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Progress to Degree: Are You on Track?

Select your program type from the menus below for important information about the milestones and deadlines you will need to meet to stay on track toward completion.

If you have any questions, contact your Graduate College academic counselor.

  • All students who intend to pursue a master’s degree must apply to the program through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • After admission, consult your academic unit for coursework advising.
  • File for candidacy by completing and submitting the Program of Study to the Graduate College. This form is due no later than the first Monday in April for fall graduation, the first Monday in October for spring graduation or the first Monday in March for summer graduation.
    • You should consult your academic unit before completing this form, since your program may set an earlier deadline.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the Program of Study form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.
  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. Contact the Graduation Office for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved Program of Study, contact your academic unit promptly. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduation could be delayed if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your program of study.

Review the Non-Thesis Instruction Packet (pdf) and contact your academic unit for information about what procedures you should follow to schedule your non-thesis (comprehensive) examination.

  • You should complete all required or core courses and at least 75 percent of all coursework on your approved program of study before taking the exam. A student cannot appeal an unsatisfactory result of the exam on the basis that he or she had not completed this coursework.

Non-Thesis Instruction Packet (pdf)

  • The graduate liaison of your academic unit must request and obtain the appropriate authority from the Graduate College before you may begin the non-thesis examination. After the request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the Non-Thesis Exam to the committee and graduate liaison.
  • The completed Authority Report Form, including original signatures from all committee members, is due in the Graduate College within one week of the committee’s decision.

Congratulations!

  • All students who intend to pursue a master’s degree must apply to the program through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • After admission, consult your academic unit for coursework advising.
  • File for candidacy by completing and submitting the Program of Study and the Master’s Thesis Topic and Committee Membership (pdf) form to the Graduate College. These forms are due no later than the first Monday in April for fall graduation, the first Monday in October for spring graduation or the first Monday in March for summer graduation.
    • You should consult your academic unit before completing these forms, since your program may set earlier deadlines.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the Program of Study form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.
  • Once you begin enrolling in Research for Master’s Thesis (5980), you must enroll in a minimum of two credit hours of 5980 each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed. (Summer enrollment is also required if you are working on the thesis during the summer; see the “Enrollment Requirements for Thesis Research” section of the Graduate College Bulletin).
  • Before you begin writing the thesis, review the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. This packet contains important information about research-related issues and copyright and explains the Graduate College formatting requirements for master’s theses. If your thesis research may involve human subjects research, vertebrate animal research, information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or by contract, or intellectual property that may potentially be patentable, you should discuss this with your committee chair as early as possible in the research process.
  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. Contact the Graduation Office for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved Program of Study form, contact your academic unit promptly. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduation could be delayed if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your program of study.
  • Before scheduling your thesis defense, provide each member of your committee with a complete draft of your thesis (see the “Thesis Draft” section of the Graduate College Bulletin). Your committee will determine how far in advance you should provide the draft. The committee should have sufficient time to review the draft and approve any major revisions required before you submit the Request for Authority to Defend (pdf) form to the Graduate College.
  • At least five working days before your defense, submit the Request for Authority to Defend (pdf) and any required attachments (if applicable) from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). After your request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the Thesis Defense to you and your committee. You are not authorized to defend your thesis until you receive the Authority Report Form.
  • No later than 72 hours after your defense, submit the completed Authority Report Form, including original signatures from all committee members, to the Graduate College.
  • If your thesis involves human subjects research, contact the IRB office to obtain documentation confirming that your involvement as a graduate student in the research project is officially terminated. You will need to submit this additional documentation to the Graduate College before you submit the thesis to SHAREOK.
  • After your committee has approved your final thesis, submit the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK (pdf) form to the Graduate College.
  • Submit your thesis to the SHAREOK institutional repository, according to the instructions you received in the Graduate College email authorizing your defense. Your submission is due no later than 60 calendar days after your defense. If you plan to graduate in a particular semester, you must meet the semester submission deadline given on the Academic Calendar, usually the last day of the final examination period.

Congratulations!

  • All students who intend to pursue a master’s degree must apply to the program through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • After admission, consult your academic unit for coursework advising.
  • File for candidacy by completing and submitting the Program of Study to the Graduate College. This form is due no later than the first Monday in April for fall graduation, the first Monday in October for spring graduation or the first Monday in March for summer graduation.
    • You should consult your academic unit before completing this form, since your program may set an earlier deadline.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the Program of Study form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.
  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. Contact the Graduation Office for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved Program of Study, contact your academic unit promptly. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduation could be delayed if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your program of study.

Congratulations!

  • All students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree must apply to the program through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • After admission, consult your academic unit for coursework advising.
  • Work with your academic unit to form your committee and schedule the advisory conference. You will need to submit the Advisory Conference Report (doc) form (ACR) to the Graduate College no later than one semester before you plan to take the general examination.
    • You should consult your academic unit, since your program may have specific regulations or recommendations for scheduling the advisory conference.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the ACR before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework or committee membership listed on your approved ACR, you will need to submit a Request for Change in Doctoral Advisory Conference Report (pdf) to the Graduate College before you apply for the general examination.
    • Your ACR must be up to date before the Graduate College can authorize your general examination.
    • Changes in committee membership are not permitted within the 30 calendar days before the general examination.
  • When you are enrolled in or have completed the final semester of coursework, you should prepare for the general examination. No later than the end of the second week of the semester in which you will take the exam, submit the General Exam Application for the Doctoral Degree (pdf) to the Graduate College. After your application is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the General Examination to you, your committee and your graduate liaison. You may not begin work for the exam until you receive the Authority Report Form.
  • No later than 72 hours after the exam, submit the completed Authority Report Form, including original signatures from all committee members, to the Graduate College. You will be admitted to doctoral candidacy after satisfactorily completing the general examination.
  • Once you begin enrolling in Research for Doctoral Dissertation (6980), you must enroll in a minimum of two credit hours of 6980 each fall and spring until all degree requirements are completed. (Summer enrollment is also required if you are working on the dissertation during summer; see the “Enrollment Requirements for Dissertation Research” section of the Graduate College Bulletin).
  • Before you begin writing the dissertation, review the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. This packet contains important information about research-related issues and copyright, and explains the Graduate College formatting requirements for doctoral dissertations. If your dissertation research may involve human subjects research, vertebrate animal research, information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or by contract, or intellectual property that may potentially be patentable, you should discuss this with your committee chair as early as possible in the research process.
  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. Contact the Graduation Office for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework or committee membership listed on your approved ACR, you will need to submit a Request for Change in Doctoral Advisory Conference Report (pdf) to the Graduate College before you defend the dissertation.
    • Your ACR must be up to date before the Graduate College can authorize your defense.
    • Changes in committee membership are not permitted within the 30 calendar days before the dissertation defense.
  • Before scheduling your dissertation defense, provide each member of your committee with a complete draft of your dissertation (see the “Dissertation Draft” section of the Graduate College Bulletin). Your committee will determine how far in advance you should provide the draft. The committee should have sufficient time to review the draft and approve any major revisions required before you submit the Request for Authority to Defend (pdf) form to the Graduate College. After your committee has approved the draft, arrange the date, time and location for your defense.
  • At least four weeks before your defense, submit the online Request for Degree Check to the Graduate College. The Graduate College will notify you of the result of the degree check via OU email.
  • At least ten (10) working days before your defense, submit the Request for Authority to Defend (pdf) and any required attachments (if applicable) from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). After your request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the Dissertation Defense to you, your committee and your graduate liaison. You are not authorized to defend until you receive the Authority Report Form.
  • No later than 72 hours after your defense, submit the completed Authority Report Form, including original signatures from all committee members, to the Graduate College.
  • If your dissertation involves human subjects research, contact the IRB office to obtain documentation confirming that your involvement as a graduate student in the research project is officially terminated. You will need to submit this additional documentation to the Graduate College before you submit the dissertation to SHAREOK.
  • After your committee has approved your final dissertation, submit the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK (pdf) form to the Graduate College.
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
  • Submit your dissertation to the SHAREOK institutional repository, according to the instructions you received in the Graduate College email authorizing your defense. Your submission is due no later than 60 calendar days after your defense. If you plan to graduate in a particular semester, you must meet the semester submission deadline given on the Academic Calendar, usually the last day of the final examination period.

Congratulations!

  • All students who intend to pursue a graduate certificate must apply to the program through the Office of Admissions.
    • You may either be admitted solely into a graduate certificate program, or you may apply to add a graduate certificate while enrolled in a graduate degree program. Students enrolled in a graduate degree program must apply to add the graduate certificate program by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application.
    • If you are not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program, you will only apply for admission to the graduate certificate program.
  • After admission to the program, consult your academic unit for coursework advising.
    • All courses must be taken at OU. No transfer credit is permitted.
    • No course substitutions are permitted.
    • Coursework applied to the certificate cannot be more than five years old at the time the certificate is awarded.
    • You must earn a GPA of 3.00 or higher on all coursework applied to the certificate.
  • For information on applying graduate certificate coursework to a graduate degree, please see the Graduate College Bulletin.
  • Before or during the semester you plan to finish your certificate coursework, file a Graduate Certificate Program Report (GCPR) in the Graduate College.
    • The GCPR is due no later than the first Monday in October for fall certificate clearance, the first Monday in March for spring certificate clearance, and the first Monday in July for summer certificate clearance.
    • Graduate certificates are not awarded retroactively.

Graduate Certificate Forms

  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved GCPR, contact your academic unit promptly. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduate certificate cannot be issued if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your GCPR.
  • At the end of the semester during which all requirements are met, the Office of Academic Records will issue you the graduate certificate and record its completion on your official transcript.
    • Students who receive only a graduate certificate without completing a degree program do not participate in convocation, commencement, or any other graduation ceremonies.

Congratulations!

The undergraduate degree is conferred before the student’s admission to the graduate portion of the ADP. If you are not sure which model your program follows, check the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form for your major.

  • Contact your academic unit and/or undergraduate college before or during your junior year.
  • You will need to follow the application procedures and deadlines established by the academic unit and undergraduate college in order to be admitted to the accelerated degree program (ADP) and changed to the undergraduate accelerated major code.
  • You must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin.
  • Work with your undergraduate college advisor and graduate liaison to complete the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form. This form is used to plan the hours that will count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
    • All shared courses must carry graduate credit and be applicable to both the bachelor’s degree requirements and master’s degree requirements.
    • Coursework completed prior to admission to the undergraduate portion of the ADP cannot be considered for shared coursework credit.
  • Apply to the graduate portion during the final semester of the bachelor’s degree by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • The term of admission must be the semester after completion of the bachelor’s degree. You may not skip a fall or spring semester between the degrees.
    • If you do not complete the bachelor’s degree as intended, your admission to the graduate portion of the ADP will not be valid, you will remain in the undergraduate portion, and you will need to reapply to the graduate portion.
  • See the Non-Thesis Master's Degree, Thesis Master's Degree, or Coursework-Only Master's Degree menu above for your remaining steps toward graduation.

Congratulations!

The undergraduate and graduate degrees are conferred in the same semester. If you are not sure which model your program follows, check the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form for your major.

  • Contact your academic unit and/or undergraduate college before or during your junior year.
    • You will need to follow the application procedures and deadlines established by the academic unit and undergraduate college in order to be admitted to the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) and changed to the undergraduate accelerated major code.
  • You must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin.
  • Work with your undergraduate college advisor and graduate liaison to complete the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form. This form is used to plan the hours that will count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
    •  Coursework completed prior to admission to the undergraduate portion of the ADP cannot be considered for shared coursework credit.
  • Apply to the graduate portion before the final semester of the bachelor’s degree by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • The term of admission must be the same as the final semester of the bachelor’s degree. Students enrolled in a simultaneous accelerated program are not admitted to the graduate portion of the ADP until the term of their intended graduation from both degrees.
  • See the Non-Thesis Master's Degree, Thesis Master's Degree, or Coursework-Only Master's Degree menu above for your remaining steps toward graduation.

Congratulations!

Graduation Information

*The Application for Graduation is available online.

  • Students who do not apply for graduation will not be cleared for graduation.
  • Norman campus and OU North America and Europe (formerly Advanced Programs) students are not required to pay a fee when applying for graduation.
  • Students who plan to participate in commencement or convocation ceremonies may purchase caps, gowns, and other graduation gear from the OU bookstore or participate in the Graduation Gear-Up event. More information is available at the Commencement website.