Planning & Completion: Certificates

The word “graduation” can have many meanings. You will not find the word used in the flow of certificate completion procedures. Instead, we talk about "commencement," the ceremony held in May that celebrates your certificate completion. It is not actually when you get your certificate. You will receive your certificate when:
  • All certificate requirements have been met, including:
  • All coursework approved for your plan of study has been completed with a passing grade
  • All necessary Humphrey School and Graduate School documents have been submitted and approved
  • Your University account balance is zero
There are several steps to planning and completing your certificate. We are here to help you navigate every step of the way. It is easier to tackle by following the steps listed below.

Step 1: Submit forms

Review the instructions and submit completed form to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280.

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

Faculty adviser and Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) signatures are required before submission.
 Directors of Graduate Studies

  • Nonprofit Management: Melissa Stone
  • Policy Issues on Work and Pay: Morris Kleiner
  • Public Affairs Leadership: Kevin Gerdes
  • Early Childhood Policy: Judy Temple

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 Note: Faculty adviser and Director of Graduate Study signatures are required, so plan ahead!

Step 4: Request & Submit Graduation Packet

Follow the link here to request a Graduation Packet. You will receive the packet by email with two very important components. Please follow these directions for the two components:

  • Master's Final Report Form: Download; do not obtain any signatures; simply print it and submit it to Humphrey Room 280 as is by the deadline (see below).
  • Apply to Graduate: Follow the link provided in the Graduation Packet to submit an online application to graduate. You absolutely must — no exceptions — have the completed by the first day of the month your degree will be granted!

Submission window and deadlines for both of the above components:

  • Last course in spring semester? Submit April 2–May 1
  • Last course in summer semester? Submit July 2–August 1
  • Last course in fall semester? Submit November 2–December 1

If you miss the deadlines above, you will have to register (and pay) for something in the following semester so mark your calendars!

Step 5: 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 6: 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 OR
  • 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.).
Student Services

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
280 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455