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  • Degree Completion Procedures

Graduate Studies

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  • 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. Go to 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:

    Capstone requirements, including the dissertation, thesis, and project, require a committee for the oral exam. The student and advisor identify faculty to sit on the student’s committee subject to approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The committee must include a minimum of 2 or 3 faculty, as described by each specific program, who have Graduate Faculty status. Part A is completed when committee members agree to serve on the committee. Go to the current list of Graduate Faculty.  

    Part B:

    Upon determination of the topic and IRB approval when applicable, 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 by the primary investigator after IRB and/or DRC approval. Go to Form 2Timeline for submission: Prior to beginning research study.


    Form 3: Preliminary Graduation Notice

    Students who are nearing completion of their course of study must obtain the signature of their advisor and Program Coordinator to verify that they are eligible to participate in commencement. Go to Form 3Timeline for submission: Six (6) weeks prior to commencement.


    Form 4: Application for Graduate Degree

    Form 4 requires multiple signatures from several locations, thus it is the student’s responsibility to keep track of the form and obtain all necessary signatures.  Form 4 documents the completion of the comprehensive exams, the completion of the thesis or project, the deposit of a final copy at the library for binding, and completion of the coursework for the degree.  Necessary signatures include the student, the thesis or project chair, all committee members, the program coordinator, the librarian, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.  The form is usually signed in the following sequence: (1) at the oral defense by the committee; (2) after final changes are completed, by the thesis or project chair; (3) the program director signs after formatting is checked, the comprehensive exam is verified, and fulfillment of coursework are confirmed. Students are advised to review their transcript for grades for all degree requirements.  Go to Form 4.   Timeline for submission: One (1) week prior to commencement.


    Final Form for Dissertation, Thesis or Project Paper

    A copy of each Dissertation and Thesis written by a graduate student at MSUM as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the graduate degree is deposited in RED. RED is an open-access repository maintained by the Minnesota State University Moorhead Library to showcase, preserve, and provide access to the scholarly and creative work produced by the MSUM Community. Students registered for Dissertation (799) or Thesis (699) will upload their final approved papers.

    For those graduate students that elect to do the Project/Acton Research and have registered for 696 or 796, uploading the project is optional. The two options:

    1. Completion of the submission form only; no upload.
    2. Completion of the submission form and upload of project only when approved by project advisor.

    Please discuss your project options with your advisor.

    Directions for submission of your final paper



    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 Registrar's 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 in the spring are eligible to participate in May commencement; if completing all degree requirements during the summer or fall are eligible to participate in December commencement.  Exceptions to this policy are made on a case-by-case basis.

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