Graduation Information for Academic Advisors

Graduation process for undergraduate students

  • Undergraduate students must submit an Application to Graduate through My Missouri State in order to be considered for graduation eligibility.  View a short YouTube video on how students apply. There is a deadline for submitting the application for inclusion in the printed Commencement program. Deadlines are published in the Commencement website.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to seek assistance from their academic advisor if they are unsure of their graduation eligibility or if they do not understand how to resolve a deficiency in their degree audit. Students acknowledge that they have reviewed their degree audit while completing the Application to Graduate.

  • When an undergraduate student applies to graduate, the Office of the Registrar reviews their audit and leaves one of the following two messages in the student’s Advising Notes:

    • The following message means the student has all requirements met, in progress, the student has told The Office of the Registrar how they plan to fulfill their deficiencies, or it appears that course exceptions may be pending from the department.  This can include substitutions, advisor approved list, waivers etc.  This does not mean that all requirements will be met or that the student will officially graduate.

  "We have received and processed your application to graduate for the ____ semester.  It is your responsibility to review your degree audit to ensure all requirements show as met or in progress.  To access your degree audit, return to your academics tab and choose the degree audit link found under the Student Records channel.”

    • The following message means the student has significant deficiencies and was not added to the graduation list at this time.  If there is additional information (substitutions/waivers, transfer work) that would impact the student’s eligibilty, contact the Office of the Registrar to get the student added back to the list.

"Your application to graduate for the ____ semester has been denied at this time.  Your degree audit currently indicates requirements that will not be completed by the end of the semester.  Please review your degree audit and meet with your advisor to discuss these deficiencies.  To be re-considered for graduation, contact The Office of the Registrar.  To access your degree audit, return to your academics tab and choose the degree audit link found under the Student Records channel.”

  • Advisors receive an email notification when an advisee submits an Application to Graduate and when the Office of the Registrar leaves the Advising Note with the student’s application status.
  • Once final grades are posted, students should complete the following steps:
    • Review their degree audit to ensure the audit percentage shows 100%.
    • Ensure all holds have been cleared. A hold does not prevent participation in the commencement ceremony, but will prevent the release of the diploma and transcript.
  • The final graduation clearance review takes place after grades are posted.  This happens the week following commencement.  Each student’s degree audit is checked to see if all requirements are met.  If all requirements are met, the degree is posted.
    • Students who are ineligible for graduation receive emails notifying them that they have been removed from the graduation list.  Examples of ineligible students include but are not limited to those who fail classes in their last semester, did not meet GPA requirements, and/or have various other issues preventing them from graduation.
    • Students who have pending issues (e.g. transfer work, incomplete grades) receive emails notifying them that they have until the mid-point of the next semester to resolve the issue and still be cleared for their intended semester of graduation.  This is typically the last Friday of June for the spring semester, the last Friday of September for the summer semester, and the last Friday of February for the fall semester.
    • Students who have a hold preventing the release of their diploma and transcript also receive emails.

Most common reasons for graduation deficiencies for undergraduate students

  1. Failure to have exceptions processed.  See the Degree Works Website for more information.
  2. Failure to complete the University Exit Exam.
  3. Failure to meet major or minor residency requirements. Appeals must be submitted to the Degrees Committee using an Expedited Appeal of Major/Minor Residency form.
  4. Failure to meet the 40 hours of upper division (300 level or higher) undergraduate coursework or 125 minimum undergraduate credit hours requirements. Particularly, it is important to note that substituting a lower division course to satisfy an upper division requirement does not mean that the lower division course counts toward meeting the 40 hour requirement.
  5. Failure to meet the Missouri Constitution Study Requirement (particularly if the student has Advanced Placement credit for PLS 101 or transfer credit from an out of state or private institution which is not subject to this state requirement).
  6. Failure to take into account the effect of repeated courses as repeat codes are not added to the academic record until the end of the semester. Make sure to deduct any repeated courses from minimum credit hours counts of major requirements as the audit will not deduct them until repeat codes are applied during end of semester processing.
  7. Failure to meet BA degree requirements. The most common errors are belief that an Associate of Arts degree waives these requirements (they do not); and failing to take into account restrictions as far as double counting courses between majors, minors, BA fine arts requirements, and general education.
  8. Failure to inform the Office of the Registrar of adding or dropping a second major and/or minor.
  9. Failure to note that "Mixed Credit" courses are not added to the undergraduate academic record until the end of the semester, and that course substitutions are usually required to use the mixed credit course toward meeting a requirement in the major.

Graduation process for graduate students

  • Graduate students must file an Application for Graduation through My Missouri State and should consult with their advisor early in the semester prior to graduation to determine if all program requirements will be met.  View a short YouTube video on how students apply.  There is a deadline for submitting the application for inclusion in the printed Commencement program. Deadlines are published on the Commencement website.
  • Graduate students should refer to the Graduate College website for deadlines for thesis, comprehensive exams, and research.
  • Once grades are posted, student should complete the following steps:
    • Review their degree audit to ensure the audit percentage  shows 100%
    • Ensure all holds have been cleared. A hold does not prevent participation in commencement ceremonies, but will prevent the release of the diploma and transcript.

Most common reasons for graduation deficiencies for graduate students

  1. Failure to file an Application for Graduation
  2. Failure to have a Comprehensive Examination Application/Results Form submitted to the Graduate College (by department) after successful completion of comprehensive exams
  3. Failure to submit final thesis to the Graduate College before the semester deadline.
  4. Failure to have a Seminar Report Form submitted to the Graduate College (by department) after successful completion on non-thesis research requirement.
  5. Failure to meet the minimum required 3.00 GPA for all graduate-level Missouri State and transfer coursework.
  6. Failure to have an official transcript sent from another university showing approved transfer courses. Official copies must be sent directly from the other university to the Graduate College.
  7. Failure to have all "I" and "Z" grades changed.

Office of the Registrar's Role in Graduation

The Office of the Registrar maintains the accuracy of the degree audit system, making sure degree and program requirements are correct and match the catalog.  The office reviews and processes Applications to Graduate for undergraduate students and sends corresponding advising notes to students and advisors.  These advising notes indicate receipt of the application, not verification of graduation requirements being met.  At the end of the semester, The Office of the Registrar grants degrees based on the requirements listed on the degree audit and prints diplomas accordingly.

Advisors’ Role in Graduation

Advisors should review students’ degree audits and help plan a path to graduation.  An advisor should look at a student’s degree audit when he/she receives an advising note to make sure the student is not missing any requirements for graduation.  Advisors should submit information to complete any exceptions needed by the student and ensure that those exceptions are processed.

Advisor online resources

Frequently asked questions

What information appears on the student's diploma?

The student's name, degree earned, major(s) and scholastic honors appear on the diploma. Minors and major options do not appear on the diploma, but are on the transcript. Students earning two majors of the same degree type receive one diploma. See the complete policy related to what is and is not included on the diploma.

If a student cannot attend a Commencement ceremony, do they need to notify anyone?

No. Students are not required to RSVP for commencement. The student's name will only be read during the ceremony if they are present. Students who do not attend commencement can pick up a diploma cover and program from the Office of the Registrar the week following Commencement. Students who did not attend commencement but were eligible for scholastic honors can pick up an honors cordon after Commencement from the Plaster Student Union Administration office.

If a student's final requirement will be met by taking a subsequent Intersession course, what semester will they graduate?

Refer to the "Commencement Eligibility" section of the Graduation Eligibility page.

How and when are students notified about purchasing their cap/gown and announcements?

This information is available on the Commencement website. Caps and gowns and hoods are purchased through the Bookstore. Additionally, students receive multiple notifications from the University vendor, Herff Jones, regarding ordering personalized announcements. Students may wear a borrowed gown provided it is the correct color and style.   Undergraduate students wear maroon robes while master and doctorate regalia are black.

When are official graduation numbers available?

The official graduation numbers are not available until the graduating class is officially "closed", which occurs at the mid-point of the following semester. Once the class is closed, no additional graduates are added, even if the reason for ineligibility (e.g. incomplete grade, transfer work) now resolved originated in an earlier semester.

When and how are scholastic honors figured?

Scholastic Honors for the ceremony are figured based on the student’s GPA and hours the semester prior to graduation.  A student must complete at least 60 credit hours at Missouri State University.  Honors are based on the lower of either the Missouri State or overall GPA.  See the full scholastic honors policy.  Scholastic honors are recalculated after final grades are posted and changes can be either positive or negative. Final scholastic honors are reflected on the transcript and diploma. The student may exchange the honors cordon received at commencement through the Plaster Student Union Administration office. As noted in the scholastic honors policy, graduate students are not eligible for scholastic honors.

If a student plans to complete a University certificate instead of, or in addition to, a degree, what do they do?

The process is much the same as for completion of a degree. Student must declare the certificate as a program of study. Students may utilize the online Application to Graduate system to declare their intent to complete a certificate. Certificates are posted to the transcript and a certificate printed at the same time diploma processing occurs for the semester.

Do graduate students need to purchase a hood?

Yes, all graduate students participating in the ceremony are required to wear a hood in addition to their cap and gown.

Are graduates sent a copy of their transcript with their diploma?

Yes, all graduates are sent one complimentary transcript with their diploma.

Do graduates have a class rank?

No. Missouri State does not calculate or maintain a class rank.

Where can a student find their major GPA after graduation?

Major GPA's are only available post-graduation by running a "what-if" degree audit for the student's graduation major and major catalog year.

If a student has additional information on how they are completing their graduation requirements (transfer work, substitutions, waivers), what should they do?

There is a "Notes" section in the Application to Graduate system where students can report this information to the Office of the Registrar. If students are transferring coursework, they should indicate the institution where they are enrolled and what course they are completing. This information is retained and such students are sent a reminder letter with our deadline date for receiving the official transcript of the course work and to still be eligible for their originally intended semester of graduation.   If this information is not provided, it may cause students to be removed from the graduation list.

How does a former student who no longer has access to My Missouri State submit an Application for Graduate?

Student may print and submit a PDF version of the application. Application to Graduate for undergraduates.