Pathway to Degree Completion

 

Master's Thesis (Plan A) OR Master's Paper (Plan B) Students

Students who are required to submit a master’s paper or thesis to the Graduate School must complete the following steps to earn their degree. A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in effect at the time the degree is awarded. Programs may have additional requirements or policies. This information should be available to students in the program’s handbook or website.

Refer to the Academic and Financial Calendar for term-specific dates. Students are responsible to adhere to the published deadlines to graduate in the term desired. Failure to meet all deadlines will result in postponing graduation to a later term.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that forms and other documents are filed and received by posted deadlines and policy requirements. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your Academic Support Specialist.

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study lists the specific courses the student must complete to earn the master’s degree as well as all members of the supervisory committee. Submit the Plan of Study to the Graduate School by the end of your second semester of study.

If your program requires a Plan of Study:

  • Submit your Plan of Study no later than the end of your second semester of coursework.
  • Transfer credits are processed when the Plan of Study is submitted. Any transcripts for transfer credit must be filed with the Graduate School before the Plan of Study. Transfer credits must meet the criteria outlined in the transfer credit policy.
  • You may add or remove courses from your Plan of Study by using the Change to Plan of Study form.

If your program does not require a Plan of Study: 

  • If your coursework varies from the posted curriculum, file a Change to Plan of Study form and list the courses you will be adding and to which requirement these courses apply, e.g., core courses.
  • To transfer credits, submit a Change to Plan of Study form to add the credits to your transcript and degree progress. Transfer transcripts must be on file in the Graduate School before submitting the Request for Change to Plan of Study form.
  • To receive approval on your supervisory committee, submit the Request to Form of Change Supervisory Committee form at least one semester before your final examination.
Research Compliance

Students whose research will require approval by the Institutional Review Board (for research with human subjects; IRB), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (for research with animals; IACUC), the Biosafety Committee (for research with recombinant DNA), the Radiation Safety Committee, or the Toxic Substance Committee, will be required to receive approval from these committees before beginning their research. If such approval has not been requested and approved, the student will not receive a degree. For more information about these committees, please see the website of Research Integrity and Compliance.

 

Preparing to Graduate

 

Non-thesis Master’s Students (Plan C)

Students who are not required to submit a master’s paper or thesis to the Graduate School must complete items to earn their degree. A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in effect at the time the degree is awarded. Programs may have additional requirements or policies. This information should be available to students in the program’s handbook or website.

Please refer to the Academic and Financial Calendar for term-specific dates. Students are responsible to adhere to the published deadlines as posted by Registration and Records. Failure to meet all deadlines in the semester you plan to graduate will result in postponing graduation to a later term.

It is the student’s responsibility to file forms and other documents and ensure they are received by posted deadlines and policy requirements. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your Academic Support Specialist.

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study lists the specific courses the student must complete to earn the master’s degree. Submit the Plan of Study to the Graduate School by the end of your second semester of study.

If your program requires a Plan of Study:

  • Submit your Plan of Study no later than the end of your second semester of coursework.
  • Transfer credits are processed when the Plan of Study is submitted. Any transcripts for transfer credit must be filed with the Graduate School before the Plan of Study. Transfer credits must meet the criteria outlined in the transfer credit policy.
  • You may add or remove courses from your Plan of Study by using the Request for Change to Plan of Study form.

If your program does not require a Plan of Study:

  • If your coursework varies from the posted curriculum, file a Change to Plan of Study form and list the courses you will be adding and to which requirement these courses apply, e.g., core courses, elective courses, etc.
  • To transfer credits, submit a Change to Plan of Study form to add the credits to your transcript and degree progress. Official transfer transcripts must be on file in the Graduate School before submitting the Request for Change to Plan of Study form.
  • If your program requires that you select a supervisory committee, submit the Request to Form or Change Supervisory Committee form at least one semester before your final examination.
Request for Final Oral Examination

If your program requires a final examination/presentation/portfolio be documented in the Graduate School, the Notification of Scheduled Examination form must be completed and received by the Graduate School a minimum of two weeks prior to the scheduled exam date. Forms completed less than two weeks prior to the examination date will not be processed. A new examination date must be scheduled, and a new notification form filed by the two-week deadline. The final oral examination must be held no later than the last day of the term of graduation. See deadlines for more information.

The Report of Final Examination form is due in the Graduate School within 14 days after the examination date. However, if your examination takes place less than two weeks prior to the end of the semester, the completed report is due the last day of the semester.

Intent to Graduate Survey (by posted deadline of your last semester)

The Intent to Graduate Survey informs the Graduate School that you plan to complete your degree requirements at the end of the semester in which you submit it. The names of students who submit the survey by the submission deadline are listed in the commencement program.

Your expected graduation term will be updated to the semester you indicate in the survey. You will not be term activated for future registration unless you are continuing in a different program or degree option. If you do not graduate in the expected term, contact your Academic Support Specialist to be term activated.

Registration and Records sends commencement ceremony information to your NDSU/NDUS email address only. The Graduate School is not responsible for disseminating ceremony information, registering students for the ceremony, or issuing guest tickets to the ceremony. Direct questions any to the Registration and Records office.

Degree posting is based on the submission of the Graduation Application and not the Intent to Graduate Survey. Note: if you complete only the survey and not the degree application (and fee), your degree will not post.

Degree Application and Processing Fee

Submit the Graduation Application and $25 processing fee on or before the last day of your last semester. You, your adviser, and your Graduate Program Coordinator are required to sign the form indicating you will have completed all degree requirements by the last day of the current semester. Degrees do not post unless both the degree application and fee are received. The fee must be paid via the link above. It is not billed to you in Campus Connection

Inclusion in the commencement ceremony is based on the submission of an Intent to Graduate Survey (see above). Note: if you complete the degree application and not the survey, you will not be listed in the commencement program or receive information regarding ceremony participation.

Doctoral Students

Students who are required to submit a doctoral dissertation to the Graduate School must complete the following steps to earn their degree. A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in effect at the time the degree is awarded. Programs may have additional requirements or policies. This information should be available to students in the program’s handbook or website.

Refer to the Graduate College deadlines for term-specific dates. Students are responsible to adhere to the published deadlines to graduate in the term desired. Failure to meet all deadlines will result in postponing graduation to a later term.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that forms and other documents are filed and received by posted deadlines and policy requirements. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your Academic Support Specialist.

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study lists the specific courses the student must complete to earn the doctoral degree as well as all members of the supervisory committee. Submit the Plan of Study to the Graduate School as soon as your supervisory committee is formed. The Plan of Study must be submitted and approved at least one month before the Preliminary/Comprehensive oral examination. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program does not require a Plan of Study.

If your program requires a Plan of Study:

  • Submit the Plan of Study form to the Graduate School as soon as your supervisory committee is formed.
  • Transfer credits are processed when the Plan of Study is submitted. Any transcripts for transfer credit must be filed with the Graduate School prior to the Plan of Study. To see if credits are eligible for transfer, please click on the applicable link: transfer credit policy.
  • You may add or remove courses from your Plan of Study by using the Change to Plan of Study form.

If your program does not require a Plan of Study: 

  • If your coursework varies from the posted curriculum, file a Change to Plan of Study form and list the courses you will be adding and to which requirement these courses apply, e.g., core courses.
  • To transfer credits, submit a Change to Plan of Study form to add the credits to your transcript and degree progress. Transfer transcripts must be on file in the Graduate School before submitting the Change to Plan of Study form.
  • To receive approval on your supervisory committee, submit the Request to Form or Change Supervisory Committee form at least one semester before your final examination.
Research Compliance

Students whose research will require approval by the Institutional Review Board (for research with human subjects; IRB), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (for research with animals; IACUC), the Biosafety Committee (for research with recombinant DNA), the Radiation Safety Committee, or the Toxic Substance Committee, will be required to receive approval from these committees before beginning their research. If such approval has not requested, the student will not receive a degree. For more information about these committees, please see the website of Research Integrity and Compliance.

Preliminary/Comprehensive Oral Examination 

A comprehensive/preliminary examination will be required of each student after the greater portion of courses has been completed. This examination consists of a written part and an oral part. A Notification of Scheduled Examination need only be filed for the oral portion of the examination. Once scheduled, submit the Notification of Scheduled Examination a minimum of two weeks before the requested exam date. Forms completed less than two weeks prior to the examination date will not be processed. A new examination date must be scheduled and a new notification form file by the two-week deadline.

A preliminary graduation audit is completed by your Academic Support Specialist once the notification form is received. The approved Notification of Schedule Examination form and preliminary graduation audit will be emailed to the student and their full supervisory committee. Review the audit as it will indicate any remaining coursework or grade issues that may keep your degree from posting. Contact your Academic Support Specialist if you have questions or concerns.

Report of Preliminary Examination

Submit the Report of Preliminary Examination within 14 days after the oral examination date.

  • Report forms submitted more than 14 days after the defense will not be processed and the examination will be voided and must be repeated.
  • Report forms received without an approved Notification of Scheduled Examination form on file will not be processed and the examination will be voided and must be repeated.

After passing the oral comprehensive/preliminary examination, the student will be formally admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. At least one academic semester must elapse between the comprehensive/preliminary examination and the final examination.

 

Preparing to Graduate

 

Fall 2021 Deadlines
October 15 Intent to Graduate Survey due
November 19 Initial Disquisition submission due
December 17 Final Disquisition copy due
December 17

Graduation Application (Certificate and Plan C students)

Spring 2022 Deadlines
March 15 Intent to Graduate Survey due for spring and summer
April 15 Initial Disquisition submission due
May 13 Final Disquisition copy due
May 13

Graduation Application (Certificate and Plan C students)

Summer 2022 Deadlines
March 15 Intent to Graduate Survey due for spring and summer
July 8 Initial Disquisition submission due
August 5 Final Disquisition copy due
August 5

Graduation Application (Certificate and Plan C students)

Fall 2022 Deadlines (tentative)
October 14 Intent to Graduate Survey due
November 18 Initial Disquisition submission due
December 16 Final Disquisition copy due
December 16

Graduation Application (Certificate and Plan C students)

 

Future Deadlines

Degrees are posted three times per academic year: December, May, and August.

The deadline for the initial submission of disquisitions to the Graduate School is approximately one month prior to each semester's commencement. For your degree to post in a semester, your review process must be completed and final revisions submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the semester.