Master's Degree Steps to Completion

Milestone Summary

Select a milestone to jump to details below.

In the first half of your program

In your final semester

Master's Programs Coordinator

Terri Eastin
Terri Eastin
Office of Graduate Studies

Throughout these milestones, Terri will be answering your questions and reviewing your materials.

The PDF forms on this page are Reader-Enabled: you can type in the form, save the PDF on your computer, then later reopen the file and change what you typed — when you use a current version of Adobe Acrobat software, such as the free Acrobat Reader. Other PDF-reading software may or may not support these convenience features. See also: Troubleshooting Forms.

Milestones for the first half of your program

  • Memorandum of Courses

    Memorandum of Courses

    Consult your advisor to build your Memorandum and submit it to the Master's Programs Coordinator in Graduate Studies. This establishes your candidacy.

    This must be filed prior to completion of over one-half of required coursework.

    • Courses graded as Incomplete or No Report count as completed when determining this halfway point.
    • A student cannot file a Memorandum and graduate in the same semester or summer.

    Any changes to the Memorandum after filing in Graduate Studies are submitted in writing as a memo/email from the student's advisor to the Master's Programs Coordinator, outlining the additions, deletions, or substitutions. Changing the Option may or may not be possible.

    For full policy, see Master's Degrees in the Graduate Catalog.

  • Research Responsibility

    Speak with your advisor regarding the need for approvals to conduct research with animals or human subjects.

Milestones for the second half of your program

  1. Application for Graduation

    The online Graduation Application form will be available to you in MyRED after Graduate Studies has received and processed your Memorandum.

    If you do not apply to graduate, a diploma will not be ordered for you and your graduation will be postponed.

    Due by date TBD. In summer this is earlier than the Registrar's deadline.

  2. Final Examinations and Thesis Preparation

    Before the final oral examination:
    1. Preliminary Thesis Draft: Follow the guidelines in Preparing a Thesis.
    2. Advisor Approvals: Print your Final Examination Report and have your advisor review your thesis in its preliminary form. Your advisor will sign Part 3 of your form to indicate approval of the preliminary thesis and planned examination procedure. Complete Parts 1 through 5 — except signatures in Part 4, and ignore Part 5 if non-thesis.
    3. Graduate Studies Approvals: Submit to the Master's Programs Coordinator:
      • On paper: Your Final Examination Report Form, by date TBD. Receipt of this form generates the final graduation check.
      • As an email attachment: Your thesis, including title page and abstract, by date TBD. This is for a preliminary review of formatting, type of print, etc., so the thesis does not have to be in final form for this check.
    • Written comprehensive exam (major and/or minor) and/or Option II paper: Advisor must notify the Master's Programs Coordinator of the results by date TBD.
    • Final Oral Examination: Must be held by date TBD. Bring your Final Examination Report Form for signatures in Part 4. The advisor has the right to recommend changes in the thesis at the time of the final oral examination. Such changes, if requested, are normally made by you in consultation with your advisor and incorporated into the final version of the thesis prior to uploading to Digital Commons.

    For full policy, see Master's Degrees in the Graduate Catalog.

  3. Finalize thesis

    1. Final revisions: Once you have passed your final oral defense, make any changes to your thesis as required by your advisor or committee. Obtain the signatures of all committee members on your Final Examination Report Form.
    2. Final formatting review: Convert the final thesis to a PDF file and send it as an email attachment to the Master's Programs Coordinator.
    3. Embargo: If you might need to place a restriction on your thesis for patent or security reasons, consult your advisor before uploading.
    4. Upload and confirmation: Once notified that your format has been approved, upload the file and print the resulting upload confirmation email. To upload, use these links on Digital Commons:
      • Where to deposit your master’s thesis...: Click it, then click Download. In that document, find your program and click its link.
      • Step-by-step Guide to Uploading Your Master’s Thesis...: Instructions for uploading your thesis.

    Bound Copies: You may need (for departmental use) and/or choose (for personal use) to arrange for the binding of one or more copies of your thesis. Consult your advisor about whether you are required to provide a bound copy. Any printing and binding needs are between students and their departments (and Printing Services); bound copies are not part of the depositing process and are not overseen by Graduate Studies.

  4. Resolve Incomplete grades

    • Incompletes on the Memorandum (other than 899 thesis hours): Remove by date TBD.
    • Incompletes on the Memorandum (899 thesis hours): Remove by date TBD.
    • Incompletes in courses not on the Memorandum: These may be left Incomplete.

    Your advisor will provide these results to Graduate Studies. For full policy, see Grades and Incompletes in the Graduate Catalog.

  5. Final Materials; Thesis Deposit

    1. Pay $25 thesis processing fee by credit card (checklist item in MyRed).
    2. Graduate Studies (101 Seaton): By date TBD present materials for checking/stamping:
      • Final Examination Report Form, completed
      • One paper copy of abstract for Graduate Studies
      • One paper copy of abstract and title page for Library
      • Confirmation of upload to Digital Commons