title/abstract) on the Proquest site and submit it for the UF dissertation office to process it, even if in the UF Publishing Agreement your marked “dissertation only”. This must be done by the Final Clearance deadline.

Graduate Survey

The graduate office requires you to fill out a graduate survey administered by NSF. It’s < 10 minutes and is mostly about prior schooling and future plans. All responses in this are optional. Link to survey as of 2019: This must be done by the Final Clearance deadline.