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MA/MS Degree Graduation

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The Educational Leadership and Policy department is currently participating in an interim stage of the conversion of the graduate graduation process to DARS. At this time, students and faculty cannot generate their own DARS. Once a student submits a graduation application, OGS will generate a DARS report for that student and forward it to the department for review.

The following steps should be completed by the first week of the term in which you intend to graduate:

For a degree

1) Submit an Application for Awarding of Master's Degree directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. Thesis students, please see additional instructions below.

  • If you have more credits than you need to graduate, DARS will use your oldest credits first toapply to your “electives” requirement
  • At the time of graduation, no course can be used that are more than 7-years old.
  • A minimum enrollment of one credit is required during the term in which oral or written exams are taken.
  • Warning: If you plan to complete one or more of the ELP graduate certificates after you graduate, you must already have added the certificate(s) to your program of study using a GO-19 form.  On the Application for Awarding your Master's Degree, check the "Yes" box in the "Are you currently admitted to another graduate program at PSU" question in order to keep your student record active after graduation.  If you do not check "Yes," for that question, your record will be closed when you complete your degree and you will not be able to complete the certificate.

For a certificate 

1) If you are completing one or more certificates either in addition to a degree or by itself, submit an Application for Awarding of Graduate Certificate for each certificate completed directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Common issues that can delay graduation:

a) You have not yet submitted a GO-21 form to approve use of transfer credits towards your degree.

Even if you have emailed prior permission from your advisor to use transfer credits or have submitted a Petition for Course Substitution, you still need to fill out a GO-21 to use transfer credits toward your degree. Please submit one to the department as soon as possible.

b) You originally applied as an MA student but haven’t completed the foreign language requirement.

If, at the time of admission, you applied to the MA program, you need to contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures-NH 393 in order to arrange completion of the foreign language proficiency requirement before you finish your degree.

If you want to switch from an MA to an MS, you can do so by filling out a GO-19 form and submitting it to the department for approval.

c) You were admitted conditionally, but haven’t provided necessary paperwork to the department to remove the condition.

If you were admitted conditionally and part of that condition was to provide a transcript or other documentation, graduation from the program will be held until proper documentation is provided.

d) You are a thesis student who has decided to do a comps project instead.

If you begin a thesis, but opt later to complete a culminating project instead, you need to notify both your advisor and the department of this change before graduating.

Thesis students

1) Thesis proposal, Human Subjects Research Review Committee approval, and appointment of departmental thesis committee must be completed before applying to graduate. The Appointment of Thesis Committee (GO-16 form) is due by the deadline in the term prior to graduation. SEE OGS DEADLINES.     

  • You must be registered for at least one credit in every term in which you are working on any phase of your thesis, including data development or collection, writing, revision, and defense.

2) Apply for graduation following the instructions above

  • The oral examination must be scheduled at least five weeks prior to the end of the term and the Graduate Office Representative must receive a complete copy of the thesis at least two weeks prior to the examination date. For summer term, the oral examination must be held during the regular eight week session.
  • You must check with faculty adviser and thesis committee chair to assure completion of requirements prior to final examinations.

3) Submit your Electronic Thesis and Dissertation 

  • You can find more information about the ETD process on the OGS website.

Questions about any part of the graduation process should be directed either to:
The ELP Department Secretary: 503-725-4716 or
The Office of Graduate Studies: 503-725-8410