GDPE students may have additional requirements set by their home departments (e.g., first-year seminars, M.S. Comprehensive Exams, etc.). Students are responsible for inquiring about these expectations during their first meetings with their major advisors, and planning accordingly to make sure they complete all these requirements.

Forming a Committee

The purpose of the committee is to make available to the student a broad range of knowledge and expertise. The committee provides general advising to the student and assists in planning the major elements of the academic program. The committee also evaluates student progress throughout the graduate career. It may provide assessments at various stages and it administers the PhD preliminary and MS / PhD final examinations. The committee is not responsible for reminding students of published deadlines nor for monitoring procedural details. The student should manage such matters independently.

Students should begin discussing the formation of their graduate committee as early as is practical. Formal selection of the graduate committee must occur before the student registers for their fourth regular semester. Along with the advisor's guidance, the following are specifically required of a GDPE student's graduate committee:

"The primary advisor must be a member of the GDPE advising faculty, i.e., he/she must have advising privileges in a CSU academic department. Criteria for advising eligibility may vary among departments. All members of the student's committee must maintain a current appointment with CSU in order to serve as a voting member of the committee. Scientists without an appointment at CSU may contribute to a committee but are not allowed to be voting members. The Director of the GDPE serves as an ex officio member of all graduate committees.

Graduate committees for MS students in GDPE will consist of at least three members, two of whom must be GDPE faculty. The outside committee person may or may not be a member of the GDPE faculty. The outside committee member represents the Graduate School, ensuring that CSU's expectations are met and that the student's needs are being met by GDPE. For these reasons, the outside member may not hold only an affiliate or temporary appointment. Further, the outside member must be from a different department than the primary advisor. If the primary advisor holds a joint appointment in two departments, the outside member must represent a third department. Likewise, if the outside member holds a joint appointment in two departments, the primary advisor must represent a third department.

Graduate committees of PhD students will be of similar composition, except they must also have at least one additional GDPE faculty member (giving a minimum total of four faculty). The student, advisor, and committee collaborate to develop a program of study and are jointly responsible for monitoring the progress toward completion. Each student's graduate committee is also responsible for determining whether satisfactory progress is being made toward completion of the degree according to University requirements."

If you have questions about committee composition, contact the GDPE Program Coordinator.

Creating a Program of Study

When the graduate committee is agreed upon, and courses necessary for the student's academic training are selected, a Program of Study – GS6 is submitted to the Graduate School.

This document lists all courses taken in pursuit of the degree as well as the graduate committee. This is the formal statement of what is done to achieve the degree, the summary of all academic planning. The Program of Study must be filed with the Graduate School before the time of the fourth regular semester registration. Students who fail to meet this requirement may be denied subsequent registration.

Creating the GS6 Worksheet with the major advisor and committee provides an opportunity to discuss curriculum choices. The GDPE MS and PhD Supplemental GS6 & GS25 Forms are helpful in determining what courses will fulfill the requirements in Groups A, B, C. The GS6 supplemental document and the GS6 worksheet must be reviewed with, and approved by the GDPE Director prior to student submission of the final GS6 to the Graduate School. Exemptions or substitutions must be formally requested, approved and recorded.

After your worksheet has been approved, review the instructions on how to file the GS6 electronically and submit the form. Print the official form. Student, advisor (and co-advisor) must sign. Then the GDPE Director signs (not home department head). The GDPE office needs a completed copy to file and the original is delivered to the Graduate School. A GS6 hold (placed on student account if form has not been submitted by the time of the fourth regular semester registration) will be released when the document is submitted to the Graduate School.


GS9A - Petition for Committee Member Changes

Make sure that committee membership is up to date and affiliate faculty (e.g., federal scientists with temporary appointments in an academic department) have current appointments. Any committee changes necessary following the GS6 submission need to be formally submitted using the GS9A. These changes must be in place BEFORE preliminary and / or final examinations are taken.

GS16 - Report of Preliminary Examination for the Ph.D. Degree

Take the GS16 to the preliminary exam for committee signatures. The GDPE Director signs this form and a copy of the form should be filed with the GDPE office. The original document must be filed with the Graduate School within two business days of the exam.

Doctoral students at Colorado State University are considered to achieve "candidacy" for the degree upon passage of preliminary examinations. Candidates generally retain that status through the completion of the degree. However, candidacy is lost if (1) the student is placed on probation due to insufficient grade point average; (2) the student's graduate advisory committee finds that insufficient progress is being made toward the degree; or (3) the student is dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons. Students who lose candidacy may regain it, when appropriate, through the established procedures for improving grade point average, demonstrating satisfactory progress, or achieving readmission. Note that in order to apply for an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG), a student must have advanced to candidacy prior to submitting the DDIG proposal; proposals are due each November (the actual date varies; current dates are posted on the NSF website).

GS24 - Report of Final Examination Results

Take the GS24 to the defense for committee signatures. This document must be filed with the Graduate School within two business days of the exam. GDPE Director does not sign this form but a copy of the form should be filed with the GDPE office.

Defense Announcements

When the final defense date has been set, submit abstract attachment (as a .doc or .docx file) and poster with title, time and location, logos and advisor (as a .jpg file) to the Graduate Program Coordinator at least two weeks ahead of the defense. Include GDPE and CSU logos; other logos may be included as appropriate. The defense announcement will be submitted and advertised university-wide in TODAY@ColoradoState.

Thesis / Dissertation Submission Form

  • Check for deadline on Graduate School website.
  • This form needs to be signed by committee (therefore it is good to take this form to the defense as well) plus the GDPE Director. This form must be filed with the Graduate School before the electronic submission of thesis.

GS25 - Application for Graduation

  • Check for deadline on Graduate School website.
  • Read the GS25 instructions
  • Section 4 – Departmental requirements – unbound double-sided copy of thesis / dissertation and written exit interview
  • Section 5 – Department head signature is the GDPE Director
  • Check program of study (GS6) against unofficial transcript to see what courses on GS6 don't have grades. It is probably because the listing on the transcript varies from how the course(s) are listed on the GS6 in some way. These discrepancies need to be reconciled on the GS25. DROP any courses (as originally identified) and ADD them back (with the exact listing that the transcript shows). DROP any courses that weren't taken at all. If credits go below the required amount (30 or 72), add back the courses that were taken instead to reach those totals. These totals are CRITICAL. If a grade for a course was never assigned but the course was completed, a grade change with the instructor of record for that course needs to be initiated. Classes listed on the GS6 cannot be taken with a pass / fail grade.
  • GS25 must be reviewed by the GDPE office and signed by the GDPE Director. Include the GDPE GS6 / GS25 supplemental document for either MS or PhD (for GDPE use only) for the review.
  • M.S. GDPE Supplemental GS6 & GS25 Form
  • Ph.D. GDPE Supplemental GS6 & GS25 Form

GS25B Departmental Requirements Clearance

This form is submitted by GDPE office to the Graduate School after exit interview and unbound double-sided copy of thesis / dissertation has been received.