This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Northwest Missouri State University

Steps to Graduation

+ Expand All- Collapse All

Undergraduate Students

STEP 1: Review Senior Deficiency Statement with your advisor

Undergraduates are urged to request a listing of deficiencies (Senior Deficiency Statement) at least two trimesters prior to their graduation. Forms are available in the Registrar's Office or students can apply online. Any exceptions must have approval from the department where the major or minor is involved or from the Curriculum and Degree Requirements Committee when general education requirements are affected.

Senior Deficiency Statement requests are sent to the advisor(s) and, when returned, are finalized in the Registrar's Office. Copies are sent to the advisor and the student.

STEP 2: Discuss your catalog year

Undergraduates should notify the Registrar's Office if changes are needed in catalog year, degree program, or advisor(s). Catalog year and degree program changes can be changed in the Registrar's Office or submitted online. Changing to a new advisor requires the advisor's signature on the change form or a campus email from the advisor.

STEP 3: Submit Application for Degree

The Undergraduate Graduation Application may be submitted online through the Secure Area of your 'CatPAWS or myNorthwest. Students should submit the Graduation Application one trimester before the planned graduation term.

Accessing the Online Graduation Application

  1. Visit 'CatPAWS and log into the 'Secure Area' with your User ID (Student 919#) and PIN.
  2. Click on the 'Student' tab.
  3. Select 'Student Records'.
  4. Select 'Apply for Graduation'.


  1. Visit myNorthwest
  2. Go to the 'Graduation' channel
  3. Under 'Apply for Graduation', choose either Undergraduate or Graduate-level

If you do not know your User ID (Student 919#) and/or PIN, visit 'CatPAWS and select 'Forgot your User ID (919#)'. Your login information will be promptly e-mailed to you.

Graduation Application Criteria

  • To be eligible to apply for graduation, a student must meet the following criteria:
    • Undergraduate level, Senior classification with 90 earned credit hours
  • To apply for graduation, choose the Degree and Major/Minor option from Select Curriculum.
    • Current curriculum appears last in the list of options
  • If the correct choice does not display, or need to apply for multiple degrees, contact the Registrar’s Office at   
  • If a student needs to make changes to an existing application, please send an email to

STEP 4: Plan to take your final classes

Run another degree audit report after registering for your final term to confirm that all requirements are in progress.

STEP 5: Attend to any outstanding grade issues

All course work should be completed and final grades recorded to ensure smooth processing of your degree application.

STEP 6: Update your name and addresses (mailing and home)

To ensure receipt of information about the ceremony and ordering of cap and gown, students are expected to report local addresses and telephone numbers to the Registrar's Office. This can be done through the student's campus email to the Registrar's Office or on the address change form in the office. Permanent addresses are taken from the application for admission but can be updated through the Registrar's Office.

STEP 7: Prepare for Commencement

Prior to commencement, a schedule of commencement activities will be emailed from the Registrar's Office.The form and instructions for ordering cap and gown is available through myNorthwest. Students interested in graduation announcements should contact the Bookstore. Contact the Office of Career Services at 660.562.1250, if you wish to establish a credential file, or need assistance in your job search.

Graduate Students

STEP 1: Apply for Comprehensive Assessment

Beginning of final trimester or beginning of trimester prior to final trimester (if within 6 hours of completion of degree), you must file an application to meet the comprehensive assessment with the Graduate Office.

  • Students must have been admitted to candidacy to be eligible and must have at least a 3.0 GPA in all course work and in the major.
  • If you are in the GIST program or earning certification, it is recommended that you take and pass the PRAXIS the trimester prior to taking the comprehensive exam and/or the trimester prior to graduation.

STEP 2: Application for Degree

During the final trimester, or in the trimester prior to completion of your degree, file your Final Application for Graduate degree with the Graduate Office during first three weeks of the trimester (fall and spring). For summer, file applications during the first week of the trimester. IF NEW CERTIFICATION IS INVOLVED, see the Director of Certification.

STEP 3: Comprehensive Examination

Take the comprehensive examination or alternative requirement, on date set by the department. Students will be notified by their program director of comprehensive final dates and locations, etc.

STEP 4: Complete Research Requirement (if applicable)

Depending on your graduate program, you may be required to complete a:

  • Thesis or Scholarly Paper -- This paper (original) due in Graduate Office by prearranged date. Information and guidelines available in the Graduate Office.
  • or Research Component -- This component is required for research other than a thesis or Scholarly paper. The Research Component form View PDF must be filed with the Graduate Office no later than the term of degree completion.

STEP 5: Checks Records and Pay Graduation Fee

During last trimester of graduate study, check with Graduate Office to make sure records are complete. Pay one-time graduation fee to the Cashiering Office. This fee must be paid even if the student is not participating in commencement exercises. The current fee is stated on the Final Application for Graduate Degree.

STEP 6: Prepare for Commencement

Prior to commencement, students who have applied to graduate will receive a schedule of commencement activities from the Registrar's Office. Included will be the form and instructions for ordering cap, gown, and hood, if attending commencement exercises. There is a stated deadline to order cap, gown and hoods for commencement. After that deadline we cannot guarantee regalia availability. Order early! Students interested in graduation announcements should contact the Bookstore.