Steps to Graduation

1. Apply

Apply to Cal Poly through Cal State Apply, or if you are a Cal Poly undergraduate student interested in pursuing a Blended Pathway, you will apply to your program of interest through the appropriate department.

Blended students will submit the Blended Pathway Program Application Approval once accepted by the program:

Blended Pathway Program Application Approval (E-form)

This document can be submitted anytime and serves the purpose of notifying the Graduate Education Office of your intention to pursue the Blended Pathway to achieve your bachelor’s and master’s degree. It is important that this document be received a week or more before the Blended Pathway Change of Objective.

Blended students will submit the Blended Pathway Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective to request that the Registrar’s Office change your student status to have graduate standing:

Blended Pathway Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective - The link to this document will be available January 23 – January 27

This document can only be submitted April 12th through April 17th, and completed by April 20th, no exceptions.

Visit Blended Programs for more information.

2. Orientation

All graduate students have access to Graduate Student Materials 2022 - 2023 in Canvas.

Progression to Master’s Degree

Communicating with Graduate Education & the Office of the Registrar

Blended Pathway
Blended Pathway
Change of


Meet with
and Advisor
Formal Study
Plan &
Advancement to
Final Formal
Study Plan (except DPR students)


Blended Pathway Students

The Blended Programs Approval Form is submitted to Graduate Education (only), upon acceptance to the Master’s program.
The Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective Form is submitted the term the UNDERGRADUATE student will register for the following term as a GRADUATE student. (EX: The UNDERGRADUATE student submits the form in Fall, to transition to GRADUATE STANDING to register as a GRADUATE student for Winter.)

All Master's Program Students

Meet with Graduate Coordinator and Advisor, FIRST term. In collaboration, plan your Master’s Program.
The Working Formal Study Plan & Advancement to Candidacy is submitted the FIRST term, following the meeting with Graduate Coordinator and Advisor.
The Application for Graduation is submitted the TERM PRIOR to the graduation term. It can only be submitted once.
The Final Formal Study Plan is submitted the TERM OF GRADUATION and informs or confirms the courses the Office of the Registrar will use to evaluate the degree. (Except students with a DPR – if a change to the DPR is necessary, these students will submit a Course Substitution)
The Culminating Experience Form (Thesis, Exam, Project) is the final document submitted BY THE FINAL DAY OF THE GRADUATION TERM, communicating approval of the program to evaluate and confer the Master’s Degree.

3. Advising

Meet with Graduate Coordinator and select Graduate Advisor the first term of the program.

  • Determine culminating experience: Thesis, Project, or Exam.
  • Develop and complete a Working Formal Study Plan & Advancement to Candidacy.
  • Identify members of evaluation committee (if required).

4. Working Formal Study Plan & Advancement to Candidacy (WFSP)

The WFSP is submitted the first term of your program during Weeks 6-7. However, if the Graduate Writing Requirement (GWR) does not show completed on your Poly Profile, you will need to contact the Writing & Learning Center and wait to submit when completed and reflected on your Poly Profile. Please be aware that documents submitted without the GWR showing completed on Poly Profile will be cancelled for resubmission.

5. Graduate Student Application for Graduation

This document is submitted the term before the term in which you expect to graduate during Weeks 4-5, and can be submitted only once. If you need to change your expected graduation term you will submit the Change of Degree Completion Term – Graduate request on the Registrar’s website.

6. Final Formal Study Plan (FFSP)

The FFSP is submitted the term you expect to graduate during Weeks 1-3. Students who have a Degree Progress Report (DPR) will not submit this document and will submit a Course Substitution form if there is a change from the courses in their DPR.

7. Culminating Experience

Due by the last day of the term of completion with all signatures completed within a week.

2022 - 2023 Deadlines

  • Fall 2022: December 9, 2022
  • Winter 2023: March 24, 2023
  • Spring 2023: June 16, 2023
  • Summer 2023: September 1, 2023

PLEASE NOTE: All graduate students are responsible for ensuring that their graduate forms are completed. and submitted to the Graduate Education Office. There will be an opportunity to remedy a missed form submission during week 8, each quarter.