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Western Kentucky University

The Graduate School - Student FAQ

Where can I find information about graduate student policies and procedures?
The Graduate Catalog contains information regarding curriculum, policies, and procedures for graduate students. It is the responsibility of all students to be thoroughly familiar with all rules, regulations, and requirements pertaining to graduate study.
How do I know what forms I have on file with the Graduate School?

You can check what forms are on file with our office through your TopNet account.

  1. Log on to TopNet.
  2. Select "Registration" on the Student Services tab. TopNet Instructions
  3. Click "View Student Information." TopNet Instructions 2
  4. The forms you currently have on file with us will be found in the "Graduation Status" section. The example (below) shows that this student has a Form C, Form D, Form E, and the Application for Graduation on file for the MA in Sociology. TopNet Instructions 3
How do I sign and submit forms electronically to the Graduate School?
For instructions on signing forms electronically, please see these instructions.
Where should I send an electronic document after it is completed?
The list to whom documents should be sent can be found here.
What is a Form B/C?
A Form B/C is the graduate degree program. It must be filled out by the student and advisor. The advisor must approve of the courses listed on the degree program. If a student is pursuing a master's degree that is in the teacher education area, the Form B/C must be approved in the Office of Teacher Certification prior to being submitted to the Graduate School.
How do I get a Form B/C?
Your academic department and your graduate advisor will have Form B/C available.
When do I need to submit my Form B/C?
The Form B/C must be submitted prior to the completion of twelve (12) hours of graduate course work. Failure to file the Form B/C will result in not being able to register for any additional courses until the Form B/C is submitted with appropriate signatures.
How do I know if my Form B/C is approved?
Once the degree program (Form B/C) has been officially approved by personnel in all required areas, you will receive a signed copy via your WKU email. Along with your copy of the Form B/C, you will receive a Form D. If you are unsure whether or not one is on file with the Graduate School, you may check TopNet.  Log in, select "Student Services," then "Student Records," then "View Graduate Program Documents."
What is a Form D?
As of August 1, 2014, use of the Form D has been discontinued.
What does admission to candidacy require?
  1. An approved program of study (Form C).
  2. Removal of any deficiencies or conditions for admission.
  3. Attainment of at least a 3.0 grade point average in course work included in the program of study (courses on approved Form C) and at least a 3.0 overall GPA at the time of admission to candidacy.
  4. Completion of the foreign language examination or research tool as specified for the program.
  5. Approval of the major advisor and Dean of the Graduate School.
  6. Adhere to additional degree specific requirements as stated in the Graduate Catalog.


Do I have to take a comprehensive examination before I receive my degree?

All graduate degree programs require that either a written or an oral examination be satisfactorily completed, or that an approved capstone course be successfully completed. For students in master’s degree programs with thesis (Plan A), an oral defense of the thesis is required. For doctoral students, an oral defense of the dissertation is required. Students must meet the following guidelines before they are permitted to attempt the comprehensive examination:

  1. Complete at least one half of the course work in an approved program minor (if applicable),
  2. Have no more than nine hours remaining on the approved program, and
  3. Complete any additional requirements as specified by faculty in the department in which the program is housed.
The major advisor or dissertation chair, in consultation with the student, appoints the oral examination committee consisting of three graduate faculty members. If the student’s program includes a minor, or a significant amount of course work in an area outside the major, one of the committee members must represent that area. The chairperson will notify the Graduate School of the results of the examination by sending a Comprehensive Examination Report (Form E). The department or dissertation chair is responsible for turning in the results of the examination to Graduate Studies. Failure to receive the Form E can delay graduation by at least one semester. Form E’s will not be accepted by students.
I am in the College of Education. How do I apply to take the comprehensive exam?
Please see the College of Education's Comprehensive Exam site for information on how to apply for the exam and forms that need to be submitted.
Do I have to write a thesis?
Most degree areas and departments offer both Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis). If you opt for Plan A (thesis), thesis credit (6 semester hours) is included in the hours required for the degree. A student must maintain matriculation until the thesis is approved. Thesis, dissertation, specialist project format guidelines are available.
How and when do I need to submit my thesis, dissertation or specialist project?
Submission instructions and a schedule for submission to the college reader and the Graduate School is available here.
Where do I submit my application for graduation?
The application for graduation along with a graduation is submitted online in TopNet (Student Services-->Student Records-->Application for Graduation). If you wish to pay by check or money order, the fee must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar located on the second floor of Potter Hall. Please do not submit the graduation application and fee to the Graduate School.
Do I have to pay the graduation fee even if I do not participate in the commencement ceremony?
Yes. All students who receive a degree must pay the graduation fee.  Information on the graduation fee can be found here.
What is the last day that I can complete coursework and still graduate?
Students must complete all degree requirements (coursework, Form C, Form D, Comprehensive Exam, and Application for Graduation) no later than the Friday of Final Examinations week for a given semester. The academic calendar can be found here.
How do I request that my degree be awarded?

You do not need to request that you degree be awarded. Instead, your file will be audited in the Graduate School once you have a Form C, Application for Graduation, and Comprehensive Examination report (supplied by your academic department) on file in the Graduate School.

If you are missing degree requirements you and/or your advisor will be contacted. Once your file is audited and complete the Registrar’s Office will award your degree. Your diploma will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks of your degree being posted to your transcript.

If I am a teacher, how do I request a Rank change or initial certification?
For questions regarding teacher certification please refer to the Office of Teacher Services.
How do I request a transcript?

For information on ordering your final transcript please refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Please note that if you require a final transcript showing your degree awarded and your degree has not yet been awarded you must submit a request via mail.

How does WKU convert quarter hours to semester hours?
WKU multiplies the quarter hour by 0.67 to get the semester hour.  For example, if you have earned six quarter hours, they will be converted to four semester hours.
How can I withdraw from courses at WKU?

If the drop date for the semester has not passed, log into TopNet and drop the course. If you have a hold that prevents registration changes please contact the appropriate office immediately.

If the drop date for the semester has passed please contact the instructor of your course to file a Schedule Exception Appeal.

For a complete withdrawal, medical withdrawal or a retroactive withdrawal please find the forms on the Registrar’s Office website

How can I withdraw from a graduate program?
To withdraw from a graduate program, first drop all current courses then email the Graduate School requesting to be withdrawn from your program.

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 Last Modified 10/17/14