How to Get from Orientation to Graduation

Welcome!  We are glad that you chose Water Resources Graduate Program for your MS and/or PhD academic program.
  • Handbooks.  On this website, under Degree Programs, you will find the Student Handbook and checklists for each degree emphasis. 
  • Graduate School.  Please also review the Graduate School's website. There are several tasks that must be completed, as well as forms to fill out at the University level, in order for you to graduate.  This website is your best guide to stay on track.
  • Graduate Learning Outcome.  As you plan to write your thesis/defense, when it is time to defend, faculty uses a series of questions as a quantifiable way to measure performance and outcome of your work.  This is the Graduate Learning Outcome  Rubric that they will use.
  • How to fund your degree.  Funding is always tight as a graduate.  Check out the Graduate School's website fellowships & scholarships and other ways to fund your degree.

If you need help, additional information, assistance, or guidance, reach out to your academic advisor, WRGP's administrative program assistant, or to the department head, Steve Good. 

Everything you need to know about preparing for your thesis/dissertation defense can be found here.

All Graduate School forms that you will need can be found here.


WRGP students will work with a variety of fascinating Oregon State University faculty, in addition to their major advisor.  Several of these people will form the basis of your academic committee.

In addition, several students will work with committee members who are not a faculty member of the University. 

At the stage you are starting to form your committee, please let the WRGP Director and Administrative Program Assistant know that you are working with anyone outside Oregon State. 

There are certain policies to follow and documentation that needs to be submitted in order for them to officially become a part of your committee.

A requirement for transfer-only students.  This is from the Grad School website:

Students may be able to transfer selected graduate credits from a previously attended institution if all university guidelines on transfer credits are met (see Policies Governing All Graduate Programs, Transfer Credit in the OSU General Catalog) and if the student's graduate program decides the courses are applicable to the proposed OSU degree. Students may submit the Request for Transfer Credit form if they wish to determine whether the courses might be eligible for transfer credit and available for use on an OSU graduate program of study.

  • Up to 22 graduate credits may be transferred toward a 45-credit master's degree.

If you want/need to submit the Transfer of Credits form through Docusign, reach out to Catherine or Sam (please include the name of your advisor)!

This task needs to be completed before a transfer student submits their Program of Study.

A Program of Study form is a mandatory requirement of the Graduate School for every student.

  • The Program of Study is due before you complete 18 credits for MS students.
  • Doctoral students are required to submit the program of study form by the fifth term.

One of the best aspects of our program, it's unique and individualized academic pathway, also makes it difficult to fill out.

Below are sample guides to help you better plan for drafting your own:

Graduate Council Representative (GCR).  An essential member of your committee will be the GCR.  This faculty member is needed to ensure that all policies and rules are upheld between preparing to defend and graduation.  Treat this person as a full member of your committee and necessary team member to help you prepare for graduation. 

You will want to fill out this survey to generate a list of faculty members not associated with WRPM, but interested in helping our students.  Then reach out to the people on this list via email individually and ask each if they can serve. 

Students and their major advisor's need to communicate goals and progress with each other, then provide this information on to the department for assessment. 

Please do this by or before June 30th each year you are here at

By now, the goal is in sight!

It is mandatory to let the WRGP and your advising department know that you will be defending. 

Let us know at least two weeks in advance ~~ but a month is recommended. 

This will also allow us enough time to schedule a room as well as promote your defense. 

The request form can be found here: Defense Information Request for WRGP.

Room Reservations:

Do to staffing shortage, we do ask that students attempt to find a room on their own first.  We will step in and assist if you are unsuccessful or have a particular room in mind.

If you intend on meeting in person: please make sure you choose a room with Zoom capabilities, so that your defense can be seen by anyone who can't attend.

Here are several locations that you can choose from!

Preparing Your Zoom Defense

Almost everyone uses Zoom during their defense, even the candidates that hold them primarily live/on campus.  The below link will provide you with pertinent details on how to set up Zoom for *your* defense.

Zoom Setup Virtual Meetings

Please provide your instructor with one of the following forms and ask that they fill it out and return it to WRGP.


Congratulations to all successful candidates! What happens next?

  1. One of the faculty members will need to provide the WRGP office with a copy of the Graduate Learning Outcome form for our records.

  2. Make sure all of the documents needed for the Graduate School have been completed.  One of the most common documents forgotten is the ETD submission approval form.

  3. Please complete the exit survey;

  4. If you have keys to an office or lab, you will need to clean up your area and return them to the department that advised you; and

  5. We hope that you will join our alumni listserv.  We would like to keep in touch and hear about all your future success, both professionally and personally.