Graduation Requirement Policy for Graduate Students


The purpose of this policy is to outline the general graduation requirements and procedures for graduate students.


This policy applies to all graduate students at Columbia College.


In order to complete a graduate level degree with Columbia College you must:

  1. Successfully complete 36 semester hours of course work as specified by the degree being pursued. Twenty-seven of these hours must be with Columbia College.
  2. Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
  3. Complete a Declaration of Candidacy (DEC) form. 

Candidacy for Degree

Declaration of candidacy for degree must occur no later than one session prior to the last session of enrollment. File the form by the early spring if you anticipate an October or December degree completion date. File the form by early fall if you anticipate a March, May or July degree completion date.

The Declaration of Candidacy for Degree Form is available via CougarTrack. The form cannot be filled out earlier than one year prior to your anticipated degree completion term. The graduation processing fee will be automatically charged to your account.

Responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.

Filing the Declaration of Candidacy for Degree Form indicates anticipated degree completion; it does not confirm participation in a commencement ceremony. Ceremony participation is a separate process that also occurs via CougarTrack, which can be completed using The Application for Commencement Ceremony Form. Deadline to sign up to participate in the December Commencement Ceremony is in mid-October. The deadline to sign up to participate in a May Commencement Ceremony is in mid-March. Failure to sign up for participation by the deadline date results in a later commencement opportunity.