Commencement 2023 Information

Will you join us for Commencement 2023? Congratulations! It’s time to RSVP, order regalia, and get tickets.  The sooner we know you are coming, the more time we have to get things mailed to you if necessary. Tickets and regalia will also be available in Storrs on the day of the ceremony. The key to RSVP success is that you must have applied to graduate within Student Administration.

Monday, May 8, 2023 – The Graduate School Ceremonies

Masters Ceremony
Gampel Pavilion
9am (gather one hour prior in the Field House)
Candidates that had their degrees conferred in December 2022 and those who will finish in May 2023 or August 2023 may attend.

Doctoral Ceremony
Jorgensen Auditorium
6pm (gather one hour prior via the rear entrance)
Candidates that had their degrees conferred in August or December 2022 and those who will finish in May 2023 or August 2023 may attend.

For more information contact

2023 Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that The Graduate School’s Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship will begin accepting applications on February 1, 2023!

The Graduate School is committed to helping graduate students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals during their time at the University of Connecticut. In support of this goal, The Graduate School invites applicants for the Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, which is intended to support the successful completion of the dissertation. Please review the eligibility criteria for this fellowship carefully before applying. This is a one-time $2,000 fellowship. If awarded, the funds will given during the summer term and paid through the Office of the Bursar.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. The applicant must be a doctoral student in a program that requires a dissertation.
  2. The applicant must be an active student when they apply and are awarded. Students who complete their degree during the prior semester cannot be awarded.
  3. The applicant must have documented successful completion of the General Examination by submitting the Report on the General Exam.pdf to the Office of the Registrar’s Degree Audit team no later than February 28, 2023.
  4. The applicant must have documented successful completion and submission of the dissertation proposal by submitting the Dissertation Proposal form.pdf to the Office of the Registrar’s Degree Audit team no later than February 28, 2023.
    • The Dissertation Proposal form may be submitted to Degree Audit without IRB/IACUC approval. The milestone will be posted as “in progress” and that will satisfy eligibility for this application. IRB/IACUC approval must be submitted to Degree Audit when received so that the milestone may be updated to “complete” on the student record.
    • Students in the following doctoral programs may submit their application without having the Dissertation Proposal milestone on their account:
      • Communication
      • Clinical Psychology
      • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
      • EPSY – Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation
    • The applicant is not eligible if they have previously received a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
    • Students at UConn Health (with the exception of Public Health doctoral students) and UConn Law are not eligible to apply for this fellowship.

    Please note, while we hope to provide funding to all eligible applicants, fellowships are not guaranteed, as funds are limited and pending budgetary approval.

    The application period for this fellowship is February 1-February 28, 2023. Applications received outside of these dates will not be processed. You can access the application form and more information here: Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship | The Graduate School (

    If you have questions regarding your eligibility for this fellowship, please contact before applying.

    Important Registration Info for Graduate Students

    Dear Graduate Students,

    The message below includes information relevant to both new incoming graduate students and those who will be continuing on as students in Spring 2023. Please review the information below carefully and reach out with any questions you may have. If you have not done so already, please be sure to enroll in classes prior to the start of the semester*, which begins January 17.

    *Students who are using an employee tuition waiver should follow the timeline associated with their waiver.

    Information for New Students

    Departments and programs may have more specific guidance for new students on what courses they should be enrolling in. Students should reach out to the program or their academic advisor for guidance on which courses they should enroll in during their first semester. (This information may also be available on the program’s website.)

    If a student has holds on their account that prevent enrollment, such as the Student Financial Responsibility Statement or an immunization hold, they will not be able to register for classes until those holds have been cleared. We advise students to try to register early so that there is plenty of time to clear any holds before classes fill up or enrollment deadlines approach. Step by step instructions on how to check for holds can be found here.

    The Office of the Registrar’s website provides an overview of useful registration tools available in Student Admin along with registration-related forms. UConn’s Knowledge Base provides step-by-step instructions on how to manage your enrollment through the Student Administration system. If you have difficulty registering, please reach out to (or for UCH grads) for assistance. Please note, permission numbers for courses are typically managed by the course instructor.

    Continuous Enrollment Requirement

    Continuous enrollment is a requirement of all graduate programs. Students who will not be registering in coursework or research credits must register for a zero credit continuous registration course to maintain their active student status. Continuous registration courses include GRAD 5997, GRAD 5998, and GRAD 6998, as well as GRAD 5999 (Thesis Preparation) and GRAD 6999 (Dissertation Preparation). Enrollment in these courses should be determined before the first day of classes. There are financial implications when changing from being enrolled in credits to no credits as of the first day of classes.  Changes from credits to a zero-credit placeholder cannot be made after the first day of classes.  

    Research Credits

    The decision to enroll in research credits in a given semester should be made in conjunction with the student’s advisor. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. Each section number corresponds to the number of credits you will earn (e.g., GRAD 6950-001 will earn one credit, GRAD 6950-002 will earn two credits, etc.). All sections will show “Staff” (or similar) as the instructor. Through an automatic process later in the semester, students will be moved to a grade roster associated with their major advisor. Permission numbers are not needed for students to register for these research courses. If you attempt to register and receive an error, contact for assistance. Be sure to include your 7-digit student ID in all correspondence.

    Cancelling Enrollment/Leave of Absence

    Students who wish to cancel enrollment prior to the start of the semester or who attend class and then decide to withdraw from all their courses should notify The Graduate School (TGS) by completing an online Voluntary Separation Notification Form as soon as possible. The add/drop period that extends through the 10th day of classes is only available to students who plan to be enrolled in credited coursework throughout the semester. A student who wishes to go down to zero credits or withdraw from their program completely will need assistance from The Graduate School and will be subject to the university refund schedule which will apply based on the date the student notifies TGS of the intent to withdraw via the online Voluntary Separation Notification process, not when they last attended classes.

    Day 10 Automatic Separation

    Students who do not register for classes by the 10th day are automatically discontinued from their program. If the student then wishes to be enrolled after Day 10, the student will need to request reinstatement to their program, which is not guaranteed and incurs a $65 fee. Students should also be aware that classes with insufficient enrollment will be cancelled and will then be unavailable even if the student is reinstated.

    Additional Registration Information for Graduate Assistants

    Graduate Assistants (GAs) are required to be enrolled as full-time students (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their spring semester employment (January 5, 2023). GAs who have not completed their registration for a minimum of six credits by their start date are not fulfilling one of the contingencies of employment and may be subject to termination from their assistantship. (GAs employed solely at UConn Health should follow the registration deadlines set by UCH.)

    Please note, the tuition waiver will not post to a GA’s fee bill until the GA is registered for at least 6 credits. Therefore, if a student is not fully registered in a timely fashion, this can result in a Bursar hold on the student’s account that blocks enrollment and other services, as well as incurs late fees.

    The decision to enroll in research credits in a given semester should be made in conjunction with the student’s advisor. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. GAs should NOT register for GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research) or GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research). GRAD 6960 and 5960 are only 3 credits and will prevent the tuition waiver from populating if it is the only course the GA is registered for, as well as create duplicate fee charges.

    GAs employed at Storrs and regional campuses who fall under the Graduate Employees Union (GEU) are encouraged to visit the Graduate Assistant Onboarding webpage. This page provides information, resources, and to-do items specific to being a GA that helps GAs successfully transition into their assistantship.

    If you are experiencing difficulty registering, or have any questions, please feel free to reach out for assistance. Please include your 7-digit student ID number in all correspondence.

    To register now, please click here.


    Megan Petsa, M.A.
    Director of Graduate Student Administration

    The Graduate School
    University of Connecticut
    The Whetten Graduate Center, Second Floor
    438 Whitney Road Extension, Unit 1152 | Storrs, CT  06269-1152
    860.486.0977 | | Pronouns: she/her

    Spring 2023 Conference Participation Award

    We are pleased to announce that The Graduate School’s Conference Participation Award (formerly the Doctoral Student Travel Award) will be accepting applications from December 1, 2022-January 15, 2023.

    The Graduate School is committed to helping graduate students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals during their time at the University of Connecticut. In support of this goal, The Graduate School offers a Conference Participation Award to support students’ ability to present their research at national or international meetings and conferences, including both in-person and virtual events. This conference participation fellowship in the amount of $750 will be awarded for Spring 2023 and paid through the student’s fee bill. If awarded, students will be notified in December. Please review the eligibility criteria for the fellowship carefully before applying.


    Students are responsible for knowing any and all travel advisories, restrictions, and relevant University policies and should plan accordingly. Students should stay up to date with information shared by the U.S. Department of State, State of Connecticut, and the University’s Travel Services office.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • The applicant must be a doctoral or MFA student.
    • The applicant must be enrolled in the semester for which the fellowship is awarded, e.g., spring semester for applications due by January 15.
    • The applicant must have successfully completed at least 30 credits toward their degree program prior to applying for this fellowship.
    • The applicant is not eligible if they have previously received a Doctoral Student Travel Award or Conference Participation Award.
    • The funds are intended to be used for participation in a conference at which the student is presenting their research.
    • Students at UConn Health and UConn Law are not eligible for this award.

    Please note, fellowships are not guaranteed, as funds are limited and pending budgetary approval. We hope to provide funding to all eligible applicants, but eligible students who are not awarded in this cycle will be encouraged to apply in the next cycle.

    The deadline for application is January 15th, 2023. Applications received following this date will not be considered. You can access the application form and more information here: Conference Participation Award | The Graduate School (

    The Graduate School Annual Report 2021-2022


    Every year the Provost’s Office asks us to submit an annual report of activities and accomplishments. You will find this year’s report on our website. View the report by downloading the PDF. Last year’s report identified three priorities:

    • Improving graduate student advising
    • Analyzing policies for racially disparate outcomes
    • Building our capacity to support minoritized graduate students

    Although we have much work left to do on each of these priorities, I am pleased that we made some progress on all of them in addition to a variety of activities that advance our strategic plan. In addition to the usual graphs and tables on applications, enrollment, and degree conferral. This year’s report also includes preliminary results from a survey conducted in Spring 2022 to gauge the quality of graduate student experiences at UConn.

    If you have any questions about the report, please let me know.

    Kent Holsinger





    UConn’s PostDoc Seed Award Winners 2022

    The Graduate School is delighted to announce this year’s Postdoc Seed Award Recipients.

    Raquel Fleskes, from Anthropology, has been funded for the following project:

    This pilot research project seeks to develop a new method to extract ancient DNA from clay tobacco pipestems from colonial archaeological sites in Connecticut. Pipestems are common artifacts in colonial period archaeological sites, and preserve the DNA of people who smoked from them. This project will use eight pipestems, with each divided into equal thirds, to test three different DNA extraction methods at UConn’s Ancient DNA Laboratory. The concentration and complexity (number of different DNA sequences) will be assessed to determine the most effective method of DNA extraction. This project provides a new method in DNA extraction from archaeological artifacts.

    Jessie Turner, from Marine Sciences, has been funded for the following project:

    What color is the ocean? Using satellites to measure the color of the ocean tells us about the productivity of phytoplankton, the base of the entire ocean food chain. To use data from satellites, we need extensive ground-truth measurements of ocean color at Earth’s surface. However, the sensors used to ground-truth ocean color satellites are expensive and difficult to build. I plan to build a set of do-it-yourself sensors to measure ocean color at low cost. I will also create instructional materials for adaptation into a course for students interested in building sensors for their research.

    Deborah Good, from Physics, has been funded for the following project:

    I am an expert in timing millisecond pulsars – modeling the dynamics of rapidly-spinning, small, dense leftovers from supernova explosions – to detect gravitational waves from supermassive black holes. When timing pulsars, we model and remove the effects of the interstellar medium (ISM), especially ionized gas between the pulsar and the observer. Though “trash” in the search for gravitational waves, these gas models can be “treasure” for ISM scientists. I propose to lead a task force to improve our models and bring together pulsar timers, ISM scientists, and experts in mathematical modeling, maximizing our scientific output for ISM science and pulsar timing.

    Kristel Schoonderwoerd, from Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, has been funded for the following project:

    A single tree can bear leaves with widely varying shapes and functions. Smaller and thicker leaves that photosynthesize rapidly occur in parts of the crown that receive ample sunlight. On shaded branches, larger, thinner leaves are borne that photosynthesize comparatively slowly. Little is known about when during development these genetically identical leaf types diverge. This project seeks to understand how leaf development of sun and shade leaves aligns with seasonal changes in light availability within deciduous canopies, from leaf loss in the fall through new leaf expansion in spring.

    Faculty Affiliates for Inclusive Excellence


    The Graduate School is pleased to announce that we will host two Faculty Affiliates for Inclusive Excellence each academic year beginning in Fall 2022. One affiliate will focus on improving support for students from minoritized communities. The other will focus on improving faculty mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with a particular focus on improving mentoring for those from minoritized groups. For both affiliates the goal in 2022/2023 is to develop resources and establish programs that future faculty affiliates can sustain with support from The Graduate School staff. The affiliates will work very closely with one another in addition to working with The Graduate School staff and with relevant faculty and staff throughout the University.

    We anticipate that each affiliate will devote an average of 3-4 hours per week to their service for which they will receive a modest stipend. There will also be some funds available to support initiatives that the affiliates develop.

    We invite both applications and nominations for the affiliate positions. Please contact Kent Holsinger ( if you would like more information about becoming an affiliate program or if you would like to nominate someone for one of the positions. To apply, email identifying which of the two affiliate positions you are interested in and including a brief statement (no more than 1-2 pages) describing why you are interested in the position, the experience you have that makes you a good candidate for the position, and an initial idea or two about what you would plan to accomplish if you were selected as an affiliate. We will begin considering applications and nominations on 8 August, and the review will continue until affiliates have been selected.

    Affiliate for improving support

    The affiliate who focuses on improving support for graduate students will develop and execute a program that contributes to an equitable and supportive educational environment and that fosters a sense of community. The program should include a particular focus on providing support for graduate students and postdocs from minoritized groups. We anticipate that this affiliate will collaborate extensively with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, including the cultural centers on the Storrs campus.

    Affiliate for improving mentoring

    The affiliate who focuses on improving mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars will design and develop a program to provide mentorship training for faculty. The program will place special emphasis on helping faculty understand the challenges faced by graduate students and postdocs from minoritized groups.  We anticipate that this affiliate will draw on resources provided through the Center for Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research (CIMER – University of Wisconsin) as well as other resources. This affiliate may also participate in a “train the trainer” workshop at CIMER.

    Kent Holsinger



    Kent E. HolsingerBoard of Trustees Distinguished ProfessorVice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School

    Fall 2022 Conference Participation Award Applications Open

    The Graduate School is now accepting applications for the Conference Participation Award for a Fall 2022 Semester Award. The application period will be open from June 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.

    Review eligibility criteria, details, and the application form.

    For questions, contact The Graduate School at


    UConn’s 3MT Competition 2022

    The Graduate School is pleased to announce this year’s three-minute thesis (3MT) competition, which will be held virtually on Monday, August 22nd 2022 from 12:00 to 1:30pm

    First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition challenges research students (who have completed at least one year in a doctoral program) to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes. The winner of this year’s competition will have the opportunity to submit their presentation to the global competition (virtual) in September.

    We will be running multiple training sessions during the summer to help you prepare. We are especially grateful to Dr. Rory McGloin who will be leading a transformational session entitled “Preparing for the Best Three Minute Presentation of Your Life” in July. This session is open to all graduate students.

    To view all the events, visit:

    To register for any of the events, visit:


    Advanced Degree Outcomes Survey for May 2022 Graduates

    Are You a May 2022 Graduate?

    The Center for Career Development and The Graduate School value your input, helping us to better understand the diverse careers and further education that UConn graduates pursue. Please consider taking a few moments to complete the Advanced Degree Outcomes Survey and share your post-UConn career and education status. We value being able to make data-supported decisions about programs and services that support graduate student career development. Your data is important and only shared in aggregate.

    Please take the survey at: