Steps to Graduation: Checklist & Forms

Students can utilize the following checklist to help ensure that they are following all the steps required to complete their graduate program:

PLEASE NOTE: All graduate students are responsible for ensuring that their graduate paperwork is completed and submitted to the Graduate Education Office. It is the duty of the student to verify that all required forms are on file with the Graduate Education Office and the Office of Evaluations.


Step 1

Apply to Cal Poly through Cal State Apply or Apply to Blended programs (BMS) through Department: (ONLY if applying to BMS program, submit Blended Programs Application Approval Form (E-form) and Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective Form (PDF). Visit the BMS (Blended Programs) Tab for more information).

Step 2

Accepted to graduate program; attend GradEd Orientation meeting.

Step 3

Meet with Graduate Coordinator and select Graduate Advisor
  • Determine culminating experience: Thesis, Project or Exam.
  • Develop research objectives.
  • Identify members of evaluation committee.

Step 4

Submit Working Formal Study Plan & Advancement to Candidacy (PDF)
  • Must be submitted by end of 1st quarter in the program.
  • Must complete the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) before submission. Contact the Cal Poly Writing & Rhetoric Center directly for more information about the GWR.
  • Must determine anticipated graduation date and culminating experience before submission.

Step 5

Submit Application for Graduation (E-form) one quarter prior to the quarter that you plan to graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate in Fall quarter, you must submit your application by the end of the previous Spring quarter. For graduation in Spring quarter, submit your form by the end of Winter quarter.

Step 6

Submit Final Formal Study Plan (PDF) during the first 3 weeks of the quarter in which you plan to graduate.

Step 7

Submit Master's Thesis Approval Form, Master's Project Approval Form, and/or Master's Exam Approval Form once you have completed your culminating experience. You must submit your form by the last day of the quarter in which you intend to graduate. Please reference the quarter deadlines listed here.

Complete the Career Services Graduate Status Report survey.

Link to All Graduate Forms Here
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