Cal Poly

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.


  1. Apply to Cal Poly through Admissions Office or Apply to BMS through Department: (only if applying to BMS program, submit Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective Form (PDF) during the quarter when you complete 180 units).
  2. Accepted to graduate program; attend GradEd Orientation meeting.
  3. Meet with Graduate Coordinator and select Graduate Advisor
    • Determine culminating experience: Thesis, Project or Exam.
    • Develop research objectives.
    • Identify members of evaluation committee.
  4. Submit Working Formal Study Plan Form (PDF)
    • Must be submitted by end of 1st quarter in the Program.
  5. Complete Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  6. Submit Advancement To Candidacy Form (PDF) and Request for Graduation Evaluation Form (PDF)
    • Both forms must be submitted one quarter prior to the quarter that you plan to graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate in Fall Quarter, you must submit these forms by the end of the previous Spring quarter. For graduation in Spring Quarter, please submit your forms by the end of Winter Quarter.
    • The Advancement to Candidacy Form will only be processed if the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) has been fulfilled and a Working Formal Study Plan has been filed with the Graduate Education Office.
  7. Submit Final Formal Study Plan (PDF) within the first 3 weeks of the beginning of the quarter in which you plan to graduate.
  8. Submit Master's Culminating Experience Approval Form (PDF) (Doc) once you have completed your culminating experience, by the last day of the quarter in which you intend to graduate. Refer to Master's Thesis Submission Process for detailed instructions.
  9. Complete the Career Services Graduate Status Report survey.

All forms must be turned in to the Graduate Education Office in Science Building 52, Room E47 for processing and final signature of Dean of Graduate Education.

Link to All Graduate Forms Here >

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© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Graduate Education
Building 52, Room E47
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-2328