Procedures for graduation

In order to graduate with an MS you must complete the graduation requirements and file numerous pieces of paper with the graduate office.

There are three graduation dates each year - in May, August and December.

Print out this page and use it as your checklist.  Most of the necessary forms may be downloaded here.

You will need to decide whether to write a thesis or take the general oral exam.  Once you have decided, you must select a committee of 3 faculty,  fill out the "proposal for culminating experience form" and obtain all of the relevant signatures.  The deadline for filing this form is listed in the class schedule or on this page (see  upcoming deadlines ).

You will need to complete an ATC form (Advancement to Candidacy- previously called GAP).  Make a copy of the form, and fill out the copy.  Bring it to the graduate coordinator to check before you complete the official version.  Only courses for which you received a grade of C or better may appear on your ATC. You must have a GPA of at least 3.0 overall and a 3.0 for the courses listed on the ATC.  See upcoming deadlines

Please note that the department is required to certify that you have demonstrated writing proficiency (in English) at the apropriate graduate level.  Generally you can satisy this requirement by writing a thesis, or by writing term papers or papers submitted to journals.  If you have done none of these things, then we need to discuss how you can demonstrate your competence.  Again be sure to do this in plenty of time so that your graduation will not be delayed.  Starting in Fall 02, there will be a writing course specifically for graduate students in Science.  This course SCI 614, should prepare you to satisfy the writing requirement. Alternatively, you may want to take one of the GWAR courses in the Physics department: ASTR /PHYS 340 or Phys 490 AND Phys 491.

You also need to complete an application for graduation.  (We are up to 3 forms already!)  The deadline for this form is usually later than for the previous 2. See upcoming deadlines.

You must complete your culminating experience (take the comprehensive oral, or write your thesis and pass the thesis defense).  There is yet a 4th form that must be submitted that proves that you have completed this requirement.  The deadline for this is usually a few weeks before the end of the semester.  This form must be obtained from Caroline in the Physics office- it is not available as a download.   Note that this form is in addition to the signature page of the thesis.

Please note that all students who entered in Fall 1998 or later must take the GRE and achieve a score of 25th percentile or better in order to take the culminating examination. Be sure that you take the exam in time, so that your graduation is not delayed.  The department must receive your scores prior to the culminating experience examination.

Alternatively, students who entered in Fall 2010 or later must take the Major Field Test and achieve a score of 50th percentile or above prior to taking any graduate classes.

Please see me if you have any questions about these procedures.