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. All seniors are notified via email to their Missouri State account twice a year (during the first month of the spring and fall semesters) reminding them of the importance of submitting an application. 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.
  • Advisors receive an email notification when an advisee submits an Application to Graduate.
  • Students are notified multiple times to review their degree audit for any graduation deficiencies and are encouraged to see their academic advisor or the Office of the Registrar if they do not understand how to resolve a deficiency on their degree audit.
  • Once final grades are posted, student should complete the following steps:
    • Check final grades to ensure all courses were passed.
    • Run a new degree audit to ensure the audit shows the message "All Requirements Identified Below Have Been Met."
    • Ensure all holds have been cleared. A hold does not prevent participation in commencement ceremony, but will prevent the release of the diploma and transcript.
  • The final graduation clearance review takes place after grades are posted.
    • Students who are ineligible for graduation receive letters notifying them that they have been removed from the graduation list.
    • Students who have pending issues (e.g. transfer work, incomplete grades) receive letters 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.
    • Students who have a hold preventing the release of their diploma and transcript also receive letters.

Graduation process for graduate students

  • Graduate students must file an Application for Graduation and should consult with their advisor early in the semester prior to graduation to determine if all program requirements will be met. There is a deadline for submitting the application for inclusion in the printed Commencement program. Deadlines are published in 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:
    • Check final grades to ensure all courses were passed.
    • 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 undergraduate students

  1. Failure to request a course substitution/waiver/approval form.
  2. Failure to file an Application to Graduate.
  3. Failure to complete the University Assessment Examination (GEN 499).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Failure to inform the Office of the Registrar of adding or dropping a second major and/or minor.
  10. 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 requiremen in the major.

Most common reasons for graduation deficiencies for graduate students

  1. Failure to file an Application for Graduation
  2. Failure to submit an Advisor Approved Program of Study
  3. Failure to have a Comprehensive Examination Application/Results Form submitted to the Graduate College (by department) after successful completion of comprehensive exams
  4. Failure to submit final thesis to the Graduate College before the semester deadline.
  5. Failure to have a Seminar Report Form submitted to the Graduate College (by department) after successful completion on non-thesis research requirement.
  6. Failure to meet the minimum required 3.00 GPA for all graduate-level Missouri State and transfer coursework.
  7. 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.
  8. Failure to have all "I" and "Z" grades changed.

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 from the Office of the Registrar and printed commencement programs 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 Dean of Students 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. The University, with input from students, faculty members and administrators, has adopted a new maroon gown and maroon and white tassels for all undergraduates to wear in the commencement ceremony. Masters and doctorate regalia remains the same.

Will the student get a letter, email, or advising notes from the Office of the Registrar in regards to the individual student's specific graduation deficiencies?

The student receives general communication about the importance of reviewing their degree audit. It is the responsibility of the student to seek assistance from their academic advisor and/or the Office of the Registrar if they are unsure of their graduation eligibility. However, Office of the Registrar staff processing the Application to Graduate do submit advising notes to students (and advisors as warranted) when deficiencies are found on the degree audit to inquire how the student plans to resolve the deficiencies.

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 a earlier semester.

If final grades change the scholastic honors eligibility of a student, what will happen?

Scholastic honors are recalculated after final grades are posted and changes can be either positive and negative. Final scholastic honors are reflected on the transcript and diploma. The student may exchange the honors cordon received at commencement through the Dean of Students 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. Undergraduate students may utilize the online Application to Graduate system to declare their intent to complete an undergraduate certificate. Students completing a graduate certificate must submit a Notification to Complete a Graduate Certificate form with the Graduate College. 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?

Unfortunately, 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 is enrolling in a course from another institution as part of their final semester, what should they do?

There is an "Additional Comments" section in the Application to Graduate system where students can report this information to the Office of the Registrar. Students 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. Once the transfer course is completed and graded, the student must request that an official transcript be sent directly to the MSU Office of Admissions.

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 seniorsApplication for Graduation for masters, specialists, doctorate students