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Graduation Checklist

To be considered a candidate for the completion of a graduate degree, graduate certificate or graduate minor, you must complete all necessary paperwork as well as the Application for Completion of Degrees, Certificates and Minors by the posted deadlines. Failure to meet the deadlines may result in the delay or postponement of your graduation.

Timelines and deadlines

Graduation application

The online application for graduation is available six weeks before the first week of classes each semester. It must be completed in order for a student to be considered a candidate for graduation at the end of that term. Fill out the Application for Completion of Degrees, Certificates and Minors.

Before you apply for graduation, you must already have an approved plan of study on file with the Office of Graduate Studies. Failure to file a plan of study may mean a delay of graduation. Consult with your program to confirm that your plan of study is on file.

For master's and educational specialist candidates 

If you do not graduate at the end of the term you for which apply for graduation and you plan to register for another semester of classes you must:

  • Apply for graduation again.
  • Contact the Office of Graduate Studies before registering for classes.


Check with your academic program to make sure all of your paperwork has been submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for graduation. See the graduation requirements for master’s, doctoral and educational specialist student.

Thesis or dissertation submission

Students writing a thesis or dissertation must submit to the Office of Graduate Studies by the semester deadline:

Please consult the Guidelines for Preparing a Thesis or Dissertation for formatting and submission requirements.

Final exam and enrollment requirements

For all graduate-degree seeking candidates

  • Students expecting to present a thesis, manuscript, project, portfolio or dissertation or to take comprehensive exams must be enrolled and be examined during the regular semester session. You may defend, present or take final exams any time during the regular semester session excluding holidays, weekends and semester breaks.
  • When your final exam has been completed, the results must be submitted to the Office of the Office of Graduate Studies by the semester deadlines. Please consult with your program for department procedures regarding this matter.

Doctoral candidates

  • Post-comp doctoral students are required to enroll in two hours of course work in the spring, two hours of course work in the fall and one hour of coursework in the summer.

Master's and educational specialist candidates

  • Master's and educational specialist students who have completed all their course work and need only to take comps or defend a thesis or project should enroll for "8999 Graduate Examination." 
  • Registration in the "Graduate Examination" does not count toward enrollment certification. Students enrolled in the "Graduate Examination" would not be considered full-time or part-time. If students need to use the library or computers on campus, they should enroll in at least one hour of regular credit instead of Graduate Examination.
  • Students that have a financial aid or visa situation should check with Financial Aid or the International Center respectively before registering for the Graduate Examination option. Failure to do so could cause serious consequences for the student's financial aid or visa status.
  • Extra fees apply for access to the Student Health Center and the Student Recreation Center. Please consult the Cashier's Office for these optional fees.

Name on your transcript and diploma

The name on your transcript and diploma will be the same as is listed in the university’s database through myZou.

  1. Check your name in myZou under Personal Information > Names > Primary Name.
  2. You may update your name at the Office of Graduate Studies, 210 Jesse. Bring your driver’s license, Social Security card, marriage license or passport showing your current name. Names will not be changed after the last day of the semester. For help call 573-882-6311.

More about your transcripts

Once your degree or graduate certificate has been awarded, the following additional information is printed to your official transcript approximately 14-18 days after the close of the semester:

  • Degree
  • Major
  • Emphasis (if applicable)
  • Minor (if applicable)
  • Graduate certificate (if applicable)
  • Date of conferral

The Office of the University Registrar transcript department is located in 125 Jesse Hall. Transcript requests can be made in person, by mail, by fax or online.

If you want to order a transcript that includes your degree or graduate certificate, please indicate on your request that you want to your transcript to be held until your final grades and degree are posted.

More about your diploma

Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address approximately 12-14 weeks after graduation. To ensure delivery of your diploma, any address changes must be made on or before the last day of the semester. Corrections can be made on myZou or at the Office of Graduate Studies, 210 Jesse Hall. Address changes cannot be made over the phone.

For additional diploma questions and information, please send an email to:

Latin honors

Unlike undergraduate students, graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Latin honors such as cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude, are not awarded to graduate students.


"Commencement" is the ceremony that recognizes graduate students for the completion of their master's, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. More about commencement »

Questions regarding graduation

If you have questions about any of the information provided, please email the Office of Graduate Studies at or call 573-882-6311 or toll free at 800-877-6312.