Graduate Education

ASU Graduate Policies and Procedures

Graduate Education admits students into programs leading to both professional and research-oriented advanced degrees and certificates beyond the bachelor’s degree. The master’s and doctoral degrees are awarded to students completing programs that culminate in research and creative endeavors. The PhD degree is the highest university award, conferred on candidates who have proven their ability as scholars and original researchers.

Academic Integrity
The highest standards of academic integrity and compliance with the university’s Student Code of Conduct are expected of all graduate students in academic coursework and research activities. The failure of any graduate student to uphold these standards may result in serious consequences including suspension or expulsion from the university and/or other sanctions as specified in the academic integrity policies of individual colleges as well as the university.

Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication of data, tampering, plagiarism, or aiding and/or facilitating such activities. At the graduate level, it is expected that students are familiar with these issues and that each student assumes personal responsibility in their work.

Graduate Student Responsibilities
Graduate students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all university and graduate policies and procedures. Each student should also communicate directly with his/her academic unit to be clear on its expectations for degree completion.

Information is provided to students via MyASU. Students should frequently check their MyASU account for the most up-to-date information regarding their status, holds, items to attend to and other important information.

It is very important that students check with their thesis/dissertation advisor well in advance of data collection to ensure compliance with university regulations regarding the collection of research data. Please see the section of this guide titled “Research Involving Human and Animal Subjects.”

ASU Graduate Policies and Procedures PDF (revised March 2014).

Application

Submission of an application

For admission information and procedures, see students.asu.edu/graduate. Applications for all graduate degree programs, certificate programs, and/or non-degree must be submitted via the students.asu.edu/graduate/apply.

Prior to submitting an application to the office of Graduate Education, applicants should review information regarding the degree program, and academic unit application requirements and deadlines. Students who have a Graduate Education approved Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment on file with the office of Graduate Education prior to their semester of non-registration and are re-entering the same degree program for the semester immediately following the approved Request, are not required to submit a new application.

Application deadlines

Application deadlines are set by the degree programs. Consult the program's website or the Graduate Degree and Certificate Search tool for specific application deadlines.

Graduate Admission Services may differ from those of the academic unit. To accommodate timely processing, international applicants for fall enrollment must submit application materials by the previous December. Not all academic units accept applications for both the fall and spring semesters; however, if the academic unit allows for spring applications, international applicants must submit materials for spring enrollment by the previous August.

*Please note that international students must apply to Sessions A or C only (Session B is not available to international students due to visa requirements).

Application fee

Each application to an ASU graduate program must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card at the time of submission. The application fee covers Graduate Education administrative costs of processing all applications and is not refundable under any circumstance.

  • Domestic application fee: $70
  • International application fee: $90

In addition to the normal application fee, a $50 non-refundable late processing fee will be assessed for all applications submitted on or after the dates indicated previously.

Applicants receive an email acknowledgement once the application has been successfully submitted. The acknowledgement includes an ASURITE ID and activation code so that students may follow the progress of their application through MyASU. Applicants should review MyASU to monitor their application status, “To Do” items and “Holds”.

Application requirements

Applicants must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended to the office of Graduate Education (see students.asu.edu/graduate/standards). Academic units may have admission requirements in addition to those of the Graduate Admission Services. Many graduate programs require scores from a national admissions test such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or the Miller Analogies Test. Some programs require a portfolio, letters of recommendation, a statement of goals and/or a resume. Applicants should consult the academic unit regarding program admission requirements prior to submitting an online application.

All documents received by Graduate Admission Services in connection with an application become property of the ASU Graduate Education office and will not be returned.

Academic credentials

Applicants who attended school in the United States must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution in order to be eligible for admission. Applicants are required to provide proof that a bachelor’s or graduate degree was awarded before completion of their first semester of graduate studies at ASU.

Applicants who attended school outside of the U.S. must hold a bachelor’s or graduate degree, or equivalent, from an institution that is officially recognized by that country. If original credentials are issued in a language other than English, applicants must provide the original language transcripts as well as an official and literal translation. Applicants are required to provide proof that a bachelor’s or graduate degree was awarded before completion of their first semester of graduate studies at ASU.

Photocopied documents certified by a notary public are not official. For more information regarding official academic credentials see students.asu.edu/graduate. For additional information regarding official international academic credentials see students.asu.edu/graduate/apply.

Applicants must have maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate coursework.

Applicants should contact the degree program for specific additional requirements. Degree programs will submit a recommendation to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education regarding their willingness to admit an applicant.

Because ASU receives applications from many highly qualified students, some applicants may be denied admission for reasons not related to their academic performance. Examples include, but are not limited to: program capacity, mentor availability, and/or program match.

Additional international requirements

International Applicant
Please consult the Graduate Admission Services websites at students.asu.edu/graduate, and students.asu.edu/international/immigration for complete information.

Applicants who will hold an F-1 or J-1 visa must:

  1. Meet the regulations of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
  2. Obtain insurance coverage against illness and accident before being permitted to register for classes. Insurance must be maintained throughout the student’s enrollment at the university.
  3. Submit proof of English proficiency.
  4. Submit additional materials as outlined on the Graduate Admission Services website at students.asu.edu/graduate/apply.
  5. Verify that they have the financial resources to cover their expenses during graduate study at ASU. The Financial Guarantee form is available through the Graduate Education website at students.asu.edu/graduate. In addition to the Financial Guarantee form, if ASU is providing an assistantship, an official offer letter must be sent to the office for Graduate Education. Similarly, if a governmental entity is funding the student, an official letter from the government must be submitted to the office for Graduate Education in addition to the Financial Guarantee form.

The I-20 or the DS-2019 (documents needed to obtain a student visa) is issued only after the completed and properly verified Financial Guarantee form, proof of English proficiency and supporting documents have been received by the office of Graduate Admission Services. International students may enroll at ASU only if they have been admitted to a degree program, a certificate program, or the post-baccalaureate teacher education program. Immediately upon arrival on campus, students must report to an advisor in the International Student and Scholars Center (ISSC). Failure to report may result in loss of status or deportation.

Applicants residing in the U.S. on a valid visa must provide proof of a current visa. Enlarge image and fax the copy to 480-965-5158.

English Language Requirement
Applicants from a country whose native language is not English (regardless of where they may now reside) must provide proof of English proficiency. The English language requirement cannot be waived. Acceptable proof is as follows:

  • TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT). The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services. ASU’s institutional code is 4007. ASU accepts only electronic copies of the TOEFL score report.
  • IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5 with no band below 6.0. The IELTS is administered by the University of Cambridge. No institutional code is needed.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 60. The PTE is administered by Pearson.

Individual academic units may have higher requirements for English proficiency. Consult the academic unit’s website. English proficiency is only valid for two years and must be taken within two years from the beginning of the semester for which the student applied.

Some applicants are exempt from the English proficiency requirement. The following exceptions must be met exactly to be considered for an exemption:

  • Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher in residence from a regionally accredited college/university in the United States.
  • Applicants who have completed at least 12 semester hours of graduate coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher in residence at a regionally accredited college/university in the United States.
  • Applicants who have completed at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher in residence at a regionally accredited college/university in the United States.
  • Applicants who have completed the American English and Culture Program (AECP) Advanced Level II with grades of “B” or better along with the recommendation of the Director of AECP.

All international applicants who are from a country whose native language is not English and who wish to apply for teaching assistantships must pass an examination that certifies their skill in speaking English—either the Interview Test, or the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test. Tests are administered at ASU; additional information may be found at global.asu.edu/aecp/ita.

Post-baccalaureate non-degree programs

Applicants who do not immediately intend to pursue a graduate degree may apply as a post-baccalaureate students.asu.edu/graduate/nondegree. The application process does not require the submission of academic credentials or test scores.

Non-degree applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s or graduate degree from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country.

There is no limit to the total cumulative credit hours a student can take as a non-degree student. However, to apply the credit hours toward an ASU master’s or doctoral degree, students are limited to twelve credit hours taken within three years of admission prior to admission to the degree program.

Non-degree study may be restricted by certain academic units. Contact the degree program for restriction information.

Financial aid is not available to non-degree students.

Non-degree study is typically not available to international students on F-1 or J-1 visas. For exceptions, prior to applying, you must obtain written approval from your Designated School Official (DSO) granting permission for you to take classes.

After Applying

After an application has been successfully submitted, applicants receive an email acknowledgement that includes an ASURITE ID and activation code. Applicants should review MyASU to check on the application status, “To Do” items and “Holds”.

Admission

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate coursework is required to be considered for admission to an ASU graduate degree program. Academic units submit recommendations regarding admission decisions to the office for Graduate Admission Services; only the Vice Provost for Graduate Education can make formal offers of admission. Applicants monitor the status of their application through MyASU. If admitted, the formal letter of admission can be downloaded from MyASU. If denied admission, letters are sent via email to the address on record.

Admission types

  • Regular Admission: Applicant satisfies all requirements for admission and is academically acceptable to both the degree program and the office for Graduate Education.
  • Provisional Admission: Applicant does not meet minimum academic standards with respect to grade point averages as required by Graduate Education and the academic unit, but has additional evidence to suggest the potential for success. This status provides the academic unit with an opportunity to better evaluate the student’s academic potential. Students have a maximum of one academic year to satisfy the provisional condition. Graduate Admission Services will withdraw students from the degree program who have not met the provisions of their admission within the required timeframe. When students have satisfied the provisional requirements, they should confirm with the academic unit that a change of status has been recommended. Students with Provisional Admission are not eligible to submit a Plan of Study until the conditions of admission have been satisfied.
  • Regular Admission with Deficiencies: Applicant’s grades and test scores are at an acceptable level but applicant does not have the academic background expected by the degree program and the university. Required deficiency courses may not be applied toward the minimum hours required for the degree program. Monitoring deficiency completion is the responsibility of the academic unit.

Defer admission

Students may, with the recommendation of the degree program, defer their initial semester and year of admission to the next semester for which the degree program is admitting students. No further deferrals are allowed.

International Student Admission
International students planning to attend ASU on an F-1 student visa or a J-1 exchange visitor visa must provide documentation required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Visa documents are only issued for international students enrolled in a degree program or the post baccalaureate teacher education program. There are strict regulations regarding when an I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued. Detailed information may be found at: students.asu.edu/international/immigration.

Registration and enrollment

All students are required to have proof of measles immunizations on file with Student Health prior to registration. Graduate students register through MyASU according to their enrollment appointment. Details regarding registration and course drop/add procedures are provided in the Registration and Tuition Payment Guide.

Enrollment verification guidelines

The University’s Registrar’s Office will verify student enrollment each semester according to the general guidelines that follow.

Enrollment Verification Guidelines for Graduate Students

 

 

Full Time*

Half Time

Less Than Half Time

 

Regular Semester

 

 

 

Graduate

9 or more hours

5-8 hours

4 or fewer hours

Graduate Assistant**

6 or more hours

--

--

Six-Week Summer Sessions

 

 

 

Graduate

3 or more hours

2 hours

1 hour

Graduate Assistant**

2 or more hours

1 hour

--

Eight-Week Summer Session

 

 

 

Graduate

5 or more hours

3-4 hours

2 or fewer hours

 

*Audited courses do not count toward full-time enrollment

**For enrollment verification purposes, “Graduate Assistant” is a generic term that includes Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, Teaching Associates and Research Associates. Academic units may have specific requirements regarding registration requirements for Graduate Assistants; students should consult with their degree program unit.

International F-1 and J-1 students are required to maintain full-time enrollment status. Any exception to full-time enrollment must be previously approved by the International Student and Scholars Center (ISSC).

Maximum course load

The office for Graduate Admission Services does not have a maximum credit hour enrollment policy. It is expected that academic units will set course loads for their students that facilitate academic success.

Continuous enrollment

Once admitted to a graduate degree program or graduate certificate program, students must be registered for a minimum of one credit hour during all phases of their graduate education, including the term in which they graduate. This includes periods when students are engaged in research, conducting a doctoral prospectus, working on or defending theses or dissertations, taking comprehensive examinations, taking Graduate Foreign Language Examinations, or in any other way utilizing university resources, facilities or faculty time.

Registration for every fall semester and spring semester is required. Summer registration is required for students taking examinations, completing culminating experiences, conducting a doctoral prospectus, defending theses or dissertations, or graduating from the degree program.

To maintain continuous enrollment the credit hour(s) must:

  • Appear on the student’s Plan of Study, OR
  • Be research (592, 792), thesis (599), dissertation (799), or continuing registration (595, 695, 795), OR
  • Be a graduate-level course.

Grades of “W” and/or “X” are not considered valid registration for continuous enrollment purposes. “W” grades are received when students officially withdraw from a course after the drop/add period. “X” grades are received for audit courses. Additionally, students completing work for a course in which they received a grade of “I” must maintain continuous enrollment as defined previously. Graduate students have one year to complete work for an incomplete grade; if the work is not complete and the grade changed within one year, the “I” grade becomes permanent. Additional information regarding incomplete grades can be found at asu.edu/aad/manuals/ssm/ssm203-09.html.

Graduate assistantships

All Graduate Teaching Assistants and Associates (TAs), and Graduate Research Assistants and Associates (RAs) must register for a minimum of six semester hours of appropriate credit during each academic term of their appointment. The six hours cannot include audit enrollment. Academic units may have specific requirements regarding Graduate Assistants; students should consult with their degree program unit.

TAs and RAs are treated as residents for tuition purposes. To be eligible for tuition remission, TAs and RAs must be employed a minimum of 10 hours per week (25 percent Full Time Equivalency {FTE}). TAs/RAs working 10-19 hours per week (25-49 percent FTE) receive a 50 percent remission of tuition for the semester or summer session of their employment. TAs/RAs working 20 hours per week (50 percent FTE) do not pay tuition during the semester or summer session of their employment. In addition, the university pays the individual health insurance premium for those TAs and RAs working 20 hours per week (50 percent FTE).

Due to federal regulations, international students on F-1 and J-1 visas are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session (fall and spring semesters). International students are allowed to work 40 hours per week during summer sessions. International students typically are not allowed to seek employment outside the university; students must consult with the International Student and Scholars Center (ISSC).

Detailed information and application procedures regarding Graduate Assistantships can be found at graduate.asu.edu/ta-ra.

Request to maintain continuous enrollment

Graduate students planning to discontinue registration for a semester or more must submit a Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment form. This request must be submitted and approved before the anticipated semester of non-registration. Students may request to maintain continuous enrollment without course registration for a maximum of two semesters during their entire program.

Having an approved Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment by Graduate Education will enable students to re-enter their program without re-applying to the university. Students who do not register for a fall or spring semester without an approved Request are considered withdrawn from the university under the assumption that they have decided to discontinue their program. Students removed for this reason may reapply for admission to resume their degree program; the application will be considered along with all other new applications to the degree program.

A student with a Graduate Education approved Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment is not required to pay tuition and/or fees, but in turn is not permitted to place any demands on university faculty or use any university resources. These resources include university libraries, laboratories, recreation facilities or faculty time.

Voluntary withdrawal from ASU

If a student wishes to withdraw from his/her graduate degree program and the university, they must complete the Voluntary Withdrawal form. Students must separately complete the appropriate forms with the University Registrar to withdraw from their courses. International students should contact the International Student and Scholars Center (ISSC) before submitting a Voluntary Withdrawal form, as it most likely will affect their visa status.

Voluntary withdrawal from a graduate degree program

If a student wishes to transition from one graduate degree program to another graduate degree program, the student should complete the Voluntary Withdrawal form. The student should not take this action until they have been admitted to the other graduate degree program.

Other types of withdrawal

There are appropriate circumstances when students may need to withdraw from the university (i.e. medical withdrawal, compassionate leave). The policies for such withdrawals are the same for both undergraduate and graduate students. Types of withdrawals and procedures can be found at: students.asu.edu/drop-add. For course withdrawals contact the University Registrar’s Office.

Involuntary withdrawal by the office for graduate education

Any student who does not comply with the office for Graduate Education policies may be withdrawn from their graduate program after review by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

In addition, an academic unit may recommend withdrawal of a student from a graduate program for lack of compliance with published departmental policies or lack of satisfactory academic progress. All such recommendations must be submitted to the office for Graduate Education with appropriate documentation (e.g., nature of issue, communications with student). Only the Vice Provost for Graduate Education may withdraw a student from a graduate program due to lack of compliance with satisfactory academic progress policies.

A student who has been withdrawn from a graduate program due to lack of compliance with published departmental or Graduate Education policies, or lack of satisfactory academic progress is eligible to apply for admission to the same program only after one year has passed from the term of the withdrawal.

Academic progress

Grade point averages

Graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.00 grade point average (GPA) to maintain satisfactory academic progress and to graduate. The minimum 3.00 GPA must be maintained on both the Plan of Study (iPOS) GPA and the Graduate GPA.

  • The iPOS GPA is calculated on all courses that appear on the student’s approved iPOS.
  • The Graduate GPA is calculated on all courses numbered 500 or higher that appear on the transcript, with the exception of:
    • Courses counted toward an undergraduate degree at ASU (unless shared with a master’s degree in an approved bachelor’s/master’s degree program);
    • Courses identified as deficiencies in the original letter of admission.

Transfer credits and some courses taken in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law are not calculated on the iPOS GPA or the Graduate GPA.

Courses with grades of “D” (1.00) and “E” (0.00) cannot appear on the iPOS but will be included when calculating the Graduate GPA. Courses with an “I” grade cannot appear on the iPOS.

Satisfactory academic progress

All graduate students are expected to make systematic progress toward completion of their degree. This progress includes satisfying the conditions listed below, and achieving the benchmarks and requirements set by the individual degree programs. Each degree program should have in place policies for satisfactory academic progress. Students are responsible for verifying additional satisfactory progress policies as required by their degree program. If a student fails to satisfy the requirements of their degree program and/or the benchmarks outlined below, the student may be dismissed from their program based on the academic unit’s recommendation to the office for Graduate Education. The Vice Provost for Graduate Education makes the final determination.

  1. Maintain a minimum of 3.00 GPA on both the iPOS and Graduate GPAs. If either GPA falls below 3.00, the student must develop, with their advisor, an academic performance improvement plan that includes the conditions and timeframes for making satisfactory academic progress in their degree program.
    1. The iPOS GPA is calculated from all courses that appear on the student’s approved iPOS.
    2. The Graduate GPA is calculated from all courses numbered 500 or higher that appear on the transcript, with the exception of courses counted toward an undergraduate degree at ASU (unless shared with a master’s degree in an approved bachelor’s/master’s degree program); and courses identified as deficiencies in the original letter of admission. The student is considered to be on academic probation until the conditions specified in the academic performance improvement plan are met and both GPAs are above 3.00.
  2. Satisfy all requirements of the graduate degree program.
  3. Satisfy the maximum time limit for graduation from the student’s graduate degree program (six years for master’s, ten years for doctoral).
  4. Doctoral students must comply with the five year time limit for graduation after passing the comprehensive examinations.
  5. Successfully pass comprehensive exams, qualifying exams, foreign language exams, and the oral defense of the proposal/prospectus for the thesis or dissertation.
  6. Successfully complete the culminating experience and, if required, the oral defense of the culminating experience.

Graduate students must stay continuously enrolled in their degree program. Failing to do so without a Graduate Education approved Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment is considered to be lack of academic progress and may lead to automatic dismissal of the student from the degree program. Persistent “W” and “I” grades during multiple semesters on a plan of study or transcript may reflect lack of academic progress

Graduate degree requirements

Determination of academic requirements

Students graduate under the degree requirements and policies in effect at the semester and year of admission to a graduate degree program. Students that fail to maintain continuous enrollment and are re-admitted to the degree program, graduate under the degree requirements and policies in effect at the time of the new admission date.

A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework including a culminating experience is required for a master’s degree, although individual programs may have higher requirements. The culminating experience may be a comprehensive examination, a capstone course, an applied project, a portfolio, a thesis or equivalent.

Students that have a capstone course requirement must receive a grade of “B” or better. If a student fails to achieve a capstone final grade of “B” or better, they must retake the course.

A minimum of 84 credit hours of graduate-level coursework and a written comprehensive examination are required for a doctoral degree, although individual programs may have higher requirements. Additionally, the Foreign Language Examination, oral comprehensive examination and/or dissertation or equivalent may be required. A written comprehensive examination and prospectus (research proposal) is required for all programs requiring a dissertation.

The Plan of Study (iPOS)

The Plan of Study (iPOS) functions as a contract between the student, the academic unit, and the office for Graduate Education. The iPOS contains certain degree requirements such as coursework, a committee and a culminating experience which must be included before it can be approved. The academic unit’s graduate support staff should be the primary contact regarding iPOS and degree requirements. The iPOS must be approved by a student’s committee, the head of the academic unit, and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

To facilitate degree completion and shorten time to degree, graduate students with regular status must submit their iPOS by the time they have enrolled for 50 percent of the minimum credit hours required for their degree program.

Coursework

Graduate-level courses are those numbered 500 or higher. All core courses required by a graduate program must be at least 500-level. A maximum of 6 credit hours of 400-level coursework can be included on an iPOS. 400-level courses taken prior to admission and 400-level courses graded as “Pass/Fail” are not acceptable. Courses with grades of “D”, “E”, or “W” and audited courses (graded as “X”) cannot be included on an iPOS. Courses applied to a previously awarded degree cannot be included on an iPOS.

Any course with a grade of Incomplete (“I”) must be completed within one calendar year of the end of the scheduled course. If a regular grade is not assigned within the calendar year, the “I” becomes permanent. The student will have to re-register for the course to receive credit. Additional information regarding incomplete grades may be found at asu.edu/aad/manuals/ssm/ssm203-09.html.

Graduate students may register to audit one or more courses with the approval of the supervisory committee chair and the consent of the instructor involved. An audited course does not count toward the minimum number of credits required for international students with visa restrictions, students employed as TA/RAs, or students receiving financial assistance. Courses taken for audit do not satisfy the Graduate Education continuous enrollment policy. Undergraduate courses not included on the iPOS do not satisfy the Graduate Education continuous enrollment policy.

Master’s degree students whose culminating experience is a thesis must include 6 (and only 6) credit hours of 599 Thesis credits on the iPOS. Doctoral students whose culminating experience is a dissertation must include 12 (and only 12) credit hours of 799 Dissertation credits on the iPOS. Thesis and Dissertation credit hours may only receive grades of “Z” (research is in progress), or “Y” (research is satisfactorily complete). Doctoral students may apply 30 credit hours of appropriate coursework from a previously awarded master’s degree toward their doctoral plan of study.

Petitions

A formal request for an exception to the office for Graduate Education policy requires a petition to be completed by the student, and approved by the committee chair and the head of the academic unit. The office for Graduate Education will review the petition and make a final determination.

ASU pre-admission credit

Pre-Admission Credits

Credit hours completed at ASU or from another regionally accredited US institution or international institution officially recognized by that country, before the semester and year of admission to an ASU graduate degree program, are considered pre-admission credits. With the approval of the degree program and the Graduate Education office, students may include a maximum of 12 graduate-level credit hours with grades of “B” or better that were not used towards a previous degree. Preadmission credits must have been taken within three years of admission to the ASU degree program to be accepted.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s programs may use a maximum of 12 pre-admission credits which may include up to a maximum of 12 hours shared between the Bachelor’s and Master’s program. Students in accelerated programs should contact their advisor to ensure proper sharing of credit hours.

Official transcripts must be sent to Graduate Admission Services from the records office of the institution where the credits were earned.

Certain types of graduate credits cannot be transferred to ASU, including credits awarded:

  • By post-secondary institutions that lack candidate status or accreditation by a regional accrediting association, or an equivalent international institution.
  • For life experience.
  • For courses taken at non-collegiate institutions (e.g., government agencies, corporations, and industrial firms).
  • For courses, workshops, and seminars offered by other postsecondary institutions as part of continuing education programs.
  • For extension courses.

Academic credits earned at institutions other than ASU that base their credit calculation on a different scale from ASU’s are subject to conversion before inclusion on a Plan of Study. In all cases, the inclusion of transfer courses on a Plan of Study is subject to approval by the degree program and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

Graduate Credits Earned by ASU Undergraduate Students

Pre-admission credit hours earned in graduate-level courses (per Graduate Education policy) by ASU undergraduate students may count toward a graduate degree at ASU provided the credit hours have not been used toward a previously awarded degree. Prior to awarding a bachelor’s degree, ASU undergraduate students should contact their undergraduate advisor to set aside graduate courses for use toward a future graduate degree so that these courses do not count toward their undergraduate degree.

ASU students enrolled in an approved Bachelor’s/Master’s degree program (commonly referred to as 4+1), may share ASU credit hours. Students must contact their ASU undergraduate advisor and graduate support staff to ensure proper sharing of credit hours. Students must successfully complete the undergraduate degree and be admitted to the respective graduate program prior to completing 12 credits of graduate coursework.

An undergraduate degree and a graduate degree may not be awarded during the same term of enrollment. Students must apply, be admitted and registered as a graduate student to earn a master’s or doctoral degree at ASU.

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Credit

The office for Graduate Education accepts a numerical grade of 70 or above for courses taken in the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law as part of an approved Plan of Study. These grades are not used in the two GPAs calculated for graduation unless needed, as determined by the office for Graduate Education. The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law also utilizes a letter grade system for coursework; letter grades are submitted as part of an approved Plan of Study and are calculated in the GPAs.

Repeating ASU courses

Graduate students (degree or non-degree) may retake any course at ASU; however, all grades are part of the student’s permanent academic record and remain on the student transcript as well as in all GPA calculations.

Graduate Foreign Language Examination (FLE)

A graduate degree program may require at least a reading level proficiency of a foreign language relevant to the student’s area of study. Students who are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language must pass the Graduate Foreign Language Examination specific to their particular graduate program. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of one credit hour during the term in which they take the examination.

Students must successfully complete the Foreign Language Examination before taking any required comprehensive examinations or scheduling the final oral defense of the thesis or dissertation. A student may petition the office for Graduate Education for a re-examination but must pass the examination in no more than three attempts.

Master’s degree

Master’s degree Plan of Study (iPOS)

Students must submit an iPOS before completing 50 percent of the credit hours required for their degree program. A student is not eligible to schedule a comprehensive examination or defense without an approved iPOS.

Master’s degree minimum credit hours

A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work is required for the master’s degree at ASU. If a thesis is required, 6 (and only 6) of the minimum required credit hours on an iPOS must be 599 Thesis credits. Plans of Study submitted for master’s degrees that do not have a thesis requirement cannot include 599 Thesis credits. If an applied project is required, the Applied Project course (XXX 593) must be included on the Plan of Study and requires a grade of “B” or better. A “Y” grade is also permitted.

Master’s degree maximum time limit

All work toward a master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program. Graduate courses taken prior to admission that are included on the Plan of Study must have been completed within three years of the semester and year of admission to the program.

Master’s degree supervisory committee

A master’s supervisory committee must be appointed before the student may apply for the comprehensive examination or before the student can register for 599 Thesis credits (if applicable). The committee is appointed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education upon the recommendation of the head of the academic unit. For programs requiring a thesis or written examination, the supervisory committee is comprised of a minimum of three members, including a chair or co-chairs.

Tenured/tenure-track faculty may serve as members of a master’s graduate supervisory committee, chair or
co-chair. The chair of the committee is typically from the student’s degree program and should be carefully selected by the student to guide their work. ASU academic professionals or non-tenure accruing faculty with appropriate academic credentials may serve as a member or co-chair on master’s committees; they may not serve as chair of a master’s supervisory committee.

Master’s thesis/thesis defense

To satisfy the research requirement for master’s degrees, a student is expected to present a thesis that is defended in an oral examination. Degree programs may have requirements in addition to the thesis (e.g. comprehensive examinations). Students should check with their degree program to confirm requirements. An oral defense of the thesis is required and must be completed to the satisfaction of the supervisory committee. At least 50% of the committee must be physically present at the oral defense. Students must be physically present at the oral defense of their thesis. Students must be registered for:

  • At least one semester hour of credit that appears on the Plan of Study; OR
  • At least one semester hour of appropriate graduate-level credit, for example: Research (592), Thesis (599), or Continuing Registration (595 or 695); OR
  • At least one hour of a graduate-level course.

Revisions to the thesis are typical and must be completed in a timely manner. If the student is unable to complete revisions to the thesis and submit to UMI/ProQuest by the deadline for the semester in which the defense is held, the student must complete the revisions, remain continuously enrolled, and present the final document to UMI/ProQuest within one year of the defense. Failure to do so will require the re-submission of the document for format review and may result in re-defense of the thesis to ensure currency of the research.

Other master’s culminating experiences

A comprehensive examination, capstone course, applied project or portfolio is required as a culminating experience in master’s programs that do not have a thesis requirement. The office for Graduate Education requires a written component to the comprehensive examination; academic units may also require an oral component. Students must have an approved iPOS prior to scheduling their comprehensive examination and/or registering for their applied project or capstone course. An applied project requires registration in the Applied Projects course (XXX 593) and requires a grade of “B” or better, a grade of “Y” is also permitted. A capstone course requires a grade of “B” or better.

Students are required to register for at least one semester hour of credit that appears on the iPOS or one hour of appropriate graduate-level credit during the fall, spring or summer session in which they complete their culminating experience.

Master’s comprehensive examination

Students must be in good academic standing regarding GPA requirements (see previous section titled “Satisfactory Academic Progress”) prior to taking master’s comprehensive examinations. Foreign language requirements, if applicable, must be fulfilled before taking the comprehensive examinations.

Students are required to register for at least one semester hour of credit that appears on the iPOS or one hour of appropriate graduate-level credit during the fall, spring or summer session in which they take their comprehensive examinations.

The master’s comprehensive examination must have a written component; however, individual master’s degree programs may require an additional oral component of the comprehensive exam for all of their students based on the academic progress policy of the program.

The student must schedule the comprehensive examination with their academic unit. All comprehensive examination results must be reported to the office for Graduate Education immediately upon completion. Academic units are not required to allow students a second opportunity; upon failing comprehensive examinations, academic units may submit a recommendation to the office for Graduate Education requesting dismissal of the student from the degree program.

Failing the comprehensive examination(s) is considered final unless the supervisory committee and the head of the academic unit recommend and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education approve a re-examination. Only one re-examination is permitted. A petition with substantial justification for re-examination, endorsed by the members of the student's supervisory committee and the head of the academic unit, must be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education before a student can take the examination a second time.

Re-examination may be administered no sooner than three months and no later than one year from the date of the original examination. The office for Graduate Education may withdraw a student from the degree program if the student's petition for re-examination is not approved, or if the student fails to successfully pass the retake of the comprehensive examination(s).

Students choosing to appeal the results of their comprehensive examinations must follow the grade appeals process outlined by their academic unit.

Doctorate degree

Doctoral degree Plan of Study (iPOS)

Students must submit an iPOS before completing 50 percent of the credit hours required for their degree program. A student is not eligible to apply for the Foreign Language Examination (if applicable), comprehensive examinations, dissertation proposal/prospectus or dissertation defense (if applicable) without an approved iPOS.

Doctoral degree minimum credit hours

A minimum of 84 semester hours of graduate work is required for the doctorate degree at ASU. If a dissertation is required, 12 (and only 12) of the minimum required credit hours on an iPOS must be 799 Dissertation credits. Plans of Study submitted for doctorate degrees that do not have a dissertation requirement cannot include 799 Dissertation credits. Students may apply 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master’s degree toward their doctoral Plan of Study with approval of the degree program and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

Doctoral degree maximum time limit

Doctoral students must complete all program requirements within a ten-year period. The ten-year period begins with the semester and year of admission to the doctoral program. Graduate courses taken prior to admission that are included on the iPOS must have been completed within three years of the semester and year of admission to the program (previously awarded master’s degrees used on the Plan of Study are exempt).

Additionally, the student must defend the dissertation within five years after passing the comprehensive examinations. Therefore, the maximum time limit is the shortest of the following:

  • Time period since initial enrollment (10 year time limit); OR
  • Time after passing the comprehensive exams (5 year time limit).

Any exception must be approved by the supervisory committee, the head of the academic unit and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. If a time limit exception is approved, the student may need to re-take the comprehensive examinations. The office for Graduate Education may withdraw students who are unable to complete all degree requirements and graduate within the allowed maximum time limits.

Doctoral degree supervisory committee

Upon the recommendation of the head of the academic unit, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education appoints the student’s dissertation committee. The committee must be comprised of at least three members, including either a chair or co-chairs. Doctoral programs may have additional requirements for committee composition. This committee serves as the intellectual guide for the student and must approve the research/scholarly focus and substance of the dissertation. The members of the dissertation committee have the necessary knowledge and skills to advise the student during the formulation of the research topic and during the completion of the research and the dissertation.

Dissertation chairs and co-chairs must be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and each degree program maintains the list of faculty approved by the office for Graduate Education. Most resident faculty at ASU may serve on dissertation committees with the proviso that they have appropriate expertise in the discipline.

All PhD programs have a Graduate Faculty. The Graduate Faculty in a PhD program may also include highly qualified individuals from outside the university who have been approved to serve on committees. Each PhD program maintains the list of faculty approved by the office for Graduate Education to chair or co-chair PhD dissertations. Additional information regarding ASU Graduate Faculty can be found at graduate.asu.edu/graduate_faculty_initiative.

Doctoral students (including PhD, DMA, DBH, DNP and EdD) are urged to communicate with their academic unit to confirm eligibility of faculty to chair doctorate committees.

The final committee membership must be appointed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education before the student may apply for comprehensive examinations, defend the dissertation prospectus, and register for 799 Dissertation course credits (if applicable).

Doctoral comprehensive examination

Students must be in good academic standing regarding GPA requirements (see previous section titled “Satisfactory Academic Progress”) prior to taking doctoral comprehensive examinations.

When students have essentially completed the coursework on an approved iPOS, they must request permission to take the doctoral comprehensive examination. The doctoral comprehensive examination must have a written component; however individual doctoral programs may require an additional subsequent oral component of the comprehensive exam for all of their students based on the academic progress policy of the program. These examination(s) are designed to assess a student's mastery of the field of specialization. Doctoral comprehensive examination(s) are administered by a committee consisting of a minimum of three members.

Foreign language requirements, if applicable, must be satisfied before taking the comprehensive examination(s).

During the fall, spring or summer session that the student takes the comprehensive examination(s), they are required to register for:

  • At least one semester hour of credit that appears on the Plan of Study; OR
  • At least one semester hour of appropriate graduate-level credit, for example: Research (792), Dissertation (799), or Continuing Registration (795); OR
  • At least one hour of a graduate-level course.

All comprehensive examination results must be reported to the office for Graduate Education immediately upon completion. Academic units are not required to allow students a second opportunity; upon failing comprehensive examinations, academic units may submit a recommendation to the office for Graduate Education requesting dismissal of the student from the degree program.

Failing the comprehensive examination(s) is considered final unless the supervisory committee and the head of the academic unit recommend and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education approve a re-examination. Only one re-examination is permitted. A petition with substantial justification for re-examination, endorsed by the members of the student's supervisory committee and the head of the academic unit, must be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education before a student can take the examination a second time. Re-examination may be administered no sooner than three months and no later than one year from the date of the original examination. Graduate Education may withdraw a student from the degree program if the student's petition for re-examination is not approved, or if the student fails to successfully pass the retake of the comprehensive examination(s).

Students choosing to appeal the results of their comprehensive examinations must follow the grade appeals process outlined by their academic unit.

Doctoral prospectus defense

All doctoral degree programs that require students to complete a dissertation must require students to complete a dissertation proposal/prospectus and submit the results to the office for Graduate Education. Failure of the doctoral dissertation prospectus oral defense is considered final unless the supervisory committee and the head of the academic unit recommend and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education approve a second proposal defense. If a petition is approved, the student must submit the new prospectus by the end of six months (the six months begins from the date that the first doctoral dissertation proposal defense was held). If the academic unit does not grant the student permission to retake the proposal defense, or if the student fails to pass the retake of the proposal defense, Graduate Education may withdraw the student from the degree program.

Students are required to register for at least one semester hour of credit that appears on the iPOS or one hour of appropriate graduate-level credit during the fall, spring or summer session in which they conduct their doctoral prospectus.

Doctoral candidacy

Doctoral students (with specific degree program exceptions approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education) achieve candidacy status upon the successful completion of the comprehensive examination(s), the Foreign Language Examination (if applicable), and successfully defending the dissertation prospectus (if applicable). Doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy are required to maintain continuous enrollment until all degree requirements have been completed and the student graduated.

Doctoral dissertation/dissertation defense

The written doctoral dissertation is based on an original and substantial scholarly work that constitutes a significant contribution to knowledge in the student’s discipline. The dissertation research must be conducted during the time of the student’s doctoral studies at ASU, under guidance of ASU Graduate Faculty, and in accordance with the office for Graduate Education policies and procedures. The composition of the dissertation is defined by the degree program with the approval of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

The dissertation research experience culminates in a final oral exam, commonly known as the “dissertation defense.” A final public dissertation defense is required. At least 50% of the committee must be physically present at the oral defense. Students must be physically present at the oral defense of their dissertation. During the semester that the student defends the dissertation they are required to register for:

  • At least one semester hour of credit that appears on the Plan of Study; OR
  • At least one semester hour of appropriate graduate-level credit, for example: Research (792), Dissertation (799), or Continuing Registration (795); OR
  • At least one hour of a graduate-level course.

Revisions to the dissertation are typical and must be completed in a timely manner. If the student is unable to complete revisions to the thesis and submit to UMI/ProQuest by the deadline for the semester in which the defense is held, the student must complete the revisions, remain continuously enrolled, and present the final document to UMI/ProQuest within one year of the defense. Failure to do so will require the re-submission of the document for format review and may result in re-defense of the dissertation to ensure currency of the research.

Other Other graduate educational opportunities

Graduate certificates

The graduate certificate is a programmatic series of linked courses. Graduate certificates facilitate professional growth for people who already hold the baccalaureate degree. For more information on current graduate certificates see the Graduate Degree and Certificate Search page.

Certificate Admission

All applications for graduate certificate programs must be submitted through asu.edu/gradapp.

Certificate Requirements

A minimum of 15 semester hours of graduate work is required to complete a graduate certificate. No more than one-fifth (20 percent) of the minimum required credit hours for a graduate certificate may be transferred from another university. All transfer work must meet the office for Graduate Education transfer policies. All coursework used to complete an ASU graduate certificate must be completed within a six-year time limit. Courses at a 400-level may be allowed with prior approval from the appropriate certificate program; however, a minimum of two-thirds of the courses taken to complete the certificate must be at the 500-level or above. No more than 40% of coursework towards the requirements of a graduate certificate can be completed prior to admission to the certificate program.

Awarding of a Graduate Certificate

A student will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and the office for Graduate Education scholarship requirements have been met. Students must submit an iPOS for the graduate certificate program, and apply for graduation.

Concurrent master’s degrees

A student may pursue concurrent master’s degrees with prior written approval from the head of the academic unit for each degree program and the office for Graduate Education. A separate online application is required for each degree program. A maximum of 20 percent of the minimum total semester hours for the completion of both degrees may be common hours shared between the Plans of Study. The total number of hours common to both degree programs may vary from this maximum value only when the office for Graduate Education has formally approved coordinated degree programs.

Coursework common to both programs must constitute a well-planned and meaningful part of each of the programs and may only include coursework completed after admission to both degree programs. In all cases, the guidelines below must be followed:

  1. The student must be enrolled in both programs each fall and spring semester to maintain continuous enrollment or must submit a Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment form. A Graduate Education approved Request applies to both degree programs; students may not be registered for coursework in either program.
  2. Graduate credit transferred from another institution may be applied toward only one degree program.
  3. Culminating experiences (e.g. capstone courses, theses, applied projects) and comprehensive examinations cannot be shared between concurrent degree programs.
  4. The six year maximum time limit for completing degree requirements and graduation apply to each concurrent degree individually.

Concurrent master’s/doctoral degrees

A student may pursue concurrent master’s/doctoral degrees provided the degree programs are in different areas with prior written approval from the head of the academic unit for each degree program and the office for Graduate Education. A separate online application is required for each degree program. A maximum of 9 credit hours may be common hours shared between the Plans of Study.

Coursework common to both programs must constitute a well-planned and meaningful part of each of the programs and may only include coursework completed after admission to both degree programs. In all cases, the guidelines below must be followed:

  1. The student must be enrolled in both programs each fall and spring semester to maintain continuous enrollment or must submit a Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment form. A Graduate Education approved Request applies to both degree programs; students may not be registered for coursework in either program.
  2. Graduate credit transferred from another institution may be applied toward only one degree program.
  3. Culminating experiences (e.g. capstone courses, theses, dissertations, applied projects) and comprehensive examinations cannot be shared between concurrent degree programs.
  4. The maximum time limits for completing degree requirements and graduation apply to each concurrent degree individually (6 years for Master’s; 10 years or 5 years after comprehensive exams for doctoral).

Concurrent doctoral degrees

A student may pursue concurrent doctoral degrees provided the degree programs are in different academic areas with prior written approval from the head of the academic unit for each degree program and the office for Graduate Education. A maximum of 12 credit hours may be common hours shared between the Plans of Study. In all cases, the guidelines below must be followed:

  1. The student must be enrolled in both programs each fall and spring semester to maintain continuous enrollment or must submit a Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment form. A Graduate Education approved Request applies to both degree programs; students may not be registered for coursework in either program.
  2. The 30 hours allowed from a previously awarded master’s degree may only be applied to one of the doctoral programs and graduate credit transferred from another institution may be applied toward only one degree program.
  3. The comprehensive examination, the dissertation prospectus, and the dissertation cannot be shared between concurrent degree programs.
  4. The student must meet the 10 year maximum time limit and 5 year limit after comprehensive exams for each degree.

Master’s in Passing (MIP)

In those cases where there is an approved Master’s in Passing (MIP) program in place for a doctoral degree, those doctoral students who complete the requirements of the approved MIP may be awarded the related master’s degree. Students should check with their doctoral program to see if there is an approved Master’s in Passing for their degree.

Students who include 30 hours from a previously awarded master’s degree on their doctoral Plan of Study are not eligible for a Master’s in Passing. All coursework included in an MIP Plan of Study must have been completed after the semester and year of admission to the doctoral program.

Bachelor’s/master’s accelerated programs

In a limited number of pre-approved programs, ASU will allow for the simultaneous pursuit of an undergraduate and graduate degree. In such cases, the program must be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. The students must successfully complete the undergraduate degree and be admitted to the respective graduate program prior to completing 12 credits of graduate coursework. Students must contact their ASU undergraduate advisor and graduate support staff to ensure proper sharing of credit hours.

Students may not share any credit hours taken as an undergraduate student unless they have been formally admitted to an approved accelerated program.

Research considerations

The master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation (or equivalent) must be based on original and independent research/creative activity conducted by the student, under the guidance of the graduate supervisory committee. The thesis is an introduction to scholarly writing and is intended to create an understanding of theory and methods applicable to one’s field. The dissertation should demonstrate the candidate’s mastery of research and scholarly methodologies, theory, and tools of the discipline. Both the thesis and dissertation should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to address a major intellectual problem and to propose meaningful questions and hypotheses, as well as utilize the methods with which to study the proposed research question(s) and related hypotheses, and draw conclusions.

Supervisory committees

Students are guided by faculty mentors who advise them through their degree program. Students should identify their advisors early in their graduate career and look to them for guidance in their graduate work. Once the student has selected a thesis/dissertation committee, the head of the academic unit recommends the supervisory committee to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education who reviews and appoints the Committee. Graduate supervisory committees must consist of a minimum of three individuals, including the chair or co-chairs.

Faculty Emeriti who meet Graduate Education criteria may serve as members or co-chairs on graduate supervisory committees. They may serve as chairs with the recommendation of the academic unit and approval of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education on a case by case basis. Qualified individuals outside the university, upon the recommendation of the head of the academic unit and approval of the office for Graduate Education, may serve as members of thesis and dissertation committees. All such requests must be submitted to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education for approval.

Research involving human and animal subjects

Theses or dissertations that make use of research involving human or animal subjects must include a statement indicating that the research has been approved by the appropriate university body.

Research involving human subjects conducted under the auspices of Arizona State University is reviewed by the University Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) in compliance with federal regulations. Documents containing any data collection from human subjects require that applications be submitted to the ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance for approval before data collection or recruitment of subjects is initiated at researchintegrity.asu.edu/humans.

Research involving the use of animals conducted under the auspices of Arizona State University is reviewed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in compliance with federal regulations. Documents containing any data collection from animal research require that applications be submitted to ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance for approval at researchintegrity.asu.edu/animals.

 It is very important that students check with their thesis/dissertation advisor well in advance of data collection to ensure compliance with university regulations regarding the collection of research data.

Thesis/dissertation defenses

Thesis and dissertation defenses are open to all members of the university community and the general public. The oral defense engages the supervisory committee and the candidate in a critical and analytical discussion of the research and findings of the study, as well as a review of the contribution of the research topic to advancing knowledge in that discipline. The presentation of a thesis or dissertation defense in an open forum fosters a broader awareness of the state of graduate research at ASU, promotes a wider scholarly dialogue among disciplines, and recognizes publicly the scholarly contributions of master’s or doctoral candidates.

Defenses must be scheduled through MyASU at least 10 working days in advance of the defense date. It is expected that oral defenses will be held on an ASU campus during regular business hours in order to facilitate student, faculty, and public accessibility. When there are sound educational reasons for holding a defense under different circumstances, contact the office for Graduate Education for approval before scheduling the defense.

Students must be physically present at the oral defense of their thesis, dissertation or equivalent document. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, they cannot be physically present, then the oral defense must be rescheduled to another date when they can be physically present.

It is desirable that all members of a student’s supervisory committee be physically present with the student at the final oral defense of a thesis or dissertation. However, there are situations (e.g. faculty travel, faculty emergencies and/or faculty leave) that may necessitate holding a defense with one or more committee member(s) absent. In all cases at least 50% of the committee must be physically present. If a committee member cannot physically attend, they can tele/video conference, or they can appoint a substitute to attend in their place. The substitute should be a regular faculty member with the academic unit. The supervisory committee chair must be physically present; if there are two co-chairs, one of them may tele/video conference if needed. In either case, please email grad-gps@asu.edu with the student’s ID number and the name of the tele/videoconferencing member or with the names of the member who will be absent and the faculty member who will attend as a substitute. This information must be submitted before the defense.

Degree completion

The final culminating experiences for graduate degrees vary by program. In many master’s degree programs a thesis is required, in other programs the culminating experience is an applied or professional project. In all PhD programs, as well as in most professional doctoral programs, dissertations are required. Theses and dissertations are officially documented and archived. Theses and dissertations are submitted to UMI/ProQuest, which makes their content available to the public. Information on the dissertation later appears in Dissertation Abstracts International. For this reason, all theses and dissertations must undergo Graduate Education format review. The Vice Provost for Graduate Education reviews the content to affirm the quality and originality of the scholarly work.

Scheduling a defense and format review

At least 10 working days prior to the planned defense of a thesis, dissertation or equivalent, students schedule the defense through their MyASU. See Graduation Deadlines. Students work with their supervisory committee and the academic unit’s graduate support staff to identify a suitable date and reserve a room. When a defense date and location have been identified and the defense has been scheduled through MyASU, students submit a complete draft copy of the thesis/dissertation to be defended via email to gradformat@asu.edu. The defense will be published on the Graduate Education Master’s/Doctoral Defense Schedule website that updates every Monday.

The Format Manual is a comprehensive guide to formatting a thesis, dissertation or equivalent document and it always overrides a Style Guide if the two conflict. Students must use the Format Manual to prepare their thesis/dissertation. Questions regarding the Format Manual requirements should be directed to gradformat@asu.edu.

The Graduate Education’s Formatting Tool uses the Format Manual guidelines to generate a template into which you insert your document's text. The formatting tool is designed to help students with the basic format requirements such as margins and spacing, and greatly improves the format review process for students.

UMI/ProQuest submission

Students are required to create a new user account specific to the submission of their document and must use

their ASU email address. UMI/ProQuest requires all students to submit a PDF version of their final document. The ASU office for Graduate Education requires that the PDF document is in compliance with the formatting standards presented in the format manual. Students will receive final format approval only after the submitted PDF document has successfully passed a format review. Students have an opportunity to order bound copies of their document for themselves through UMI/ProQuest.

Graduation

Students must apply for graduation through MyASU in accordance with the University Registrar policies. See Application for Graduation. Students must meet all University and Graduate Education degree requirements prior to the conferral of their degree.

The graduation deadlines and procedures are set by the office for Graduate Education and are available online at graduate.asu.edu/completing-your-degree. Deadline dates vary slightly depending on the calendar year, so students should check them carefully in advance of the semester they plan to defend their thesis/dissertation. It is very important that students become familiar with these deadlines so that graduation can occur during the expected term.

Graduate student appeals

The Graduate Council Appeals Board (GCAB) serves as the appeals body for graduate students seeking redress on procedural issues related to academic decisions regarding their graduate programs. Before initiating an appeal, the graduate student must fully utilize any and all other appeal and review processes available in the student’s program, academic unit or college/school. The GCAB will not entertain any appeals until the graduate student has exhausted all other appropriate appeal procedures.

The GCAB reviews written appeals of graduate students concerning:

  • Procedural matters in graduate student programs (e.g., procedures related to Plans of Study, satisfactory academic progress, theses, dissertations, and preliminary, qualifying or comprehensive exams).
  • Academic issues that are not covered by other university policies or processes.

The GCAB does not review appeals pertaining to the following areas because these appeals are heard by other university bodies (see parentheses below):

  • Course grades (subject to review by the academic unit and college/school).
  • Results of capstone experiences, preliminary, comprehensive and qualifying examinations and defenses (subject to review by the academic unit and college/school).
  • Recommended dismissal by a program or academic unit due to lack of satisfactory academic progress (subject to review by the academic unit and college/school).
  • Allegations of academic dishonesty (subject to review under the ASU Student Academic Integrity Policy located at provost.asu.edu/academicintegrity/policy).
  • Allegations of scientific misconduct (subject to review under ASU policy RSP 210 [“Misconduct in Research”] in the Research and Sponsored Projects Policy and Procedures Manual).
  • Allegations of discrimination (subject to review by the ASU Office of Equity and Inclusion).

The Guidelines for Graduate Appeals describing further the GCAB appeal procedures, process and jurisdiction are available from Graduate Education: graduate.asu.edu/file/graduate-appeals-guidelines.