Graduation is the completion of degree requirements. This page provides an overview of the graduation application process, timelines, and degree conferral.
Submit Your Graduation Application
Students must apply for their expected graduation date. Visit the sections below to identify when and how to apply for graduation.
- Online Graduation Application
The application for graduation consists of an online form. Two weeks after your candidacy form is approved by the GAPE office, you will receive a MySJSU message prompting you to apply for graduation through your MySJSU account. The message will let you know that you are eligible to apply for graduation and will contain instructions on applying.
Only students that apply for graduation will be considered for graduation review.
- Graduation Application Eligibility
Students become eligible to apply for graduation two weeks after their candidacy form has been approved by the GAPE office. In addition, in order to become eligible to apply for graduation, students must be in active (enrolled) status, hold a cumulative GPA 3.0 or above, and have earned a minimum of 15 academic units.
Students are ineligible to apply for graduation if they have submitted a prior application for graduation or are currently enrolled at SJSU as a credential, certificate or Open University student.
- Facilitation of Graduation
Pursuant to Title 5, Section 40411, and Presidential Directive (PD) 2009-05 [pdf], graduate students are precluded from enrolling in any additional state-supported courses when that student has already met all necessary requirements for the degree.
Students who have met all requirements for graduation prior to any semester in which they are enrolled will be permitted to drop all courses for which they are registered, with little or no penalty.
Students who have earned more than enough units to graduate but have some remaining requirements will be advised and precluded from registering in any courses other than those required for a timely graduation.
Understand Graduation Requirements
Graduate students are required to maintain certain graduation requirements after candidacy advancement. View the policies that govern graduation below.
- Academic Standing
In order to graduate, students must be in good academic standing, earning a cumulative 3.0 minimum GPA in their SJSU graduate record.
Review catalog information for more details: Academic Standing.
- Degree Program GPA
Title V (CCR 40510) requires a minimum 3.0 grade point average for all courses to satisfy graduate degree program requirements. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in graduate degree program (candidacy form). The program is defined as completed courses included in the original graduate degree program plus all additions or substitutions.
View Graduation Requirements in University Catalog.
- Program Courses
Graduate students need to complete all courses in their graduate degree program (approved candidacy form) with grades between “A” and “C,” or “CR.” Grades of “C-” or lower, including “NC,” “U,” “IC” and “WU,” are considered to be unsatisfactory.
Time Limit Note: Graduate students should acknowledge their course time limits for their respective programs and strive to complete all program courses within this time limit.
*Please note that if a course listed on the approved candidacy form is not taken, a Request for Course Substitution form must be submitted prior to graduation to prevent a delay in awarding the degree.
- Program Culminating Experience
Each student will also need to complete an acceptable Culminating Experience: thesis, project or comprehensive examination, doctoral project or dissertation.
Master's Programs: The thesis (Plan A) or creative work (Plan C) requires that a copy to be submitted to the Associate Dean for the College of Graduate Studies. In Plan B, completed projects are submitted to the student’s program department directly. In addition, Plan B students may be required to successfully complete a final comprehensive oral and/or written examination. Visit the university catalog for detailed information: Master's Culminating Experiences.
Doctoral Programs: A doctoral project proposal must be approved by program faculty. The doctoral dissertation requires submission to Graduate Studies. Visit the university catalog for detailed information: Doctoral Culminating Experiences.
Continuous Enrollment Note: All culminating graduate students must maintain continuous enrollment until degree completion.
- Program Final Grades
All grades must be final on the student's transcript in order to award the degree. Failure to clear incomplete (“I”), report-in-progress (“RP”), or report-delayed (“RD”) grades will prevent graduation.
Know About Degree Postponement
Culminating graduate students may need additional time to complete their degree. Review the actions below to assist you with finalizing your graduate program.
- Graduation Date Change Request
If you are unable to complete all coursework listed on your candidacy form and all degree requirements by the term you had previously applied to graduate, you can change your graduation date by submitting a Graduation Date Change Request.
Note: If your application for graduation is reviewed and your degree is not awarded, you will be required to submit a Graduation Date Change Request. You will not be able to enroll in coursework or 1290R until the form has been received and processed by the GAPE office.
International Students Note: If you need to apply for an F-1 Extension of Program, visit ISSS Current Students Website for more information
- Course Time Limits
Graduate students must complete their degree program requirements within their appropriate time limit.
Doctoral Students: Courses may be no older than 5 years
Master’s Students: Courses may be no older than 7 years
If a course becomes outdated, students have the following options:
- Repeat the outdated course without credit.
- Revalidate the outdated coursework by examination.
(A Request for Course Validation form may be submitted, but must be initiated by your Graduate Advisor)
- Continuous Enrollment
All graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment between completion of regular coursework and satisfactory completion of the culminating experience. Students must enroll in either 1290R (an inexpensive one unit option) or repeat their thesis or project course every Fall and Spring semester until their degree is awarded.
Enrollment Appointments for 1290R are set by the Registrar's office after the deadline to drop/add courses for the semester and will appear as Special Session appointments in the student's MySJSU portal.
Students are able to enroll retroactively in 1290R through the Retroactive Request for 1290R form found on the Registrar office's forms page.
Participate in Commencement Ceremony
We encourage you to celebrate your accomplishment by participating in a commencement ceremony. View the information below for event details.
- Commencement Messages
Eligible students receive a registration email to their preferred email address on file with the university with a unique registration link for their ceremony. Ensure your preferred email is updated in your MySJSU portal for timely commencement messages.
Please visit the Commencement website for more information.
- Commencement Participation
Graduates are required to register for their Commencement ceremony. If you have applied for graduation, you will receive an email with registration instructions. Visit the commencement website for ceremony information. The Frequently Asked Questions page is a helpful resource to initially defer to for more specific event questions.
If you have further questions, please reach out to the Commencement office at email@example.com.
- Event Details
Commencement is a ceremony held twice a year at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters in order to recognize students who are at the completion of their academic degree requirements. Commencement differs from graduation as it solely refers to the recognition ceremony, whereas graduation is the actual award or conferral of a student’s degree.
Along with messaging you will receive regarding Commencement through your MySJSU account, students are encouraged to visit the Commencement website to discover more details about the event. The Frequently Asked Questions page is a helpful resource to initially defer to for more specific event questions.
The ceremony is managed by our Commencement Team. For further information, please contact their office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International Graduates: Requesting a Visitor Visa
The university does not provide invitation letters for relatives to visit for the commencement ceremony. However, you are welcome to request a Pending Degree Verification Letter from the Registrar's Office.
Along with the Registrar's Pending Degree Verification Letter, you can also provide a personal letter of support. Visit the ISSS Form Page for a suggested letter template.
Learn How a Degree is Officially Awarded
It's important to know how our office will award your degree after you have completed all requirements. Discover GAPE's review process below.
- Graduation Review Process
The Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) Office conducts a Graduation Review at the end of each semester for each student who has applied to graduate for that term. The review period is typically set to commence once Academic Standing has been posted by the Registrar’s Office, but may not occur before. Please visit the Academic Calendar to verify when you may expect a review to begin for your graduating term.
The GAPE Review includes an in-depth review of your records for set University Graduation Requirements. We will review for the following graduation requirements.
• A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in your Graduate Record on your transcript
• A minimum 3.0 degree program GPA as listed on your Candidacy Form
• All program courses are completed with grades between “A” and “C,” or CR
• Successful completion of your approved culminating experience
• Continuous Enrollment as a culminating student
• All Final Grades listed on your SJSU transcript
Should your Graduation Review timeline pass, and your degree has not been awarded, please contact your designated GAPE Program Evaluator.
- Graduation Review Timelines
We recognize the significance of your academic accomplishment, however it is important to note awarding a degree is a manual process. As each GAPE Program Evaluator will be reviewing for a high volume of students every semester, please allow some time for processing.
The estimated review timeline for each semester Graduation Review period are as follows:
Fall Graduation (December) - January to February
Spring Graduation (May) - June to July
Summer Graduation (August) - Late August to September
Students have two immediate options for receiving the most current status of their degree during their review period:
- View your MySJSU account Other Indicators and await a “Graduation Status” notification.
- Access your unofficial transcript under the Academics section of your MySJSU account Student Center. Using the drop‐down menu, choose the option for Transcript: View Unofficial and select “Go.”
- Graduate Diploma
Upon completion of our Graduation Review, your diploma will typically be mailed 4‐6 weeks after your degree has been posted. As your diploma will be sent to your listed MySJSU mailing address, it is pertinent that you keep your preferred mailing address up‐to‐date. If you plan to move following graduation please be sure to:
- Update your listed MySJSU mailing address.
- And or submit a Change of Address through the United States Postal Service in order to have your diploma forwarded by USPS to your new place of residence.
Note: Once your diploma has been packaged, we are unable to make any updates to your mailing address or reroute the destination of your diploma.
COVID-19 Update: The GAPE Office will attempt to mail graduate diplomas within the listed 4-6 week timeframe, but as a result of the pandemic, that timeline may be extended. We appreciate your understanding and patience while allowing for some delays during this process.