Hi ,

Congratulations on recently passing your oral preliminary examination! You have reached a significant milestone toward your graduate degree. The Graduate School would like to help support you in the next steps of your academic journey.

In this email, you will find important information to help you move forward, including:

Please continue to work closely with your major professor and committee as your primary contacts, referring to the information below as needed along the way. You can access a full list of academic policies governing graduate student education via the university’s academic catalog.


Continuous enrollment

Unless on an approved leave of absence, you must register continuously for a minimum of three graduate credits (excluding summer term) until the Graduate School grants your degree.

If you are a GTA/GRA, on a fellowship, receiving certain scholarships, or an international student, your required minimum enrollment is likely higher than three credits. Please confer with your academic unit for additional and specific enrollment information. If you wish to apply for a leave of absence, learn more about it on our website.

Time limits

At least one complete academic term must elapse between your oral preliminary examination and your final oral examination. For example, if you pass your oral preliminary exam in fall term, the soonest you would be able to take your oral final exam is spring term.

Now that you have passed your oral exam, you also now have limits on the time remaining for you to complete your degree. No more than five years may elapse between passing your oral preliminary exam and passing your final oral examination. If more than five years pass between these two examinations, you will be required to take another preliminary oral examination.

Effective for students matriculating fall term 2016 or later, all work toward a doctoral degree, including coursework, thesis (if required), and all examinations, must be completed within nine years of the term in which you began your degree. No time limit for completion, other than those deadlines mentioned above, applies to students who matriculated before fall term 2016.


You must have a grade-point average of 3.00 in all graduate-level coursework, both cumulatively and listed on your program of study, before you take your final exam and to graduate.


As you get closer to graduating, several administrative steps are required. It is important to stay on task to avoid any unwanted delays. The Graduate School posts all the pertinent forms and deadlines you will need on our website.

We also have brief online tutorials related to


Graduate Writing Center: The GWC helps with dissertation and manuscript writing through individual appointments and doctoral writer's support groups. It can also help with Institutional Review Board (IRB) materials, funding proposals, as well as conference and defense presentations.

Research Rooms and Academic Support in the Graduate Student Commons: The Graduate Student Commons is a graduate student space on the sixth floor of the Valley Library. Doctoral students can reserve meeting rooms or research rooms for a full term while in the writing phase of their degree. Students may drop in or schedule an appointment with statistics consultants, IRB, and the GWC.

Aurora: Aurora by Beyond the Professoriate provides robust online tools and videos for doctoral students who are navigating the job search, whether pursuing careers inside or outside the academy. You can find additional career support with OSU’s Career Development Center.

Counseling and Psychological Services: CAPS supports graduate student wellness through services including individual and group counseling, the Mind Spa, and a resilience toolbox including wellness apps and more.

Next Steps

Finally, here are some suggestions to consider as you work toward completing your degree.

Please work closely with your major professor and committee. Schedule regular meetings with your major professor to discuss your progress in moving forward. Be sure to take good notes during meetings to ensure you are on the same page regarding expectations.

Create a reverse timeline for your degree completion. If you have an intended completion date in mind, start with that and work backward. On your timeline, add in deadlines for drafts, revisions, and communication with your major professor and committee. Also, add in the Graduate School paperwork deadlines for the exam scheduling form, diploma and commencement applications, and final thesis upload.

Congratulations again on this next step in your graduate journey at Oregon State. Please feel free to reach us at gradstudentsuccess@oregonstate.edu with general questions or concerns.

Sincerely, The Graduate School