The New School for Social Research

Academic Affairs

Graduation and PhD Guidelines

  • Graduation and Awarding of Degrees

    Graduation Petitions and Fees

    The New School confers degrees three times a year: in January, May, and August. The commencement ceremony for all graduates is held in May. All degree requirements specified in the NSSR catalog (including the internship for clinical psychology students) must be completed before the graduation date in order for a degree to be conferred.

    PhD students intending to graduate must complete the PhD Questionnaire when prompted to do so or contact their student advisors. Visit the registrar's graduation page for more information, including deadline dates for petitions.

    PhD Dissertation Guidelines

    PhD students who are ready to defend their dissertations should speak with their department advisors for policies, procedures, deadlines, and guidelines. Completed dissertations must be submitted electronically.

    PhD candidates are required to select a fourth member of their dissertation committee from outside of their departments and discipline. The external member may come from NSSR, The New School, the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, another accredited U.S. university, or an international university. Students will be encouraged to develop working relations with a faculty member outside of their department as they complete their course requirements and constitute their committee. The external member will join the dissertation proposal defense (in departments with this requirement) and remain an active part of the committee through to the final defense. 

    Students will be able to opt out of this requirement provided that when forming their committee (and prior to their proposal defense), they receive written permission from their dissertation chair and the associate dean for Faculty Affairs and Curriculum. Students who do not choose an external dissertation committee member will be assigned an NSSR “dean's representative,” who will read their dissertation manuscript prior to the defense and take part in the dissertation final defense only.

    Doctoral candidates who have questions about finalizing their dissertations can contact the following staff members:

    Dean's representative: PhD students will need a faculty member from outside of their own department to serve as a dean's representative as part of their dissertation defense (not required for proposals). To request one, please contact Ellen Freeberg (; please also fill out this form. For general questions and university reader/style/format guidelines, please see the link on the right; contact or Tsuya Yee ( with specific questions.