Frequently Asked Questions
Graduate Degree Plan
Exam Forms/Scheduling Exams
Examining Committees/Committee Substitutions
Thesis/Dissertation Preparation and Submission
Change of Status
Changing Personal Information
What is the registration requirement for graduate students?
As a graduate student you are required to register every fall and spring term to maintain active status up through and including the term in which you will officially complete your degree. Failure to maintain your active status will result in the discontinuation of your student status and require applying for readmission.
What is full time status?
Full time status is 6 or more credits. Some University benefits are reliant upon the registration of at least 6 credits. Students should contact the office providing the benefit to inquire about minimum registration requirements.
What is active status?
Graduate students maintain active status by registering every fall and spring term (for any credit amount or course type).
What happens if I don't maintain active status?
Graduate students who do not maintain active status are considered to have withdrawn, and their student status is deactivated. Inactive students may not take examinations, submit degree progress paperwork, apply for graduation, or complete their degrees. Inactive students who wish to resume graduate work must apply for readmission.
I’m not currently accepted or enrolled in a graduate program. How do I make sure classes I take at the U of M can be used towards a future graduate degree?
You may be able to register for graduate credit (coursework appears on a graduate level transcript) when not admitted to a graduate program. You must work with the graduate program offering the course to gain admission to non-degree status and complete the Request for Graduate Credit form to obtain permission. Once completed this form is processed by One Stop (333 Science Teaching and Student Services).
I am a doctoral student who has completed all of my coursework, but I have not yet passed my preliminary oral examination and need to maintain my full-time status. What should I register for?
You may register for doctoral pre-thesis credits (xxxx 8666); however, this is limited to 6 credits in any fall, spring, or summer term. You are also limited to 2 instances of 8666 registration totaling 12 credits. With graduate program consent, you may register for 8666 up to 4 times, for a total accumulation of 24 credits (of 8666). Programs have the option to restrict 8666 enrollment. If you get the following message "Class NOT added. All requirements not met" when trying to register for 8666, you will need to contact your program office for advising.
I am done with my coursework and thesis credits (if applicable) and only need to maintain my active status. What should I do?
Graduate students must register every fall and spring term to maintain active status. Grad 999, a zero-credit, zero-tuition, non-graded registration option is available for those graduate students who must register solely to meet the registration requirement. You should not register for Grad 999 if you hold an assistantship, need to maintain legal visa status, defer loans, receive financial aid, or for any reason other than to meet the registration requirement.
I am done with my coursework and thesis credits (if applicable) and need to maintain full-time status. What should I do?
You have the option to register as an advanced status student by applying for the full time equivalent (FTE) credit (xxxx 8333 (masters) or xxxx 8444 (doctoral). You must apply for this status each term you wish to hold this benefit.
What is the maximum credit load the Graduate School allows?
Students are allowed registration for up to 18 credits; however, most offices providing tuition benefits will not pay for more than 14 credits. Check with the office providing the tuition benefit to determine the number of credits that will be covered.
I didn’t register last term and now my status is inactive. What should I do?
You must apply for re-admission through the Graduate Office of Admissions by completing a Change of Status/Readmission Application.
Where do I go to get a permission number?
During the first two weeks of the term, you should contact the program offering the course (as indicated by the course designator) to obtain a permission number. Students being prompted for a permission number for the following courses: GRAD 999, xxxx-8666, xxxx-8888, xxxx-8777 should contact their graduate program. Permission for xxxx-8444 and xxxx-8333 should be obtained through the Graduate School at 612-625-3490.
My permission number isn’t working. What should I do?
You should check with the program from which you obtained the permission number if it is still within the first two weeks of the term. If it is beyond the first two weeks of the term, the permission number will no longer suffice and you must complete a Registration Exception Request.
I want to drop a course and get a complete refund. What should I do?
A Registration Exception Request must be approved by your graduate program to drop courses if past the established deadlines set by the Office of the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar sets the tuition refund policy and handles requests for exceptions to the policy by way of a Tuition Refund Appeal.
I want to add/drop a course and it is past the add/drop deadline. What should I do?
You should complete a Registration Exception Request for your graduate program to review.
I have audited a course. How does this affect my tuition and enrollment?
As an auditor, you register for, pay tuition and fees for, and attend classes, but do not complete assignments or take examinations. You receive no credit for the course, but the course will be placed on your transcript with the symbol V (Visitor) to indicate your special registration status. Though you do not receive credit for audited courses, the credit value for the course counts in determining the credit total for the student services fee. Audited courses do not count toward full-time enrollment for international students.
What is GRAD 999?
GRAD 999 is intended for graduate students who have completed all coursework and thesis credit requirements (if applicable) and must maintain registration to meet the registration requirement. GRAD 999 will only maintain a student's active status; GRAD 999 does not meet any other University or external agency’s requirements. Students who must maintain full-time status to hold an assistantship, defer loans, receive financial aid, etc. should not register for GRAD 999. You should confer with your graduate program before registering for this option to ensure that they do not have restrictions regarding GRAD 999 registration.
If I am registered for GRAD 999 or less than 6 credits, do I still get library, recreation center, email privileges, etc.?
You will want to contact the office providing the service you are seeking to inquire about minimum registration requirements. Questions regarding email can be made to the technology help-line at 612-301-4357.
When will I be eligible to take doctoral thesis credits (xxxx-8888)?
Graduate programs have the discretion to determine when it is academically appropriate for students to take these credits.
I have a hold on my record and can’t register. What should I do?
Contact the office that placed the hold to see what needs to be done to have the hold removed.
The hold on my record is due to a transcript needing to be submitted. What should I do?
An official copy of the transcript must be sent directly from the previous institution to the Graduate Office of Admissions in 309 Johnston Hall.
How do I get a transcript waiver so that I can register?
Waiver requests are available on the Graduate School’s website at http://www.grad.umn.edu/admissions/forms/. The completed waiver form must be submitted to the Graduate Office of Admissions in 309 Johnston Hall.
What is the Graduate Degree Plan?
The Graduate Degree Plan is used for masters, certificate, and doctoral students. It is considered to be a contract between the student, graduate program, and the Graduate School. On the Graduate Degree Plan you will indicate the coursework you are using to meet your graduate program’s coursework requirements as well as the University's graduate education minimum credit requirements.
When should I submit the Graduate Degree Plan?
The Graduate School recommends that master’s and certificate students submit the Graduate Degree Plan after completing 10 credits, but no later than 1 semester (term) before they intend to complete their degrees (including final exams). Doctoral students are recommended to submit the Graduate Degree Plan after completing 10 credits, but no later than 1 semester (term) before they plan to take the Preliminary Oral Exam.
Who needs to sign the Graduate Degree Plan?
The Graduate Degree Plan should first be reviewed and signed by your adviser(s) and Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). If you are pursuing a minor, you will also need to obtain the signature of the DGS in the minor field.
How do I know when my Graduate Degree Plan is approved?
An approved copy will be emailed to you at your U of M (@umn.edu) email account.
Do I need to take all my courses before submitting the Graduate Degree Plan?
Do I need to list all of the courses I have taken on my Graduate Degree Plan?
No. You should only list the coursework that is being taken to fulfill graduate program coursework requirements and University graduate education minimum credit requirements.
Can I include audited or withdrawn coursework on my Graduate Degree Plan?
No. Students can include coursework graded a C- or better.
Can I included coursework graded S/N on the Graduate Degree Plan?
Yes; students must earn a grade of “S” in order to include that course on the program.
How many S/N classes can I include on the Graduate Degree Plan?
Graduate education policy allows students to use up to 1/3 of the coursework on an S/N grading basis. The remaining 2/3 must be completed on the A-F grading basis. Note that individual graduate programs may have more stringent requirements.
Can I include coursework that I received an incomplete (“I”) for on my Graduate Degree Plan?
Yes. Master’s students must have a grade assigned for any incomplete coursework before the degree can be awarded. Doctoral students must have a grade assigned for any incomplete coursework before they are eligible to proceed with the final oral examination.
How do I add a minor?
A minor can be added by including the minor and related coursework on the Graduate Degree Plan. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the minor field must sign the Graduate Degree Plan. If you already have an approved Graduate Degree Plan on file, you will need to submit a Petition form to add the minor and any additional coursework necessary. Note: Master’s degree students must declare a minor prior to their final exam. Doctoral degree students must declare a minor prior to passing the preliminary oral exam.
How do I transfer coursework in from another institution?
Coursework from another institution being used to fulfill degree requirements should be included on the Graduate Degree Plan. An official transcript should be attached to the form unless a transcript showing that coursework is already on file at the Graduate School. If your Graduate Degree Plan is already approved, you must submit a petition along with an official transcript of the other institution.
Will the transfer coursework and credits appear on my University of Minnesota transcript?
No. The transfer work only appears on the approved Graduate Degree Plan.
How many credits can I transfer?
Master’s degree students can transfer up to 40% of the coursework included on the Graduate Degree Plan. The remaining 60% must be taken as a registered U of M Graduate School student. Doctoral students can transfer credits from another institution at the discretion of their graduate program. Doctoral and master's students who have taken non-degree seeking coursework for graduate credit at the U of M can only transfer in up to 12 of those credits. Note that individual graduate programs may have more stringent requirements. More information regarding updated transfer policies can be viewed here.
What should I do if the coursework I included on my Graduate Degree Plan has changed?
The Graduate School expects that students will change the coursework on the Graduate Degree Plan. If the changes are minor, you should submit a Petition form . The Petition form must be signed by your adviser(s) and Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). If you have a minor, the minor field DGS must also sign. If the changes in coursework are significant, the Graduate School recommends filing a revised Graduate Degree Plan which also requires signatures.
I am a master’s student. Do I need to schedule my final exam with the Graduate School?
No. The Graduate School does not require master’s student to schedule their exams with our office; confer with your graduate program regarding scheduling.
I am a master’s Plan B student. How do I get my Final Exam form?
The Final Exam form is issued in the graduation packet.
I am a master’s Plan A student. How do I get my Final Exam form?
The Final Exam form is issued when you submit the Thesis Reviewers Report (TRR) form to 160 Williamson Hall. The TRR form is issued in the graduation packet.
Do I need to schedule my doctoral preliminary written exam with the Graduate School?
No. This is done solely within your individual graduate program. Upon completion of the exam the Preliminary Written Exam Report form must be submitted to Graduate Student Services and Progress, 160 Williamson Hall.
Do I need to schedule my doctoral preliminary oral exam with Graduate Student Services and Progress?
Yes. You must schedule your exam online . You are encouraged to schedule once a date is set with your committee, but no later than 1 week prior to the exam.
How do I get the exam form for the doctoral preliminary oral exam?
The Preliminary Oral Exam form is mailed to the chair of the committee (as designated on the Degree Program). If there is not sufficient time to mail the exam form, Graduate Student Services and Progress will contact you via email to pick up the exam form.
When should I submit the Preliminary Oral Exam form?
The exam form should be submitted to the Graduate Student Services and Progress in 160 Williamson Hall once all signatures are obtained. For questions, please contact the GSSP (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do I need to schedule my doctoral final oral exam with Graduate Student Services and Progress?
Yes. You must schedule your exam online . You are encouraged to schedule once a date is set with your committee, but no later than 1 week prior to the exam.
Not all of my committee members are listed on my Doctoral Thesis Reviewer’s Report Form. Is this an error?
Only those committee members who are designated as official reviewers are listed on the Reviewer’s Report form. The minimum number of reviewers required is 3 (Adviser, one other inside examiner and an outside/minor examiner). Although all members of your committee should read your thesis, only those designated as reviewers need sign the Reviewer’s Report form.
When should I submit the doctoral Thesis Reviewers Report form to Graduate Student Services and Progress?
The Thesis Reviewers Report form must be submitted prior to the final exam date in 160 Williamson Hall.
How do I get the exam form for the doctoral final oral exam?
The Final Oral Exam form is mailed to the chair of the committee (as designated on the Thesis Proposal). If there is not sufficient time to mail the exam form, Graduate Student Services and Progress will contact you via email to pick up the exam form.
When should I submit the doctoral Final Oral Exam form?
The exam form should be submitted to Graduate Student Services and Progress in 160 Williamson Hall once all signatures are obtained. For questions, please contact the GSSP (email@example.com).
When/how do I apply to graduate?
Degrees are awarded on a monthly basis. To apply to graduate you must submit the Graduate Application for Degree included in the graduation packet. This form is submitted to the One Stop Office on or before the first working day of the month you intend to complete all requirements (coursework, exams, etc.).
How do I know when all my requirements to graduate are completed?
Master’s, specialist certificate, and post-baccalaureate certificate students will be sent an email from GSSP to their “@umn.edu” email account during the middle of the month they applied to graduate informing them of any outstanding requirements or confirming degree completion. Doctoral students will be notified of any outstanding requirements at the time of dissertation submission.
What is the minimum GPA required to graduate?
Masters students must have a minimum GPA of 2.80 (on a 4.00 scale) on the Graduate Degree Plan coursework in order to graduate. Individual graduate programs may require a higher GPA.
Individual graduate programs establish their own minimum GPA requirements for doctoral students.
How do I withdraw from my Graduate School program?
You should put your request to withdraw in writing and direct the email to your graduate program and copy the student services office.
Masters & Certificate students: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doctoral students: email@example.com
EXAMINING COMMITTEE/COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTIONS
How many individuals need to serve on my master’s final exam committee?
A minimum of 3 members are required for the master’s final exam committee; 2 members must be from your major and 1 must be from your minor or related field.
How many individuals need to serve on my doctoral preliminary oral and final oral exam committee?
A minimum of 4 members are required for the doctoral preliminary oral exam committee; 3 members must be from your major and 1 from your minor or supporting program.
How do I update my examining committee once approved?
You can request updates to your committee online. Requests should be submitted at least one month before an exam. A confirmation email will be sent to you upon approval.
Why do I need to assign both a doctoral preliminary oral and final oral examining committee?
These committees represent different milestones and are recorded separately; the committees may comprise different faculty members.
How do I find out what appointments faculty members have?
Faculty information is available on the Faculty Role List Database.
What do I need to do to add an external (not at the U of M) faculty member to my committee?
Your graduate program must follow collegiate guidelines established for appointing external faculty members. More information is available online.
Can my adviser serve as the chair of my doctoral preliminary oral and doctoral final oral committee?
Your adviser may serve as the chair for preliminary oral exam only; however, this is not allowed by some graduate programs so be sure to check with your graduate program first before assigning your committee chair. Your adviser cannot serve as chair for the final oral exam committee.
THESIS/DISSERTATION PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION
How do I format my thesis dissertation?
Thesis/dissertation formatting guidelines are available in 160 Williamson Hall or online .
How soon after my final exam do I need to submit the thesis/dissertation?
The thesis/dissertation is due on or before the last working day of the month you intend to graduate. You are encourage to submit your thesis/dissertation before the last working day of the month to ensure time for review and for you to make formatting revisions as requested.
Should I register a copyright for my thesis/dissertation?
This is optional for students. If you choose to register your copyright, you must include a copyright page in the thesis/dissertation. It is to your benefit to include a copyright page regardless. You have the option of having ProQuest register the copyright on your behalf. There is a $55 fee associated with this process.
Where can I have extra copies of my thesis/dissertation bound?
Graduate Student Services and Progress does not endorse any one binding service. There are several options available to students.
University of Minnesota Bindery
I haven’t received my diploma yet. When will I get it?
The diploma typically takes 4-6 weeks to receive after the degree has been conferred.
If it has been longer than that verify with the Master’s/Doctoral Clearance Coordinator to confirm that the degree was actually conferred.
I need to change the address to which my diploma will be mailed. What should I do?
Contact the One Stop office at 612-624-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
My diploma does not indicate my major. Is this a mistake?
The diploma only indicates what type of degree was awarded (MA, MS, PhD, EdD, etc), and not the major or minor field. If you need documentation showing the degree and major, contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain an official copy of the transcript (the university’s most official record of the degree).
My name has changed. How do I make sure it is right on the diploma?
Contact the One Stop office at 612-624-1111 or email@example.com.
How many credits do I need to be registered for to maintain my Assistantship?
You will want to check with the Assistantship office, located in 200 Donhowe, or check the Assistantship office website.
I’m done with all my coursework and thesis credits. How do I maintain my full time status for my Assistantship?
Graduate students who have completed all their coursework and need to maintain full time status may be eligible to register for the Full Time Equivalent credit (xxxx-8333 and xxxx-8444). In addition, you should check with the Assistantship office, located in 200 Donhowe, or check the Assistantship office website.
I have questions about my health benefits or tuition benefits. Who can help me?
Check with the Assistantship office, located in 200 Donhowe, or check the Assistantship office website or by calling 612-624-7070.
For Assistantship Health Insurance questions, call 612-625-6936.
CHANGE OF STATUS
I am in a master’s program and I want to pursue a PhD. What do I need to do?
You must file the Change of Status Application with the Graduate Office of Admissions (309 Johnston Hall). When completing the form, be sure to indicate if you plan to complete your current degree.
I am in a PhD program and I want to get the master’s (same major) along the way. What do I need to do?
File a Graduate Degree Plan form specifically for the master’s degree (signed by adviser(s) and DGS) with the GSSP Office.
I want to drop from the PhD and just get my master’s. What should I do?
File a Change of Status Application with the Graduate Office of Admissions (309 Johnston Hall). Be sure to indicate that you are no longer wishing to pursue the PhD. You must also file a Graduate Degree Plan for the master’s if you haven’t done so already.
How do I change from a Plan A to a Plan B master’s program?
You must submit a Petition form that requests the Plan change, or submit a revised Graduate Degree Plan with the new Plan type. You may also need to add/remove coursework from your exisiting Graduate Degree Plan to conform to the requirements for a Plan A or Plan B. Any coursework changes must be indicated on the Petition or revised Graduate Degree Plan. The Petition or Graduate Degree Plan must be signed by the adviser(s) and DGS and submitted to GSSP for approval.
CHANGING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Where do I go to change my address?
To officially change the address throughout the University system (not just in the directory), you must contact the Office of the Registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-624-1111).
How do I change my name in the system?
To officially change your name throughout the University system (not just in the directory), student must contact the Office of the Registrar (email@example.com, 612-624-1111).