Steps to Graduation - Checklist for M.S. Students (MS-along-the-way)

You are required to be registered for at least one credit in the semester you anticipate receiving your degree. Additionally, if you are holding assistantships or are an international student, you must maintain full-time status.

All Graduate School paperwork is due to the CS Graduate Office 3 business days prior to the Graduate School's official deadlines and these deadlines could be earlier than listed below so be sure to check them*

Non-Thesis Track

If you have completed the necessary paperwork, you can skip to the last section to review final steps, following them as applicable to your situation

Thesis Track - Scheduling Your Defense

  • Submit Committee Form: During the first month of the semester when you aim to defend your thesis, submit the Nomination of Thesis or Thesis Committee Form via CS Graduate Form Submissions. If your committee requires a Special Member, please complete this CMSC Graduate Faculty Nomination a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the deadline for submitting the nomination form
  • REC Form: Once the Office of the Registrar approves your committee, your REC form will be dispatched to all committee members 3 business days before the defense date specified on your nomination form. Please ensure that you provide the most accurate date possible.
  • Defending Deadline: To ensure you have ample time to meet all necessary requirements, the CS Graduate Office recommends scheduling your defense at least two weeks before the final thesis submission deadline
  • Please fill out the Oral Exam Scheduling Form with the requested information. Please note that failure to complete this step could lead to the cancellation of your defense. To book the exam location, please use the reserve feature in your UMD google calendar. You can see here for instructions on how to request a room and here for information on room capacities

Thesis Track - Thesis Seminar and Defense Procedure

  • Committee Thesis Distribution: Provide a copy of your completed thesis to your committee at least 10 business days before the defense. This allows committee members adequate time to review your work in detail
  • Committee Signatures: Following the defense, your committee must sign the Report of Examining Committee. It is crucial that this step is completed no less than 3 days prior to the final deadline set by the final Graduate School deadline
  • Thesis Revisions: After your defense, finalize all recommended revisions to your thesis. Once complete, seek final approval from your advisor and/or committee
  • Remind your advisor to sign off the Report of Examining Committee (REC) form

Thesis Track - Final Thesis Submission Process

Final Steps for Graduation: Thesis & Non-Thesis Tracks

  • Survey: Complete the Graduate School Surveys & CS Graduate Student Exit Survey
  • Desk Assignment: As space in Iribe is very limited, please indicate which desk space you will be vacating after your graduation via this form. This will allow us to assign desks to students on the waiting list.
  • Financial Responsibility: Ensure any remaining balance on your student account is fully paid. It's important to note that you won't be able to receive your diploma until all outstanding balances are settled
  • Address Confirmation: Verify your address in the UMD system. This is to make sure all future communications, including the mailing of your diploma, are sent to the correct address
  • Student Status: Remember that you will maintain your student status until the official conferral date of your degree. This implies you can't move to a non-student appointment on campus until after the conferral date. If you're an international student on F-1 visa, refrain from registering for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to commence before your degree conferral date
  • Certification of Completion: If necessary, and especially if you're in the midst of a job search and defended early in a semester, request a Certification of Completion letter via Letter Request to prove you have finished your program
  • CMNS Commencement Registration: Make sure to register for the CMNS Commencement (Mid-Semester, Fall & Spring). For more information on commencement, refer to the CMNS website