Summary of Procedures for Master's Degrees
The following outline summarizes the Portland State University procedural requirements for master's degrees. Additional information can be found in the Graduate School section of the Bulletin, on the Graduate School website, and on the applicable forms. Additional requirements may be imposed by specific programs.
- Prior to first term of registration, meet with faculty adviser assigned by program director and plan a preliminary program of study, as well as become familiar with general regulations and procedures for the master's degree as described in the Bulletin.
- If graduate courses taken while an undergraduate at PSU and not used in the bachelor's degree are to be considered for use in the graduate program, the department must submit a DARS exception to the Graduate School in order to apply the courses to the program of study. This request should be made soon after admission to the graduate program. (Applicable only for courses completed at PSU, limited to 12 credits maximum.) Reserved credits are also subject to all pre-admission limits and requirements.
If graduate courses were taken while an undergraduate at PSU that are part of an approved bachelors+masters program, the department must submit a DARS exception to the Graduate School in order to apply the courses to the program of study. This request should be made soon after admission to the graduate program.
- If pre-admission credits taken at PSU are to be included in the program of study, the department must submit a DARS exception to the Graduate School in order to apply the courses to the program of study. This request should be made soon after admission to the graduate program. No more than one-third of the student's degree program can be pre-admission credits. If transfer courses (courses taken at any time from another regionally accredited institution) are to be included in the program of study, the Proposed Transfer Credit form (GO-21M) must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. It is strongly suggested that this form be submitted early in the student's program. No more than one-third of the student's degree program can be transfer credits.
- If admitted with university and/or department conditions, meet all conditions. University Conditional status will be automatically removed after completion of the first 9 letter-graded graduate credits after admission with a 3.00 GPA or higher. Department conditions are removed once a department determines the appropriate requirements have been met. University and department conditions are monitored independently of each other and are typically not removed at the same time.
- For an MA or MAT degree, meet the second language requirement. This requirement must be met before any final exam is taken or before the Final Oral Examination Committee form (GO-16M) or any final graduation paperwork can be approved.
- Submit the Application for Awarding of Master's Degree, Doctoral Degree, or Graduate Certificate via Banweb no later than the first week of the term of graduation. Review the Graduate Candidate Deadlines for specific dates. Once you have applied, your application will immediately be reflected on your DARS audit.
- After submitting the Application for Awarding of Master's Degree, Doctoral Degree, or Graduate Certificate, consult with adviser and/or department about DARS report and plans for completing final degree requirements.
- The University requires that graduate students who are involved in activities requiring faculty time or the use of University facilities register every term (excluding summer), including those engaged in any phase of research, such as collecting or developing data; or when engaged in any aspects of a project, thesis, or dissertation.
A minimum of 1 graduate credit of registration is required in any term (including summer) when students are completing a major milestone for the degree, such as taking any comprehensive or final examination; when holding a thesis/dissertation proposal or defense; and in the term of final thesis/dissertation submission and graduation.
- If thesis is to be submitted:
- Adviser submits the Appointment of Final Oral Examination Committee form (GO-16M) approximately two weeks before the end of the term preceding the term of the defense; see specific dates. The chair of the thesis committee must be regular, full-time PSU instructional faculty, tenured or tenure-track, assistant professor or higher in rank; the other committee members may include NTTF or adjunct faculty. Two of the committee members (the chair and one other member) must be from the student’s department; the third member may be from the student’s department or may be PSU faculty from another department or OHSU faculty. If it is necessary to go off campus for one additional committee member with specific expertise not available among PSU faculty, a CV for that proposed member must be presented with the GO-16M form; that member must be in addition to the required three PSU faculty members. All committee members must have master’s degrees. No defense shall be valid without a thesis committee approved by the Graduate School.
- The thesis defense must take place at least five weeks prior to the end of the term of anticipated graduation and all members must receive a complete copy of the thesis at least two weeks prior to the defense date. For summer term graduation, deadlines apply to the regular eight-week Summer Session.
- Student must check with thesis committee chair to assure completion of requirements prior to final defense.
- The final thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than three weeks prior to the close of the term of application for graduation. For details about thesis formatting, submission, and specific deadlines, see the Thesis and Dissertation Information page on the Graduate School website. Required formatting revisions must be made before graduation.
- Adviser is responsible for the completion of the Recommendation for the Degree form (GO-17M), which is due in the Graduate School after end-of-term grades are posted. IP (In-Progress) grades for required thesis credits are changed via the GO-17M form.
- In the case of non-thesis final oral examinations, including final project presentations, the committee shall consist of at least two members of the student's department, including the student's adviser. At the discretion of the department, a faculty member from another department may be added; that member would be selected by the adviser, the department chair, or the departmental graduate committee chair, according to department policy. For MAT and MST students, one member of the committee is required to be added from the College of Education or a faculty member with pedagogical expertise in the student’s discipline.
- Schedule and pass final master's examinations, if required, before the end of the term.
- An Incomplete or In-Progress grade in any course applied toward degree requirements, excluding thesis (see last bullet under #9 above), must be removed before graduation.
- Outstanding grades for all courses being used in the degree program (except 503 Thesis credits) must be submitted by the instructor directly to the Office of the Registrar.
All M (Missing) grades in graduate courses that could potentially be letter graded must be removed before graduation, even if the courses are not applied to the student’s degree program.
- All coursework applied to a master's degree must be completed within seven years prior to the awarding of the degree (e.g., a course taken in fall term 2013 will be beyond the seven-year limitation at the close of fall 2020).
- The Graduate School verifies that all requirements for the degree have been met and awards the degree. Students will be notified by email when their degree is awarded.
- Diplomas are generally mailed within 2-3 weeks after the degree is awarded, except for fall term which will take 4-6 weeks due to holiday closures; additional information about diplomas is on the Office of the Registrar's website. (Please note that Commencement is not the same as graduation.)