Students must apply for candidacy to the degree they are seeking after taking twelve hours in their degree program. In order to be admitted to candidacy, students must be fully admitted and be in good academic standing. To establish their candidacy, students should meet with their advisor and agree to a schedule of courses for the remainder of the degree program. Candidacy is completed by the student's advisor in the Graduate System in Gus and approved by the advisor, student, chair, and Graduate school. Should a candidacy need to be altered, changes can also be made in the Graduate System and will require new approvals. Meeting the requirements of candidacy is the responsibility of the graduate student. Students who do not apply for candidacy at the appropriate time in their program may be required to take additional courses. Candidacy must be completed and approved by the advisor, student, chair, and Graduate school before the student will be allowed to petition for graduation.
Additional Degree Requirements
In addition to required coursework, most degree programs also have other requirements. Examples of the additional degree requirements include: comprehensive exam, portfolio, oral presentations, theatre and music performances, oral exams, and the completion of research resulting in writing and defending a thesis. Some of these requirements are determined by the degree option the student chooses to complete. These options and additional requirements are determined at the time the student and the academic advisor complete the student's candidacy form.
Petition for Graduate Degree
Each candidate for a graduate degree must petition for graduation in the Graduate System in Gus and pay graduation fees. In order to be included in the commencement program, students must petition for graduation by the date listed as the final day to apply for degrees on the university calendar each semester. All students are required to petition and pay graduation fees even if the student is not participating in graduation ceremonies.
Awarding of Degrees
Graduate degrees are dated and awarded at the end of the fall, spring, and summer terms. Students will not be approved for graduation until all coursework has been completed and all additional degree requirements have been fulfilled. Commencement ceremonies are held in May for students receiving degrees at the end of the spring and summer semesters and in December for students graduating at the end of the fall semester.
Graduate students who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.00 in their degree program at the time of graduation will graduate with the designation Graduate Dean Academic Honors. These graduates are distinguished by wearing a double gold cord at the commencement ceremony. The Graduate Dean Academic Honors designation will appear on the student's transcript.