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Timeline to Graduation


Congratulations on your acceptance! What's next?

You should have received an email from our Graduate Coordinator on the next steps you need to take to accept your offer, set up your OSU email account and enroll in classes.* You will also receive information on the mandatory New Student Orientation. It is a great chance for you to meet current students, faculty and staff as well as learn more about graduate school.   

*Note that international students may have additional steps to complete before enrollment.


First Semester

You just started your graduate school experience, but you need to make a plan for what courses you will take and when for your time in our program. The time will fly by, and you need to be sure you have taken your required classes prior the term you expect to graduate. Not all the required classes are offered each semester, so it is imperative to plan accordingly. Don't worry, our Graduate Coordinator will guide you through it!


It is recommended to take your required research methods course early in your program. If you are interested in the thesis option, make an appointment with our graduate coordinator to discuss it early in the semester. Start planning ahead for what courses you will take in the future, research possible internships, learn about scholarships and deadlines, explore study abroad options, etc. Review the information in this handbook on student organizations and investigate other options at OSU.


Be sure to check your email regularly for opportunities to get involved through SGS events or available opportunities, like scholarships and grants. This is also the perfect opportunity to get involved in different organizations and clubs on campus. We do have several student organizations within the School of Global Studies, but there are a ton of different organizations across campus!


When it is time to enroll for the next semester, you will receive an email with information on the steps you need to take to enroll. You will need to start the process with an appointment with the graduate coordinator to discuss your courses and answer any other questions.


We also suggest brainstorming options for the graduate-level faculty member that you will ask to chair your graduate advisory committee, which you will need to officially form in your second semester. More information about the graduate advisory committee is included in your handbook


You will also need to complete the Responsible Conduct of Research form to show understanding of proper research conduct


Second Semester

You need to attend a workshop from the Graduate College on the plan of study and create your plan of study online. You must submit a plan of study online (including your graduate advisory committee members) prior to completion of the second semester (excluding summer sessions). Since you will need to include your graduate advisory committee members before you submit your plan of study, you must plan ahead early in the semester to meet with possible committee members to ask them to serve on your committee. 


Now is a great to time to create some goals for your time at OSU, like getting involved in on-campus organizations. With the next intersession on the horizon, you should consider your options for internships, study abroad, scholarships, job opportunities, etc. You can make an appointment with the graduate coordinator if you would like to discuss any of your options. 


Third/Fourth/Etc. Semester

Now is time to start thinking about what you want to do after graduation (scary, we know!). We highly suggest making an appointment with Career Services to update your resume and prepare your job application materials. Career Services offers resume paper and thank you notes for free, too! If you are interested in furthering your education with additional degrees, you should begin to research programs and requirements online.


Most full-time students (6+ hours/semester) in our program complete the degree in three to four semesters, but if you are balancing graduate school with full-time employment or a family, it can take longer. The Graduate College's policy requires students to complete their program within 7 years, or they are required to reapply. If you need to take a leave of absence, some circumstances are allowed with proper paperwork.


Final Semester

It is important to communicate with our office in your final semester, so we can make sure you are on track to graduate. The requirements for graduation differ depending upon if you chose to do a thesis, a creative component or an internship. That said, there are several steps and forms that everyone must complete and submit prior to being eligible to graduate, so be sure to follow the timeline outlined by the Graduate College. Let's stress this again, you must complete steps in the graduation process by the deadlines in order to graduate. You can also see these deadlines in your handbook.


Every fall and spring semester, SGS hosts a Hooding Ceremony for our graduates before the OSU Graduate Commencement Ceremony in Gallagher-Iba Arena. If it is your final semester in the program, you will be able to participate in our Hooding Ceremony and invite your family and friends to attend and celebrate with you. We coordinate these efforts via email, and it is your responsibility to answer those emails if you want to participate. Additional information on graduation is available through the Registrar

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