ISU is committed to helping students graduate on time. ISU students use the degree audit and other tools provided in MySAM to track their progress toward graduation.
All undergraduate degree-seeking students can access their degree audits online at any time. A degree audit is a record of degree requirements, including courses needed for the program of study (for example, major, minor) and Foundational Studies (general education) as well as University requirements such as grades, grade point average, credit hours earned, and transfer courses accepted. The audit displays the student’s progress toward meeting each requirement and shows how ISU and transfer courses fulfill degree requirements.
Undergraduates can follow these instructions for using MySAM.
These tools are used primarily for academic advising, course scheduling, and certification for graduation. While efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the degree audits and plans of study, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure all degree requirements are met. The only official documentation of a student’s academic record is an official transcript.
As part of the Indiana State Advantage, undergraduate degree-seeking full-time freshman applicants are included in the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee. This assures eligible students will be able to complete a bachelor’s degree on time. If students adhere to the graduation guarantee responsibilities but do not finish in four years, Indiana State University will pay the tuition and any mandatory course fees for any remaining required courses.
The Sycamore Graduation Guarantee applies to all undergraduate degree programs of 128 semester hours or fewer.
Student Responsibilities and Eligibility
- Apply and attend Indiana State University as an undergraduate degree-seeking full-time freshman applicant.
- Acknowledge they have read and understood the student responsibilities by authorizing the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee Student Responsibilities in their MyISU Portal.
- Meet with their designated advisor to develop a four-year plan to identify the courses they must complete each semester to stay on course to graduate within four years. Students assume responsibility for monitoring their progress to a degree by utilizing the degree reporting tool (MySAM) and are required to meet with their advisor each semester to ensure that they stay on track.
- Follow appropriate course sequencing (as defined in the MySAM plan) and complete prerequisites and required grades for progression.
- Must be admitted to a degree-applicable major by the end of their second semester. If a change of major is approved, it must be done in time to meet the requirements of the new major and graduate within the original four-year time period.
- Remain in good academic standing each term/semester (by both institutional and major standards).
- Complete between 30-32 degree-applicable credit hours each academic year. The academic year is defined as fall/spring/summer for summer/fall applicants; spring/summer/fall for spring applicants.
- Monitor their progress and email their designated advisor and the Guarantee program at email@example.com during the priority registration period if unable to register for a required course needed to meet progression/graduation standards.
- Ensure they have no holds blocking registration for courses during the priority registration period.
- Summer/fall applicants must apply for graduation by October 1 prior to their spring/summer graduation; Spring applicants must apply for graduation by February 1 prior to their fall graduation.
At various points, students may fall out of compliance with the agreement due to financial constraints, academic performance, change of major, and/or other issues. Students should work with their advisors to determine what options (summer school, tutoring, etc.) may exist to address those issues and come back into compliance.
- Confirm a student’s eligibility into the graduation guarantee based on chosen program of study and any college preparation deficiencies.
- Provide appropriate courses for the major to ensure that the degree can be completed during the four-year period.
- Provide access to quality advising throughout a student’s time at Indiana State.
- Provide tools, including but not limited to degree audit reporting to enable the student to monitor degree progression.
- Provide an annual assessment report indicating if the student is on track to graduate within four years (eight semesters) and, if not, what issues need to be addressed to get back into compliance with the agreement.
- If a student is unable to graduate within four years (eight semesters) due to the unavailability of required courses, the University may, when appropriate, allow the student to graduate by substituting a different course or an independent study assignment, as determined by the department and the college offering the student’s major.
- If course substitution is not an option, and the student is unable to graduate after completing four years (Eight semesters) and complying with all terms of this agreement, Indiana State will pay the tuition and mandatory fees for any additional required courses*.
*The student must request a course substitution or waiver of tuition and mandatory fees prior to the beginning of classes for the last semester of the student’s four-year plan. The waiver of tuition and mandatory fees will be limited to the required coursework and does not extend to any other costs of attendance including room and board fees and textbooks. All other fees will be the responsibility of the student.
Graduation represents the culmination of a student’s program of study. Baccalaureate degrees are awarded upon successful completion of all degree requirements. Degree requirements may be those in effect at the time of matriculation or at graduation, but not a combination of both. Usually, students should expect to follow the curricular requirements and University regulations provided in the Undergraduate Catalog based on their matriculation term. The dean of the college may determine which of the courses taken by the student more than seven years prior to graduation may be applicable to a baccalaureate degree.
Degree requirements for graduation are those as described by the college and the student’s chosen curriculum. The dean of each college is responsible for certifying the completion of degree requirements for each candidate for graduation. A degree audit is available from the MyISU Portal to assist students in planning and progressing toward graduation.
Each student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements by the time he/she expects to graduate, including that students must:
- Apply for graduation two semesters before their planned graduation date. Following submission of the graduation application, any subsequent changes to the application are the responsibility of the student. If requirements are not met by the expected graduation term, a change in the date of graduation must be made and is the responsibility of the student.
- Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours, excluding any duplicate course credits.
- Resolve any incomplete grades if the incomplete was assigned after spring 2007.
- Complete at least 30 credit hours enrolled at Indiana State University, of which at least nine must be at the 300-400 level.
- Complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of course work in 300 and 400-level courses.
- Complete the Foundational Studies Program (see relevant section of this Catalog).
- Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Note: Certain programs require a higher minimum grade point average. Consult the relevant sections of this Catalog for individual degree program information.
- Additional degree requirements are specified by the college and the students’ chosen curricula. Students should consult the relevant section of this Catalog for complete information about degree requirements for their major/minor programs.
Second or Additional Baccalaureate Degree. A student who desires a second or additional baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours at ISU after the awarding of the first degree and must fulfill all requirements for the degree being pursued. Two baccalaureate degrees may be granted simultaneously provided all requirements for both degrees have been completed and a minimum of 150 credit hours has been earned.
Upon certification of graduation, degrees are awarded, and graduates are granted full alumni standing. Graduates who are free of all University obligations are issued a diploma and transcript. The academic record at the semester of completion is closed once graduation is certified; no record changes will be permitted once the degree is awarded. No further registrations beyond the semester of completion are permitted. If the graduate desires to take additional courses or pursue another degree/certificate, he/she must be readmitted.
Commencement Ceremony. Students who apply to graduate in Spring/Summer are invited to the commencement ceremony held in May. Students who apply to graduate in Fall are invited to the commencement ceremony held in December. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar.
Indiana State University honors baccalaureate graduates who have high academic achievement by conferring the Latin designations of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude.
|Indiana State University cumulative grade point average
|Magna Cum Laude
|Summa Cum Laude
|3.90 or higher
Latin honor eligibility for commencement ceremonies. The Latin designation for the commencement ceremony will be reflective of the candidate’s academic record and will be reviewed at the established commencement deadline. The candidate for graduation must:
- Have a current graduation application on file in the Office of the Registrar by the established commencement deadline.
- Complete a minimum of 55 hours of Indiana State University resident credit (excludes course transfer credit, advanced or prior learning credit, placement exams, and military credit).
- Earn a minimum ISU cumulative grade point average of 3.5.
- Indiana State University courses approved for academic renewal will be included in the honor grade point average calculation.
Latin honors eligibility for placement on the official record. The Latin designation placed on the academic transcript and diploma will be reflective of the academic record at that point in time the degree is awarded. The graduate is eligible for a Latin designation if they meet the minimum 55-hour resident credit (see above) and the required cumulative grade point average.
Latin honors may apply to a subsequent baccalaureate degree provided all eligibility requirements are met. All Indiana State University resident credits will be used in the calculation of the Latin designation.
Apply for Graduation
To apply, sign in to your MyISU account and select the Student Self-Service Quick Link. Select the “Apply for Graduation - Graduate Students” link. Students who expect to complete a graduate degree or certificate during the academic year or subsequent summer must file an Application no later than October 1 for December (fall semester) graduation, or March 1 for May (spring semester) graduation, or June 1 for August (summer term) graduation. Only students who meet these deadlines can be assured of having their names appear in the commencement program. In order to qualify for a credential, the student must complete all academic program, college, and Indiana State University requirements. While degrees are conferred in May, August, and December, commencement ceremonies are held only in May and December. Participation in commencement is not required but it is encouraged as a memorable part of the university experience. Candidates for the doctoral and educational specialist degrees must have completed all degree requirements prior to participation in a commencement ceremony. Students who only have internships remaining may participate in the appropriate ceremony. Those attending the ceremony may purchase or rent the appropriate cap, gown, and hood from the University Bookstore.
Eligibility for Graduation
To be eligible for graduation, all students must meet the following requirements:
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (or program-specific minimum).
- Complete a program-specific minimum number of credits of graduate coursework with at least one-half of the work in courses numbered 600 or above.
- Have no encumbrances on the student’s records.
- Complete all requirements within the identified timelines. No graduate credit will be counted toward degree requirements that was earned before these timelines. Students with nine or fewer credit hours of out-of-date coursework must submit course validation forms to the director of Graduate Studies for approval. Students with more than nine credit hours of out-of-date coursework must submit a petition with the appropriate course validations for consideration by the Graduate Student Appeals Committee. Ordinarily, if more than 50% of the coursework is out of date, all or a portion of the courses must be retaken.
- For students in programs requiring a thesis or dissertation, maintain continuous enrollment in thesis or dissertation hours (e.g., 699 or 899) during the fall and spring semesters until all documents are submitted to and accepted by the student’s home academic college.
Master’s Degree Requirements
A master’s degree is awarded to a student upon successful completion of one of the graduate curricula in this Catalog, earning a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours for non-terminal degree programs and as many as 93 graduate credit hours for terminal degree programs. Research experience and/or a culminating experience are required for all programs leading to the master’s degree, and these experiences must be satisfactorily completed. Neither the research experience nor the culminating experience may be transferred from one master’s degree program to another by a student who wishes to pursue a second master’s degree.
All program requirements must be completed within seven years.
Thesis Expectations and Enrollment Requirements
A thesis, if required by the master’s program, should be the result of scholarship that contributes to the discipline. A Thesis Committee form must be submitted and approved one semester prior to the proposal defense. A thesis committee consists of three graduate faculty and includes no more than one non-tenure track faculty. Students are expected to defend their thesis proposal at least one semester prior to the final thesis defense. Thesis requirements include registration for the minimum credits stipulated by the program. In preparing the thesis, the candidate should carefully read the material found in this section and follow the procedures outlined in the section of this catalog on Regulations, in addition to any materials on preparing or formatting a thesis provided by the director of Graduate Studies.
Continuous enrollment during the fall and spring semesters is required until a student has completed all degree requirements and all documents are submitted to and accepted by, the student’s home academic college, regardless of whether a student is in residence or is away from campus. Only students who apply for August graduation must register in the summer.
Second Master’s Degree Requirements
A student with a master’s degree from an accredited institution may apply for admission to a second master’s degree program for the purpose of completing a new major area of graduate study. Students admitted to such programs are directed to the appropriate department chairperson or graduate program director who may accept up to 30% of the minimum credits required from the student’s first master’s degree program as transfer credit. All requirements for the master’s degree program must be met; second master’s degree programs must include a new research component or culminating experience, neither of which can be transferred from the first master’s degree program.
Educational Specialist Degree Requirements
A student admitted to an educational specialist program must earn a minimum of 57 hours of graduate study, including 27 hours of credit above the master’s degree. At least 15 credit hours must be earned after admission to the program. The student must write an advanced thesis or otherwise demonstrate the competency to carry on individual research. The educational specialist is regarded as an advanced practitioner’s degree and, as such, is a continuation of work completed in pursuit of the master’s degree in the area in which it is sought.
All program requirements must be completed within eight years.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
The doctoral degree is conferred only upon those students who have completed, with high distinction, a period of intensive study in a selected field. Candidates must have gained a thorough knowledge of the materials in the field, mastered the method of advanced study, and demonstrated this mastery through a dissertation or scholarly or creative project.
All program requirements must be completed within nine years.
Evidence of proficiency in appropriate research tools is expected of all doctoral candidates. Such proficiency shall be determined and judged by each candidate’s academic program or department. Individual academic units may, at their discretion, require, establish, and administer their own proficiency examination(s). Any research proficiency requirement (e.g. foreign language, computer applications, or statistics) shall be established by the candidate’s major department or program.
Doctoral Programs with a Dissertation Expectation
Doctoral Committee. Early in the student’s program, upon the student’s formal request and supported by the recommendations of the advisor, a doctoral committee is appointed (students should be in consultation with the advisor to ensure the doctoral committee meets the specific program requirements). The doctoral committee consists of a minimum of three members of the graduate faculty appointed in the same manner that the advisor was appointed. One of the doctoral committee members must be from outside the student’s major area, and the committee may include no more than one non-tenure track faculty. The doctoral committee conducts examinations, supervises the dissertation, and recommends the student for the degree to the dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The student’s home academic college.
Qualifying Examination. The student must satisfactorily pass program-specific examinations. The department will set dates for the administration of any examinations. The examination(s) will be prepared according to regulations established by the department and follow evaluation procedures developed by the program. The evaluation results will be certified by the appropriate department chairperson, the dean of the student’s academic college. When there is disagreement at the program level resulting in lack of consensus regarding overall performance, the case will be referred to the department chairperson and dean of the student’s home academic college. The preliminary examinations will be evaluated according to program criteria (which may allow for a single retake) as follows:
- Fail. Eligible for re-take pursuant to program rules.
- Fail. The student is ineligible for a re-take and eliminated from the program.
When the student has met all requirements for candidacy, the chairperson of the committee will recommend to the department chairperson and to the dean of the student’s home academic college that the student be approved for admission to candidacy.
Admission to Candidacy. A student cannot and does not become a candidate for a doctoral degree until such time as they have been formally admitted to candidacy. Admission to candidacy must be based on the academic record with specific coursework and other program requirements satisfied and successful completion of the qualifying exam.
Dissertation. A dissertation, required of all candidates for the doctor of health sciences, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of psychology degrees, is the result of an original investigation which makes a contribution to knowledge of sufficient significance to justify its publication. The Dissertation Committee form must be submitted and approved by the student’s home academic college prior to scheduling the proposal defense. Students are expected to defend their proposal at least one semester prior to defending the dissertation. In some programs, students are advised to defend their proposal even earlier. Dissertation requirements include registration for the minimum dissertation credits stipulated by the program. In preparing the dissertation, the candidate should follow the Steps for Completing a Thesis or Dissertation. Continuous enrollment during the fall and spring semesters is required until a student has completed all degree requirements and all documents are submitted to and accepted by the student’s home academic college. Only students who apply for August graduation must register in the summer. Formal approval of the dissertation proposal is accomplished after admission to candidacy. Registration for dissertation credit may only occur following admission to candidacy and/or advisor approval. Late registration (under no penalty) for dissertation credits may be approved by the dean of the student’s home academic college during the semester of admission to candidacy.
Dissertation Proposal. After admission to candidacy, and under the direction of the dissertation committee, the student prepares and submits a dissertation proposal for approval by the student’s committee, and the student’s home academic college dean. The proposal, as completely and explicitly as possible, describes the proposed original scholarship for the dissertation.
Dissertation Defense. At least nine weeks prior to the date the degree is to be conferred and at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination, copies of the dissertation should be made available to all members of the student’s doctoral committee. The oral examination may be set at any date convenient to the committee and the student, providing the University is officially open, but must be at least seven weeks (six weeks during the summer session) prior to the date the degree will be conferred. The time and place of the defense, together with the names of the student, the doctoral committee, and chairperson or dissertation director, and the title of the dissertation must be submitted to the student’s home academic college at least one week prior to the defense. The student’s home academic college will notify the campus community of the details of the defense. Attendance at the defense is open to any member of the campus community. Other interested individuals may attend the defense with permission from the committee chairperson. Following the successful completion of the oral exam, the student will forward a copy of the dissertation to the home college. After making edits requested by the home college, and getting approval from the student’s home academic college dean on the Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form, the student will upload an electronic copy of the dissertation that has been approved by the student’s home college. Students will also upload a signed Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form as a supplemental file. (See additional requirements related to dissertation in the section below.)
Graduation. A student enrolled in a doctoral degree program requiring a dissertation must take the following steps toward graduation:
- Apply for graduation by the published deadline for the semester/term in which graduation is anticipated.
- Complete the dissertation and defend it in an open examination before the student’s doctoral committee.
- Make any changes to the dissertation, as directed by official action of the student’s doctoral committee and home academic college.
- Obtain approval (Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Defense form) of members of the student’s doctoral committee, department chairperson, and dean of the student’s home academic college.
- Upload an electronic copy of the dissertation that has been approved by the student’s home college. Students must adhere to the submission guidelines provided by the director of Graduate Studies. Submission guidelines are located on the Office of the Registrar’s Web site. Copyright may be registered. The student is responsible for all associated fees.
- Pay all costs associated with the publication of the dissertation or its abstract.
- Remove any encumbrances and/or incomplete grades on their record.
Doctoral Programs Without a Dissertation Requirement
Students enrolled in doctoral programs that do not require a dissertation are still responsible for demonstrating research proficiency through a culminating project that is shared with the university community. Students must consult with the program director regarding the requirements of the culminating experience.
Graduation. A student enrolled in a doctoral degree program not requiring a dissertation must take the following steps toward graduation:
- Apply for graduation by the published deadline for the semester/term in which graduation is anticipated.
- Complete the culminating experience and defend it in an open examination before the student’s doctoral committee.
- Remove any encumbrances and/or incomplete grades on their record.
Awarding of Two or More Graduate Degrees
Two or more graduate degrees or certificates may be granted simultaneously provided all requirements for the degrees have been completed, no more than 30% of the coursework is shared between the degrees, and the research and/or culminating experiences (if required) are unique. However, since many students may choose to pursue a certificate as well as a formal degree program, all credits completed as part of a certificate program can be counted toward a subsequent or simultaneous degree award.
A thesis or dissertation should represent original scholarship. Expectations regarding the type of thesis/dissertation, as well as the scope of the project, will be determined by individual graduate programs and the thesis or dissertation advisor and committee. For the convenience of graduate students, please see the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook.
Once the general area of research is determined through conference with the appropriate departmental faculty, the student begins the steps for completing thier thesis/dissertation.
- Early in the student’s program, upon the student’s formal request and supported by the recommendations of the advisor, a thesis/doctoral committee is appointed. The thesis committee consists of three graduate faculty and includes no more than one non-tenure track faculty. The doctoral committee consists of at least three members of the graduate faculty appointed in the same manner that the advisor was appointed. One of the doctoral committee members must be from outside the student’s major area. No more than one non-tenure track faculty member may serve on the committee. The thesis/dissertation committee form must be submitted and approved by the student’s home academic college prior to scheduling the proposal defense.
- Under the direction of the committee, the student prepares and submits a thesis or dissertation proposal for approval. The proposal, as completely and explicitly as possible, describes the proposed original scholarship for the thesis or dissertation. After the successful completion of the proposal, the committee will sign the Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Proposal Form. If the research involves human subjects or animal subjects, approval from the appropriate Indiana State University committee (Institutional Review Board, Bio-Safety, Radiation Safety, or Animal Care and Use Committee) must be granted in writing, which requires a signed Thesis and Dissertation Proposal Form. The Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Proposal form along with a hard copy of the proposal document and, if required, approval of the appropriate Indiana State University committee (Institutional Review Board, Bio-safety, Radiation Safety, or Animal Care and Use Committee), must be presented to the student’s home academic college prior to any data collection. Master’s students may register for course 699 (Thesis) only after formal approval of their thesis proposal and/or approval from their advisor. Doctor of health sciences and doctor of philosophy students may register for course 899 (Dissertation) after admission to candidacy and/or approval from their advisor. Doctor of psychology students may register for course 799 (Dissertation) after admission to candidacy and/or approval from their advisor.
- Students must enroll for thesis or dissertation credit in course 699 (Master’s Thesis), course 799 (Psy.D. Dissertation), or course 899 (Ph.D. Dissertation). Once a student enrolls in course 699, 799, or 899, continuous enrollment during fall and spring semester is required until the student has completed all degree requirements, regardless of whether a student is in residence or away from campus. A student who applies to graduate in the summer must register for the appropriate summer term in course 699, 799, or 899 dependent upon degree program.
- The student defends the thesis or dissertation at an open meeting. The time and place of this meeting, together with the names of the student, the committee, and chairperson or director, and the title of the thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the student’s home academic college at least one week prior to the event. To verify the successful completion of the defense, the committee will sign and the student will submit an Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Defense form with the approved thesis/dissertation.
- Following successful completion of the oral exam, the student will forward a copy of the dissertation or thesis to the home college and complete any edits requested.
- After making edits requested by the home college, and getting approval from the home academic college dean on the Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form, the student will upload an electronic copy of the dissertation or thesis that has been approved by the student’s home college to the Office of the Registrar’s repository. The student will also upload a signed Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form as a supplemental file. Submission guidelines are located on the Office of the Registrar’s Web site. Copyright may be registered. The student is responsible for all associated fees.
- During preparation and final approval of the thesis or dissertation, a staff member in the Office of the Registrar is available for consultation. It is expected, however, that when the copy is presented to the Office of the Registrar, few corrections will need to be made.
- Upon final approval of the thesis or dissertation, the thesis or dissertation committee chairperson ensures that grades are submitted for all thesis or dissertation credits.
Steps for Completing a Thesis or Dissertation
Please note that the term “chair” (as used below) is defined as the dissertation/thesis committee chair. The chair is synonymous with the student’s advisor, research director, or dissertation director as the terminology may vary between programs.
- Form a committee. The student, with the chair and committee members, completes an approval of thesis or dissertation committee form. The size of the committee may vary by program and degree. The form is approved by the student’s home academic college.
- Proposal. The student works closely with the chair and committee on the development of a research proposal. Once the project has been developed, the student prepares a full written proposal for a formal presentation, sometimes called a defense. The time and date of the defense is selected in consultation with the chairperson and committee. The student proposes a thesis or dissertation, and the proposed research is approved, or not approved, by signature of the committee, department chairperson/program coordinator, and student’s home academic college dean. If a student’s research project requires human/animal subject approval, the student is strongly encouraged to begin the IRB approval process immediately following approval. Once a student has proposed the thesis or dissertation, continuous enrollment is required (for example, 699/799/899).
- Note: Doctoral students cannot propose a dissertation prior to being admitted to candidacy. Candidacy requires completion of preliminary examinations and specific course work required by the program.Establish a Defense Date. The student, in consultation with the chair and committee, sets the time and location for a defense, also known as an oral examination. The student (or chair) must notify the student’s home academic college one week prior to the event. The notification must include the time and place of the examination, together with the names of the student, the doctoral committee and chair or dissertation director, and the title of the dissertation.
- Defense and Approval of Defense. The student defends the dissertation before the full committee, attending graduate faculty, and other attendees. The committee approves (for example, signs the approval form, or does not approve, the defense and may request specific revisions. The student completes edits, and submits to the chair for approval. Once edits have been approved, the chair of the committee signs the approval form, and the final draft can be forwarded to the department chair/program coordinator, student’s home academic dean. The full thesis or dissertation must be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for final review and approval. The chair submits all final grades, and the student arranges for all requirements for incomplete coursework to be fulfilled.
- Final Copy and Deadlines. The student has primary responsibility for meeting all required submission deadlines. Critical dates are published on the Web prior to the beginning of each semester and announced on ISU’s global email.
Submitting a Final Thesis or Dissertation
The initial electronic copy of any thesis or dissertation must be submitted electronically in PDF format. Listed below are policies, instructions, and templates for submitting a final electronic dissertation or thesis.
- Electronic Thesis/Dissertation Template
- Electronic Thesis/Dissertationi Template: APA7 version-optional created by BCOE: