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Name Change and Graduation?

I am graduating this summer with a PhD in political science.  I don't have much out there in terms of a body of research (so I'm not to where I've really made a name for myself), and there is another person with my same first and last name who has her own body of research in my field, so I'm planning to change my last name to FI's when I get married.

Now here's the thing.  I am defending in June but graduating in summer.  I have to apply for graduation in July, I get married in early August, and then all paperwork will have to be submitted for me to graduate by the end of August, and that's also when I would receive my degree, I believe.  So I have no idea whether my degree will have my maiden or married name on it. 

I know I should talk to my graduate school about it, and I will.  I was just wondering if anyone else is going through or has gone through anything similar, and what is happening in your cases.

Re: Name Change and Graduation?

  • I have something kind of similar, myself, but I think more clear in terms of timeline than yours.  I don't graduate until next year and my wedding is in May, but I'm going to an internship in July that starts 6 weeks after the wedding...not really enough time to be completely transitioned, name-wise, I don't think.

    What I would say is that, if your diploma comes in with your maiden name you can usually just change your name with the school and re-order the paper with your married name.  

    I have seen this happen before, too, and it gets frustrating!
  • A friend of mine went through this.  She just talked to te coordinator for her program and they worked it out so that she wasn't officially issued her degree until after her name change, so that it had her married name on it.  She was 'awarded' her PhD before then, though, so she could still put it on her resume/CV.

    You could also ask about the possibility of getting a new degree printed with your married name on it after the fact, but it sounds like all of this is happening around the same time so it might be easier just to wait a little to get the original printed.
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  • I'm in a similar situation with law school.  I legally changed my name already so I could apply to the bar under the name I will use to take it.  This is what my school recommended, ask yours though, because this solution was mostly because the bar application is messy and long and easy to mess up.
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  • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and suggestions.  I especially found interesting that schools can reissue the degree in your married name if your maiden name was originally on it.  I'll talk to the graduate school soon (they're the ones in charge of the graduation-related stuff pertaining to grad students at my university).  I'll probably ask my chair about it also to get additional input.  Thanks!
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