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.

Please scroll down this entire page. We have tried to include all information needed in your final term so that you can complete 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 graduate 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.

Degree-specific final term instructions

Each degree has unique items to be completed in the student's last term.

Please scroll through the deadlines below. Review and plan 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). 

Graduation term deadlines (applies to all degrees)

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. Announce Thesis/Dissertation Presentation--At least one week before the oral defense date the student is to announce the title, abstract, and location/video conference link for the defense. The student is asked to complete this form which will then be formatted and forwarded to the graduate students and faculty in the presenter's program (MSE or WE): 
    Speaker Presentation form
  7. Deadlines to qualify for Commencement--Final examination and final document submission 
    See Graduate School Graduation Calendar for specific dates for this term. By meeting these deadlines the student will qualify to attend Commencement.
    Note: be sure to review the degree-specific instructions from table above. Plan out what needs to happen to meet these deadlines.
    • Fourth Friday before Commencement--"Examinations and Reports" deadline:
      • MS Non-Thesis--final written report submitted to, and approval posted by, MS committee
      • MS with Thesis--oral defense of thesis before, and approval posted by, MS committee
      • PhD--public presentation of research, oral defense of dissertation, and committee approval posted
    • Third Friday before Commencement--"Approved Thesis and Dissertation Submission" deadline:
      • MS with Thesis--committee posts final approval of thesis, student uploads thesis to OhioLink
      • PhD--committee posts final approval of dissertation, student uploads dissertation to OhioLink

      [If these deadlines are missed, the student cannot attend Commencement in the term. However, the student still 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).]
  8. 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 them to post any missing grades.
  9. Commencement--Sunday following Finals Week (see below).
  10. Last business day before the start of the next term (ideally by 8:00 a.m.)--Absolute last date on which all degree requirements must be met for the term of graduation. This includes all committee members' decisions posted to GradForms and, if applicable, upload of thesis or dissertation to OhioLink.

    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.
  11. Re-enroll, re-apply to graduate--If a student does not complete all requirements before the next term begins s/he must re-enroll (per guidelines at the top of this page) and re-submit an MSE-WE Graduation Review Request.


OSU Commencement information

Commencement is held on the Sunday following Finals Week. Check with the University Registrar for specific Commencement dates. As regards specific Commencement ceremony procedures, those who have submitted an Application to Graduate by the third Friday of the term will receive Commencement ceremony information from the Graduate School. 

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 still have until the last business day before the start of the next term to meet all requirements (document submission, forms, fees, oral presentation, etc. and ideally all by 8:00 a.m.). 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. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. Contact the MSE Human Resources Officer (614-292-6790) 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.
  4. Return your lab and office keys to the MSE Fiscal Officer (614-292-6790) and/or Josh Walters (.802, 614-292-4139, 106 EJTC) and also provide your forwarding address.
  5. 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.
  6. Return tools and any other equipment to the Research Support Staff; Ken Kushner, Henk Colijn, and/or Josh Walters.
  7. 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 .

More information

Questions? Please contact the MSE-WE Graduate Studies Coordinator, Mark Cooper

Submit an MSE-WE Graduation Review Request form

Graduate School, Graduation Services

Room reservation
To reserve a conference room in Fontana or EJTC.

University calendar
(for term start-end dates, Commencement, etc.)

Commencement information

End-of-Semester graduate
Def: A degree applicant who does not meet graduation deadlines to qualify for Commencement in the term of application but who does complete all degree requirements by the last business day prior to the start of the next term.

  • Such a student will receive the degree at or after Commencement in the following term.
  • Enrollment in that following term is not required to receive the degree. 
  • If requested, the Graduate School can provide a verification letter confirming completion of all degree requirements. (Contact Graduation Services, 614-292-6031)


Academic Misconduct

The MSE department takes plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct very seriously and will forward cases to the OSU Committee on Academic Misconduct as necessary.

"Plagiarism is the representation of another's work or ideas as one's own; it includes the unacknowledged word-for-word use and/or paraphrasing of another person's work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person's ideas." OSU Code of Student Conduct (3335-23-04)