Graduating from NMSU with your Advanced Degree
- Submit an Application for Degree: If you know that you will meet all degree requirements at the end of the semester, and you wish to graduate from NMSU, you must submit an application for your degree (diploma) through the Registrar's Office. This application is available online on the first day of registration for each semester. Please note that you must complete the form and pay the fee prior to the deadline indicated on the website, which is the first day of class each semester.
- You must be enrolled or pay the exam fee: You also need to be registered and enrolled during the semester or summer session that you wish to graduate. Masters students are required to be enrolled in at least one credit hour course and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least three credit hours.If you are not enrolled, you need to submit an Examination Fee form and pay the special exam fee.
- Approved Program of Study or Completed Degree Audit: If you have changed your Program of Study since it was originally submitted, please fill out and turn in a Program of Study Change form. It must also be approved by your committee. You can find the appropriate Program of Study form or Degree Audit link on our Graduate Forms page.
- Transfer of Credits: If you transferred credits from another university, you need to submit a Transfer of Credit Request form to the Graduate School. If the units were earned at another university, you must request that an official transcript be sent to Graduate Student Services. The credits transferred must be approved by your committee and should be included in your Program of Study.
- Final Examination: You also need to submit a Final Examination form (found on our Graduate Forms page) to Graduate Student Services 10 working days before the date of your exam. Graduate Student Services will receive a form called the Report of the Examination Committee and Dean's Certificate. This form will inform Graduate Student Services of the outcome of your exam(s). Note that doctoral students must take two exams, the comprehensive oral exam and the final oral defense of their dissertation.
- Thesis or Dissertation: If you are completing a Master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation, you must turn in your entire document for approval by your committee and the Graduate School. Once the Graduate School gives the final approval, you can take your thesis/dissertation to the Library. Please see Thesis/Dissertation Guidelines.
- Report of Thesis Grade Form: You also need to make sure your Professor turned in a Report of Thesis Grade Form if you were enrolled in thesis/dissertation courses. An "S" or satisfactory grade must be submitted by your advisor, in addition to your "PR" or progress grade for that semester. Your advisor can obtain a copy of the Report of Thesis Grade form from the Graduate School or the Registrar's Office.
- Grade Point Average of at least a 3.0: You must have an overall Grade Point Average of at least a 3.0 to graduate.
- Please check the deadlines for filing forms and thesis/dissertation for graduation. If you do not meet the deadlines listed on the above website, you will be required to reapply for your degree for the following semester, as well as register or pay the exam fee (one credit for master's students, three credits for doctoral students).
Additional Graduation Information
The role of the Dean's Representative is to monitor the process of the exam and report the outcome of the exam to the Graduate School. You and your advisor are responsible for finding a Dean's Representative. To view a list of approved Dean's Representatives, please see our Graduate Faculty page.
Letter of Completion
If you need a Letter of Completion to obtain a job or for other reasons, you need to complete the Letter of Completion form. Once you complete the form, Graduate Student Services will send it to the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will send the letter directly to you.
You can review all holds on your account at myNMSU. Once you identify who has placed the hold on your account, you can contact them directly.
The time limit for completing a master's degree program and a Specialist in Education degree is seven years. If it has been more than seven years, you must speak to the faculty in your department and request an appeal letter to the Graduate School. The letter should indicate how the faculty will work with you to complete your program of study.
If a student is deployed for military duty and they present their orders to the Graduate School, they will be granted a leave of absence for the time stated on their orders. The Graduate School will do all in its power to have the time spent in military duty not count toward the seven year time limit for degree completion.
For doctoral degree students, if more than five years have elapsed since the date of the comprehensive examination, you may be required to take another comprehensive examination before admission to the final examination.
Receipt of Diploma
Degrees are certified 10 business/working days after all grades are posted by the Registrar's office. The list of degrees is sent to a private company that prints the diplomas and mails them to students. Allow up to six weeks to receive your actual diploma. If you need a Letter of Completion, please see instructions above under "Letter of Completion."
For more detailed information, please read the Graduate Catalog.
- NMSU Student Affairs & Enrollment Management: University Admissions
- (575) 646-2736
- Educational Services Building, Suite G
- MSC 3G / P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001