First Semester

Submit request for academic advisor to the Graduate Program Coordinator, as soon as possible. Submit individual Plan of Study — Contract Form for academic advisor’s approval and file with the Graduate Program Coordinator, no later than the end of the semester.

Second Semester

Submit any requests for financial assistance for the next academic year to the Graduate Program Coordinator, by 15 February.

For those pursuing the Professional Option — At the start of the semester, have your professional plan proposal submitted to your academic advisor for approval.

For those pursuing the Thesis Option — Identify with your advisor potential faculty members for your thesis committee.  A minimum of 3 faculty members, including your advisor and one faculty member from outside the department, is required. The  committee must be submitted to the department chair and officially approved by the Graduate School before you can register for any thesis hours (COM 599) Submit the Appointment or Change Thesis Committee Form.

Third Semester

Review the approved electives on your plan of study with your academic advisor, and secure approval for any necessary amendments.  Be sure to file a Plan of Study–Amendment Form with the Graduate Program Coordinator.

For those pursuing the Thesis Option — Meet with the members of your thesis committee to approve your Prospectus.

For those pursuing the Comps Option — Consult with your academic advisor about setting up a comprehensive examination committee, by 1 December.  Be sure to consult the Comprehensive Exam Procedures.

Final Semester

At the beginning of your final semester, apply for your Application for Degree with the Graduate School (available through MyBama website) . This application must be on record with the Graduate School Office in order to graduate.  It is the student’s responsibility.  Failure to do so will result in your name not being placed on the graduation list.  If you apply to graduate in May but do not complete all work by the necessary deadlines, you must re-apply to graduate in August.

For those pursuing the Comps Option — Arrange with the Graduate Program Coordinator to take your comprehensive examination, no later than the first week in April, for May Commencement.

The written portion (five hours) must be successfully completed first.

  • The oral component of the comprehensive examination is scheduled by the student’s advisor in consultation with the committee.
  • You will need the committee members’ signatures on the Graduate School’s Comprehensive Examination Form after successfully completing the examination process.  It must be submitted to the Graduate School NO LATER than the deadline for the results of the comprehensive examination in order to graduate.

For those pursuing the Professional Option — After completing course work and the applied professional experience, either COM 590 or COM 598, you must submit a final Capstone Portfolio, which includes the work completed for the plan of study, to your advisor for approval at least 4 weeks prior to graduate date.

 For those pursuing the Thesis Option — Be sure to consult the Graduate School Deadlines carefully.

  • You will need to complete successfully an oral defense of your thesis. The date for this defense should be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator at least 2 weeks in advance.  At the time of the defense, a copy of the defense draft must be submitted in COM 599  for departmental review.
  • After completing the defense, your committee members must sign the Committee Acceptance Form for Electronic Submission for you to submit with your thesis to the Graduate School.  Remember that you need the Department Chair’s signature on this form before you may submit it to the Graduate School.