Completion of Graduate Degree Requirements

In addition to coursework, graduate students matriculating in programs that lead to a master’s degree (regardless of whether the program leads to both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, or master’s degree only) are expected to complete graduate research in the form of either a thesis or project. Some programs require the thesis as the only option, whereas others allow students to choose between the thesis or project. The general requirements for each are listed here. Additional requirements that are specific to a program are included under each program described in this catalog in the graduate programs section.

Generally, a full-time graduate load is 9 to 12 credits per semester. Part-time students register for eight or fewer credits per semester. Summer sessions are not counted as semesters for purposes of full and part-time status.

For those programs that result in the awarding of a master of science only, students are expected to complete the program within a maximum of four academic years for coursework and two years for thesis or project. Students are required to demonstrate successful defense of a thesis or project and present their graduate research findings at a thesis or project presentation.

For those programs that result in the awarding of a master’s degree only, students are expected to complete programs within a maximum of six years for all coursework including final projects/theses or comprehensive exams depending upon program requirements.  Students who are required to demonstrate successful defense of a thesis or project will present their graduate research findings during a thesis or project presentation program.

For those programs that result in the awarding of a doctoral degree only, students must follow the guidelines and/or regulations stated in their program pages in this catalog or their program-focused handbooks. Here students will find requirements regarding maximum time to completion of all degree-related work, and if applicable, the forum for presentation of research findings.

Students who do not complete their programs within their respective time frames described here must petition for an extension of the time limit by submitting a completed “Request for Extension of Time to Complete the Master of Science Program” form, available in the Office of Graduate Studies. The completed form is to be submitted to the graduate studies office via the student’s graduate program director.

Thesis students must also submit an approved copy of the thesis to the Office of Graduate Studies to receive final formatting approval.

All required forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies.