First, all MPP students should review the Graduate School's Success Guide, which contains all forms, rules, procedures, deadlines, and guidelines, etc. for graduate study at OSU:

Forming a Master's Committee

A student will work toward her or his degree under the guidance of three faculty serving as the student's program committee (1 Committee Chair and 2 Committee Members). Committee Chairs and Members must hold graduate faculty status in the MPP Program. The Chair and second committee member must be "Academically Qualified" faculty. Only one committee member can hold "Professionally Qualified" status in the MPP Program (Academically Qualified Faculty have "Assistant Professor," "Associate Professor" or "Professor" tenure track positions; Professionally Qualified Faculty have "Instructor" or "Faculty" non-tenure track positions). For the first two quarters of enrollment, the student will prepare their course schedule under the advisement of the MPP Director and Committee Chair (if one exists), aided by suggestions from other faculty members relevant to the student's area of concentration. By the end of the second quarter of enrollment (24 credit hours), the student will designate a Committee Chair who, working in consultation with the student and Graduate Program Director, will form and submit a Program of Study. By the end of the fourth quarter of study, the student must submit a MPP Essay Abstract (required in MPP 507-Second Year Professional Development Seminar) with signatures from all three committee members. The student should meet with her/his Committee Chair at least once a quarter to discuss future course work and to ensure that satisfactory progress is being made toward degree completion. At the time degree requirements are being completed, the student should work closely with her/his committee to meet deadline dates and to receive feedback, critique and encouragement in developing the MPP Essay. Failure to schedule and meet with your MPP Committee may lead to dismissal from the program.

Until the MPP Committee is formed, the MPP Director will serve as the head advisor and council.


  • By the end of the second quarter (24 credits) an initial Committee Chair is selected and a Program of Study is filed with the Graduate School (signatures required by student, Graduate Program Director and Committee Chair).
  • By the end of the fourth quarter of study, the student must submit a  MPP Essay Abstract (required in MPP 507-Second Year Professional Development Seminar) with signatures from all three committee members. 
  • At the time degree requirements are being completed, the student should work closely with her/his committee to meet deadline dates and to receive feedback, critique and encouragement in developing the MPP Essay.
  • A draft MPP Essay must be submitted to the committee at least 4 weeks prior to a scheduled defense.
  • An updated Program of Study must be submitted to the Graduate School 2 weeks prior to the defense (signatures required by student, Graduate Program Director and Committee Chair).
  • The student must schedule a defense location and file appropriate forms 2 weeks prior to the defense.
  • The student notifies the Graduate Program Director of the defense time and location for public dissemination.

Program of Study

The Program of Study for the MPP is developed by the student under the approval of his or her Committee Chair and Graduate Program Director by the end of the second quarter of study. The student is then required to hold a formal committee meeting at the time she or he has completed four quarters of course work or sooner. At this meeting, the Program of Study will be reviewed and revised as needed. The revised program of study must be immediately filed with the Graduate School after approval by the committee, Graduate Program Director and Graduate School.  An example MPP program is available at this website and blank forms are available from the Graduate School at:

Example MPP Program

Changes to Program of Study

Changes to committee or course work, on an approved program, can only be made by submitting the appropriate forms and gaining signature approval from student's Committee Chair, Graduate Program Director, and Graduate School.

Transfer Credits

Only graded, non seminar graduate courses taken after the awarding of the bachelor's degree from an accredited institution will be considered for transfer credit. Transfer courses must carry a grade of B or better. Courses used to fulfill a previous degree requirement will not be awarded transfer credit. No transfer course may serve as a replacement for a core course. Transfer credit hours are limited and subject to the approval of the student's committee and MPP Director.

Incomplete Grades (I)

Incomplete grades must be resolved within the quarter following the quarter in which the incomplete grade occurred; incomplete courses in fall quarter must be completed the following winter quarter. Students who are carrying incomplete grades in more than one course will not be allowed to enroll in new course work until the incomplete course work is finished.

Satisfactory Progress

The OSU Graduate Catalog indicates that a student may be dismissed from the Graduate School for "...failing to make satisfactory progress toward an academic degree, as determined by a major department or the Graduate School....” The catalog indicates that satisfactory progress includes maintaining a GPA of 3.00 or better for all courses taken as a graduate student and for courses included in the graduate program, meeting departmental requirements, and participating in a creative activity such as the MPP Essay and internship.

MPP students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 program GPA. If a student earns more than one grade below B in any course included on his or her program of study, the student's academic performance will be examined by the chair of her/his committee and the MPP Executive Committee to determine if the student may continue in the program or be dropped for academic deficiency. Two consecutive quarters of less than 3.0 will result in immediate termination from the program, regardless of cumulative GPA.

Students with Special Needs

Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should know, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment with the instructor as early as possible (use email for this class), no later than the first week of the term. In order to arrange alternative testing the student should make the request at least one week in advance of the test. Students seeking accommodations should be registered with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities:

Exceptions to Policy

A student may request, in writing, an exception to policy by petitioning the Public Policy Graduate Committee and Director through her or his committee chair or the Director of the program. At the same time, a copy of the request must be filed with the program office.

Grievance Procedure

The program requires that professional relationships be maintained between faculty, and students. When situations occur that cause concern, the student is encouraged to discuss the problem with his or her instructor. If the student is not satisfied with the instructor's response, the student is to make written appeal through the following chain of academic administrators until a conclusion is reached: 1) Director of the program; 2) Director of the School of Public Policy; 3) Associate Dean of the College; 4) Dean of the College; 5) Associate Dean of the Graduate School; 6) Dean of the Graduate School; 7) Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Use of Human Subjects

Federal and university policies require that all projects conducted by faculty, staff, and students using human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board prior to initiating any portion of the project. In addition the IRB now requires an on-line research ethics course. Students using research tools such as surveys, questionnaires, etc. to gather information for their MPP Essay should have approval from their Committee Chair prior to submitting their project to the IRB for approval. See:

Application for Degree

Students intending to graduate must file an Application for Degree and pay a graduation fee before the deadline date to do so. Deadline dates for filing the Application for Degree vary from year to year; students should check with their committee or program support person to determine when the deadline date occurs. Making application the end of the quarter preceding the quarter of graduation is encouraged. Filing the application generates a final "TO DO" from the graduate school which lists all program deficiencies. An early application allows the student ample time to correct any problems listed on the "TO DO". The Application for Degree fee is a one time fee. If a student applies to graduate and pays the fee but does not graduate during the semester intended, the fee carries over until the student completes; however, the student must refile the Application for Degree form for the new anticipated date of completion.