Master's degree requirements

Three degree plans

The master's degree is offered under three options described below, though not all programs offer all three. The student's Plan of Work should indicate which of these options the student will follow as well as all degree requirements the student must complete. In addition to the following regulations, requirements may be specified by the individual graduate departments.

The minimum Graduate School requirement for the master's degree with plans A, B, or C is thirty credits, at least twenty-four of which must be taken at the University. If the college, school or department requires more than the Graduate School minimum, their requirements take precedence.

Plan A: Thesis option

Plan A includes an eight-credit thesis and registration for the department's Thesis Direction course (usually 8999). Requirements for thesis formatting, submission and publishing parallel those for the dissertation. Formatting guidelines are available from the Master's Thesis section of the Graduate School website.

Plan B: Essay option

Plan B requires an essay of at least two credits and registration for the department's Essay course (usually 7999).

Plan C: Coursework only

Directed study

  • Independent study may be authorized for advanced students, provided it is in an area relevant to the student's degree program and the area of study is not available through existing courses.
  • A Petition and Authorization for Directed Study form should be completed, describing the nature, scope and significance of the study; the work to be submitted for evaluation; and the credit hours to be earned.
  • The petition must identify the graduate faculty member who will direct the study and be approved by the advisor and the college/school graduate officer. It should be retained in the student's file.
  • When the study has been authorized, a departmental representative will provide an override to the student so they can register.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit may be transferred from another accredited graduate institution provided that the student earns at least 24 credits in residence at Wayne State. Some departments further limit the transfer of credit.

Advisor approval

The student's advisor must approve the credit as appropriate to the student's Plan of Work.

Eligibility for transfer

  • Credit must be certified as graduate-level.
  • Course grade must be at least a B (3.00).
  • Course cannot have provided credit toward a previous degree.
  • Credit must have been earned within the six-year time limit allowed for the master's degree.
  • Credit earned in quarter hours should be converted to its semester hour equivalent.

View the Graduate Bulletin for additional information.