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Graduate Forms and Graduation Requirements

Graduate Program Form

Information regarding the Graduate Program Form is sent to each student with the letter of admission to graduate study. The student should complete and submit the form (including signature) to his or her assigned academic advisor. The form must be approved and signed by the appropriate individuals and returned to the Graduation Office during the first nine weeks of the first semester in the graduate program.

>> Fill and print out your graduate program form - Master's

>> Fill and print out your graduate program form – Doctorate

>> Fill and print out your graduate program form - Certificate Program

Graduate Program Course Substitution Form

The Graduate Course Substitution Form is used to make changes to the original planned program form on file. If you have taken courses other than what were listed on your original degree plan, they must be approved by your advisor and collegiate graduate coordinator.

>> Fill and print out your program course substitution form

Change of Degree/Concentration/Bulletin/Advisor Form

Graduate students may request to change advisor, degree objective, concentration and/or bulletin during their course of study. The request must be approved by the student's current department.

>> Fill and print out your change of degree/concentration/bulletin/advisor form


Change of Program Form

Graduate students may request to change from their current graduate program to a new program during their course of study. The request must be submitted to the appropriate admissions office and will be reviewed by the new academic program to determine eligibility.

>> Fill and print out your change of program form

Request for Time Extension of Graduate Program

Graduate students may request a time extension, beyond the eight-year period, through their advisor and their program graduate coordinator. Time extensions must be approved by the program director, collegiate graduate coordinator, and the university graduate coordinator.

>> Advisor must complete the Graduate Time Extension Request form.  


Prior Learning Credit

Certain graduate programs may award credit for prior learning and/or provide proficiency reviews. A maximum of nine semester credit hours per degree program may be awarded for prior learning credit per degree. Contact the program coordinator for more information.

A student must be currently enrolled at Murray State University to receive prior learning credit. All requests for prior learning credit must be approved by the student's academic advisor, program coordinator, collegiate coordinator or academic dean, and the university graduate coordinator. The request may be denined at any level of the review. All costs connected with the prior learning credit must be met by the student prior to deparmental review. See the Schedule of Fees for details.

Each department is responsible for adopting its own assessment policy to determine what credit a student is eligible to receive. Students desiring to receive prior learning credit must apply and pay for the prior learning credit on Marketplace. If the student successfully completes the departmental assessment, the academic advisor will complete the Graduate Prior Learning Credit Approval Form. Once the for m is approved by all required parties, the university graduate coordinator will submit approval to the Office of the Registrar for posting of credit to the academic record. Prior learning credit awarded will be posted to the student's academic record in the semester in which the student is enrolled; however, no earlier than the first day of the semester. 


  • Prior learning credit may not be awareded for a course already completed unless the course is expired.
  • A grade received in a regular course may not be changed by prior learning credit examination.
  • Prior learning credit is subject to the eight-year time limit for degree applicability.
  • Please note that prior learning credit is not offered for all graduate programs or courses.
>> Advisor must complete the Graduate Prior Learning Credit Approval form.


Request for Graduate Academic Second Chance

Graduate students may request Academic Second Chance (ASC) through their advisor by submitting the Request for Academic Second Chance Form and a justification letter that includes details about the extenuating circumstances that caused hardship during the term(s) for which ASC is requested, as well as identification of specific terms for ASC. Academic Second Chance must be approved by the program director, department chair (where applicable), collegiate graduate coordinator or academic dean,  and the university graduate coordinator.

>>Student must complete the Request for Academic Second Chance Form.


Guidelines for Thesis Preparation

The individual student is responsible for fulfilling all university requirements for the preparation and submission of the thesis. These guidelines provide information helpful in the preparation of the thesis and describe certain formal requirements to which the thesis writer should adhere.

>> Guidelines for Thesis Preparation

>> Steps for completion of graduate thesis payment and process

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required in some programs. Please refer to your department’s section of the Graduate Bulletin or consult with your advisor to make that determination.

The comprehensive exam is normally taken during the semester in which the student graduates; however, it may be taken after completion of 24 hours toward the master's degree. You must register for your comprehensive exam with your academic department.

Application for Degree Form (Apply for Graduation)

Degrees are awarded in December, May and August. Students must apply for graduation and pay a degree fee via myGate. If the student does not meet graduation requirements, the application will automatically be moved to the next graduation term. Should the student fail to meet the degree requirements by the deadline for that graduation term, the student’s name will be removed from the pending graduation list. It will then be the student’s responsibility to submit a new Graduation Application via myGate by the deadline for the term in which the student plans to graduate. The new application will result in another. All communication regarding graduation status and outstanding degree requirements will be sent to the student through MSU email only.

The Graduate Degree Application and fee are due in the Graduation Office during the first three weeks of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. Submission deadlines are posted on myGate.

Degree Applications may be submitted after the published deadline ONLY with prior approval of the Graduation Office. An additional $20 late fee will be required.

>> Apply online through myGate

Graduate Certificate Program Form and Completion

Students pursuing a Graduate Certificate are required to complete a Graduate Certificate Completion form.

>> Fill and print out your graduate certificate program form

The Application for the Graduate Certificate Completion and processing fee of $15 are due in the Graduation Office during the first three weeks of the semester in which the student expects to complete all coursework toward the certificate. The application form must be completed on myGate.

After the student successfully completes all courses toward the certificate program, this certificate will be posted to the MSU transcript within a few weeks. No document will be printed and/or mailed to the student.

>> Apply for your certificate online through myGate

Graduate General Requirements

Courses numbered 600 or above are open to graduate students (those who are completing a Master’s, Specialist or Doctoral degree) only.

In all master’s programs, half of the total coursework, excluding Thesis, Practicum, or Internship, or Co-op credit must be in courses open to graduate students only.

An overall GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.0 scale) is required for graduation.

All coursework used to fulfill master’s degree program requirements must be completed within eight years of the date the student initially enrolls in a class that counts as graduate credit for their degree.

A maximum of 12 hours may be transferred from a regionally accredited graduate school. All transfer credit must be approved by the student’s advisor and collegiate graduate coordinator. All transfer credit must have been earned within the eight-year period allowed for the degree.

The student must have an overall GPA of 3.00 on graduate work at Murray State and a grade of "B" or better in any courses to be transferred.

If a thesis is required, the student must submit the original and three copies of the signed thesis in unbound form to the Provost Office two weeks prior to the date of graduation.

The comprehensive exam must be completed and the results sent to the Graduation Office by the semester graduation date. Comprehensive exams are scheduled by the academic departments.

Commencement Information

Commencement information is available on our website.


Academic honors are not awarded at the graduate level.


The size of all masters and specialist diplomas is 11 x 14 inches and doctoral diplomas are 14x17 inches. The degree title will appear in the center of the diploma beneath the name. Majors are not listed on the diploma.

Names will be printed on the diploma as they are listed on the application. The general format is first name, middle name, last name. Nicknames will not be printed.

Diplomas will be mailed to the address entered on myGate approximately 6-8 weeks after graduation. Doctoral diplomas are shipped directly from the vendor and are expected to arrive approximately 8-10 weeks after graduation. The address should be maintained and updated by the student.

For additional information, please contact the Graduation Office at

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Modified 4/8/2019
Article ID: 1958