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Graduation Info

The steps to Commencement are simple, but they require active participation on the part of the student to go smoothly. Please be aware of the following actions and keep up with the process throughout the semester you plan to graduate.

1.  Be certain first of all that you have an ACTIVE email address. This is the only official notification instrument that the college uses to communicate  your status as a graduation candidate. You must have registered for classes in the last two years (six semesters) to have an active email address. If your address does not work, first complete re-entry into your graduate program and then follow these instructions to reactivate or create a new Georgia State University email address.

Do not set up your email address to forward mail to another account. If you have already done so, please be certain that email is being forwarded to an active email account. Often students set up mail to be forwarded, and then change or close the target account. The Graduate Office cannot be responsible for communication of required information if email is being routed to a "dead" or forgotten email account not sponsored by Georgia State University.

If you have particular problems with this requirement, please call A&S Graduate Services at (404) 413-5040.

2. Register for graduation at the Registrar's Graduation Services office:

You must be registered for graduation the semester you complete all requirements for your name to appear on the official graduation list. If you intended to graduate a previous semester and were unable to do do, you must contact the Graduation Services office to update your eligibility at The Registrar typically asks students to register for graduation TWO SEMESTERS in advance.

Also,  students who know they will not graduate the semester for which they have applied should contact the Graduation Office as soon as possible. Students may either email the Graduation Office at, stating what semester they now wish to graduate, or complete the Change of Graduation Date form and return be email to If the email option is selected, please note that this method is only valid if the student receives an email confirmation from the Registrar's Graduation Office. The Graduate Office of Arts and Sciences does NOT handle registration for graduation.

3. Register for classes. If you are expecting to graduate fall semester 2006 or later, you will need to be registered during the semester that you complete your requirements for the degree. Check with the graduate director in your department to determine which courses and how many hours you will be required to take.

4. At the beginning of the semester you will receive confirmation of  your registration from the Arts and Sciences Graduate Office, along with all instructions and forms to proceed with the graduation process. At this point, if you are not still planning to graduate the registered semester, you will be asked to notify by return email the college graduation auditor of your situation. Waiting until later in the semester could cause unnecessary confusion or delays.

5. Before midterm of the semester you have registered to graduate, you will receive a personalized review of your graduate program regarding College of Arts and Sciences regulations.

The Graduate Office checks for the following compliance for graduation:

  • Total Number of Hours Taken in the current program to see that they match the published requirements in the catalog in force during the student’s admission or most recent re-admission to the program;
  • Residency Requirements for Doctoral Candidates to see that the proper number of consecutive terms of residency have been met;
  • Time Limit Requirements to assure that all graduate work has been done from proposed graduation from the program to no more than seven years for masters and ten years for doctoral candidates;
  • Number of Research Hours Taken to verify that each student has completed the number of research hours established by the Graduate Council for all master’s and doctoral candidates;
  • Special Status Clearance establishing written confirmation that the student has met any Special Status requirements articulated in the acceptance letter and that the graduate director of the department has verified this;
  • Number of Hours Taken in Full Status to ensure that 20 semester hours of coursework have been completed in Full Graduate Status for those students who were initially admitted under the Special Status category.
  • Authenticity of Previous Degrees based on original transcripts submitted at the time of application or more recently if necessary;
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average to determine that a 3.00 or better graduate GPA from Georgia State University (regardless of time limit) is held by the date of graduation.

Regulations for particular programs of study are certified complete by the department graduate director for the particular department of the candidate. Clearance from the Graduate Office does not constitute full clearance for graduation.

If you began a graduate program of study in Fall 2004 or later, you may be able to check your compliance status online through PAWS.

Again, if you do not think you will graduate this semester, please reply to the email with that information.

6. Manuscript requirements: If you are in a nonthesis program, you must have your paper completed and approved by the calendar deadline date for the semester of graduation registration.

If you are a candidate for a degree requiring a thesis or dissertation, you must comply with the instructions in the Thesis/Dissertation Guide, and upload your approved composition to the library web server according to all deadlines.