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MSE and WE Graduation: MS & PhD

Congratulations! You have worked hard for your degree and have much of which to be proud! In your final term there are a few items to address, both academic and administrative, in order to secure your degree.

Enrollment in final term

First, please remember to register for at least the minimum number of required credit hours in the term of graduation:

  • If self-funded, at least 3 credit hours (also applies to company/government-funded students--confirm minimum hours with funding source).
    • Self-funded International students: be sure to register for the minimum number of credits required for visa type and funding source (may wish to confirm with OIA).
  • If funded by a GRA or Fellow position--please register for at least the minimum number of credits required to activate funding.
    • Ph.D. students who have passed the Candidacy Exam, this minimum enrollment is 3 graduate credits.

Timeline of graduation term

Degree-specific instructions

Degree-specific final term instructions--Each degree has unique items to be completed in the student's last term.
Please review and map out degree due dates and requirements relative to the deadlines described below.


MS Non-Thesis
based on Candidacy

MS Non-Thesis
(final degree)

MS with 

Ph.D. including
Application for Final Examination


MS Non-Thesis
based on Candidacy

MS Non-Thesis
(final degree)

MS with 

Ph.D. including
Application for Final Examination

MS based on Candidacy--Though not "graduating", Ph.D. students who have passed the Candidacy Examination may apply for an MS Non-Thesis degree based on completion of the Candidacy Exam. The Candidacy Exam serves as the written portion of the MS Non-Thesis Examination. If the student also meets the credit requirements of the MS Non-Thesis degree for his/her program, no further action is required to receive the degree (beyond submitting an Application to Graduate). 


View summary of process (PDF)

  1. Before the start of the term--MSE-WE Grad Coordinator will email students asking if any wish to apply to graduate in the coming term.
  2. By Friday of second week of term--Student Status Summary will be provided to the student, advisor, and GSC Chair by the MSE-WE Graduate Studies Coordinator detailing degree requirements met and any deficiencies to be addressed. The summary will include instructions for submission of the Application to Graduate.
  3. By Tuesday of third week--Student is to submit an Application to Graduate via the Graduate School's online system found at
  4. By Friday of third week--Student's advisor and GSC Chair post approval of the Application to Graduate.
  5. Final term instructions--please review the appropriate instructions in the table above for the degree sought.
  6. Deadlines to qualify for Commencement--Final examination and final document submission 
    See Graduate School Graduation Calendar for specific dates
    Note: be sure to review the degree-specific instructions from table above. Preliminary items often need to be met in advance of the deadlines below.

    If these deadlines are missed, the student cannot attend Commencement in the term. The student has until the last business day before the start of the next term to complete all requirements. If met by this date, the student is considered an "End-of-Semester" graduate and may chose to attend Commencement in the following term (more below).
    • Fourth Friday before Commencement--Examinations and Reports deadline:
      • MS Non-Thesis--oral presentation and final written report submitted to, and approved by, MS committee
      • MS with Thesis--oral defense of thesis before, and approved by, MS committee
      • PhD--public presentation of research, oral defense of dissertation, and committee approval
    • Third Friday before Commencement--Approved Thesis and Dissertation Submission deadline:
      • MS with Thesis--final committee approval of thesis and upload of thesis to OhioLink
      • PhD--final committee approval of dissertation and upload of dissertation to OhioLink
  7. Grade posting deadline--Grades for all credits must be posted by Wednesday or Thursday of Finals Week, including any missing grades from past terms. The student may wish to review his/her OSU Advising Report to confirm there are no missing grades. All grades must be posted to qualify for Commencement. The student can help the instructors meet this deadline by reminding that the student is seeking to graduate in the term.
  8. Commencement--Sunday following Finals Week (see below).
  9. Last business day before the start of the next term--Absolute last date on which all degree requirements must be met for the term of graduation. Students who do not meet the Commencement deadlines, but do complete requirements before the start of the following term are considered "End-of-Semester" graduates. More about EoS graduates below.
  10. Re-enroll, re-apply--If a student does not complete all requirements before the next term begins must re-enroll (per guidelines at the top of this page) and re-submit an MSE-WE Graduation Review Request.


OSU Commencement information

As regards specific Commencement ceremony procedures, those who have submitted an Application to Graduate by the third Friday of the term will receive Commencement information from the Graduate School. This will provide details on the ceremony, including your numbered assignment in the Commencement line.

Any questions about the ceremony should be addressed to the Graduation Services Office within the Graduate School, 614-292-6031.

  • If you will not attend Commencement you must inform the Graduate School on the Application for Graduation.

End-of-Semester (EoS) graduates

If Commencement submission deadlines are missed, you have until the last business day before the start of the next term to meet all requirements (document submission, forms, fees, oral presentation, etc.). If this final deadline is met, you will receive the degree during Commencement at the end of the following term and will not be required to enroll for that term. If requested, the Graduate School's Office of Graduation Services can provide a verification letter confirming completion of all degree requirements.

  • View Graduate School's Graduation Deadline Calendar
  • Timing note: Though degree-specific forms and documents may not be due until the last business day of the term, this timing can be deceptive. Many preliminary items may need to be addressed in advance of submitting these final items, please plan accordingly.

Registration for the next term

If the required items are not submitted by the last business day before the start of the next term, you must re-enroll for at least three credit hours (see minimums above) and re-submit an MSE-WE Graduation Review Request. The Application to Graduate form must be approved through by the third Friday of that term.

Exit procedures

You've worked hard completing your degree and should be proud of your accomplishments! As you prepare to leave, there are a few administrative items to address. Please follow these steps to assure that there are no loose ends left as you move on to your new career.

  1. Please complete the MSE / WE Alumni form found in the Alumni section of the MSE / WE site. This will permit us to forward any postal mail that comes for you, as well as remain in touch regarding upcoming MSE alumni events.
  2. Contact the MSE Human Resources Officer (614-292-6790, 177 Watts Hall) and provide an estimated date after which you will no longer be working for your advisor as a GRA (if applicable), as well as any future plans.

    If you will be remaining with the department after graduation, please inform the Graduate Studies Coordinator and MSE/WE Fiscal Officer. For example, if you will be staying on in a research capacity or other form of employment following graduation. If you do not inform these staff, your e-mail account, mailbox, and key card access may be closed.
  3. Return your lab and office keys to the MSE Fiscal Officer (614-292-6790, 177 Watts Hall) and/or Ed Pfeifer (614-292-4139, 106 EJTC) and also provide your forwarding address.
  4. Be sure that your advisor has all results of any research carried out on his/her projects and that your lab and office space have been cleaned up.
  5. Return tools and any other equipment to the Research Support Staff; Ken Kushner, Henk Colijn, and/or Ed Pfeifer.
  6. Department account deletion. Your MSE / WE account will be deleted from the department's servers on the first business day of the term following that in which you receive your terminal degree. Please be sure to backup or forward any important messages, documents, etc. Contact CoE Engineering Technology Services for assistance with .
    • If you will be staying with the department in any capacity (such as post-doc, employee, etc.) it is critical that you inform the MSE Human Resources Officer (614-292-6790, 177 Watts Hall) and CoE Engineering Technology Services of your plans. If you do not, you run the risk of having your MSE/WE account deleted.
  7. Complete the Engineering Career Services' post-graduation plans survey Your participation helps the College and the MSE/WE department understand our program's effectiveness in training students.

Alumni contact form

Complete the MSE / WE Alumni contact form Please use the form to keep your mailing address and contact information up-to-date with the MSE/WE department!