Steps to Graduation

Students at graduation ceremony

All paperwork must be submitted in accordance with deadlines.

Check Continuing Student deadlines

The Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) is a permanent record of your completed and planned course work as well as other requirements necessary for you to complete your degree. Please work with the department advisor to complete the ATC form prior to submitting via the Docusign portal.

Advancement To Candidacy (ATC) Forms

Graduate students must complete a Culminating Experience which may include thesis, dissertation, field study or applied research, creative works project, supervised field internship, seminar, or comprehensive examination prior to graduation. A Proposal for Culminating Experience (PCE) must be approved by Graduate Studies before enrolling in the culminating experience course.

Culminating Experience (CE) Forms

Graduate students completing a Thesis Dissertation or Written Creative Work need to follow SFSU guidelines regarding document formatting and accessibility. Preliminary and final format checks need to be approved before final submission. To learn more, visit our Thesis / Dissertation Guidelines page.

To earn your degree you must apply online; the evaluator will review your student record for degree eligibility. Your application also allows you to participate in the annual commencement ceremony.

Instructions For Submitting Application For Award Of Degree

Once your Culminating Experience has been completed and approved, your committee will need to sign a Report of Completion form and/ or Certification of Approval form. Use the following links to access and route the forms to your committee:

  1. Report of Completion Form (also found under your ToDo list).
  2. Certification of Approval Form (For Thesis/Dissertation/Written Creative Work).

Note: Not every department requires a Report of Completion form. Please refer to your ATC form or contact your department for more information.

Contact your Graduate Program Specialist for assistance.

The Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment Policy applies to all students admitted or re-admitted fall 2008 or later. Once you enroll in your Culminating Experience course, you are required to maintain continuous enrollment (either through the College of Extended Learning (CEL) or through regular university courses) if you do not complete your project and earn your degree within two semesters (the semester of enrollment and one "grace semester"). If you do not maintain continuous enrollment, and wish to return to complete the degree, you will need to retroactively enroll in the CEL course for each semester following the grace semester, and pay all applicable fees.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Please review the reasons listed to avoid any delay in your graduation evaluation.

Top Five Reasons for Denial of Graduation