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Graduate Degree Requirements

See Graduation page for graduate program completion deadlines, Commencement information and the graduation requirements checklist.

Doctoral Degree Program Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates must complete a minimum of 90 degree credits. While the master's degree is not necessarily a prerequisite, it may count for 45 credits of the 90. The 45 or more credits of postmaster's work usually consists of a combination of course requirements and research/dissertation work. 

Professional doctoral degree candidates should consult with their academic department about the minimum degree credits required for graduation.

A dissertation is required for doctoral degree candidates and must be based on original research and clearly demonstrate the candidate's ability to work at the frontiers of the field. In addition, many doctoral students are required to take and pass a candidacy/qualifying exam and dissertation defense. The format and content of these exams are determined by the department, as are the requirements for other "examinations," such as a qualifying (preliminary) exam or proposal defense. Please consult with your academic department about required examinations and other degree requirements.

Master’s Degree Program Requirements

To complete a master's degree, quarter program students are expected to complete at least 45 credits of graduate work as defined in an established plan of study or otherwise accepted by the department as part of an approved master's program (some departments have higher credit requirements). Detailed guidelines can be found in the program’s policies and procedures manual or in the University Catalog.

Master’s Thesis

A thesis may be required, depending on the department's program criteria, and may vary in scope from department to department. Although a student in a thesis program may register for thesis credits without limit, no more than 9 thesis credits may be counted toward a master's degree. Students should consult early with their advisers to ascertain departmental and college policies pertinent to their programs. If the master's thesis is to be placed in the library, the format must be reviewed and approved as part of the graduation requirements. Students should consult the Thesis Manual for format and completion requirements.

Award of a Master's Degree to Doctoral Students

All doctoral students who do not already have a master’s degree in their area of study may, with the approval of their program department, apply for such a degree when they complete the requirements for it. The application must be made in the quarter in which the student is eligible. The degree cannot be awarded retroactively. Please contact your graduate academic advisor for more information.

Updated 12/14/18.