Finishing Your Degree

Besides finishing up all the required coursework for the MPA program, the Graduate College requires documentation for the degree awarding process.  This is done via GradPath, an electronic degree auditing system. 

The Graduate College recommends submitting your Master's Plan of Study by your second semester.  However, it is strongly recommended to submit your Plan of Study by the end of your 3rd semester. 


All master's students have 4 GradPath forms; 3 need to be completed by the student, the last form is completed by the Graduate Programs Manager.  All forms can be found in the GradPath system, located in your UAccess Student Center. To navigate to GradPath Forms, use the drop-down menu from the Advising tab and then select "GradPath Forms".

GradPath forms to complete (in order of appearance):

  1. Responsible Conduct of Research Statement. Every student is required to complete this form. Once this is submitted you will be able to access the Plan of Study.
  2. Master's Plan of Study. Click on 'Create New'; update your Expected Graduation Term (if necessary) and then search for your major advisor (faculty advisor).  This should be the Program Director.
    • Add Enrollment to populate your courses to your Plan of Study. There is also a transfer coursework section if you have any transfer work to be counted towards your degree. Only add the coursework that is necessary to fulfill the degree requirements (ie: 8 core classes, 4 electives, capstone, internship = 42 units) .
    • Once submitted, your form will route electronically to the Graduate Programs Manager, Major Advisor, Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate College Degree Auditor for approval.
    • Upon initial approval at the Graduate College, you will be charged $35 candidacy fees.  This pays for the creation and shipment of the diploma.  If you are in multiple graduate degree programs, you will be charged $35 per degree.
  3. Master's/Specialist Committee Appointment Form. Once your Plan of Study has been approved by all reviewers, this form will become available. Click on 'Create New'; answer 'no' to the committee question (this will auto-fill the form with your major advisor's information). When you submit this form it will again be routed to your department and the Graduate College for approval.
  4. Master's/Specialist Completion Confirmation. This form will be completed by your Graduate Programs Manager at the end of your final semester of study. In order for this form to be submitted to the Graduate College: (1) the above three forms must be complete and have an 'approved' status, (2) all final grades for the semester must be posted in UAccess, and (3) a final cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher must be recorded in UAccess.

Diplomas and Final Transcripts

After all final grades are posted in UAccess, all GradPath forms are complete and your cumulative GPA is a 3.0 or better, the Graduate College Degree Auditor/Counselor will award your degree.  Please be patient in the degree awarding process.  The Graduate Student Academic Services (GSAS) Office is extemely busy during graduation time and will award your degree as soon as possible.

Diplomas are not handed out at commencement/convocation ceremonies or issued by the Graduate College.  All diplomas are created by the Michael Sutter Company (located in Utah) and shipped to your permanent or diploma address about a month after degree awarding. Once your diploma is shipped, you will be notified via email (usually to your CatMail account); e-diplomas are available for download after email notification as well.

Proof of degree completion will also appear on your final transcript.  Please check your unofficial transcript first in UAccess before requesting a final official transcript from the Registrar's Office.

If your diploma has not been awarded 2-3 months after the semester, it could be due to one of of the following:

  1. Your GradPath forms are not complete or the Plan of Study needs to be updated.
  2. You have grades pending in UAccess - this includes incomplete grades.
  3. You have the incorrect Expected Graduation Term (EGT) indicated in UAccess.

Receiving the Diploma

As mentioned previously, the diploma will be shipped to either your permanent or diploma address.  Please make sure that your permanent address is correct in UAccess Student Center as this is the default address for the diploma.  If your permanent address is incorrect, you may add a diploma address instead in UAccess or correct the permanent address in person at the Registrar's Office. 

Reasons for not receiving your diploma:

  1. You have a hold on your student account - this usually caused by a past due balance.
  2. You do not have a permanent or diploma address indicated in UAccess.
  3. Your permanent address is incorrect, thus the diploma was shipped to the wrong address.

Graduation Ceremonies

  • The School of Government and Public Policy offers a private ceremony once per year in May.  All graduates from summer and the preceding Fall semester are welcome to attend. 
  • SBS Convocation: The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences ceremony is held once per a year in May. Each person will be recognized individually and departmental representation will be in attendance. All graduates from summer and the preceding Fall semester are welcome to attend. RSVP is necessary! 
  • University of Arizona Commencement: The University-wide commencement ceremony at Arizona Stadium. This event is only held in May. No RSVP is necessary. Please follow the link for more information.

Regalia, diploma frames, class rings and additional graduation items can be purchased from the UA Bookstore.

If you are purchasing a Master's Hood, please select "Masters/Public Admin/Ming Blue". 

If you are purchasing a College Stole of Gratitude, please select "White/Soc Behavior Sci".