NRSM Master of Science Student Checklist

Talk with your advisor about:

  • Your plan type (see below) and research topic
  • Your funding plan for four or more semesters, if needed
  • A communication plan (e.g., regular lab meetings, individual meetings, committee meetings, etc.)
  • Thesis timeline and what to expect in review and defense process
  • Course plan; what courses are required or recommended
  • Choosing a track within NRSM (optional)

Plan A: Plan A requires 20 major credits, 0 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.

Plan B: Plan B requires 30 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required. Capstone Project: The Plan B project is designed in consultation with the student's advisor and committee. It must develop and demonstrate competence in the student's track.

  • Inform NRSM program office of your plan type by the end of your second semester (suggested). It will be added to your record.
  • Work with your advisor to develop a plan of study and consider committee members.
  • Your first annual progress review should take place in the spring of your first year. A review is required each year you are in the program. Details will be announced.
  • Complete NRSM research plan and statement of goals form for NRSM faculty review. You may obtain a copy of the necessary form from the NRSM program office. (Note: talk with your advisor about their own expectations for a thesis proposal.) Submit completed form to NRSM program office (via e-mail) by November of your third semester.
  • Complete your Graduate Planning and Audit System planner (GPAS) by November of your third semester (i.e., this should be done at the same time you submit your NRSM research plan and statement of goals form). 

When your research plan and goals statement review is complete, the NRSM program office will notify you of the results. If the plan is approved, your GPAS is approved. You will then receive instructions from the Graduate School about next steps (detailed below).

  • Assign members to master’s final exam committee. (These should be the same people you identified on the NRSM research plan form.)
  • Download graduation packet, which includes master’s final examination report form (and reviewers’ report form if Plan A).
  • Apply to graduate before the last business day of the month PRIOR to the intended graduation month (i.e., if you want to graduate in May, you need to apply by the end of April).
  • Work with your committee to identify a date and time for your final oral exam.
  • Work with NRSM program office to find a suitable room for the public seminar portion of your final oral exam.
  • Send title and abstract of your project to the NRSM program office.
  • Make public presentation of your final project. The final oral exam immediately follows the seminar and is closed to the public.
  • Ensure that committee members are responding to online workflows for processing of associated forms. NOTE: all committee members must have and use a UMN e-mail account for these workflows.

If Plan A:

If Plan B:

  • Submit PDF of final paper to the NRSM program office for uploading to the Digital Conservancy.