General Graduation Requirements

Applying for Graduation and Participation in Commencement

In order to graduate and/or participate in commencement activities, students must apply for graduation during the semester they plan to graduate. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure completion of all degree requirements as listed on the degree audit and required by the department. It is also the student's responsibility to apply for graduation by the published deadline posted on the University Academic Calendar. That date, as well as other deadline dates and instructions outlining how to apply for graduation, are posted on The Graduate College website each term and communicated via the GradBulletin and social media. Late applications will not be accepted. For further information, contact The Graduate College at 512-245-2581 or visit our website.

Participation in Commencement

Participation in Commencement is optional and not a degree requirement. Students normally participate in the commencement ceremony of their academic college at the end of the semester in which they graduate. A student can petition to participate in the commencement activities early if they have one degree requirement left. A student who has applied to graduate can petition to defer participation in the commencement activities for one semester if there are extenuating circumstances (convenience is not an acceptable reason). Requests to participate or to defer must be submitted to a student's advisor, who in turn submits a recommendation to the dean of The Graduate College for final approval.

Letter of Completion

If students fail to apply for graduation by the published deadline date, a letter of completion may be requested. Students must submit a new graduation application by the published deadline on the University Academic Calendar, and the diploma will be mailed the following term.

Reapplication for the Degree

If students fail to complete degree requirements in time for their planned graduation, they should notify The Graduate College. The student must then reapply for the next (or later) graduation within the period announced on the University Academic Calendar for degree application.

Comprehensive Examination

All candidates for graduate degrees must pass one or more comprehensive examinations, either written, oral, or both, covering at least the field of concentration and the thesis or dissertation if one is written. Students seeking more than one degree must take a comprehensive examination for each degree major. The examination for a master’s degree may not be taken until the student has completed at least 18 semester hours of graduate degree credit and may not be taken before the final term if the student has a grade deficiency. 

Students must be enrolled in at least one credit hour of coursework when taking the comprehensive examination. If a student has completed all required coursework in a previous semester but still needs to complete the comprehensive examination, the student should enroll in GC 5100: Comprehensive Examination Contingency. GC 5100 is a course designed for non-thesis master's degree students who have completed all program requirements except the comprehensive examination, and enrollment in GC 5100 is required each term in which the comprehensive examination is taken only if no other courses are being taken that term. GC 5100 does not generate a grade and does not  count toward degree requirements.

F-1 non-immigrant international students must contact the International Office at 512-245-7966 to verify that they are in lawful F-1 status, especially if the comprehensive examination is the final requirement remaining.

Arrangements for the examination may be made with the student’s graduate advisor or the department chair. The Master’s Comprehensive Examination form or the Dissertation Defense Report form must be filed in The Graduate College at least ten days before the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred. The department is responsible for submitting the report to The Graduate College.

GPA Requirements for Graduation

To be eligible for graduation, a student must have a GPA of at least 3.0 for each major and minor/cognate listed on the degree audit. Some degree programs may call for higher minimum requirements. A final course grade of "C" or higher is required for any graduate course that could be applied towards a graduate degree at Texas State. In addition, no grade earned below “B” on any graduate course may apply toward a doctoral degree at Texas State.

Background/Leveling Work

Background/leveling work is not computed in the graduation GPA requirement, nor is graduate-degree credit granted for background work for the degree to be earned.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades should be cleared through the University Registrar’s Office at least ten days before the commencement for which the degree is to be conferred.

Hours Requirements

Graduate degree programs range from 30-99 hours of course work. Most master’s degree programs require a minimum of 36 semester credit hours with a maximum of 80. Students obtaining certification may be required to complete additional hours.

Doctoral students should refer to the appropriate departmental section of this catalog for specific credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.

Residency Requirement

Texas State University has specific guidelines regarding the number of hours that can be transferred in (see the section of this catalog on transfer credit).  With appropriate justifications, exceptions can be granted by the dean of The Graduate College.  However, at least one-third of credit hours required for a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree must be earned through instruction at Texas State.  In addition, doctoral students must satisfy a one-year residency requirement:  This means that doctoral students, as part of their required hours of coursework, must take at least 18 graduate credit hours offered by Texas State during consecutive fall, spring, and summer terms.  These courses can be offered in any format (face-to-face, online, hybrid). In other academic years, doctoral students can be enrolled in fewer hours.  This is to ensure a substantial engagement with the subject area, ideally at the beginning of their studies.

Recommendation for the Degree

The dean of The Graduate College certifies candidates for graduation after the completion of all requirements for the appropriate graduate degree and with the approval of the departments concerned. Degrees are conferred publicly at the close of the fall term, the spring term, and the summer term.