General Requirements

All master’s degree programs require a minimum of 45 graduate credits including thesis (6 to 12 credits) or research-in-lieu-of-thesis (3 to 6 credits). Exceptions to this capstone requirement are specified under the degree descriptions that follow these universal master’s degree requirements. Effective fall 2005, all graduate student programs of study submitted to the Graduate School must consist of, at a minimum, 50 percent graduate stand-alone courses. The remaining credits may be the 500 component of 400/500 slash courses. General regulations for all master’s programs are cited here, with certain exceptions provided for master’s degrees in the professional areas listed on the following pages.


All master’s students must:

  1. Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work, and
  2. Demonstrate mastery of subject material, and
  3. Be able to conduct scholarly or professional activities in an ethical manner

The assessment of these outcomes and the specification of learning objectives related to these outcomes are to be carried out at the program level.


M.S. with Thesis Option
First Year:

  1. Teaching;
  2. Lab rotations (usually two);
  3. Take core and other courses;
  4. Participate in First Year Seminar;
  5. Select a major advisor (research lab);
  6. Select committee and hold meeting before completing eighteen credits worth of coursework.

Second Year:

  1. Help in running departmental picnic Fall Quarter;
  2. Finish coursework (total of 45 credits of coursework);
  3. Finish research and write thesis;
  4. File thesis title approval form with the Graduate School the term prior to the term you intend to defend;
  5. File diploma application with the Graduate School prior to the term you intend to graduate;
  6. File "Approval to Schedule Final Oral Examination" one week prior to the final oral examination;
  7. Submit copies of thesis to committee members and graduate school at time you schedule final oral exam (one week in advance of the final exam date);
  8. Schedule room and time with departmental office for exam;
  9. Take (and pass) Final Oral Exam;
  10. Submit final unbound copies of thesis to Graduate School for approval;
  11. Submit one bound copy of thesis to major professor and one bound copy of thesis to departmental library.