Degree Completion Steps

Step 1: Submit Forms

Submit these forms to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280.
Program Planning Worksheet
Graduate Degree Plan

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: For MHR, MPP & MS-STEP Only

Professional Paper (individual option)

This step is only for students who complete the individual professional paper option, not students completing the Capstone Workshop option.

Submit the MHR or MPP Paper Topic Approval Form or MS-STEP Paper Topic Approval Form by the deadline to Humphrey Student Services, Room 280. More details: Individual Paper Option

The first week of the semester in which registering for professional paper credit.

Important Notes:

  • Signature is required from professional paper supervisor (also called "paper committee chair"). Make an appointment well before the deadline to allow time for discussion and approval of proposal.
  • After approval of supervisor/committee chair, obtain the signatures of all other committee members.

Step 3: Review Approved Degree Plan

  • You will receive notification of approval from the Graduate Student Services and Progress office.
  • Make sure that there are no changes to your registration! If there are, 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: Submit Final Paper

Select the appropriate link below for professional paper submission requirements


As soon as final version of paper has been completed and approved. Specifically:

  • Finishing in May: May 20
  • Finishing in August: August 20
  • Finishing in December: December 20

Step 8: 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.

  • You will receive the Outstanding Degree Requirements notice. 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