Advancement to Candidacy and Graduation

Candidacy Prerequisites

Meet with your advisor or committee (program specific) to review course work and thesis/project proposal (if applicable)
Submit proposal to Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (if research involves humans or non-human vertebrates)
Most graduate students apply for candidacy after their first year as a graduate student. Before a student can apply for candidacy the following requirements must be met. You must have:
  • Classified standing (cleared admission deficiencies, if applicable)
  • Completed a minimum of 12 units of coursework for your program
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in all courses taken as a graduate student.
  • Approval of plan to use humans or animals as subjects for research, if applicable. (A copy of the approval letter must be attached to candidacy paperwork) done

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Application for Advancement to Candidacy and Graduation

Once you have met prerequisites for candidacy, you should meet with your advisor to start the advancement to candidacy process. Your advancement to candidacy document is a contract between you and Humboldt State University that details the requirements of your master's degree.
Your proposed course list must have:
  •  a minimum of 30 semester units of approved coursework;
  • 21 or greater semester units at taken at HSU (residency requirement); HSU Extended Education cannot be used for resident credit;
  • at least half the units required for the degree are graduate level (500-600 courses);
  • no more than six thesis or project units with a maximum of nine total units for independent study, field work, and thesis/project courses;
  • B- or better in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements for the degree and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better.
Your proposed course list cannot include:
  • lower division courses (100-200 level)
  • courses more than seven years old


It is recommended that you apply for candidacy and graduation at least one semester before finishing all your degree requirements. Early application ensures that you will receive your degree check in time for adequate planning for your final semester(s) of enrollment.

Related Form:

Application for Advancement to Candidacy and Graduation

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