The formal process of setting your master program's requirements is known as "Advancement to Candidacy." This establishes your "catalogue rights." Part of the process is to file paperwork that lists your program coursework. Your program requirements are set based upon the Catalogue year you Advance.
The university requires fulfillment of four requirements to be eligible to Advance to Candidacy: successful completion of the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) requirement (either the WPE exam itself or documentation of a 4.0 or higher score on the GRE Analytical Writing exam), minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (min. 6 units), classified status, and enrollment in regular session (at the time of Advancement). From the university web site on the WPE:
Our students typically Advance during their second, or if necessary after their second, semester. The university requires students to have Advanced prior to or during the first semester they register for thesis units. Also, students must Advance prior to the semester in which they graduate, and prior to filing the Request to Graduate form (AKA "grad check").
The department Graduate Advisor completes the paperwork with the student, and then files it with the university. As it takes approx. 30-45 minutes to complete the form and discuss requirements, students should schedule an appointment with the Graduate Advisor.
Occasionally, a student will not take a course listed on the Advancement to Candidacy form. A substitution, if it meets the requirements of that student's program (as set at the time of Advancement), may be made via a "Change of Program" form. Contact the Graduate Advisor to file the paperwork. (This is more likely to happen to a MAR student rather than IO.)
If a student breaks continuous enrollment (that is, goes two consecutive semesters (not including summer or winter) without being enrolled), the student loses all rights to the program set by the Advancement to Candidacy procedure. See GS 700 for additional information regarding continuous enrollment. Also, additional information regarding university Advancement to Candidacy regulations may be found in the Catalogue.