Search the Graduate POS Manual
- 1.1 Graduate Program Resources
- 1.2 Academic Information
- 1.3 Program Advisors, Major Professors, & POS Committees
- 1.4 Degree Progress, Planning, and Time Limits
- 1.5 Minors and Co-majors
- 1.6 Course Policies
- 1.7 Registration
- 1.8 Graduate Assistantships
- 1.9 Graduate Student Travel and Support
- 1.10 Graduation
- 1.11 Graduate Faculty Members
- 2.1 About the MA programs
- 2.2 MA in English Degree Requirements
- 2.3 MA in Rhetoric, Composition, & Professional Communication Degree Requirements
- 2.4 MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics Degree Requirements
- 2.5 Minoring and Co-majoring in the MA Programs
- 2.6 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (MA)
- 2.7 Guidelines for Thesis and Creative Component (MA)
- 3.1 About the MFA program
- 3.2 MFA in Creative Writing & Environment Degree Requirements
- 3.3 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (MFA)
- 3.4 Minoring and Co-majoring in the MFA Program
- 3.5 Guidelines for Thesis (MFA)
- 4.1 About the Doctoral programs
- 4.2 PhD in Applied Linguistics and Technology (ALT)
- 4.3 PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication (RPC)
- 4.4 Minoring and Co-majoring in the PhD Programs
- 4.5 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (PhD)
- 4.6 Preliminary examination requirements and ABD Status
- 4.7 Guidelines for the Dissertation (PhD)
- 5.1 About the Concurrent Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programs
- 5.2 Concurrent BA in Linguistics/MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics Degree Requirements and Curriculum Plans
- 5.3 Concurrent BS in Technical Communication/MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication Degree Requirements and Curriculum Plans
- 5.4 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (Concurrent MA)
- 5.5 Guidelines for Thesis and Creative Component (Concurrent MA)
Jennifer Kilborn, Graduation Support Staff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1.10.1 Graduation deadlines and resources
It is your responsibility to know and follow these deadlines and procedures imposed by the English Department, the Graduate College, and the Graduation Office. Missed deadlines may result in graduation being cancelled and postponed to a later semester.
Administrative procedures for graduation can appear imposing. However, with advance planning and attention to detail, everything should go smoothly. For detailed information about the graduation process each academic year, there are several helpful and necessary resources to assist you. Each fall there will also be a graduation advising presentation conducted by the Graduation Support Staff that all students (and their major professors) should plan to attend in the academic year they plan to graduate (if not sooner).
Graduation Bootcamp for English Department Graduate Students
Fall 2023: Wednesday, October 4, 2023 from 1:10-2:00pm in 131 Ross Hall
Spring 2024: Monday, February 26, 2024 from 1:10-2:00 pm in 129 Ross Hall
- Graduation Deadlines Chart for 2023-24
- Graduation Checklist
- Graduation Bootcamp for Graduate Students (presentation slides October 2023)
- Graduation Forms
- Gradaute College Graduation
- Graduate College Dissertation/Thesis Home
- Dissertation/Thesis Seminars / Boot Camps / Writing Retreats / Workshops
(optional but highly encouraged)
- Thesis and Dissertation Writing Consultations in the Center for Communication Excellence
(optional but highly encouraged)
- Graduation Office
1.10.2 Graduation basics
Program of Study requirements
The Graduate College suggests your Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC) be submitted and approved by the Graduate College in AccessPlus in your second semester but requires it by no later than the announced deadline in the semester before graduation (see Graduate College Deadlines Chart). However, the English Department requires the Degree Planning Sheet, applicable POS documentation, and the POSC Form be submitted and approved earlier by specific deadlines according to program level.
- All POSC coursework must be completed or be in progress in the semester of graduation.
- You can use the tool My Program Audit button on the Graduate Student Status screen in AccessPlus to “audit” if you have POSC Form modifications to complete; for instance, because you haven’t taken a course you originally planned to take.
- No Incompletes (I’s) can be on your record except in Engl 599 or Engl 699, and these must be resolved before the stated deadline in the semester of graduation. Grades for Incomplete “I”, Nonreport “NR”, or F’s must be resolved/changed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the instructor and cannot remain on the student’s record even if the course is not counted towards POS requirements. Permission must be given by the Graduate College Dean via written petition by the student supported by the Major Professor and the DOGE.
- Overall GPA of 3.0 is required in order to graduate unless Major Professor’s written petition to the Graduate College Dean is approved requesting graduation be allowed and stating extenuating circumstances.
Registration is required for one of the following in the semester of the Final Oral Examination meeting. The Graduate College requires registration (a minimum of 1.0 credit) only in the same semester as the final oral examination.
- Coursework—POSC Form related or not is acceptable after final coursework is complete
- Thesis/dissertation research (699) or creative component (599)—request reference number from Graduate Program Administrative Assistant (email@example.com)
- Required Registration: Final Exam Only (GR ST 681B) or GA Enrollment (GR ST 681C) 1.0 credit—only if other options are not appropriate
- (Doctoral students only) Required Registration: Doctoral Continuous Registration (GR ST 681A) 1.0 credit—only if coursework is complete and the preliminary oral examination is passed (full or conditional). If you fail to register in semesters between oral examinations, you will be registered retroactively (fall and spring terms only) at the time of graduation and charged appropriate tuition and fees.
- (Doctoral students only) Doctoral Post Prelim Continuous Registration (GR ST 680) a special minimum fee only—if coursework is complete and the preliminary oral examination is passed (full or conditional) for temporary lapse in registration due to military service, medical leave, maternity leave, or personal/family leave. See Graduate College Handbook for more details.
If the Final Oral Examination meeting date is between semesters (including the first day of classes of the next semester), registration is required for either semester.
If the Final Oral Examination meeting date is during a semester the student is registered but the student does not meet that semester’s graduation deadlines (the exam meeting date is after the Final Oral Examination Deadline that semester or one of the other deadlines was not met), the student delays graduation to the later semester but is not required to register during the actual semester of official graduation.
PhD Preliminary Examinations
PhD students are required by the Graduate College to have six (6) months between the dates of the Preliminary Oral Examination and the Final Oral Examination.
1.10.3 Graduation general requirements and processes
For a more exhaustive list and additional details, see the Graduation Checklist created by the Graduation Support Staff in the English Department and downloadable from Section 1.10.1 above “Graduation deadlines and resources.”
Dissertation/Thesis/Creative Component requirements
- Finish writing your dissertation/thesis/creative component working closely with your major professor and POS committee.
- Review Graduate College websites and attend presentations to help you understand and meet requirements.
- Non-thesis creative component students in English, RCPC, or TESL/AL MA programs work with their Major Professor regarding an appropriate format for their project and electronic submission to the ISU Digital Repository is required by the Graduate College (https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/submit_research.html)
Apply for graduation and review commencement information
- Apply for Graduation in AccessPlus by the deadline for the appropriate semester.
- Review ISU Graduation and Commencement website (http://www.graduation.iastate.edu/) for details about ceremony attendance and instructions, diploma mailing, cap and gowns, photos, etc.
Final Oral Examination
- Work with your Major Professor to determine a date/time and invite all members of the POS Committee.
- Note: Effective Spring 2023, doctoral candidates in the ALT program, see additional information in Section 4.2.7 ALT Final Oral Defense of Dissertation (Final Oral Examination) regarding the public talk component of the Final Oral Examination.
- Determine Final Oral Examination meeting date and time when all POS Committee members can meet (must be no later than the Graduate College Final Oral Examination deadline).
- Exams may be held fully in person, fully remote, or hybrid.
- ALL POS Committee members must be present in person or remotely.
- Don’t forget to reserve a room if necessary for in person or hybrid exam meetings. In the English Department, Ross 215 and 212 are often used and can be reserved by contacting the Graduation Support staff (Jennifer Kilborn) or the English Department main office.
- If the date of the Final Oral Examination meeting changes, notify the Graduate College (Lisa Elm; firstname.lastname@example.org; 515-294-4531) and the Graduation Support Staff (Jennifer Kilborn; email@example.com) immediately in order to have the date corrected in the online system. The time and location can be changed by the student using their Graduate College “Student Tools” access.
- An Online Final Oral Examination Request form must be initiated by the student no later than 3 weeks before the date of the exam.
- The Major Professor receives an email with a link to approve the request.
- All POS Committee members receive an email notification of the requested date confirming the date, time, and place of the exam. A member must contact the student and/or Major Professor right away if there is a problem.
- The Graduate College evaluates the request, the student’s record, and acts on the exam request by emailing the student, Major Professor, and Graduation Support Staff (Jennifer Kilborn) indicating if the exam is approved, approved with conditions, or not approved and why.
- Conditions may be noted regarding POSC Form matters to be resolved involving coursework; modifications to the POSC Form must be made in AccessPlus and submitted for approval again.
- Department POSC form revisions may be required to accurately document degree program requirements if information on these documents has changed (Transfer Credit Petition, MFA Environmental Course Petition, POS Waiver/Substitution Petition); check with the Graduate Program Staff Administrative Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Grades of Incomplete “I”, Nonreport “NR”, or F’s must be resolved and grades changed by the instructor by the Graduate Student Approval Form deadline (these cannot remain on the student’s record even if the course is not used in POSC requirements without permission granted by the Graduate College Dean via written petition supported by the Major Professor and the DOGE).
- Graduate College CANCELLATION DATE
- If the Request for Final Oral Examination form is submitted close to the CANCELLATION DATE, the student should let their Major Professor know to approve the request ASAP and no later than the CANCELLATION DATE because the request must be in the Graduate College by no later than this date.
- Students on the graduation list who have not requested the date of their final oral exam by this deadline will be dropped from the graduation list that semester by the Graduate College.
- If you need to cancel graduation after the Application for Graduation deadline and before the CANCELLATION DATE, contact the Graduate College (Lisa Elm; email@example.com; 515-294-4531) to cancel your current requested semester of graduation so you can apply to graduate during a new semester (such as Summer if delaying Spring graduation).
- Finish up the Dissertation/Thesis/Creative Component
- At least 4 weeks before the final oral exam date (or sooner if required by your Major Professor), a draft of your dissertation/thesis/creative component must be given to your Major Professor to get final feedback regarding revisions.
- At least 2 weeks before the final oral exam date, a final version of your completed dissertation/thesis/creative component must be given to your POS Committee members to prepare for the Final Oral Examination meeting; any member can cancel the exam if not received at least 2 weeks in advance.
- Open ProQuest or ISU Library Account
- Dissertation/Thesis students open account with ProQuest by the deadline (same as Final Oral Examination Deadline) and input their project title to appear in the commencement program.
- Creative Component students open account with the ISU Library Repository by the deadline (same as Final Oral Examination Deadline).
- Final Oral Examination Meeting conducted by Major Professor
- Major Professor receives an email from the Graduate College approximately 1 week before the exam; this email will contain a link to an Online Report of Oral Examination/Defense form.
- The Graduate College sends email reminders for the upcoming exam to the student, POS Committee, and Graduation Support Staff 2 days before the date of the exam.
- Major Professor is responsible for :
- Ensuring that ALL POS Committee members are present in person or virtually.
- Contacting the Graduate College before the exam begins if last minute arrangements are necessary due to unavoidable emergencies (Lisa Elm; firstname.lastname@example.org; 515-294-4531) and submits an online Committee Member Substitution for Final Oral Examination. The replacement must be fulfilling the same role on the POS Committee as the faculty member approved (i.e., “outside” committee member; English Dept member outside the major; co-major of minor representative).
- Major Professor will complete the online Report of Oral Examination/Defense form, reporting the results of the exam within 24 hours. Results will be marked on the online form.
- Conditional Pass conditions must be marked and noted (Note: conditions must be removed by the Graduate Student Approval Form deadline before graduation can be finalized).
- After the Major Professor enters the information, all POS Committee members, the student, and support staff in the graduate program will receive a confirmation email that includes the exam result.
- The student and all POS Committee members will have 72 hours after the confirmation e-mail is sent to dispute the reported results. The confirmation email will include instructions for disputing.
- Once the 72-hour dispute period has passed, the results are final and will be recorded on the student’s record. The student will be notified with a final e-mail.
- Dissertation/Thesis/Creative Component completion
- Dissertation/Thesis students refer to the Dissertation / Thesis Home website and the Dissertation / Thesis Checklist to make a final review of formatting requirements which might need to be corrected prior to electronic upload and submission to ProQuest.
- Creative Component students consult with their Major Professor to put project in final agreed upon format prior to electronic upload and submission to the ISU Digital Repository.
- Submit FINAL version of Dissertation/Thesis/Creative Component to Major Professor for approval to submit.
- English Department’s Graduation Exit Information and Survey form is required from ALL students; complete the online Smartsheets form via the link which will be emailed to you by the Graduation Support Staff (Jennifer Kilborn; email@example.com).
- Graduate Student Approval Form deadline
- Student completes the Graduate Student Approval Form
- Make sure grades for Incomplete “I”, Nonreport “NR”, or F’s are resolved/changed by instructor(s) completing Grade Report Form(s) for department chair signature and submission to the Registrar’s Office or have Graduate College Dean approval for these to remain on the transcript by this deadline.
- A Conditional Pass (if applicable) must be removed by the Major Professor by completing the Conditions Met Memo for Final Oral Exam. The Major Professor signs as well as POS Committee members (if applicable) based on the conditions indicated on the Report of Final Oral Examination form. The Major Professor submits it to the Graduate College (PDF can be emailed to Lisa Elm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An email will be sent to the Major Professor, DOGE, and Graduation Support Staff to approve the form.
- The DOGE and Graduation Support Staff will approve the form only after the Major Professor signs and after the English Department’s Graduation Exit Information and Survey form is received (see above). Do not upload the electronic dissertation/ thesis/ creative component until this form has been submitted to the Graduate College.
- The student is responsible for making sure that all required approvers (including co-major professors and/or second DOGEs as applicable due to declared co-majors and/or minors) meet the Graduate College deadline for the Graduate Student Approval Form.
- The student will receive a final email letting them know that the approval form has been approved. If you have not received this email before the deadline, please contact your Major Professor.
- Student completes the Graduate Student Approval Form
- Electronic Submission to ProQuest or the ISU Library Repository
- By the Dissertation/Thesis Upload and Submit deadline, upload and submit the final version to your ProQuest/UMI account (http://www.etdadmin.com/cgi-bin/home). Pay the appropriate processing and publication fees.
- By the Creative Component Upload and Submit deadline (only application to M.A. programs), upload and submit the final version to your ISU Digital Repository account (https://lib.dr.iastate.edu).
1.10.4 Commencement and Diplomas
- Commencement participation (optional)–Spring or Fall Commencement only. There is no summer commencement.
- Ceremony Attendance and Diploma Mailing information must be completed in AccessPlus (select Graduation and the Diploma/Ceremony) by the deadline indicated on the ISU Graduation and Commencement website (https://www.graduation.iastate.edu/).
- Receive Diploma 3-4 weeks after commencement if ALL ISU requirements have been met.
- Pick up your diploma in the Graduation Office, 210 Enrollment Services, unless you have requested it be mailed on the date specified. Diplomas will only be mailed or available for pick up for graduates who have met ALL ISU graduation requirements (Registrar’s Office, Accounts Receivable, Financial Aid, College Placement, Facilities Management key return, etc.).
1.10.5 Delaying graduation
If you are not able to complete all requirements and deadlines set by the Graduate College for a particular semester and must delay your graduation, you must cancel your current Application for Graduation (unless you have been dropped by the Graduate College for not meeting a deadline) and reapply for the new intended term of graduation.
If you need to postpone your final oral examination date that has been scheduled and approved by the Graduate College:
- Notify the Graduate College (Lisa Elm; email@example.com; 515-294-4531) and the Graduation Support Staff (Jennifer Kilborn; firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If graduation is delayed until summer, you may participate in Spring or Fall Commencement.
- Registration requirement may apply (minimum of 1.0 credit) and tuition and fees charged depending on the date of the Final Oral Examination meeting, not necessarily the same semester as actual graduation.Consult with your Major Professor to decide on a new date for your orals:
- If the Final Oral Examination meeting date is between semesters (including the first day of classes of the next semester), registration is required for either semester.
- If the Final Oral Examination meeting date is during a semester the student is registered but the student does not meeting that semester’s graduation deadlines (the meeting date can even be after the Final oral Examination Date but on or before the last day of that semester), the student delays graduation to the later semester but is not required to register during the official semester of graduation.
1.10.6 Job Placement
As you prepare your dossier to go on the job market, you should seek out advice and mentoring, particularly from your major professor as well as from other graduate faculty. If your major professor is unable to perform this mentoring, please contact the DOGE, who will put you in touch with a member of the departmental faculty who can serve as an alternate mentor.
Students may access the MLA Job Information List using the departmental access code. Please check with the English Department 203 Ross Hall staff to acquire access.