Steps to Degree Completion (Graduation)

1.  At least once each semester:

Seek guidance from your academic advisor and the Graduate College Counselor

You should meet with your academic advisor and the Graduate College Counselor at least once a semester.  Your relationship with departmental and Graduate College faculty is an important key to your success.  Faculty and staff contribute to the advising relationship by:

  • encouraging ongoing, supportive and informed contact with students
  • explaining policies, procedures and academic requirements
  • making referrals to campus and community resources
  • and assisting with degree planning

Ultimately, the responsibility for seeking adequate advisement belongs to the student.  You must:

  • know and meet degree requirements
  • ensure timely progress toward a degree through appropriate course selection
  • and be aware of current academic and departmental information

Review your Academic Catalog prior to your appointment to prepare questions for your appointment.

Update your contact information with the Registrar's Office and the Graduate College

To ensure that you are receiving information from the university and the Graduate College, update your contact information with both the Registrar's Office and the Graduate College whenever it changes.  Contact information includes a current and permanent address, local telephone number, and primary email address.  A change in legal name or visa status (international students) should also prompt an update with these departments.

2.  At least one semester before your expected graduation date:

Perform an audit of your degree progression
Make an appointment with your academic advisor and the Graduate College Counselor to perform an audit of your degree progression. You should meet with your advisor at least once a semester; however this is particularly critical the semester prior to graduation. If there are missing courses, issues with grades, or other loose ends to tie, your advisor and the Graduate College Counselor can help you identify those and possible prevent delay of your graduation date. The student is ultimately responsible for seeking adequate advising. Review your Academic Catalog to prepare for your appointment.

Apply for Admission to Candidacy for Degree Completion (Graduation Application)
Admission to the Graduate College does not imply that you have been accepted as a candidate for the advanced degree. You must apply for admission to candidacy. Admission to candidacy is an important step in your progress toward a degree. It indicates that you have successfully completed a certain portion of your graduate studies, have proposed a degree plan for the completion of your program of study including a graduation date, are considered an academically capable graduate student, and are thereby viewed as worthy candidate or an advanced degree in your field of specialization.

Candidacy is effective the semester or term that the application is submitted and approved.You must apply for admission to candidacy at least 6 months (but no more than 1 year) prior to your expected graduation date. The following deadlines apply:

May Graduation- November 1
Aug. Graduation- March 1
Dec. Graduation- April 1

See Important Dates for Graduate Students

The Application for Admission to Candidacy for Degree Completion form should be completed in consultation with your advisor. You must meet the following requirements in order to apply for admission to candidacy:

  • Satisfied all admissions requirements, including the English proficiency requirement
  • Completed required coursework totaling a minimum of nine (9)
  • Have an overall grade point average of 3.0
  • Removed any "Incomplete" coursework (excluding research and thesis/dissertation courses)
  • Completed all core courses (doctoral candidates only)
  • Passed the Doctoral Qualifying Examination (doctoral candidates only)

It is the primary responsibility of the student to be familiar with the policies, regulations, and deadlines governing admission to candidacy. Refer to your catalog for more information regarding candidacy.

Pre-Register for the Thesis/Dissertation Research or Continuation course (Master's Plan A/Doctoral Students)
You must be enrolled during the semester for which you plan to graduate. If you are completing your thesis or dissertation and are finished with all required coursework, you must enroll in a research course or thesis/dissertation continuation course. Talk with your advisor regarding which course is appropriate for you.

Pre-Register for the Comprehensive Exam (Master’s Plan B Students)
You are expected to take this examination for the first time during the semester or term in which you expect to complete all requirements for graduation. The semester prior to your expected graduation date, submit an Application to Take the Comprehensive Examination form and pre-register for the corresponding course. You must be enrolled in the Master’s Comprehensive Examination course (702)of the your major to take the exam.

3.  The final semester (semester of graduation)

During your final semester or term you must have met the following requirements:

  • Attained admission to candidacy prior to the semester or term during which the degree is to be awarded
  • Removed any "Incomplete" coursework
  • Accomplished a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0
  • Have written a satisfactory thesis or dissertation on original research conducted by the student OR; Successfully completed the appropriate Comprehensive Exam
  • Ensured all transcripts and appropriate forms for transfer credit have been submitted to the Graduate College at least one (1) month prior to the end of the graduating semester or term
  • Maintain active enrollment status during the graduating semester or term by enrolling in a course or registering for CSRT.

Note: If requirements for degree completion are not completed during the semester approved for graduation, the student must complete a Graduation Update (please link to the form) form within one week of the end of the previously approved semester or term.

Plan A Master's Students and Doctoral Students
Students who need to complete a thesis or dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for their degree should refer tothe Thesis Manual (this should link to the Thesis Manual pdf file) for the preparation and submission of their manuscript. Please note that prior to submittingyour thesis/dissertation, students will need to complete paperwork regarding the advisory committee and oral defense. You must beactively enrolled to submit a thesis/dissertation.

See Important Dates for Graduate Students for appropriate forms and deadlines.

Plan B Students
Students who need to complete a Comprehensive Examination in partial fulfillment of the requirements for their degree should pre-register for the exam the semester before their final semester. During the final semester, students must be enrolled in the appropriate examination course and, if have not already done so, apply to take the exam their final semester. The deadline to submit the Application to Take the Comprehensive Exam is found in the Important Dates for Graduate Students.

Note : If you fail the examination you must register to take it again during the following semester or term. You will also need to complete a Graduation Update form within one week of the end of the semester . Students failing the exam the second time must get permission from the Graduate Council beforethey can take the exam a third time. Students will not be permitted to take the exam more than three (3) times.

See Important Dates for Graduate Students for appropriate forms and deadlines.

It is the primary responsibility of the student to be familiar with the policies, regulations, and deadlines governing a degree completion. Regular communication with your academic advisor and the Graduate College Counselor is strongly encouraged to ensure that you are meeting all requirements for a timely graduation.