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Steps to Degree

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Steps to Degree

 

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Different program formats are appropriate for different students. In making the decision between programs and formats, the first thing students should think about are their long-term goals, their learning styles, and their commitments outside of class. When you know your goals, you're free to evaluate programs and program formats based on how well suited they are to help you reach those goals. 

Graduate school is intellectually challenging and can last from two to 10 years. Choosing a program in which you like the people and environment, whether that is in-person, hybrid, or online, will ultimately help you be successful.

 

Enrollment Information

Contact your academic unit or advisor for enrollment. Students may browse class schedules by logging into one.ou.edu using your OUNet ID and password. Once a term has started, students who have not yet registered should report to their academic unit for advisement. If you are unsure which academic unit you are in, please contact the Graduate College.

Some academic units require students to be advised prior to enrollment and advising requirements vary by program. You may contact your academic unit with enrollment or advising questions.  Information on adding or dropping a class may be found at the Office of the Registrar or with your academic unit. A full list of deadlines to enroll and add or drop classes may be found in the academic calendar.

If you would like to enroll in more hours than what is regarded as "full-time enrollment" you must contact the Graduate College to receive permission to do so.

 

More information regarding enrollment may be found in the Graduate College Bulletin.

Fall or SpringSummer
*Full-time enrollment is 9 credit hours.*Full-time enrollment is 6 credit hours.
Half-time enrollment is 5 credit hours.Half-time enrollment is 3 credit hours.
**Full time enrollment for .50FTE Graduate Assistants is 5 credit hours**Graduate Assistants summer enrollment differs depending on the students circumstances. See the Graduate College Bulletin for more details.

*International graduate students must be enrolled full-time. If fewer credit hours are desired for a semester, international students must complete the Reduced Course load Request with International Student Services (ISS).

**Graduate Assistants must be enrolled in classes by August 5 for the Fall semester and January 5 in the Spring semester to be eligible for the Student FICA (Social Security) Exemption on August and January paychecks. More information is available on the Graduate Assistantship page.

Instruction Packets

These Instruction Packets are currently available as a PDF documents. If you have any questions, please contact your Graduate College graduate degree management specialist or call us at (405) 325-3811.

Thesis/Dissertation

For students who will be writing a thesis or dissertation in order to complete their graduate studies.

 

Download the Packet (PDF)

Non-Thesis/Dissertation

For students who do not need a thesis or dissertation in order to complete their graduate studies.

 

Download the Packet (PDF)

Review the thesis/dissertation packet for complete information and sample pages.

  • Standard, professional 12-point font must be used throughout (headings may be larger).
  • Page margins must be consistent throughout the document (minimum 1” and maximum 1.5”).
  • The first three (3) pages of the document must appear in the following order: Title Page, Committee Page, and Copyright Page. Do not include page numbers on these pages.
  • The text of the Title Page, Committee Page, and Copyright Page must include all text on the sample pages of the instruction packet (format may vary).
  • The Title Page must include the exact name of the degree.
  • The Committee Page must include the exact name of the academic unit.
  • The Committee Page must include the names of each committee member (no signatures; format may vary).
  • The document title on the Title Page and Committee Page must match the title on the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form.
  • Front matter must include at minimum a Table of Contents and Abstract. Roman numeral page numbers begin with “iv” on the page directly following the Copyright Page.
  • Arabic numeral page numbers beginning with “1” on the first page of the thesis/dissertation text (e.g., Chapter 1 or Introduction) and continue through the remainder of the document.
  • Page numbers must be in a consistent position throughout the document on every page following the Copyright Page.
  • All tables, figures, illustrations, and other visual content must be within the margins.
  • Bibliography or References section(s) must be included.
  • SHAREOK submission must include a complete .pdf version of the entire thesis/dissertation document with the file name Year_StudentLastName_StudentFirstName_Thesis or
    Year_StudentLastName_StudentFirstName_Dissertation.pdf
  • SHAREOK submission must include a version in the native file format used to create the document (.docx, .zip, or .tar for LaTeX, etc.) with a file name that matches the .pdf document.

The following collections of links may help you in formatting your document.

Note: These pages are outside the OU website and are neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the University of Oklahoma.

Master's Programs

A master’s degree hones your critical thinking. Completion of a master’s degree demonstrates an enhanced level of expertise in a specific field or study or practice. To find the completion options available for your program, see the Master's Program of Study table.

Steps to Degree & Deadlines

All graduate students should familiarize themselves with the Graduate College deadlines below, the deadlines within their academic unit, and the University Academic Calendar. Any calendar is subject to change when it is determined to be in the best interest of the university to do so.

Visit the Graduate College Bulletin for more detailed information. 

TimelineSteps to DegreeFall 2023 Completion DeadlinesSpring 2023 Completion DeadlinesSummer 2023 Completion Deadlines

All Master's Students

    
First semester Contact your Academic Unit to discuss your program requirements and deadlines.   
Semester before you plan to graduate by deadline Submit Program of Study to the Graduate CollegeMonday, April 3, 2023Monday, October 3, 2022Monday, March 6, 2023
Semester before you plan to graduate by deadline Final day to apply for graduationMonday, May 1, 2023Thursday, December 1, 2022Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Non-Thesis Students Only

    
Final semester Contact your academic unit to discuss non-thesis examination procedures then work with your program to schedule your non-thesis examination. Prior to your exam start date, your program must request authorization for you to take your exam from the Graduate College.    
>> The Graduate College authorizes your exam and sends the Authority Report Form to the academic unit.    
>> Final day to complete master's non-thesis examination .Friday, December 8, 2023
Friday, May 5, 2023Friday, July 28, 2023 
>> The academic unit provides the results of your exam in the Authority Report Form to the Graduate College.     

Thesis Students Only

    
First semester Contact your academic unit to discuss your program requirements and deadlines.    
During your first year Meet with your research advisor in your academic unit to select a thesis topic and thesis committee.    
Semester before you plan to graduate by deadline Submit a Program of Study form and the Master's Thesis Topic and Committee Membership form to the Graduate College. Ensure the Graduate College is notified of any changes to the coursework listed on your Program of Study form throughout your program.
Monday, April 3, 2023Monday, October 3, 2022Monday, March 6, 2023 
Semester before you plan to graduate by deadline Final day to apply for graduationMonday, May 1, 2023Thursday, December 1, 2022Wednesday, February 1, 2023 
During thesis research Make sure you meet the enrollment requirements for thesis research.      
Final semester Submit Request for Degree Check online form to the Graduate College.Friday, September 1, 2023Friday, January 27, 2023Friday, May 26, 2023 
4 weeks prior to defense Provide your committee with your draft thesis and work with your committee to schedule your thesis defense.    
At least 10 working days prior to defense and no later than end of semester deadline Request authorization to defend by submitting the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College. Friday, November 17, 2023Friday, April 14, 2023 Friday, July 7, 2023 
At least 5 working days prior to defense but no later than end of semester deadline Final day for committees to sign Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend.Monday, November 27, 2023
Friday, April 21, 2023 
Friday, July 14, 2023
Final semester The Graduate College authorizes your defense and sends the Authority Report form to you, your committee, and academic unit.   
Final semester Final day to hold thesis defense.Friday, December 1, 2023Friday, April 28, 2023Friday, July 21, 2023
Within 3 working days of your defense The results of the thesis defense are provided in the Authority Report Form to the Graduate College.   
Final semester Make revisions to your thesis as needed and format your document to meet SHAREOK requirements and submit the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form. Approval of this form allows you to upload your thesis to the SHAREOK repository.Friday, December 8, 2023Friday, May 5, 2023Friday, July 28, 2023
End of semester deadline Submit your thesis to the SHAREOK repository.Friday, December 8, 2023Friday, May 5, 2023Friday, July 28, 2023

Accelerated Master's

An accelerated degree program (ADP) enables qualified undergraduate students to earn a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame by sharing up to 15% of the total coursework required for the stand-alone bachelor’s and master’s degrees. More details may be found in the Graduate College Bulletin.

The undergraduate degree is conferred before the student’s admission to the graduate portion of the ADP. If you are not sure which model your program follows, check the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form for your major.

Applying to the Undergraduate Portion of the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP)

  • Contact your academic unit and/or undergraduate college before or during your junior year.
  • You will need to follow the application procedures and deadlines established by the academic unit and undergraduate college in order to be admitted to the accelerated degree program (ADP) and changed to the undergraduate accelerated major code.

After Admission to the Undergraduate Portion of the ADP

  • You must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin.
  • Work with your undergraduate college advisor and graduate liaison to complete the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form. This form is used to plan the hours that will count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
    • All shared courses must carry graduate credit and be applicable to both the bachelor’s degree requirements and master’s degree requirements.
    • Coursework completed prior to admission to the undergraduate portion of the ADP cannot be considered for shared coursework credit.

Applying to the Graduate Portion of the ADP

  • Apply to the graduate portion during the final semester of the bachelor’s degree by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • The term of admission must be the semester after completion of the bachelor’s degree. You may not skip a fall or spring semester between the degrees.
    • If you do not complete the bachelor’s degree as intended, your admission to the graduate portion of the ADP will not be valid, you will remain in the undergraduate portion, and you will need to reapply to the graduate portion.

Planning Your Program of Study

  • See the Non-Thesis Master's Degree, Thesis Master's Degree, or Coursework-Only Master's Degree menu above for your remaining steps toward graduation.

Congratulations!

The undergraduate and graduate degrees are conferred in the same semester. If you are not sure which model your program follows, check the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form for your major.

Applying to the Undergraduate Portion of the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP)

  • Contact your academic unit and/or undergraduate college before or during your junior year.
    • You will need to follow the application procedures and deadlines established by the academic unit and undergraduate college in order to be admitted to the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) and changed to the undergraduate accelerated major code.

After Admission to the Undergraduate Portion of the ADP

  • You must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin.
  • Work with your undergraduate college advisor and graduate liaison to complete the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan form. This form is used to plan the hours that will count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
    •  Coursework completed prior to admission to the undergraduate portion of the ADP cannot be considered for shared coursework credit.

Applying to the Graduate Portion of the ADP

  • Apply to the graduate portion before the final semester of the bachelor’s degree by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • The term of admission must be the same as the final semester of the bachelor’s degree. Students enrolled in a simultaneous accelerated program are not admitted to the graduate portion of the ADP until the term of their intended graduation from both degrees.

Planning Your Program of Study

Congratulations!

Check the Deadlines and Progress to Degree sections for a timeline of when specific forms are due. Contact your Graduate College graduate degree management specialist if you have any questions.

An accelerated degree program (ADP) enables qualified undergraduate students to earn a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame.

When a student is admitted to an ADP, the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan (ADGCP) should be turned in to the Graduate College. This normally takes place in the junior year or early in the senior year.

Accelerated Degree Program Guidelines and Operating Procedures (pdf)

Doctoral Programs

The doctoral degree is awarded for excellence in research scholarship because it signifies the attainment of independently acquired and comprehensive learning attesting to general professional competence. A student should normally expect to spend at least the equivalent of three full academic years beyond the bachelor’s degree to obtain the doctoral degree. During this period the student will take appropriate graduate coursework, successfully complete the general examination, and successfully defend and submit a final dissertation. More information may be found in the Graduate College Bulletin.

DeadlinesFall 2023 Completion Deadlines
Spring 2023 Completion DeadlinesSummer 2023 Completion Deadlines
Final day to apply for the doctoral general examination* (student's ACR must be up-to-date the semester prior to applying.Friday, September 1, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023Friday, May 26, 2023
Final day to submit Request for Degree Check online.Friday, September 1, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023Friday, May 26, 2023
Final day to apply for graduation.Monday, May 1, 2023
Wednesday, December 1, 2022Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Recommended final day to submit dissertation reading copy to committee.4 weeks prior to defense
4 weeks prior to defense4 weeks prior to defense
Final day for students to submit Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend to the Graduate College (beginning Spring 2022).Friday, November 17, 2023
Friday, April 14, 2023 (and at least 10 working days prior to defense)
Friday, July 7, 2023 (and at least 10 working days prior to defense)
Final day for committees to sign Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend (beginning Spring 2022).Monday, November 27, 2023
Friday, April 21, 2023 (and at least 5 working days prior to defense)
Friday, July 14, 2023 (and at least 5 working days prior to defense)
Final day to hold dissertation defense.Friday, December 1, 2023
Friday, April 28, 2023Friday, July 21, 2023
Final day to complete doctoral general examination.Friday, December 8, 2023
Friday, May 5, 2023
Friday, July 28, 2023
Final day to submit Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK.Friday, December 8, 2023
Friday, May 5, 2023Friday, July 28, 2023
Final day to submit dissertation to SHAREOK.Friday, December 8, 2023
Friday, May 5, 2023Friday, July 28, 2023

Graduate Certificates

A graduate certificate represents completion of a set of courses that provides mastery of a specific area of knowledge. A graduate certificate indicates an advanced, focused inquiry into a defined area of study and is recorded on the student’s transcript. For a degree student, a graduate certificate may indicate an area of specialization; for a professional, a graduate certificate may provide evidence of special expertise. More information may be found in the Graduate College Bulletin.

Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program

  • All students who intend to pursue a graduate certificate must apply to the program through the Office of Admissions.
    • You may either be admitted solely into a graduate certificate program, or you may apply to add a graduate certificate while enrolled in a graduate degree program. Students enrolled in a graduate degree program must apply to add the graduate certificate program by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application.
    • If you are not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program, you will only apply for admission to the graduate certificate program.

Completing Coursework for the Graduate Certificate

  • After admission to the program, consult your academic unit for coursework advising.
    • All courses must be taken at OU. No transfer credit is permitted.
    • No course substitutions are permitted.
    • Coursework applied to the certificate cannot be more than five years old at the time the certificate is awarded.
    • You must earn a GPA of 3.00 or higher on all coursework applied to the certificate.
  • For information on applying graduate certificate coursework to a graduate degree, please see the Graduate College Bulletin.

Preparing to Graduate

  • Before or during the semester you plan to finish your certificate coursework, file a Graduate Certificate Program Report (GCPR) in the Graduate College.
    • The GCPR is due no later than the first Monday in October for fall certificate clearance, the first Monday in March for spring certificate clearance, and the first Monday in July for summer certificate clearance.
    • Graduate certificates are not awarded retroactively.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved GCPR, contact your academic unit promptly. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduate certificate cannot be issued if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your GCPR.
  • At the end of the semester during which all requirements are met, the Office of Academic Records will issue you the graduate certificate and record its completion on your official transcript.
    • Students who receive only a graduate certificate without completing a degree program do not participate in convocation, commencement, or any other graduation ceremonies.

Congratulations!

Graduate Certificate Program Report Form

Students admitted to a graduate certificate program must turn in the Graduate Certificate Program Report form to the Graduate College no later than the final semester of certificate coursework.


Graduate Certificate Program Report Forms

Deadlines

All graduate students should familiarize themselves with the Graduate College deadlines below, the deadlines within their academic unit, and the University Academic Calendar.

Any calendar is subject to change when it is determined to be in the best interest of the university to do so.

DeadlinesCompleting in Summer 2023
Completing in Fall 2023Completing in Spring 2023
Final day to submit Graduate Certificate Program Report to the Graduate College  Monday, July 3, 2023
Monday, October 2, 2023Monday, March 6, 2023

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program

This program is designed to provide the opportunity for synergistic research beyond established doctoral programs and among the different disciplines currently represented at the University of Oklahoma. It is for admitted doctoral students with strong academic records who have demonstrated the ability to work independently and at a high scholarly level.

Prior to preparing an application, students will discuss the proposed research areas with relevant faculty members who hold the appropriate graduate faculty status. The student will prepare the application in close consultation with the prospective committee members.

How to Apply for IPP

  • Deadlines: October 15 for spring (decision anticipated by December 15) and March 15 (decision anticipated by May 15) for fall admission. These deadlines are designed to allow time for a meeting with the IPP subcommittee and revisions of application materials if requested.
    • Students who hold a master’s degree will be eligible to apply for the IPP during the second semester and before the end of the third semester in the home unit.
    • Students who do not hold a master’s degree will be eligible to apply during the fourth semester and no later than the end of the fifth semester.
  • Deviations from the timeline above will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • After submission of the application, the student will meet with the IPP subcommittee of the Graduate Council, which is the body that evaluates the application. This meeting will allow the IPP subcommittee to learn more about the student's research plans and provide the student with feedback. The chair and/or co-chair of the student's proposed doctoral committee should attend the meeting. The subcommittee will have read the submitted materials, but the student is welcome to give a 5-10 minute presentation about their project if they wish.

Admission Requirements

Cumulative GPA of 3.5 in graduate-level coursework at OU.

Currently admitted to an existing OU Norman or Tulsa doctoral program, which will be referred to as the home unit.