Graduate Program Completion Checklist
1) Departmental Entrance/Qualifying Exams – If your department has qualifying examinations such as the Miller Analogies Test, GRE, GMAT and departmental essay exams, these will need to be successfully completed and official score results on file with the Graduate Office before your degree can be conferred. Normally a department will not admit you to the program or will put you into a probationary admission status until any examination requirements are successfully completed.
2) Degree plan – By the end of the first semester of your enrollment, you should meet with your departmental advisor to set up a degree plan – required and elective courses that you will take to fulfill your degree requirements – and have the plan submitted by your department for review by and approval of the Graduate Dean. Any changes to a degree plan that has been submitted is taken care of by your departmental advisor by indicating valid substitutions to that original plan.
3) Admission to Degree Candidacy – Most departments require the student to apply for degree candidacy once the following requirements have been met:
- The student has met the entrance and/or candidacy requirements of the major department and the results must be on file in the Graduate School. Any probationary requirements must have been completed and all entrance exam results indicating successful completion of those test requirements must be on file in the Graduate Office.
- The student must have an approved degree plan on file in the Graduate School
- The student must have successfully completed a minimum of 6 hours of course work on the graduate program of study. (This requirement is greater is some departments. Please check with your departmental advisor concerning the number of successfully completed hours required before admission to degree candidacy will be approved.)
4) Comprehensive/Final exams – The majority of programs require a final examination that must be successfully completed. These results must be submitted by the department to the Graduate School for inclusion in your record before your degree will be conferred. Please check with your department concerning any final/comprehensive exam requirements.
5) Thesis/Dissertation- If your degree requires a thesis/dissertation, a copy of the thesis/dissertation must be submitted to your department no later than 3 weeks prior to the day the degree is to be conferred. Some department may have earlier deadlines. Once the thesis/dissertation has been approved by the department and it has been signed by the department, it is your responsibility to submit that copy to the Graduate School for review by the Graduate Dean. This copy is normally due approximately 2 weeks prior to graduation (Check the Thesis/Dissertation Guidebooks for specific dealines for receipt of your thesis/dissertation.) Once the Graduate Dean has reviewed your thesis, it will be returned to your to make your final corrections. The thesis/dissertation is checked to assure that all corrections have been made. If all is ok, then the thesis/dissertation is accepted by the Graduate School and will be processed for digitization.
6) Intent to Graduate – The semester prior to the semester in which you anticipate completing your degree requirements, you are required to complete an Intent to Graduate. Nothing will begin in the degree conferral process until you have completed the Intent to Graduate and submitted it to the Graduate School. Once this form is received and processed by the Graduate School, you will be notified at your official ESU email address that it has been received and processed. Deadlines for receipt of the Intent to Graduate are as follows:
Spring graduates – November 1 of the preceding Fall semester.
Summer graduates-March 1 of the preceding Spring semester.
Fall graduates – July 1 of the preceding Summer semester.
The Intent to Graduate Form may be found at and submitted from the following website:
Failure to file the Intent to Graduate will delay the awarding of your degree.
7) Degree Analysis – Once your Intent to Graduate Form has been filed and an analysis done on your degree requirements, you will receive at your official ESU email address a courtesy copy of that analysis that is sent to your departmental advisor. The analysis is normally performed immediately prior to your last semester of enrollment.
8) Graduation/Commencement Checklist Letter – Approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the end of the semester of your anticipated graduation, you will receive a Graduation Checklist Letter at your official ESU email address that will provide you with final requirements/information concerning your graduation/degree completion.
9) Transfer credit – Should your department approve transfer credit to be brought in to fulfill your program course requirements at ESU, then your department must notify the Graduate Office as to which courses are being brought in from which universities and replacing which ESU courses on your program of study as outlined on your graduate degree plan. The following guidelines for transfer credit must be met before the credit will be approved by the Graduate Dean for inclusion in your program of study:
- No more than 9 semester hours of credit may be transferred into an ESU program requiring fewer than 40 hours of graduate coursework, or 15 hours into an ESU program requiring 40 or more hours of graduate coursework. Individual program may reduce this limit at their discretion.
- No grade lower than a B can be transferred in to fulfill ESU degree requirements.
- Official transcripts of all transfer work must be on file in the Graduate School before the work can be included in your degree plan.
- The transfer work must be applicable toward a graduate degree at the university at which the course was taken.
- Only graduate work from accredited universities will be considered for transfer.
10) Awarding/Conferral of your degree – Final grades are normally collected/run the Tuesday night of the week following the last day of the semester. Beginning on Wednesday or Thursday of that week the degree conferral process begins. Final grades must appear on the transcript before degrees can begin to be awarded. A final analysis is performed on each graduate’s file to see that all requirements have been completed. If all requirements have been successfully met, then the degree is awarded and you are notified at your official ESU email address that your degree has been conferred. The awarding of degrees at the end of a semester normally takes 4-6 weeks for everyone’s degree to be conferred.
11) Diplomas – Once all degrees have been conferred, diplomas are processed for mailing. If the diploma/graduation/commencement fee of $15.00 has been paid and there are no holds on your records, your diploma will be mailed to you at the address you have provided for us on your Commencement Response Card (see graduation checklist letter.)