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Washington State University Graduate School

Master’s Degree

Semester one

Find out about the Deadlines and Procedures for Master’s Degrees.

Select an advisor.

An academic advisor will be key in helping you navigate through the policies put forth by the Graduate School and your department. Check with your prospective department chair or the faculty Web pages to find an advisor whose research interests match your own by clicking on your program link.

Resolve Admissions Contingencies.

Check your status with the Graduate School and clear any contingencies listed on your original admissions certificate. You will not be able to file a Program of Study (listed below) until all contingencies are cleared. Registration holds may be added that prevent future registrations until contingencies have been cleared.

Establish ties in Washington.

Since graduate tuition at WSU is considerably less expensive for Washington residents than for out-of-state graduate students, you may want to establish residency as soon as possible.

Take Responsible Conduct of Research Training.

This online training takes about 30 minutes. All graduate students are REQUIRED to do this (especially if you want your paycheck if you are on assistantship, or if you want your program of study processed). The training is at

Semester two

Find out about the Deadlines and Procedures for Master’s Degrees.

Select your committee.

By now, you’re probably settled in and have some idea of the type of research you would like to conduct. But first, you should select your master’s committee, which will help guide you through the research. A master’s committee consists of three faculty members: two from your department. One member is identified as the committee chair, and one, your primary contact.

Seek IRB approval.

The University requires approval for the use of human or animal subjects in research, so before you begin you must seek approval from the Institutional Review Board. You will need to provide proof of said approval in order to use human or animal subjects in your research prior to scheduling your final examination. For more information, contact the Office of Grant and Research Development.

File a program of study.

Your committee chair, in conjunction with other members, should aid you in developing your proposed program of study [PDF]. This includes an official list of classes you have taken, those you intend to take, and your research interest. After the proposed program is signed by each committee member, it should be submitted to your department chair who ensures that it meets department and Graduate School requirements. You should follow-up to ensure the program of study is submitted to the Graduate School for final approval by the end of your second semester.

Semester three

Find out about the Deadlines and Procedures for Master’s Degrees.

Apply for residency.

After you have proof that you have lived in Washington for twelve months, you should apply for residency. This will allow you to be charged the lower in-state graduate tuition rate as you continue your studies.

Apply for master’s degree.

You should submit an application for degree to the Graduate School at least one semester before your final exam is scheduled and pay the $50 graduation fee. The Graduate School will then notify you of any final graduation requirements before enrolling for your last semester.

Semester four

Find out about the Deadlines and Procedures for Master’s Degrees.

Schedule your final oral exam.

After your thesis is complete, you need to work with your committee to determine when you will take your final exam. You will need to submit the final examination scheduling form and a draft of your thesis to the Graduate School no later than 10 working days prior to the date of the exam, which will then schedule your final examination.

Submit your thesis to the Graduate School.

To avoid any delays, be sure that your thesis is formatted in accordance with the Graduate School formatting guidelines. Your thesis is due 5 working days after your final exam. Check the Graduate School’s website for other forms that should be submitted along with your thesis, including the Hold Harmless / Copyright Acknowledgement [PDF] form.

Graduation and diplomas.

The Bookie begins accepting orders for graduate regalia approximately two months prior to commencement. You may place your order by calling 800-937-4978, extension 318.

Update your mailing address.

Diplomas are mailed approximately ten weeks after commencement. In the event that you move during that time, be sure to update your new diploma mailing address by emailing the Graduate School Programs personnel Mary Stormo at Provide: Your name, WSU ID# and complete new mailing address.

Note: At the same time, please update your personal information in the myWSU system to insure you can be reached in the event there are questions regarding your degree clearance or other miscellaneous issues.