Students need to be aware of, and plan for, the deadlines and procedures for graduate degrees when plotting their graduate school career and anticipated graduation date. There is a short but important set of actions and paperwork required by the WSU Graduate School students must complete in order to graduate. These include:
- Obtain an advisor/committee chairperson (this should be done as soon as possible after admission to the program)
- Submit a program of study to the Graduate School (this should be done no later than your second semester of graduate school)
- Schedule a preliminary exam (doctoral candidates only)
- Preliminary exam (doctoral candidates only)
- Submit an application for degree to the Graduate School
- Pay the graduation fee ($50); doctoral students also pay a microfilm fee ($75) and optional copyright fee ($65)
- Submit a final exam (i.e. master's essay defense) scheduling form
- Conduct the final examination (i.e. master's essay defense)
- Submit a final thesis/dissertation to the Graduate School
The deadlines linked above list the last day you can complete a graduation requirement for graduation in a given semester. If you are interested in completing your degree with a minimal amount of procedural stress, please adhere to the following schedule:
1. Get an advisor by the end of your first semester.
Talk to our faculty and do some research on their research interests. Identify one faculty whose research interests align with (or at least overlap) your own and ask them to be your faculty advisor/committee chairperson. It is important to ask them--don't list them without doing so. Feel free to ask them their availability to meet with you and if they will be teaching or on sabbatical the semester you intend to graduate.
2. Fill out your program of study no later than the tenth (10th) week of your second semester.
Fill out your program of study. You will need to have identified (and asked) three faculty members to be on your committee (your advisor/chair included). List all classes you have taken and will take, as well as your intended master's essay topic. This form requires signatures prior to being submitted to the Graduate School. Don't push this one to the deadline!
3. Submit your application for degree at the start of your third semester (or the semester you intend to graduate).
Submit your application for degree. You need to know your essay topic (and in fact, should be writing it at this point). This form requires signatures prior to being submitted to the Graduate School, so don't push the deadline on this one! Pay your graduation fee at this point as well.
4. Get your essay to your advisor by the end of the fourth (4th) week of your third semester (or the semester you intend to graduate).
Get your essay to your faculty advisor for review. Your essay should be in what you assume to be a final and defensible form. Your advisor will probably request revisions or offer suggestions for improvement, but do not turn in a "rough draft" copy.
5. Schedule your final exam by the end of the eighth (8th) week of your third semester (or the semester you intend to graduate).
Schedule your final exam. Your advisor should have a copy of your essay that he or she considers defensible at this point. You should provide copies of your essay to your other committee members as well. You are responsible for scheduling a date and time for your defense with your committee members. Once you have arranged a time with your committee members (aim for two hours), let Azra know and she will schedule a room for you. This form requires signatures prior to being submitted to the Graduate School; don't push the deadline with this one!
6. Conduct your defense with at least four weeks remaining in your third semester (or the semester you intend to graduate).
Conduct your final examination and, if approved, submit your essay to the Graduate School.
The above schedule assumes a three-semester graduate course of study, and does not take into account summer term schedules.
Zachary Hamilton, Ph.D.
Graduate Faculty Advisor
Academic Center, Suite 401
Criminal Justice, WSU Spokane
PO Box 1495
Spokane, WA 99210-1495
Criminal Justice, WSU Spokane
412 E Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99202