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Graduate Milestones & Committees

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Graduate Milestones & Committees (PDF)


All graduate students must complete certain academic and administrative requirements in order to graduate.  Some of these requirements, such as forming a thesis committee, defending a thesis or passing a general exam, are recorded as Graduate Milestones in SPIRE.  Note:  The Graduate School uses the term “thesis” primarily to refer to a master’s thesis and “dissertation” is used for a doctoral manuscript.  The rest of this document follows the Graduate School’s use of these terms.

  • The Graduate School updates the majority of the Graduate Milestones and Committees information in SPIRE.  Questions about the current use of milestone and committee information should be directed to the Graduate School. 
  • Milestones vary from one program to another.  For example, some master’s programs require a thesis, while others do not. 
  • The Graduate School enters most milestones in SPIRE only after they are completed.  An exception is the milestone for the doctoral dissertation defense.  The Graduate School enters the doctoral defense milestone as In Progress after the Graduate School has approved the announcement of the defense.  The milestone is updated to Completed when the Graduate School receives notice from the program that the student passed the defense.
  • Milestones for master’s and doctoral committees show that the committee was appointed and give the date of appointment.  Go to Graduate Committees to see information about committee members, committee revision dates, or the status of committee problems.

View Graduate Milestones

In the Main Menu, go to Academic Records > Career & Program Information > Graduate Milestones.

  1. The Student Milestones search screen will open.
  2. On the Student Milestones search screen:
  • In the ID field, enter the 8-digit SPIRE ID of the student whose milestones you wish see.
  • If you don’t know the ID, enter the student’s Last Name and First Name farther down the screen.
  • Click or press Enter key. The Student Milestones screen will open.
  • Note: If your search criteria match multiple students, a list of names will appear on the search screen. Click any of the links associated with a student’s record to access the Student Milestones screen.

Thumbnail of image visually showing where fields mentioned in table below are.

3. On the Student Milestones screen:

Thumbnail of image pointing to fields mentioned in text and table.

Effective Date:  Date of last update



Sample Values

Milestone Detail section

  • Milestone[1]
  • Milestone Nbr[2]
  • Milestone Complete
  • Academic Plan
  • Description of Milestone
  • Milestone Title
  • Transcript Level
  • Print Milestone Detail


10, 590, 1210

Completed, In Progress


Master’s Outline/Prospectus[3]

Title of thesis or dissertation

Official, Unofficial

Always, Never



Sample Values

Attempts section

  • Attempt Nbr
  • Milestone Complete
  • How Attempted
  • Date Attempted

1, 2

Completed, In Progress, Not Completed

Exam Taken, Submitted work,
Submitted electronically


[1] Milestones have 4 different letter designations: M (Masters), D (Doctoral), E (College of Education), P (Professional Doctoral). Language exams are listed without a letter designator but can be distinguished by the Milestone Number.

[2] Milestone number categories: 1-499 for Masters; 500-999 for Doctoral; >1000 for milestones entered by School of Education for their use only

[3] The terms “Outline,” “Prospectus,” and “Proposal” are used interchangeably by the Graduate School.


  1. SPIRE usually tracks one successfully completed attempt per milestone.  Occasionally more than one attempt is recorded, e.g., when a candidate fails the dissertation defense and tries again.
  2. To see if a milestone will appear on the official transcript, check the Transcript Level and Print Milestone Detail in the Milestone Detail section.







View Graduate Committees

In the Main Menu, go to Academic Records > Career & Program Information > Graduate Committees:

Committee Designations Explained

The committee designation is made up of 6 characters, combined according to the following procedure: 

  • Start with the last 4 digits of the SPIRE ID.
  • Add M (Master’s) or D (Doctoral).
  • Add the first letter of the student’s last name if that results in a unique committee designation.  If the committee designation is already taken, try the next letter of the alphabet, and so on until a unique designation is found.

Example: 1234DL for Tom Jones, doctoral student, ID = 10001234.  In this example, the designations 1234DJ and 1234DK would have been used for doctoral dissertation committees for other students.  

We recommend that you access the Committees screen after you know the last 4 digits of the student’s ID.

  1. Using the SPIRE Menu, go to Academic Records > Career & Program Information > Graduate Committees. The Manage Committees search screen will open.

  1. On the Manage Committees search screen:
  • In the Committee field, enter the last 4 digits of the student’s 8-digit SPIRE ID.
  • Leave the other fields blank.
  • Click  or press Enter.  One or more committees will appear in the Search Results.  Click any of the links in the row for the committee you wish to view.
  1. On the Committee screen:



Sample Values

Committee tab

  • Committee
  • Effective Date
  • Status
  • Committee Name
  • Committee Type
  • Description



Active, Inactive

DDC for <student>


DDC[1] approved 9/8/08,
Outside member does not have GFS

Committee Members tab

  • Member Number
  • ID
  • Role
  • Start Date
  • End Date

1, 2, 3


Chair, Co-Chair, Member




[1] Doctoral Dissertation Committee.  MTC (Master's Thesis Committee) is another possible value.

[2] Graduate Faculty Status


  1. If the Committee Type field on the Committee tab is set to ADMIN, then there is a problem with the committee appointment.  Comments about the problem will appear in the Description field on the same tab.
  2. The Description field on the Committee tab usually contains the date the committee appointment was approved by the Graduate School.  This field may also contain the date(s) the committee was revised or comments about a problem with the committee. 
  3. To see the members of a committee, go to the Committee Members tab.
  4. On the Committee Members tab, the End Date of any committee member will always be hypothetical (e.g., 05/04/2099).