Student Handbook

Degree Completion

Revised November 11, 2021

Conferring of Degrees

Degrees are conferred on August 31st, December 31st and at the formal Commencement exercise in May. All students completing their degrees are invited to participate and will receive information regarding the Commencement ceremony. Attendance at Commencement is not mandatory. All program requirements must be met before a graduate degree can be conferred.

Notification of Expected Completion of Degree Requirements

The student is responsible for notifying the Registrar's Office of his/her/their expected date for completion of degree requirements. The Notification of Degree Completion form is available online on our Graduate Forms page. 

Fulfillment of Degree Requirements

Students should work with their faculty adviser and program director to ensure that they are making appropriate progress toward their degree. Procedures have been developed to check progress toward the degree. However, it is the student’s responsibility to know the requirements for his or her degree and to fulfill them.

In addition to, or independent of, a master’s degree, students may prepare for teacher certification granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. See our Teacher Certification page for more information.

Degree Completion for Cohort/Full-Time Graduate Programs

  • Doctor of Education — three years plus extension for dissertation
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy— two and one half years
  • Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution— two years; three years for part-time track
  • Master of Medical Science (Physician Assistant)— two years; three years for dual degree and three-year track
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science— two years; three years for part-time track

Degree Completion for Graduate Programs with Rolling Admission Six years from the first enrollment in coursework relating to the degree:

  • Certificate of Advanced Study (post masters')
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in English
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Public Health
  • Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

In all of the above programs, students may enroll on either a full-time or part-time basis; if they do not want to pursue a degree or certification, they may request permission to enroll as Special Status students.