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The Graduate College Handbook

for students, faculty and staff – August 2019

A. Master’s Degrees

  1. Credit Hour Requirements
  2. Examinations
  3. Completion of Theses
  4. Time Limits

  1. Credit Hour Requirements:
    The Graduate College requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of graduate credit for the master's degree, although a number of programs require more. The Graduate College requires that at least 12 hours be at the 500-level or greater and approved for graduate credit (including thesis, research or independent study credit), and that 8 of these 12 hours be in the major. Half or more of the hours applied to a master's degree must be earned in courses counted for residence credit.  See the Graduate College Policy for the Approval of New and Revised Graduate Degree Programs for more details.
  2. Examinations:
    The Graduate College does not require a final examination or thesis committee for the master's degree. Departments that have such requirements determine their own rules for committee membership and administration of the examination. Master’s students are not required by the Graduate College to be registered during the term in which they take their final exam, but some departments may.
  3. Completion of Theses:
    When a thesis is required for the master's degree, it must be deposited with the Graduate College. The Graduate College requires that master’s theses be approved by a member of the Graduate Faculty. In programs requiring a thesis deposit, the Graduate College does not require master’s students to be registered during the term in which they deposit, but some departments may.
  4. Time Limits:
    A master's degree candidate is expected to complete all degree requirements within five years of first registering as a degree-seeking student in the master’s degree program, unless the student is enrolled in a program with a different time limit that has been approved by the Graduate College. Students who have not completed the degree by this time will be put on academic probation. When supporting petitions for extensions of time to degree, it is the program’s responsibility to determine whether old coursework is still relevant to the current degree.