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Graduate Advising

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This web page summarizes requirements and procedures for the convenience of current Regenerative Studies students. Students should also refer to the current University Catalog and the Class Schedule available through the University’s BroncoDirect web site. The University Catalog contains official University and Department rules and procedures, descriptions of all course offerings by all departments, information on costs, financial aid, etc., and descriptions of all University programs, centers, institutes, and services.

Graduate Coordinator

The Graduate Coordinator is the advisor for all graduate students and is responsible for administering the graduate program. Because the program is designed to serve students from a wide variety of backgrounds with different planning interests who complete the program on different schedules, the Graduate Coordinator provides individual assistance in developing each student's program of study.

Graduation Writing Test (GWT)

All students receiving a degree from Cal Poly Pomona need to take and pass the GWT. Exemptions from this requirement are granted only to students who submit documentation certifying they passed an equivalent writing-competence exam at another CSU campus. This documentation must be submitted to and approved by the Test Officer.

Graduate student are advised to register for the GWT early in their first quarter at Cal Poly. You must register for the GWT by the quarter following your completion of 8 units (Winter quarter of the first year for most MSRS students).  If you fail to register for the GWT, A hold will be placed on your record, meaning that registration for subsequent quarters may not be allowed, nor will transcripts of credits be released. To have the hold removed, you must register for the next GWT in person at the Test Center.

You must take the GWT until you pass, or at least three times.  The test may be petitioned after 3 unsuccessful attempts. Information on procedures for appeals is in the Test Center, Building 98-P2-004 and on the Test Center website.

Graduate Program Form and Conditional Status

Most students are admitted to our program on a conditional basis. Under that status, students may take any 500 series or lower courses. Unconditional status, which allows students to take 600-level courses and advance toward completion of the program, is granted when the graduate program form is completed and approved.

During their first academic quarter in the program, a student must schedule a meeting with the graduate coordinator to complete and submit a graduate program form, also known as the "contract." The form sets out the courses that will be taken to complete the program. The graduate program form requirement assures that the student and the Graduate Coordinator review the student's approach to the program and establishes a set of courses, with a timeline, that matches program requirements and the student's needs. This serves only as an initial understanding of the student’s academic plan and may be subject to change based on course availability and student interests.  The graduate program form must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator, Director, and Dean, and be verified by the University Graduate Studies Analyst.

Program forms are available from the Graduate Coordinator or the Lyle Center office.

Leave of absence

University policy requires graduate students maintain their enrollment status. If a student plans to not register for three quarters in a row (including summer), that student must complete a “leave of absence” petition. Otherwise students must reapply to the program and be re-accepted in order to continue. A leave of absence allows a student to return within two years without reapplying.  Forms are available on-line and require signature of the Graduate Coordinator and Dean.  Failure to return from leave as specified in the approved petition will be considered withdrawal from the University, and will require reapplication to the program.

Course Substitution Petition

Some changes in the set of courses taken by a student are expected between the completion of the graduate program form and graduation. These may be due to changes in student interest, course availability, and unforeseen course opportunities.  Students should discuss potential changes with the Graduate Coordinator and receive approval for substitutions before the courses are taken. All changes can be combined in a final petition for amending the contract prior to graduation. 

Petition forms for course substitution are available on-line from Graduate Studies and should list the courses to be deleted and the courses to be added to the program form.  Units added to the form should equal or exceed the number of units deleted.


Each student is required to complete 200 internship hours consisting of Lyle Center service in either paid or volunteer positions, or approved external internships related to regenerative studies. External internships are often taken at public agencies, non-profit organizations, or in private business. Students may wish to pursue multiple opportunities to complete the 200-hour requirement.. 

Internship can begin in the Winter quarter of the first year, and are typically pursued in blocks of 50 or 100 hours per quarter during the school year, with some students completing additional hours during the summer.

Lyle Center internship opportunities are regularly announced to MSRS students, and may include paid staff positions, volunteer projects that directly support the mission of the Center, or volunteer/paid activities that support faculty-led initiatives or research. Prior to beginning Lyle Center service, the student is required to submit an internship proposal form to the Graduate Coordinator (see form below). The form will indicate the type of internship activity, number of hours anticipated, and the supervisor (typically a Lyle Center staff member or faculty). The supervisor will be responsible for acknowledging completion of the internship hours at the end of the service.

For external internships, the student is required to make an internship proposal for the graduate coordinator to review and approve, prior to beginning the internship (see form below). The proposal must indicate the type of activities and their relationship to regenerative studies.  Activities could be related to the thesis or project the student expects to complete, or the type of employment the student expects to pursue after graduation.   The Lyle Center may facilitate contacts with appropriate businesses and agencies where possible, but students are encouraged to be proactive and seek out their own.  In all cases, an individual on-site supervisor who will oversee the student’s work and activities must be identified, and the supervisor will be responsible for acknowledging completion of the internship hours.


Master's Thesis or Project

Two courses, RS 694 Thesis/Project Research, and RS 695 or 696, Project or Thesis, constitute the two main sequential vehicles required for completing the thesis or project in Regenerative Studies.  These courses can be taken at any time following completion of RS core required courses; RS 694 may be taken concurrently with RS 650 (Research Methods II).  Enrolling in RS 694 and RS 695 or 696 requires permission.  To enroll in RS 694, students must complete a brief proposal describing the thesis/project problem, include a bibliography of resources, identify the confirmed chair of the thesis/project committee, and list other potential advisors who have been consulted.  This preliminary proposal may be completed during RS 550 (Research Methods I) during Winter Quarter, or after, and will be reviewed by regenerative studies faculty before students receive permission to enroll.  

RS 694, Thesis/Project Research, is a course designed for the student to engage in the supervised library research aimed at fully defining the research question and detailing the data collection methodology to be implemented in the thesis or project.  Students find that meeting regularly with the committee chair, as often as weekly, and meeting frequently with other committee members structures the progress of their work and keeps them on track.  The successful completion of RS 694 requires students to produce and present a fully developed research proposal, obtain the written agreement of the committee members on a sign-off form, and complete a literature review acceptable to the committee chair.  Students are required to present their proposals to the full faculty for comment and approval. A signed thesis/project proposal form must be submitted to the Center office before enrolling in RS 695 or 696.

Graduation Check

At the beginning of the academic quarter preceding the quarter the student intends to graduate, the student should consult their own "Degree progress" records on Bronco Direct, which are maintained by the Registrar's Office. The student's degree progress will indicate which courses appearing on the approved graduate contract have been met and which are still unmet. Students must pass all courses in the graduate contract, the Graduate Writing Exam, and fulfill the internship requirement to complete the program.  

If the degree progress identifies deficiencies in courses that the student is currently taking or intending to take in their final quarter, the student must continue as planned to complete these requirements.   If deficiencies are noted due to failing a course listed on the program form, the student must retake the course or otherwise resolve the failing grade.  If deficiencies are noted due to program changes made by the student (i.e. course substitutions), the student must submit the necessary course substitution petitions to resolve the deficiency.

Refer to the Registrar’s office web site for more information about the degree progress report..

Application for Graduation

Before the end of the third week of the academic quarter the quarter the student intends to graduate, the student must apply for graduation with the registrar’s office.

Refer to the Registrar’s office web site for graduation application forms and specific dates of all deadlines.

Report of Culminating Experience

Upon completion of the thesis/project defense, and obtaining signatures of all committee members, students are required to complete a report of culminating experience. This report certifies that a graduate student has successfully completed all components of the Culminating Experience for the designated degree as specified in the Catalog This form is to be filed by all graduate students who are applying to graduate and will be kept by the Evaluations office as part of the student’s permanent file.