Progress toward the master's degree

Graduate School policies governing master's programs are outlined below. Some departments may have more restrictive policies.

Admission requirements

An admission decision must be on file for a student to be considered a degree applicant. Admission as an applicant does not assure acceptance as a candidate for a degree. Candidacy is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for graduation.

Master's degree candidacy

Generally, students enrolled in master's degree programs are expected to file a Plan of Work by the time eight to twelve graduate credits have been earned. The applicant shall be advanced to the rank of 'Candidate' upon approval of the Plan of Work by the College Graduate Office. In most colleges candidacy must be authorized by the time twelve graduate credits have been earned or subsequent registration will be denied. In preparing the Plan, the student and advisor should evaluate with care the personal and professional objectives of the student as well as all degree and departmental requirements. For the plan to be approved, students must be officially admitted to the program and have attained a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Following departmental approval, the plan is submitted to the school/college graduate office for approval. The graduate office notifies the Records Office to advance the student to candidacy. The Records Office changes the student's status to Master's Candidate.

Candidacy holds

A candidacy hold is automatically generated for students who have not attained candidacy by the time they accumulate 12 credits. Students will not be able to register until they file a Plan of Work. Once the school/college graduate office receives the Plan of Work, it will remove the hold and will notify the Records Office to advance the student to candidacy.

Time limits

Master's degree and specialist certificate requirements must be completed within six years of the date of the first course applied toward the degree.

Graduate certificate requirements must be completed within three years of the date of the first course applied toward the certificate.

Full-time and part-time definitions

Students enrolled in at least eight graduate credits are considered full-time. Part-time students are enrolled in less than eight graduate credits. 

Graduation deadline dates

Master's graduation deadlines for May 2017

View the Graduate Bulletin for additional information.