Commencement Information

Graduate and Professional Studies Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 23, 2021

Students must complete the requisite coursework to advance to MFA candidacy, meet deadlines, and submit their final thesis project to ProQuest to graduate. Students should refer to the MFA CW Graduation Deadlines Calendar to keep track of requirements and deadlines. Graduation requirements include the following: 

1. Successful completion of all required courses totaling 42 units.

  • Creating your academic plan with the help of your advisor is the key for a prompt and successful completion of your course-work requirements. Once all final grades have been published, the Registrar will conduct a degree audit to confirm that all coursework requirements, including both components of your thesis, have been met.

2. Successful completion of thesis project.

  • Each candidate is required to pursue a tutorial course of study under the direction of an assigned faculty writer in the student's genre. Through this tutorial, the student performs the revision necessary to turn two years of writing into a coherent, polished thesis. The overall scope of the thesis is arranged between the student and the thesis director, but minimum page limits have been set at 36 pages for poetry (80 maximum) and 70 pages for fiction and creative nonfiction (100 maximum).

3. Petition for Candidacy form.

  • In order for the MFA in Creative Writing degree to be granted, students are required to fill out the Petition for Candidacy form no later than Friday, March 15, 2021

4. Degree Processing Fee.

  • A $120 degree processing fee is due TBD. Check, e-check (GaelXpress), cash, or money order only. Please make payable to "Saint Mary's College of California" and drop off in SMC Business Office, Fillipi Hall. 

5. Thesis turned in to ProQuest.

  • Last day to submit final draft of thesis to ProQuest is May 31, 2021. A title and copyright page are required in the final version of your ProQuest thesis submission (see sample preface materials attached below). Submit online here.

Please refer to the main College Commencement website for further details regarding all you need to know about the Graduate and Professional Studies ceremony on Sunday, May 23, 2021 including important dates, times, and deadlines.

Also note that Saint Mary's offers a variety of Cultural Graduate CelebrationsYou can register online for these events—applications are due April 9, 2021.


For information on how to become eligible for Commencement, please contact the Student Services Manager:

Joo Ae Chu