Graduate Programs

Home » Exit Requirement Options


Student Resources

Graduate Programs Exit Option Information



A student graduates from WOU when the Registrar’s Office determines that all university requirements have been met. Graduation occurs at the close of any academic term wherein the student’s academic record is closed. Commencement exercises at WOU take place once a year in June.

Final Evaluation Procedures

Apply one term prior to completion of final course work. Please pay attention to important dates on the graduate calendar.

  • Application for completion of master’s program must be submitted to the Graduate Office.
    • Each candidate must file an application for completion of the Master’s program with the Graduate Office. This application also serves as the application to complete the final evaluation such as thesis, professional project, or exams.
    • This form is required for all students seeking degrees, endorsements, certificates, and/or specializations.
  • Final evaluation procedures must be completed; either written examinations or alternative evaluations.
  • Complete Exit Survey administered by Graduate Office.

Exit Option Required Paperwork

All exit options have paperwork that is required for the final report. Please refer to the Exit Requirement Forms page for further information for required paperwork. The following information on this page will provide a brief description of each exit requirement option. If you have further questions about your exit requirement, please contact Amber Deets.

Exit Options

Institutional Review Board

If the proposed exit requirement involves human participants, then the project will require review and approval by the WOU Institutional Review Board before any recruitment or research involving human participants may begin.

IRB review and approval is required for all research projects involving human participants, regardless of the level of risk posed to participants.  Students are advised to begin the IRB application process several weeks prior to recruiting human participants for their thesis or field study.

All forms and procedures for the IRB application can be found at

Comprehensive Exams

Final written comprehensive examination will be based upon areas of study in the approved program. Subject area questions will be based upon the statement of components, objectives and requirements outlined. Comprehensive written examinations are taken during the student’s last quarter of study or after all courses have been completed for a particular degree. The examination is designed to be taken in the first six weeks of the term via communication with your program coordinator.  Comprehensive exams are not offered during the summer.

Written comprehensive examinations will be graded as follows:

  • With distinction
  • Pass
  • Unsatisfactory
  • Fail

If you receive a failing grade, you must retake that section of your examination in a subsequent term. Students only get two attempts to pass their comprehensive exams. If you receive an unsatisfactory grade, a committee of two or three faculty members will schedule a one-hour oral review with you. The oral will focus on the section(s) that were evaluated as unsatisfactory. Every attempt will be made to have at least one member of the oral committee from your program.

Your advisor and/or professors who usually teach courses listed on your Program Plan often write the subject matter or specialty area questions. These questions are based on courses taken as part of your degree. The faculty member who wrote the questions in the subject matter or specialty area usually reads and rates the responses.

Thesis Projects

Thesis attempts to share with the professional community information that may be used to enhance the common knowledge base of a particular profession. The focus of the thesis research is to answer a question that is of interest to the general profession. The results of thesis research are generalized to an entire field. Candidates who elect to write a thesis must follow the procedures outlined in the guidelines which downloaded here.

The master’s student must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to organize data and explain results. The format is:

  • Rationale for the Project that includes a detailed description of environment for which the study was designed
  • Review of Literature
  • Statement of Hypotheses
  • Methodology
  • Analysis
  • Results

Policy for Accepting and Binding of Thesis or Project

The final thesis will be presented to the student’s thesis board. A student is required to submit one copy of the thesis to have on file in the library. Students may provide additional copies to be bound for themselves.

  • The thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Office (Administration building, room 107) the Wednesday of Finals Week.
  • The cost for binding is $30 per copy. All binding costs will be charged to the student’s account.
  • It takes 4-6 weeks to process the bound copy of the thesis and it can either be mailed directly to the student or arranged for pick up at the Graduate Office.

Action Research Projects

Students in the Master of Arts in Teaching: Initial Licensure program complete an Action Research Project as part of their exit requirement. This project is a study of the student’s own practice. This document includes the following:

  • Philosophy of Education/Teaching
  • Review of the literature
  • Methodology
  • Results and discussion
  • Summary, conclusion, and implications

The structure and format of the Action Research Project should be established by the student’s advisor.

Professional Projects

A Professional Project’s focus is to share with the professional community information that may be used to enhance the common knowledge base of a particular profession.

The Master’s student must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to organize data and explain how the end product will add to the previous body of knowledge. Examples of a professional project may include but are not limited to:

  • A curriculum design for a particular discipline
  • Training programs, or
  • Computer programs for a particular application
  • Action Research Project

The professional project is a professional paper, which is accompanied by the finished product. The general format of the Professional Project is:

  • Introduction
  • Review of Literature
  • A statement or reason explaining the need for the Professional Project
  • Rationale for the design of the Professional Project
  • Attachment: Professional Project


If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Amber Deets at or 503-838-8492.

Accessibility    Public Records    Privacy    Student Consumer Information

WOU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by WOU.