MPA Graduation

Finishing Your Degree

Once you are registered for your final semester, you can start the paperwork required to receive your degree. 

Steps to Complete Your Degree:

All forms can be found in the GradPath system. The GradPath system can be found in your UAccess Student Center. To navigate to GradPath Forms, use the drop-down menu in the Academics section, which will allow you to enter into the GradPath Forms area. GradPath User Guide for Students

  1. Update your personal information on UAccess. Please make sure the permanent address we have for you is accurate or enter a diploma address.
  2. GradPath forms to complete:
    • 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.
    • Plan of Study. Click on Create New; search for your major advisor (faculty advisor).  This should be the Program Director, Dr. Craig Smith or a faculty member you have worked closely within MPA.
      • 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. Once submitted, your form will route electronically to the Graduate Programs Manager, Major Advisor, Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Degree Auditor for approval.
    • Master's/Specialist Committee Appointment Form (Master's degree only). Once your Plan of Study has been approved by all reviewers, this form will become available. Click on Create New to fill out this form with your program adviser's information. When you submit this form it will again be routed to your department for approval.
    • Master's/Specialist Completion Confirmation. This form will be completed by your Graduate Programs Manager at the end of your final semester of study. The above three forms must be complete in order for this form to be completed. 
  3. Pay the $35 candidacy fees which will be added to your Bursar’s account after your initial Plan of Study is approved by the Graduate College. Your degree will not be posted if you have a balance at the Bursar’s Office.
  4. For Certificate programs or dual degrees, a separate Plan of Study will need to be submitted for each program.


For More Information

Graduate College forms and guidelines:

Department Instructions for Grad Path: 

GradPath FAQ from the Graduate College:

Graduation Ceremonies

  • The School of Government and Public Policy offers a private commencement ceremony once per year in May.  All graduates from the preceding Fall semester are welcome to attend. 
  • SBS Convocation: The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences ceremony is held twice a year, once in May and once in December. Each person will be recognized individually and departmental representation will be in attendance. 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: Regalia can be obtained from the UA Bookstore. Our tassel and hood color is teal blue. More information on renting or purchasing regalia can be found here


Diplomas are not handed out at the ceremonies but mailed later after all grades have been posted and your degree awarded by the Graduate College.  For more on awarding diplomas, see the Graduate College.  Proof of an awarded degree will also appear on your final transcript, and you may want to request a final transcript as soon as you know that your degree is posted.