Degree Planning & Completion: MS−STEP

From the moment you start at the Humphrey School to the time you graduate, there are several steps to planning and completing your degree. We are here to help you navigate every step of the way. It is easier to tackle by following the tasks listed in these three major areas:

  • Planning worksheets: choose the one specific to your degree
  • Graduate degree plan: required by all graduate students at the University of Minnesota
  • Degree completion: follow the 10 specific steps listed below

Step 1: Submit forms

Submit these forms to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280.

  • Program Planning Worksheet (see section above)
  • Graduate Degree Plan (see section above)

Spring completion: December 5
Summer completion: December 5
Fall completion: April 15

Important Notes:

  • Faculty advisor signature is required before submission. Please do not leave the form for your advisor to sign and return. The object of the signature is to indicate that a discussion and approval have taken place.
  • Do not obtain the signature of the major field Director of Graduate Studies before submitting.
  • If completing a graduate minor, do obtain the signature of the minor field Director of Graduate Studies before submitting.

Step 2: Review Approved Degree Plan

  • You will receive an e-mail from your HHH adviser when your Degree Plan is forwarded to central administration.
  • 3-4 weeks after that, you will receive an e-mail from central administration with your approved Degree Plan scanned and attached.
  • Make sure that there are no changes to your registration! If there are, complete Step 3 immediately.
  • Changes or no changes, complete Step 4 immediately.

Important Notes:

  • Submit this petition as soon as you know you have made a change in your registration because the Graduate School will not award your degree until all courses listed on your Degree Program have been completed or amended via this petition.
  • Faculty advisor signature is required, so plan ahead!

Step 3: Petition (if necessary)

If your registration has changed from the courses listed on your approved Degree Plan, immediately submit a Petition to Amend Degree Plan to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280.

As soon as approved Degree Plan is received from the Graduate School via e-mail to umn account.

Important Notes

  • Faculty adviser signature is required, so plan ahead!
  • Do not obtain the signature of the major field Director of Graduate Studies. Submit form to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280, to obtain that signature.
  • If the change is related to courses in a minor, do obtain the signature of the minor field Director of Graduate Studies before submitting to Student Services.

Step 4: Assign Examination Committee

If your examination committee is confirmed and they have agreed to serve, please proceed to assigning your committee.

As soon as approved Degree Plan is received from the Graduate School (via e-mail to your umn account).

Step 5: Request Graduation Packet

After Degree Plan has been approved, request a Graduation Packet.

Two to three days after you receive an email with your approved Graduate Degree Plan attached.

Step 6: Submit Application for Degree and Examination Forms

Download and print the Application for Degree and Examination(s) forms from the Graduation Packet. Submit the Application for Degree form to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280, not to the places listed on the form!

Application for Degree: Correct all pre-populated information; complete, sign, keep a copy for yourself, submit to Room 280, not to onestop, as stated on the form
Examination Form(s): Do not obtain any signatures until you have completed your exam. Submit to Room 280.


By the 15th day of the month before you will complete all degree requirements. For example:

  • Finishing in May: by April 15
  • Finishing in August: by July 15
  • Finishing in December: by November 15

Step 7: Examination Room Reservation

Coordinate with committee members to schedule a date and book a room for oral presentation, which usually lasts about an hour. To reserve a conference room, contact the Front Desk staff in Room 130 (612-626-8910 or or use gcal (add under “Rooms, etc.”)

As soon as committee members are confirmed (as early as possible in the semester).

    •    Distribute copies of final paper to all committee members at least two weeks before the scheduled date of oral presentation.
    •    The oral presentation typically includes a presentation of Plan A or B paper to the committee, followed by a discussion.
    •    Paper revisions are usually required after the presentation, so plan your time line to allow for these revisions.
    •    Committee chair signs a title page, indicating that you have satisfactorily completed oral examination and paper revisions.

Step 8: Stay Registered

At the time your degree is awarded you must be in “active status,” which means you must be registered for that semester. Being registered for spring semester will maintain active status through August 30; that is, if you are registered for spring semester, you do not have to register for summer to have your degree granted in June, July, or August.

There are serious financial consequences if you do not maintain your active status and want to have your degree awarded at a later date. Registration in Grad999 to maintain "active status" is not allowed.

Step 9: Submit Final Paper

Submission schedule:
As soon as final version of paper has been completed and approved:
    •    Finishing in May: by May 20
    •    Finishing in August: by August 20
    •    Finishing in December: by December 20

Step 10: Notice of Degree Requirements

The Graduate School will send an e-mail saying one of two things:
Outstanding Degree Requirements (what courses still need to have grades posted or forms submitted)
Clearance Notification Letter (everything is completely finished)

The month of degree completion. Sometimes this e-mail arrives right before commencement, so don't panic! Just check the letter for any change in registration.

  • Most people receive the Outstanding Degree Requirements notice. Check it carefully! Make sure your records agree with everything!
  • This letter will list any coursework on approved Degree Plan that still needs a grade posted, as well as any forms that still need to be submitted.
  • Note: The letter may list Final Report Form even if you have submitted it to HHH 280 because it won't be sent to the Graduate School until all HHH degree requirements have been met (final paper submission, internship, etc.).