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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Current Students

Explore the Murrow College graduate resources for important information including deadlines, due-dates, program requirements and forms.


The College of Communication has established the following learning objectives.

  • Knowledge of the field. Understand the breadth and depth of knowledge within the discipline, including current theories and methods and demonstrate competency in identifying and interpreting research on topics in communication.
  • Scientific reasoning and research process. Conduct independent research to identify research questions and hypotheses and design, execute, analyze, report on original research.
  • Communication. Communicate complex problems and research effectively to diverse audiences using appropriate media and communication tools.
  • Original scholarly contribution. Make original contributions to the discipline through presentations at academic conferences and publication in peer-reviewed academic outlets.
  • Teaching proficiency. Nurture and train graduate students to become effective teachers in the field of communication.


Jeremy Watson
Graduate Coordinator, Student Services

Deadlines and Procedures for Doctoral Degree

(Spring 2020 and on )

Graduate School Forms Available Here

Printable PDF Available Here

ALL documents are submitted to the Graduate School through your Academic Coordinator


1. Obtain an advisor/committee chairpersonAs soon as possible after admission to the Graduate School
2. Submit Program of Study Request form to the Graduate School via your Academic Coordinator!

Doctoral students must submit the Program of Study Request form before the end of their third semester of study (October 1 deadline for fall; March 1 deadline for spring).

NOTE: Students who have recently completed their Master’s degree at WSU and plan to continue for a Ph.D. may want to file their Program of Study early: one full semester before taking the Preliminary Exam.

Preparation of the Program of Study form is the responsibility of the student, advisor, and doctoral committee. Department approves the form before submitting to the Graduate School.
If your third Semester is:

Spring 2020 - Submittal Deadline 3/1/2020
Summer 2020 - Submittal Deadline 3/1/2020
Fall 2020 - Submittal Deadline 10/1/2020
Spring 2021 - Submittal Deadline 3/1/2021
Summer 2021 - Submittal Deadline 3/1/2021
Fall 2021 - Submittal Deadline 10/1/2021
Spring 2022 - Submittal Deadline 3/1/2022
Summer 2022 - Submittal Deadline 3/1/2022
3. Preliminary Examination (doctoral students only).

NOTE: Preliminary exams may be taken throughout the semester except during final exam week.

You must have an approved Doctoral Program of Study on file with the Graduate School to schedule a Preliminary exam.
Complete this exam at least 4 months (1 semester) prior to taking a Final
Oral Examination/ defense.

*Schedule after approval and completion of your program of study.
3a. Schedule Preliminary Exam (doctoral students only).

Submit your exam form at least 10 business days before your exam date.

NOTE: Preliminary exams can be taken throughout the semester except no prelims can be held during final exam week.
*Student should have 6 graded credits (or less) left to complete on their program of study coursework. This includes credits for which the student is currently enrolled (or further documentation is required).

Taking your prelim for the second time? You must submit the Preliminary Exam Scheduling form at least 3 weeks (15 business days) in advance if you are re-taking your Preliminary exam.

Preliminary Exam details: (#2)
Submit to the Graduate School: no later than 10 business days (2 weeks) prior to the date you wish to take the preliminary examination.

LAST DATE to take a PRELIM (within the semester/session):

Spring 2020 5/1/2020
Summer 2020 7/31/2020
Fall 2020 12/11/2020
Spring 2021 4/30/2021
Summer 2021 7/30/2021
Fall 2021 12/10/2021
Spring 2022 4/29/2022
Summer 2022 7/29/2022
4. Applying to Graduate

Apply for Degree in MyWSU (to Graduate). You do this online in your MyWSU portal.

This deadline is also the last day to apply for a Graduate Certificate.

If a student does not apply by the initial deadline, their name will not appear in the Commencement Program.

All students pay a $60 graduate processing fee, valid for one year only. Payment is made at the time of completing/submitting the online Application for Degree (MyWSU).

*You must apply by the initial Deadline for your name to appear in the Commencement Program for that semester. If you miss the deadline, your name will not appear in the Commencement Program.

OR....(see next section!)
Semester of Graduation *App Deadline

Spring 2020 - Deadline 3/6/2020
(applications open: 10/7/2019)
w/$50 late fee: 3/7 – 3/31/2020
w/$75 late fee: 4/1 – 4/24/2020

Summer 2020 - Deadline 5/29/2020
(applications open: 1/1/2020)
w/$50 late fee: 5/30 - 6/30/2020
w/$75 late fee: 7/1 – 7/26/2020

Fall 2020 - Deadline 10/9/2020
(applications open: 6/8/2020)
w/$50 late fee: 10/10 – 10/31/2020
w/$75 late fee: 11/1 – 11/20/2020

Spring 2021 - Deadline 3/5/2021
(applications open: 10/12/2020)
w/$50 late fee: 3/6 – 3/31/2021
w/$75 late fee: 4/1 – 4/24/2021

Summer 2021 - Deadline 5/28/2021
(applications open: 1/1/2021)
4a. NEED to UPDATE your Application for Degree?

Already paid your fee but discovered you cannot complete your requirements for the semester in which you applied?

You must UPDATE your Application for Degree using the following steps:
i. Email
ii. Subject Line: Your name – UPDATE App for Degree
iii. In body of email, provide:
1. Name
2. WSU Student ID# (very important)
3. Type of degree (master ordoctoral) & Program (e.g. Ph.D. in Biology)
4. NEW semester for graduation (spring, summer, fall), and year
iv. WATCH for an email from the Graduate School. Complete and return the form so we can update you.

The Graduate School will email you a form to complete, which must be returned to the Graduate School (emailed as an attachment). We will update your semester of graduation without any additional fees. Your graduation fee is valid for one year [from the initial payment].
5. Submit completed Final Exam Scheduling Form no later than 10 business days prior to the exam date. Completed means ALL signatures, thesis title, date/time/location(s) identifying where each
committee member will attend the exam must be clearly provided on the scheduling form.

At this same time, doctoral students must submit an electronic copy of the final draft dissertation to ProQuest.

For submission guidelines and formatting requirements , see

2nd Attempt Exams:
Taking your exam for the second time? You must submit your completed scheduling form no later than 15 business days (three weeks) before exam date.
Graduation *Scheduling Deadline

Spring 2020 4/24/2020
Summer 2020 7/17/2020
Fall 2020 11/5/2020
Spring 2021 4/9/2021
Summer 2021 7/16/2021
Fall 2021 11/ 4/2021
Spring 2022 4/8/2022

*assumes you are taking the exam on the last possible date
6. Conduct Final Examination (Last possible date)

We have extended the time to defend to the last possible date, but we do not encourage you to wait until the last date to defend. We are unable to make exceptions beyond these deadlines. Please meet with your committee to identify your final exam date well in advance to ensure you graduate on time and avoid having to postpone your final exam/defense or graduation to the next semester.
*Ballots must be completed and submitted to Grad School for all Summer doctoral students wishing to walk in the August 8, 2020 Commencement.
Semester of Graduation | Exam Deadline

Spring 2020 5/8/2020
Summer 2020*7/31/2020
Fall 2020 11/20/2020
Spring 2021 4/23/2021
Summer 2021 7/30/2021
Fall 2021 11/19/2021
Spring 2022 4/22/2022
Summer 2022 7/29/2022
7. Submit all required final documents to the Graduate School
(French Administration Building, Room 324-J)

Final dissertations must be submitted within 5 business days (*15 days for Spring & Summer 2020 semesters (COVID19) of a successful defense. Submission includes uploading a copy to the library at and bringing the properly formatted (on 100% cotton paper) title page, signature page (signed in black or blue ink), and abstract to the Graduate School, along with the signed/witnessed Release/Hold Harmless Agreement andproof of completed Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) (Certificate preferred) by 5:00 p.m. on the 5/15th workday following your successful defense.

Visit the Graduate School forms web page for:
• Graduation (preparation) Checklist
• Thesis/Dissertation Submission Guidelines & Required Formatting
• Thesis/Dissertation MSWord Template
• Final Checklist and any other Graduate School forms you may need.
• Instructions for submitting final documents via GRM (COVID19 impacted semesters)
If exam is held on final day listed above:

Graduation Semester | Final Docs Deadline

*Spring 2020 6/1/2020
*Summer 2020 8/21/2020
Fall 2020 12/1/2020
Spring 2021 4/30/2021
Summer 2021 8/ 6/2021
Fall 2021 11/30/2021
Spring 2022 4/29/2022
Summer 2022 8/5/2022
8. Doctoral students who want to participate in Commencement

Must have all requirements completed by noon on this date. There are NO exceptions. This includes your dissertation cleared by the Graduate School (ALL formatting requirements completed). Final dissertations are due within 5 business days of the successful defense.

** Commencement is now August 8, 2020. Doctoral students with a Spring 2020 degree conferral/diploma may participate (ifregistered). Students taking Spring Interims and Summer 2020 final exams will be eligible to participate if their ballots are all completed, submitted (student passed), and student is registered for Commencement.
Final Clearance for Commencement
for doctoral students by 12 NOON!

Spring 2020 **
Summer 2020 **
Fall 2020 Wednesday, 12/9/2020
Spring 2021 Wednesday, 5/5/2021
Fall 2021 Wednesday, 12/8/2021
Spring 2022 Wednesday, 5/4/2022
9. Commencement Dates

Commencement is an event separate from your Graduate School requirements.

If you wish to attend Commencement, please register at For policies regarding graduation participation as a graduate student, visit
Commencement Date
Spring 2020 8/8/2020
For more information, please see the Commencement Website
Fall 2020 12/12/2020
Spring 2021 5/ 8/2021
Fall 2021 12/11/2021
Spring 2022 5/7/2022