Preparing to Graduate

At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, complete the Intent to Graduate Survey according to the Graduate College deadlines. If you plan to graduate summer semester, complete the Intent to Graduate Survey by the spring deadline. Degree posting is based on the successful completion of your degree requirements and not the Intent to Graduate Survey.

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. 

  • Review your approved Plan of Study. If there are any changes to your approved coursework or supervisory committee membership, you will need to make updates before you defend the master’s paper, thesis, or dissertation. 
  • For Plan of Study changes, complete the Change to Plan of Study form. 
  • For committee changes, submit the online Request to Form/Change Supervisory Committee form. 
Before Your Final Defense 

The Notification of Scheduled Examination form must be completed and received by the Graduate School a minimum of seven calendar days prior to the scheduled defense date. Forms completed less than seven calendar days prior to the defense date will not be processed. A new defense date must be scheduled, and a new notification form filed by the seven calendar day deadline.

A preliminary Graduation Audit is completed when the notification form is received. 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. 

  • At least seven days before your defense, provide a copy of your document to your supervisory committee for review.
After Your Final Defense 
  • Submit the Report of Final Defense within 14 calendar days after the examination date or by the Post-Defense Submission for Format Review deadline, whichever comes first.
    • Report forms received with no approved Notification of Scheduled Examination on file, will not be processed and the examination must be repeated. 
  • Submit the IRB/IACUC/IBC Compliance Notification, including any required attachments from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The form can be filed at any time but must be in your student file before your document will be reviewed by the Graduate School. The Graduate School is not responsible for obtaining supporting documents or determining if approval is required for the research conducted for the disquisition.
  • Complete all the revisions to your disquisition required by your committee 
  • Submit the signed Approval Page
  • Pay the required $175 processing fee
  • Submit your master’s paper, thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School for format review

All items must be completed (with all required signatures) and received by the Graduate School prior to submitting your document for format review. If the fee and/or forms are not received by the submission deadline, your submission date is considered to be the date on which the last item is received. 

Format Review Process

The Graduate School will review your disquisition to ensure that its formatting is consistent with the Graduate School format guidelines before we authorize your degree posting. As the format review process is the last step before publication of your master’s thesis, paper or dissertation, submit your document to the Graduate School only after you have completed the steps above and all written content is in its final form. 

The format review is based on the Graduate School’s format guidelines. The guidelines cover all aspects of a disquisition from the title page and prefatory material, through the chapters and references to the appendices. The format review is not a copy edit (in other words we will not ask you to make content changes). 

Final Steps 
  • Verify that incomplete grades and outstanding items on your Graduation Audit have been completed. 
  • Update your MAILING address in Campus Connection to ensure proper delivery of your diploma and final transcript.
  • Update your Preferred Name in Campus Connection as this is the name that is printed on your diploma.
  • Final clearance of academic requirements will be made when current term grades have been submitted. 
Commencement Participation

Graduate students may participate in the commencement ceremony in the semester of their final defense or the semester in which the degree requirements are completed. Summer graduates are eligible to participate in the spring ceremony or the fall ceremony in the same year in which you graduate.

It is important to complete the Intent to Graduate survey by the posted deadline to initiate your graduation audit and receive commencement information. 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 (if required).