Graduate Students

Congratulations to our students who are graduating with their Master of Science, Master of Arts, Professional Science Masters, Education Specialist, and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. We have watched as you have furthered your personal and academic strengths and attained your goal of receiving this advanced degree.

Congratulations to the family members and friends who have also supported our graduates in this endeavor.

Winona State University faculty and staff wish you the best as you move forward in your career path. Your hard work is a tremendous achievement that has been recognized by all of us.

View the FAQs page for any questions you may have that are not addressed below.

You will want to review your Candidacy form (Program Plan) to ensure that you have completed all of the approved courses listed on the form or are currently enrolled in the final classes listed. Contact your advisor if your transcript and Candidacy form (Program Plan) do not match, as you will need to update the form and have any changes approved. Your Capstone or Thesis needs to be completed by the time of graduation. Please keep your advisor updated on where you are at with this.

Please complete and return the Graduation Application (PDF) to the office of School of Graduate Studies. It is recommended that you apply at the time you register for your final term classes. This will allow for any corrections to be made in your classes that are required for graduation.

The last day to submit an application for graduation for Fall 2018 and appear in the printed commencement program is Thursday, November 1. Approved late applicants may still participate in commencement, but will not be included in the program.

Graduating students may only participate in one commencement ceremony. Students scheduled to complete their degree requirements at the end of the semester participate in commencement.

Students scheduled to complete their degree requirements at the end of Fall semester participate in Fall commencement. Students scheduled to complete their degree requirements at the end of Summer session have their choice to attend either the Spring or Fall commencement. Students completing their degree requirements at the end of Spring semester will participate in Spring commencement.

To ensure appropriate regalia is available, commencement participation must be declared at least twelve weeks prior to the ceremony for Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates only. DNP graduates should work with the Graduate Programs in the Nursing Office for information on ordering their regalia. Other degree programs will have their regalia available the middle of November for purchase at the WSU Bookstore. The WSU Bookstore will be holding a Grad Finale Event for students to purchase their regalia at a 20% discount. The Bookstore will be sending out an email before the event with additional information.

DNP and Master’s Degree students will be hooded during the Commencement Ceremony. This semester the Commencement Committee has approved hooding to be a part of the commencement celebration. To honor your accomplishments and share the opportunity with undergraduates, we will begin to formally hood the masters’ candidates on stage at this December’s commencement ceremonies. Over the past several years, the doctoral students have been hooded on stage and it has been a success.

If you are completing your program this semester and would like to participate in the commencement, please let Patricia Cichosz know by November 1 at

In anticipation of this change, we are including directions on the master’s hooding and the significance of this ceremony:

  • As graduates, you have earned the right to wear the academic regalia signifying the uniqueness of this accomplishment. You will wear a black academic gown with distinctive sleeves designating the wearer as a holder of a masters or specialist degree. Each graduate will be hooded with an academic hood, which signifies the field and the institution from which the degree was earned. The color of the velvet identifies the academic field of the graduate’s degree, while the purple and white satin indicates that the degree was earned at Winona State University.
  • On Commencement Day, as you go forward to receive your diploma cover, you will carry your hood draped over your left arm. You will hand your name card to the reader and process up the ramp to the top of the stage, then turn and face the audience. The Graduate School dean and your College dean will place the hood over your shoulders. You will then shake hands with the deans, receive your diploma cover and process down the ramp to shake hands with President Olson and a few others. You will then return to your row and take your seat.

Plan to attend the Grad Finale on Friday, November 16 in Winona to purchase your gown, cap, tassel, and hood. If you are unable to attend, you may purchase those items online from the WSU bookstore. You will receive the Grad Finale discount if you make this purchase on either of those days either online or at the bookstore.

Departments may choose to celebrate with their students who are graduating this term. Please contact the following department heads for additional information: