Recently in progress to degree Category

Recently, there has been increasing confusion regarding the status designators for the Graduate Degree Plan (GDP) in various UM Reports. Currently, the Graduate Degree Plan milestone is serving a dual purpose -- recording completion of the GDP itself, as well as completion of master's final exam and doctoral prelim oral committees. Below are explanations of each designator.

"Not complete" -- committee is assigned and approved; GDP is not completed
"In Progress" -- GDP is completed; committee is not yet assigned and/or approved
"Complete" -- GDP and committee are completed

If there are any questions, feel free to contact the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) office at

Effective Monday, October 21, graduate students will be able to download their own graduation packet materials from the Graduate School website. Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) will remain available for assistance if needed, but will no longer print and send a requested packet to a student or program.

This change will not only allow students to get their information faster, but their personal information (e.g., name, address, degree sought) will be auto-populated in the form. After a student has requested their packet and the system has verified they have completed their eligibility milestones (e.g. active status, approved degree plan, approved final committee), they will be prompted to download their materials.

All graduation packet materials have been redesigned to reflect this process change. This includes:

  • Exam forms and Reviewers Report forms
  • Graduation checklists
  • Making Graduate Application for Degree pull info from PeopleSoft
  • Formatting & Submission Guidelines

Please update your materials, handbooks, and websites to reflect this change. A message will be added to the October 28 Graduate & Professional Update.

If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact GSSP at

Student Degree Progress update

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The fall 2009 cohort graduation rates will be finalized in the next few weeks, and colleges have been asked to follow up with students to ensure timely degree progress. To reach the University's goal of a 60% graduation rate, a total of 3,229 degrees must be posted. Currently, 96 are still needed. Colleges are reminded that it is appropriate to backdate a degree to the last term the student was enrolled in degree-applicable courses.

Student data for the second year through sixth year cohorts will also be sent to colleges. This information will help the University become more proactive regarding student degree progress.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum clarification

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There have recently been questions regarding the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). The MnTC is the result of a collaborative effort by all two- and four-year colleges and universities in Minnesota to help students transfer their work in lower-division general education. The University has clarified the policy to waive Liberal Education (LE) requirements by indicating that previous Minnesota community college AA degrees and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) must be completed prior to the first term of enrollment at the University of Minnesota. Many community colleges require students to request the MnTC designation on their transcript, but if there is no date of MnTC achievement, it is difficult to understand how and when a student achieved the MnTC.
Some considerations Admissions uses in determining when to post the LE waiver flag for a MnTC include the following:

-If it is clear on the community college transcript that no University of Minnesota courses were transferred back, we will add the MnTC.

-If it is clear that the AA degree was achieved prior to a student's first term of enrollment at the University of Minnesota, a student's LEs will be waived. (The AA degree is dated on a community college transcript.)

-If courses from the University of Minnesota were transferred to the community college, the MnTC will not be added.

Students who completed the MnTC after enrolling at the University of Minnesota may be eligible to have the policy waived, but they must fill out an Academic Policy Petition.

Honors subplan to become a second major plan

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Currently, Honors students on the Twin Cities campus are identified with the University Honors Program (UHP) subplan. Each undergraduate major on the Twin Cities campus has an "honors" APAS version of the major with the honors requirements embedded in the APAS. This can be confusing to students. Starting fall 2013, the Twin Cities campus will stop using the honors subplan and start using an honors second major plan. This will allow for creation of a separate Honors APAS and allow colleges to clear students for graduation who have met all their degree requirements but are still completing their honors requirements.

Change to display of student record information

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Recently, a change was announced in how student record information is displayed for students participating in College in the Schools (CIS). Effective immediately, any student (past or present) will now be listed as a non-degree student on his or her student record.

This change is effective for all system campuses and will affect the information displayed on the student's transcript. The decision to make this change was prompted after a review of our peer institutions in the Big Ten and how they categorize students in CIS.

For questions related to this change, please contact Emily Holt in the Office of the Registrar at

Student degree progress update

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The new degree credit summaries on APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) rolled out last fall. The change allowed students and advisers to see a summary of credits considered degree credits and elective credits, and what courses do not meet the requirements for the student's declared program(s).

Some recent highlights regarding student degree progress include the following:

--Creating an APAS tutorial on the One Stop website.
--Providing colleges with degree progress data for NHS and NAS students prior to the enrollment period to help identify potential graduates.
--Completing an extensive comparison of program requirement information on collegiate websites. This has helped detect any discrepancies appearing in PCAS.
--Identifying a program requirement that was causing issues for students and working with the department to adjust the curriculum.

The biggest and most time sensitive goal for student degree progress is to reach a 60% graduation rate for the fall 2009 cohort. As of right now, 2,895 degrees have been posted, but a total of 3,229 are needed by approximately October.

Questions regarding student degree progress should be directed to Tracy Fischer at or 6-1301.

Process for declaring a minor remains unchanged

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Though several graduate education policies have recently changed, the process for graduate students to declare a minor has not. Per the usual process, students declare their minor as part of the Graduate Degree Plan. For doctoral students, this must be completed before their prelim oral exam.

Students must list their minor and minor field coursework, as well as obtain the approval signature of their minor field Director of Graduate Studies.

Students who have declared a minor must include a representative from the minor field on their examining committee when submitting the committee assignment workflow.

Committee Assignment Workflow

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Based on a careful review of the Appointments to Graduate Examination Committees policy and feedback received at meetings of the Registrar's Advisory Committee, the process map for the assignment of committee [PDF] has been revised and automation work is underway. Once this process automation is complete, both assignment of adviser and assignment of committee will be released for use simultaneously. This automation will affect two forms currently in use: the Degree Program form and the "Thesis Project/Proposal" form.

The "Degree Program" form will be revised to exclude adviser and committee assignment information. This form will be available and should be used exclusively once the automated processes are live. The "Thesis Project/Proposal" form will be retired and will no longer need to be submitted to the Graduate School.

Calculating PhD time to degree

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At the April RAC meeting, Brad Bostrum from the Graduate School presented on how PhD time to degree is calculated. He has provided his presentation:

PhD Time-to-Degree

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the progress to degree category.

portal is the previous category.

scheduling is the next category.

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