Due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus and the public health recommendations that come with it, Arizona State University will be celebrating with its graduates in the 2020 Spring commencement in a virtual, online ceremony. The format may be different, but our enthusiasm for celebration has never been more inspired and we encourage you to join us in honoring ASU graduate and undergraduate students the week of May 11. Planning is underway. For more details, please check back here for updates and additional information about online activities. Commencement FAQ page

Completing Your Degree

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Culminating Event Options

All degrees require that you complete at least one culminating experience.


 Culminating experiences can be the following:

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Portfolio
  • Applied Project
  • Capstone Course
  • Foreign Language Exam (FLE)
  • Master’s Thesis
  • Doctoral Dissertation

Thesis option: master’s students

If your program requires completing a thesis as your culminating experience, you must schedule and hold a defense. The results of your defense must be recorded on the official Pass/Fail form by your committee. Please refer to the "defenses" tab for more information on this process.

Non-thesis option: master’s students

Your culminating experience will be monitored by your academic unit. Results will be reported to the Graduate College via the iPOS system.

Dissertation: doctoral students

If your program requires completing a dissertation (or equivalent for specific degrees) as your culminating experience, you must schedule and hold a defense. The results of your defense must be recorded on the official Pass/Fail form by your committee. Please refer to the "defenses" tab for more information on this process.

Prior to defending your dissertation you must reach candidacy, meaning all milestones (written, oral, foreign language and prospectus) have been successfully completed and reported to the Graduate College by your academic unit via the iPOS system, and you have received your candidacy letter.

Non-dissertation: doctoral students

Your culminating experience will be monitored by your academic unit. Results will be reported to the Graduate College via the iPOS system.