Graduation Steps

Graduate Students 

 

Graduation Steps and Requirements by Degree

To view the graduation steps  and requirements for your specific degree, click on the appropriate tab above.

Form Approval and Processing
All forms require the approval of your advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and are to be turned into room 1204 in the Benjamin Building for the approval of the Associate Dean of the College of Education. 

Please allow extra time to obtain the required signatures and in order to meet the published deadlines. All required forms are available in a printable format.

The College of Education, Graduate Studies Office, provides documentation to the Graduate School that each student has met the graduation requirements. The Graduate School is the official clearance office and must receive forms in support of graduation from the College of Education.

Email coe-gradstuservices@umd.edu with questions about forms and deadlines.

Graduation Steps, Masters

Each step toward graduation must be approved and recorded in the College of Education Graduate Studies Office.

Master of Arts, M.A. (thesis or non-thesis option) 
Master of Education, M.Ed. (non-thesis only)

All forms submitted in support of graduation will require approval of the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies.  Completed forms are to be submitted to the Student Services Graduate Studies Office, room 1204 Benjamin Building for review and approval of the Associate Dean of the College of Education.

Master's Degree Graduation Steps

Registration | Master's Program PlanComprehensive Examination Human Subjects ApprovalResearch CourseSatisfactory Progress | Foundational Competencies/Technical Standards | Transfer CreditSemester of GraduationSeminar Paper or Thesis | Surveys | International Students | Additional Requirements

Registration
Continuous registration is required each Fall and Spring semester. Summer registration is required if you are advising with your adviser or using University facilities. Newly admitted students must register in the semester of admission in order to validate the admission offer.

Registration is required in the semester of graduation, including one of the summer sessions if graduating in August.

Master's Program Plan
Consult with your advisor to develop your program of study using the Master's Approved Program Form (MAPF)

The Master’s Approved Program Form (MAPF) is used to list the course requirements for the master’s degree program. It is advisable to obtain all course requirements early in the program.  The MAPF should include all coursework (previous, current and future coursework) that will be accepted and required in the program. The completed and signed MAPF is required to be submitted in the semester of graduation to the College of Education

Comprehensive Examination
Some master’s programs (thesis and non-thesis) in the College of Education require a comprehensive examination or a comparable product at the discretion of the program.  Programs determine the requirement of the comprehensive examination and also determine what constitutes a comprehensive examination. Comprehensive examinations are developed and administered by the student's Program. Students should check directly with their Program Graduate Coordinator for applications, processes, and deadlines.

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Human Subjects Approval
At the University, all research that involves the use of human subjects requires review and approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the initiation of the research. Researchers should review the IRB web page for regulations and application forms.  All researchers are required to complete CITI Training as a condition of IRB approval.  Be sure to click on “Registration and CITI Linking Guidance” on the IRB web page.

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Research Course
Consult with your advisor regarding the Program’s research course requirement(s).   Some Programs require EDMS 645, Quantitative Research Methods I, while others require an approved substitute.  If you believe that you have taken an equivalent course previously, outside of the University of Maryland, consult with your advisor to see if he or she is willing to support a request for an equivalency review by the EDMS Program.

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Satisfactory Progress
Graduate students admitted to the Graduate School, College of Education, must make satisfactory progress in meeting programmatic requirements, must demonstrate the ability to succeed in his or her course of studies or research, and must attain performance minima. Please check with your Program to obtain satisfactory progress requirements. Please note that your Program requirements and deadlines may exceed those established by the Graduate School and/or College of Education.

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Foundational Competencies Policy/College of Education Technical Standards
All graduate students who are in an approved program leading to initial teacher certification, or advanced certification, in professional preparation programs, are expected to demonstrate that they are prepared to work with children and youth in educational settings. This preparation results from the combination of successful completion of university coursework and field/internship experiences and the demonstration of important human characteristics and dispositions that all educators should possess.  View the complete description of the policy and standards

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Transfer Credit
Request the transfer or inclusion of any course work that you may have taken from:

    • an outside institution (6 credit limit)
    • the Advanced Special Student Status (9 credit limit)
    • another department on campus (if you changed your admission from one department to another)

Complete and submit the Transfer or Inclusion of Credit form. Criteria for the transfer of credits is listed on the form.

Transfer coursework beyond 5-years of the degree program at the University of Maryland may not be used.

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Semester of Graduation
File the required forms by the published deadlines in Important Dates. Please keep in mind that all forms must be advisor and program approved prior to submission to the Graduate Student Services Office in Education, so allow extra time to meet the deadlines.

 Master of Arts (non-thesis) program must reflect a minimum of 30 credit hours (departments may require more). Of the 30 credit hours, 18 credit hours must be at the 600 level or above.

The Master of Education program must reflect a minimum of 30 credit hours (Programs may require more). Of the 30 credit hours, 15 credit hours must be at the 600 level or above.

Courses numbered at the 300-level may not be listed or used toward the graduate program. Courses numbered at the 400-level must be approved for graduate credit and appear in the Graduate Catalog in order to be listed or used toward the graduate program.

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Seminar Paper or Thesis
Non-thesis degree option 
If you seeking the Master of Arts non-thesis option degree, or the Master of Education degree, one seminar or research paper is required as determined by advisor.  The seminar paper title page (only) must be filed in the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office by published deadline for the semester in which you intend to graduate. Check with the professor directing the seminar paper for their deadline on the draft. The title page of the seminar paper must be submitted in a specific format, which includes signature lines for the professor directing the seminar paper and the advisor

Thesis degree option

Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee 
Request the appointment of the thesis defense committee by filing Nomination of Thesis Committee Form.  Be sure to include a copy of your Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval letter approving your human subjects research.

The Graduate School formally approves and appoints the committee to which the student defends the final thesis or dissertation. This form must be submitted by the deadline in the semester in which the student intends to graduate, or six weeks prior to the final oral defense, whichever is sooner to the College Graduate Studies Office. An oral defense may not be held without the formal approval of the committee by the Graduate School. Committee construction must meet the Graduate School criteria.  Committee construction criteria are listed on the form.  All members of the committee must be in physical attendance at the oral defense.  If one member of the committee finds it necessary to attend from a remote site, special permission for remote participation must be requested of the Graduate School.

The members of the Thesis Examining Committee should receive the thesis at least seven working days before the scheduled defense. Should the Thesis Examining Committee deem it reasonable and appropriate, it may require submission of the thesis more than ten working days in advance of the defense.

Note: Refer to the Graduate Catalog for Graduate School requirements applicable to all master’s degrees.

  • Thesis Defense Forms
    Based on the approval of the Nomination of the Thesis Committee, the following forms will be generated and provided to your advisor or Program Graduate Coordinator for your defense meeting.

  • Interim Report Form
    Filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office immediately following your defense, documenting the outcome of the defense meeting.

  • Report of the Examining Committee Form
    Signed by members of the committee and held by the Chairperson until the revisions to the thesis are satisfactorily made.  The Report Form is due on the same deadline as the thesis, filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office and is submitted by the Program, not the student.

  • Electronic and Thesis Publication Form
    This form is due on the same deadline as the thesis, filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office.
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Surveys
The College of Education will request graduates to file an Exit Survey in the semester of graduation.  Graduates will receive, by e-mail, instructions, and passwords in order to file the survey on-line. This survey information is used to determine how education programs can be improved. Your participation in the survey is important to the College as it enables us to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, this survey gives you the opportunity to assess your professional competence and to evaluate the University of Maryland's performance in preparing this important endeavor. 

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International Students
If you are a graduating international student, and are on an F-1 Visa, you must comply with Sevis Regulations that are monitored by the International Student and Scholar Services Office) Office on campus. As part of the regulations, you must file the F-1 Exit Plan Form before you complete your program requirements. This form will require your advisor's signature.

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Additional Requirements

  • Satisfy any provisional admission conditions or conditions of enrollment.
  • Be sure there is an official transcript of all undergraduate degree course work taken elsewhere on record in the Graduate School, Room 2123 Lee Building (email gradschool@umd.edu or phone (301) 405-3644).
  • Be sure that you are admitted under the degree option that you intend to earn.  If you need to change your degree objective please file the Degree Change Form.  
  • Stay within the 5-year time-frame awarded to complete degree requirements. If you go beyond the 5-year time frame be sure to submit the Request for Time Extension the semester prior to your time-out date. If courses taken are beyond the allowed 5-year time-frame a request for revalidation of the coursework must be included with the extension request.  Revalidation of coursework is requested by filing the Transfer or Inclusion of Credit for Master's Degrees Form.  The forms require a signature of approval from your advisor and Program Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).
  • Complete all coursework and any requirements of the Program to which you are admitted.
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Graduation Steps, Doctoral

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)  
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

All forms submitted in support of graduation will require approval of the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies.  Completed forms are to be submitted to the Student Services Graduate Studies Office, room 1204 Benjamin Building for review and approval of the Associate Dean of the College of Education.  

 

 Doctoral Degree Steps
Registration  | Faculty Advisor and Doctoral Program Plan  | Research Courses |  Satisfactory Progress  |  Foundational Competencies/COE Technical Standards  |  Preliminary ExaminationComprehensive ExaminationAdmission to Candidacy Dissertation Proposal Human Subjects ApprovalNomination of Thesis or Dissertation CommitteeSemester of GraduationSurveysInternational Students Additional Requirements

Continuous registration 

Continuous regisration is required each Fall and Spring semester.  Summer registration is required if you are advising with your adviser or using University facilities.  Newly admitted students must register in the semester of admission in order to validate the admission offer.

Registration is required in the semester of graduation, including one of the summer sessions if graduating in August. 

Doctoral students advanced to candidacy are automatically registered by the University for 6 credits of 899, Doctoral Dissertation Research each Fall and Spring semester until degree completion. 

Faculty Advisor and Doctoral Program Plan
Immediately following admission please consult with your advisor to develop your program of study.  Programs may choose to require, or not require, the Doctoral Approved Program Form

Programs determine the number of credits that may be applied toward the doctoral program for coursework taken previously to doctoral admission. Prior coursework that is applied toward a doctoral program will not appear on the University of Maryland transcript (i.e. there is no official transfer of credit form for doctoral students).

Research Courses
Programs determine the doctoral research course requirements. Please check with your advisor for your program required research courses.  

Satisfactory Progress
Graduate students admitted to the Graduate School, College of Education, must make satisfactory progress in meeting programmatic requirements, must demonstrate the ability to succeed in his or her course of studies or research, and must attain performance minima. Please check with your Program to obtain satisfactory progress requirements. Please note that your Program requirements and deadlines may exceed those established by the Graduate School and/or College of Education.

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Foundational Competencies Policy/College of Education Technical Standards
All graduate students who are in an approved program leading to initial teacher certification, or advanced certification, in professional preparation programs are expected to demonstrate that they are prepared to work with children and youth in educational settings. This preparation results from the combination of successful completion of university coursework and field/internship experiences and the demonstration of important human characteristics and dispositions that all educators should possess. View the complete description of the policy and standards.
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Preliminary Examination
The EDMS Program requires a preliminary examination.  Please contact the HDQM Program Graduate Coordinator to obtain the examination requirements, the application process, and deadlines for the preliminary examination.

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Comprehensive Examination
A comprehensive examination is required of all doctoral students, after completion of the appropriate coursework. The individual departments in the College of Education determine what constitutes a comprehensive examination. Please check with your Program Graduate Coordinator for applications, processes, and deadlines.

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Admission to Candidacy
​​​​​​Applications for admission to candidacy are accepted after the satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination. Candidacy applications receive final approval by the Graduate School on the 1st of each month, and are due by the 25th of the month prior.  The Graduate School requires doctoral students to be admitted to candidacy 6 months prior to graduation. Doctoral students admitted to candidacy will automatically be registered for 6 credits (full-time) of 899 “Doctoral Dissertation Research” by the University each Fall and Spring semester.

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Dissertation Proposal
The dissertation proposal meeting is held and attended by at least 3 faculty members, with the intent that the same faculty members will become part of the final defense committee.  Students should discuss with their advisor who the proposal committee members should be.  Committee members may change, with advisor approval, prior to the request for the formal appointment of the defense committee.  The purpose of the proposal is to grant approval of the topic for the dissertation study.

Please obtain the Certification of Doctoral Research Committee and Dissertation Proposal form prior to your proposal meeting, and present it at the proposal.

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Human Subjects Approval
At the University, all research that involves the use of human subjects requires review and approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the initiation of the research. Researchers should review the IRB web page for regulations and application forms.  All researchers are required to complete CITI Training as a condition of IRB approval.  Be sure to click on “Registration and CITI Linking Guidance” on the IRB web page.

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Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee
Request the appointment of the dissertation defense committee by filing the Nomination of the Thesis or Dissertation Committee form.  Be sure to include a copy of your Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval letter approving your human subjects research.

The Graduate School formally approves and appoints the committee to which the student defends the final thesis or dissertation. This form must be submitted by the deadline in the semester in which the student intends to graduate, or six weeks prior to the final oral defense, whichever is sooner to the College Graduate Studies Office. An oral defense may not be held without the formal approval of the committee by the Graduate School. Committee construction must meet the Graduate School criteria.  Committee construction criteria are listed on the form.  All members of the committee must be in physical attendance at the oral defense.  If one member of the committee finds it necessary to attend from a remote site,  special permission for remote participation must be requested of the Graduate School.

The members of the Dissertation Examining Committee should receive the dissertation at least ten working days before the scheduled defense. Should the Dissertation Examining Committee deem it reasonable and appropriate, it may require submission of the dissertation more than ten working days in advance of the defense.

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Semester of Graduation
File the required forms by the published deadlines in Important Deadline Dates.  Please keep in mind that all forms must be advisor and program approved prior to submission to the Graduate Student Services Office in Education, so allow extra time to meet the deadlines.

  • Apply for graduation.  No approval is required.
  • Refer to the Graduate Catalog for Graduate School requirements applicable to all doctoral degrees.
  • File the Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee form, if not already filed (see above).
  • Announce your Oral Defense date, time, and location to the Program Graduate Coordinator.  Part I of the dissertation defense is a public presentation by the candidate on the main aspects of the research reported in the dissertation.  Oral announcements are disseminated to all faculty and graduate students within the department or graduate program in which the candidate's degree is to be awarded.
  • Follow the Graduate School formatting standards of the on-line Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Style Guide
  • Dissertation Defense Forms
    Based on the approval of the Nomination of the Dissertation Committee, the following forms will be generated and provided to your advisor or Program Graduate Coordinator for your defense meeting.    
      • Interim Report Form
        Filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office immediately following your defense, documenting the outcome of the defense meeting.

      • Report of the Examining Committee Form
        Signed by members of the committee and held by the Chairperson until the revisions to the dissertation are satisfactorily made.  The Report of the Examining Committee form acts as documentation that all requirements for the degree have been met. If any other requirements are outstanding (i.e. internship completion, papers, coursework, etc.) the Chairperson should not release the Report of the Examining Committee form until all requirements are met for the degree. The Report Form is due on the same deadline as the dissertation, filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office, and is submitted by the Program, not the student.

      • Electronic and Thesis Publication Form
        This form is due on the same deadline as the dissertation, filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office.

Follow the guidelines and pay the fees for electronic submission of your dissertation.

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Surveys
The required Graduate School Doctoral Student Surveys are available on-line. 

The College of Education will request graduates to file an Exit Survey in the semester of graduation.  Graduates will receive, by e-mail, instructions, and passwords in order to file the survey on-line. This survey information is used to determine how education programs can be improved. Your participation in the survey is important to the College as it enables us to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, this survey gives you the opportunity to assess your professional competence and to evaluate the University of Maryland's performance in preparing this important endeavor.

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International Students
If you are a graduating international student, and are on an F-1 Visa, you must comply with Sevis Regulations that are monitored by the International Student and Scholar Services Office Office on campus. As part of the regulations, you must file the F-1 Exit Plan Form before you complete your program requirements. This form will require your advisor's signature.

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Additional Requirements

  • Satisfy any provisional admission conditions or conditions of enrollment.
  • Be sure that you are admitted under the degree option that you intend to earn.  If you need to change your degree objective please file the Degree Change Form.
    Stay within the 9-year time-frame awarded to complete degree requirements. If you go beyond the 9-year time frame, be sure to submit the Request for Time Extension the semester prior to your time-out date.
  • Complete all course work and any requirements of the program to which you are admitted.
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Graduation Steps, Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate (AGS)

All forms submitted in support of graduation will require an approval of the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies.  Completed forms are to be submitted to the Student Services Graduate Studies Office, room 1204 Benjamin Building for review and approval of the Associate Dean of the College of Education.
 

Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate Steps
Registration | A.G.S Program PlanningComprehensive ExaminationSemester of Completion | Survey | International StudentsAdditional Requirements  

Registration
Registration is required in the semester of graduation, including one of the summer sessions if completing the Certificate requirements in August.

 A.G.S Program Planning
Please consult with your advisor to develop your program of study to determine the course work requirements for the certificate.  

The Advanced Graduate Specialist (A.G.S.) Certificate of Completion Form is a list of the required coursework and is due early in the semester that the certificate is to be awarded.   When the A.G.S. Certificate of Completion Form is completed, it is signed by the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies and is forwarded to the College of Education, room 1204 Benjamin.

Comprehensive Examination
The College of Education requires that the advanced graduate specialist student completes a comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is developed and administered by the program. Please check directly with your Program Graduate Coordinator for applications, processes, and deadlines.

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Semester of Completion
File the required forms by the published deadlines in Important Deadline Dates.  Please keep in mind that all forms must be advisor and program approved prior to submission to the Graduate Student Services Office in Education, so allow extra time to meet the deadlines.

Coursework used toward the A.G.S. program must reflect a minimum of 60 credit hours (Programs may require more) with one-half taken at the 600-level or above. Thirty credits must be taken at the University of Maryland. If coursework from an outside institution will be used toward the A.G.S. requirements, each individual course must also be listed on the Certificate of Completion Form. An official transcript for coursework from an outside institution, that is used toward the A.G.S. course requirements, must be on file with the University of Maryland, College of Education, Graduate Student Services, Room 1204 Benjamin Building, College Park, MD  20742-1121.

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Surveys
The College of Education will request graduates to file an Exit Survey in the semester of graduation.  Graduates will receive, by e-mail, instructions, and passwords in order to file the survey on-line. This survey information is used to determine how education programs can be improved. Your participation in the survey is important to the College as it enables us to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, this survey gives you the opportunity to assess your professional competence and to evaluate the University of Maryland's performance in preparing this important endeavor.

Back to Top

International Students
If you are a graduating international student, and are on an F-1 Visa, you must comply with Sevis Regulations that are monitored by the International Student and Scholar Services Office Office on campus. As part of the regulations, you must file the F-1 Exit Plan Form before you complete your program requirements. This form will require your advisor's signature.

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Additional Requirements

  • Satisfy any provisional admission conditions or conditions of enrollment.
  • If admitted to the EDSP Program for the A.G.S., Stay within the 5-year time-frame awarded to complete degree requirements. If you go beyond the 5-year time frame, be sure to submit the Request for Time Extension the semester prior to your time-out date.
     
  • Complete all coursework and any requirements of the Certificate Program.
 
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Graduation Steps, Graduate Certificates

All forms submitted in support of the will require approval from the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies.  Completed forms are to be submitted to the Student Services Graduate Studies Office, room 1204 Benjamin Building for review and approval of the Associate Dean of the College of Education.

Graduate Certificate Steps
Registration | Coursework Program Planning | Semester of Completion | International Students | Additional Requirements

Registration
Registration is required in the semester of that the certificate is to be awarded, including one of the summer sessions if completing the Certificate requirements in August.

Coursework Program Planning
Please consult with your advisor to develop your program of study to determine the coursework requirements for the Certificate.  

The Certificate of Completion Form is a list of the required coursework and is due early in the semester that the certificate is to be awarded.   When the Certificate of Completion Form is completed, it is signed by the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies and is forwarded to the College of Education, room 1204 Benjamin. 

Semester of Completion
File the required forms by the published deadlines in Important Deadline Dates.  Please keep in mind that all forms must be advisor and program approved prior to submission to the Graduate Student Services Office in Education, so allow extra time to meet the deadlines.

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International Students
If you are a graduating international student and are on an F-1 Visa, you must comply with Sevis Regulations that are monitored by the International Student and Scholar Services Office Office on campus. As part of the regulations, you must file the F-1 Exit Plan Form before you complete your program requirements. This form will require your advisor's signature.

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Additional Requirements

  • Satisfy any provisional admission conditions or conditions of enrollment.
  • Complete all coursework and any other requirements of the Certificate Program.
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