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Graduation Central
Master's/CAGS/EdS Ceremony

Class of 2020 and 2021 Commencement
July 29, 2021 - 6:00pm - Gillette Stadium

Graduation Requirements

Master's and CAGS/EdS programs

In order for students to complete a graduate degree program, they must satisfactorily complete all program requirements, including exit requirements, with a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. See the Graduate Academic Programs section of the BSU catalog for graduation requirements of individual programs.

All students who intend to graduate must:

  1. Submit an approved Application to Graduate along with a Degree Works audit to the College of Graduate Studies office according to the following deadlines:
    Summer (August) Degree CompletionJune 1
    Winter (December) Degree CompletionOctober 1
    Spring (May) Degree CompletionFebruary 1
  2. The Degree Works audit should show that all requirements are met or in progress. The audit may reflect that an exit requirement such as successful completion of a comprehensive examination or thesis/project defense may not be complete at the time of application. Students should discuss any outstanding program requirements with their advisors and submit documentation for any allowed exceptions such as:

    - Transfer coursework in-progress (requires completed Transfer Credit Approval form with official transcript).

    - Course substitution or waiver pending (requires completed Course Substitution or Course Waiver Request - Graduate).
Exit Requirements - Comprehensive Examination, Project/Thesis Defense, Exit Portfolio

In most graduate programs, graduate students must complete an exit requirement that reflects the full range of knowledge and skills involved in their programs. The exit requirement is based upon the student's major area of study, as well as related areas, and may include knowledge learned while completing research. Students must give evidence that they can integrate information and ideas from the various areas in which they have studied.

Some programs provide options for their exit requirements, such as the successful completion of a comprehensive examination, thesis, project (research, capstone, or culminating), portfolio, or discipline specific national examination.

Students who choose to take a comprehensive examination, have a portfolio evaluation, or are required to defend their thesis, research or special project must confer with their advisor and academic department for eligibility requirements (e.g., GPA or course completion) and other relevant information prior to submitting an Exit Requirement Request Form. This form may be accessed through the student portal and found on the Printable Forms page of the Office of Graduate Student Services Website. There is a nonrefundable fee of $60 for Master's degree candidates and $75 for CAGS/EdS candidates which is charged to the student's BSU account.

The completed form with necessary signatures must be filed in the Office of Graduate Student Services in the College of Graduate Studies (Maxwell Library 021) on or before the appropriate application deadlines:
  • October 1 for a fall semester defense or examination
  • February 1 for a spring semester defense or examination
NOTE: Students who wish to take a national examination should discuss the external application requirements and departmental processes with their graduate advisor.

For further information about graduate program exit requirements, please refer to specific graduate program information presented in the Graduate Academic Programs section of the BSU catalog. Questions about examination or defense content, instructions and expectations should be directed to the DGCE Chair.

Students completing a thesis must submit their final approved thesis to the College of Graduate Studies before students can be cleared for graduation and their record is finalized. Students should refer to the College of Graduate Studies Master's Thesis Handbook and Writer's Guidelines for further information.


Participation in the Commencement Ceremony is open to students who completed their requirements August 2019, December 2019, May 2020, August 2020, or December 2020 and those who will be completing their requirements in May 2021 and August 2021.

All students are encouraged to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Graduate students will have the opportunity to share their achievement with family, friends, peers, faculty, and other members of the campus community.

Students who will be participating in the Commencement Ceremony must resolve all financial obligations with Student Accounts. Students with outstanding balances will not be permitted to participate in commencement activities and/or receive their diploma or transcript unless their Student Account balance is paid in full.

Degree Conferral and Diploma

Conferral of a degree occurs when the Registrar finalizes the student's academic record and confirms that all requirements have been satisfied. Diplomas are not distributed at the Commencement Ceremony and are only produced after the final clearance process has been completed for all students. Participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not constitute conferral of the degree. Similarly, inclusion of a student's name in such publications as the commencement program does not confirm eligibility for the degree.

Graduate Main Page  |  Advising and Degree Audit >>


Master's/CAGS - Popular Links

Graduation and Degree Requirements
Apply to Graduate
Claim Tickets
Accessibility Request Form
Commencement Participation Appeal

Dates to Remember

Apr 29 Academic Robes available
at the BSU Bookstore
(currently available online)
May 14 Student Speaker Application Due
Jun 14 Claim Tickets
Jul 15 Accessibility Request Form Due
Jul 29 Commencement Day

College of Graduate Studies
Maxwell Library
Room 021