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  • Degree Completion Procedures
  • Graduate Studies

  • Degree Completion Procedures

    Form 1: Proposed Graduate Course Plan

    Students are assigned a graduate advisor upon admission to a degree program. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with the advisor to plan the appropriate courses in order to meet degree requirements. The plan should be recorded on Form 1, along with the signatures of advisor and program coordinator. The completed form is sent to the Graduate Studies Office.

    Form 1 

    Timeline for submission: End of first semester as an admitted graduate student.


    Form 2: Part A: Thesis/Project Committee & Part B: Topic Approval and IRB Verification

    Part A:

    The student and advisor work together in determining whether to pursue the thesis or project option. After making this determination the student and advisor select faculty to sit on the student’s committee. The committee must include a minimum of (3) faculty that have Graduate Faculty status with the exception of students in the Curriculum and Instruction program that need only to have (2) committee members. One committee member must originate from outside the student’s chosen area of study.

    Current List of Graduate Faculty

    Part B:

    Upon determination of topic, a decision made by the student and their advisor, Part B is completed. If Human Subjects are involved in the research then Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Department Review Chair (DRC) approval is required before research can begin. All approval forms must be kept on file. After IRB or DRC approval, if required and the proposal is accepted then the student and advisor sign for approval.

    Once Form 2 has been completed, send it to the Graduate Studies Office.

    Form 2

    Timeline for submission: Prior to beginning research study.


    Form 3: Preliminary Graduation Notice

    Students who are nearing completion of their courses of study must obtain the signature of their advisor and Program Coordinator to verify that they are eligible to participate in commencement. Students completing their degree programs in spring are eligible to participate in May commencement; if completing a degree program in the summer or fall then the student is eligible to participate in December commencement.

    Form 3

    Timeline for submission: Six (6) weeks prior to commencement.


    Form 4: Application for Graduate Degree

    Prior to the oral defense, complete the top half of page 1 as well as the course work section on page 2. You should next make a visit to the Records Office to make sure all Official Transcripts are on record for any transfer credits you are listing for program requirements on Form 4. Bring Form 4 with you to the oral defense so you can obtain the final signatures of the thesis/project committee members as well as your advisor. The Program Coordinator will sign page 2 after certifying that the courses fulfill the requirements for the degree. Then submit your thesis or project to the library at least 1 week prior to commencement. Return the completed Form 4 to the Graduate Studies Office.

    Form 4

    Timeline for submission: One (1) week prior to commencement.


    Final Form for Thesis or Project Paper

    Standards for the preparation of a research paper must conform to the manual of style required by the discipline in which the degree is taken. Students must work closely with their advisors and committees in the preparation of their research paper. MSUM requires a uniform title page to be used for all papers submitted.

    Final Form for Thesis or Project Sample

    The thesis, research or project paper must be reproduced using high quality printing. The paper is to be printed on one side only. The paper should not be bound in any permanent form prior to the oral examination. The following are minimum requirements for binding:

    • Margins (including appendices): One inch top, right, bottom; one and one half inch left.
    • Table placement: Tables placed lengthwise on the paper should be placed so that the top of the table is at the left margin.
    • Paper quality: white, acid free, at least 25 % cotton fiber, watermarked, no recycled fibers, and 20 pound weight.
    • Acceptable paper suppliers and brands: Copies Plus (located in the CMU) carries the paper that meets all of the above requirements. If you are going to purchase the paper at a supply store, look for Southworth Acid Free Thesis Paper or Southworth Fine Laser Paper or any other paper that meets all of the paper quality requirements.


    Notify the Graduate Studies Office (submit Form 3) of your intent to graduate as soon as possible but no later than six (6) weeks prior to commencement.

    Degrees are posted to transcripts by the Records Office three (3) times a year: at the end of the fall semester, spring semester, and summer session. There are two (2) commencement ceremonies during the year: at the end of fall semester in December and at the end of spring semester in May. Students completing all degree requirements during the summer are eligible to participate in December commencement.

    Exceptions to this policy are made on a case-by-case basis. Students may appeal through the graduate appeal process. Appeals must be filled out no later than six (6) weeks prior to commencement. Students should consult with their Program Coordinator and/or advisor to determine if an appeal is warranted.

    An appeal will not be considered if any of the following apply: the oral discourse has not be scheduled, the thesis or project is not finished, or more than six (6) graduate credits are still needed to meet credit requirements for the degree (unless the credits are for Internship/Practicum and all other requirements are completed).

    Academic garb should be ordered from the Bookstore no less than eight weeks prior to commencement. Students who plan on participating in commencement will need to submit their hood to the Graduate Studies Office at least one week prior to commencement.