Steps to Graduation

Graduating Students Celebrating

1. KNOW YOUR DEADLINES

All paperwork must be submitted in accordance with deadlines.

go to arrow  Check Continuing Student deadlines

2. SUBMIT YOUR ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY (ATC) FORM

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.

go to arrow  Advancement To Candidacy (ATC) Forms

3. SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL FOR CULMINATING EXPEREINCE (PCE) FORM

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.

go to arrow  Culminating Experience (CE) Forms

4. COMPLETING A THESIS / DISSERTATION / WRITTEN CREATIVE WORK?

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

Students are required to use Microsoft Word unless otherwise approved by you department.

If you will be creating your thesis, dissertation, or creative work in Microsoft Word, please be sure you have the latest version.

All students enrolled full-time or part-time in a degree granting program at SF State (i.e., matriculating students) are eligible for a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 Education for Students.

REVIEW FORMATTING GUIDELINES AND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO

go to arrow  Formatting Guidelines: (coming soon)
go to arrow  Instructional Video/Slides: (coming soon)
go to arrow  Format Checklist: (coming soon)
go to arrow  Microsoft Word accessibility / Adobe Accessibility

ATTEND A FORMATTING & SUBMISSION Q&A SESSION

Graduate student working on their Thesis / Dissertation / Written Creative Work are welcome to attend one of two Q&A session offered by the Division of Graduate Studies on:

  • Monday, March 1st at 4pm-5pm - RSVP
  • Thursday, April 29 at 4pm-5pm - RSVP

The workshop will give you an opportunity to ask questions about the process for submitting your work as well as the formatting guidelines.

RSVP to obtain a Zoom invitation. You must review the instructional video and formatting guidelines prior to attending the Q&A Session.

Note: The Thesis/Dissertation and Creative Work templates include instructions related to making your document accessible in Microsoft Word. For further guidance, consult the relevant Microsoft Office documentation for accessibility. Students using the Latex template provided by their department can consult the Adobe Accessibility guide.

While writing your Thesis/Dissertation/Written Creative Work make sure to keep Microsoft Word accessibility / Adobe Accessibility in mind.

  1. Before submitting, run the Accessibility Checker / Adobe Accessibility and make sure to clear all errors.
  2. Email your Thesis/Dissertation/Written Creative Work draft to your Graduate Program Specialist.
    1. If revisions are required, we will return the thesis by email along with feedback regarding required changes. Once changes are addressed, email the latest draft to your Graduate Program Specialist.
    2. When approved, Graduate Studies will notify students by email to proceed with Final Format check instructions.
  1. Student must title the Thesis/ Dissertation/ Written Creative Work as: Full Name_ Student ID_Dept_Thesis/Dissert_WCW.
  2. Make sure the Certification of Approval page on your Thesis/ Dissertation/ Written Creative Work do not have signatures.
  3. Run the Word Accessibility Checker / Adobe Accessibility and make sure that all errors are cleared (including feedback given during the preliminary format check).
  4. Email the final Thesis/Dissertation/Written Creative Work draft to your Graduate Program Specialist.
    1. If revisions are required, we will return the thesis by email along with feedback regarding required changes. Once changes are addressed, email the latest draft to your Graduate Program Specialist.
    2. When approved, your Graduate Program Specialist will notify students by email to proceed with Certification of Approval and Submission instructions.

You can use our Powerform to route the Certificate of Approval for your committee to sign through DocuSign. To begin the process follow these steps:

  1. You will need your committee’s name and email address. SFSU email address preferred.
    Note: You can use an outside email address for none SFSU faculty/staff. However, it must be a professional email address not a personal email address. Example of acceptable email address: @ucsd, @calacademy. Personal email addresses are not be acceptable: @gmail, @yahoo, etc. go to arrow
  2. Once you enter the required information click on “Begin Signing” to be directed to the Certificate of Approval form. You will need complete the requested information, then click “Finish”. go to arrow
    Your committee members will receive an email requesting their signatures. Once it is complete, you will receive a copy of the form.
  3. The signed document will need to be uploaded as a separate document during the final submission process.
  4. To begin routing: Certificate of Approval Powerform Routing

Note: Considering an Embargo? IF you would like to delay the publication of your Thesis, Dissertation, Written Creative Work or Music Composition, make sure to discuss the timeline of release with your Committee Chair prior to final submission.

  1. Once the final version of your thesis has been cleared for submission, you will see a new “To Do List” item titled “Submit Scholarly Work.” Click on “Details” to access the link and submit your work.
  2. You will need upload your final and accessible Thesis/ Dissertation/ Written Creative Work (Word Document) as well as the signed Certification of Approval.

Thesis, Dissertation, or Written Creative Work submitted without approval from a Graduate Program Specialist will be rejected.

5. APPLY FOR GRADUATION

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.

go to arrow  Instructions For Submitting Application For Award Of Degree

6. HAVE YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVE YOUR REPORT OF COMPLETION

The Report of Completion form is issued electronically by the Division of Graduate Studies once you have submitted your application for graduation, or upon completion of your specified program requirements and requested by your academic department only. Please contact your Graduate Program Specialist for assistance.

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

7. CULMINATING EXPERIENCE CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT POLICY

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.

go to arrow  Continuous Enrollment Policy

8. TOP FIVE REASONS FOR DENIAL OF GRADUATION

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

go to arrow  Top Five Reasons for Denial of Graduation