Graduation & Degree Requirements

Summary of Requirements for the Graduate Degree

  1. Admission to degree candidacy, if required by the program.
  2. Completion of all requisite courses and credits with a cumulative average of 3.00, and compliance with specific GPA requirements as stipulated by the individual degree program.
  3. Satisfactory performance on a final written and/or oral comprehensive examination conducted by the student's advisory committee in the field of specialization, if applicable. It is the candidate's responsibility to determine if this is required by his/her program and to apply for this examination by the prescribed deadlines.
  4. Submission and approval of the thesis, research report, dissertation, or capstone project in those programs requiring it.
  5. Fulfillment of any special examinations, requirements, or competencies that are unique to a department or program.
  6. Fulfillment of all financial obligations to the University, including payment of the graduation fee, and of all other obligations, including the return of University property.
  7. Compliance with all academic requests from the dean of graduate studies.

Additional Requirements for the Master of Education Degree

In addition to fulfilling these requirements, candidates for certain master of education degrees must give evidence of successful teaching experience approved by the department chairperson. Other experiences in lieu of this requirement must be approved by the relevant department and the vice provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

The Comprehensive (Area of Specialization) Examination

A comprehensive examination covers the student's major field and is constructed, administered, and evaluated by the faculty of the student's major department or program. Candidates are responsible to know the deadlines and conditions for the examination and must apply to the program graduate coordinator or chair. Generally, students are not eligible to take the examination prior to the semester in which all courses in the major discipline are completed.

Defense of Master's Thesis

Students who write a master's thesis must first have the "Request for Approval of Master's Thesis Examining Committee" form completed and signed before the student begins work on the thesis. This form can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies website. The completed thesis must be successfully defended before a faculty examining committee. The requirement of the University is that a student passing the thesis defense will receive no more than one negative vote from the examining committee. However, in a number of departments, a unanimous positive vote of the examining committee is required for a successful defense. Thesis students should check departmental requirements with the graduate coordinator.

Defense of Doctoral Culminating Experience

Each doctoral program requires a culminating experience such as a dissertation, capstone or doctoral project.  The process for defending the doctoral project is set by each individual program.  Doctoral students should review program requirements.

Research Requirements

Students should consult specific programs to determine whether independent study directed toward either the thesis or a research report is required, offered optionally, or omitted.

Application for Graduation

Each candidate for a graduate degree must apply to graduate on myWCU. An automatic fee of $99 will be added to their account. The following are deadline dates for applying to graduate:

  • May graduation - February 1
  • August graduation - June 1
  • December graduation - October 1

Submitting the Thesis and Doctoral Culminating Experience for Binding

After approval by the examining committee and Dean of Graduate Studies, theses and doctoral culminating experiences must be submitted in accordance with specifications outlined on the Office of Graduate Studies website.