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General Requirements

The requirements for graduation depend upon the master’s degree program undertaken and upon the major field. The following requirements apply to all master’s degrees offered by the university 

  1. The program for the one-year master’s degree must consist of not fewer than 45 units in courses numbered 300 (400 for Engineering and Business Administration) and above, with a minimum of 24 units of 500 and 600-level courses completed at the university consistent with departmental requirements. Work unacceptable for graduate credit in the institution where it was taken is not acceptable for graduate credit at this university. 300-level coursework may only be used with permission of the department.
  2. A total limit of 13 transfer and/or extension and/or units petitioned for graduate credit may be included on a master’s contract.
  3. For lower division course work (100-200 level at this university), no graduate credit will be given.
  4. All 600-699 courses are open only to graduate students classified as unconditional.
  5. At least 32 units of upper-division and graduate-level offerings must be completed in residence at this university.
  6. Two-year master's degees have higher unit requirements than specified above. See detailed information in the appropriate sections of the University Catalog.
  7. A minimum of 3.0 (B) average must be earned in all graduate work taken at this university while in postbaccalaureate standing and in degree programs. No course with a grade lower than "C" (2.0) may apply toward the fulfillment of degree requirements. Once a graduate study contract has been established, courses may only be moved to or from the contract by means of a properly approved graduate petition. Contract courses with a grade of "F" must be repeated with a passing grade.
  8. A course may not be used for credit toward both a baccalaureate and a master's degree.
  9. A thesis, project, or a comprehensive examination is required in all programs.
  10. A favorable vote of the department, school, or center faculty is required before the degree may be conferred.
  11. A graduate student who expects to receive a degree at the end of any quarter must apply online for graduation through Bronco Direct prior to the deadline listed in the academic calendar. The student must be enrolled in the university the quarter he/she graduates. Degree requirements are outlined in departmental sections of the Catalog. Students seeking a master's degree will be held responsible for meeting requirements applicable to the program of their choice and for fulfilling general master's degree requirements.
  12. The Graduate Writing Test must be fulfilled before Advancement to Candidacy. Important information about specific exemptions from the test is available from the Test Center.
  13. The graduate degree of not fewer than 45 units shall be completed within 7 years from the time the first course (including transfer courses) which applies to the degree requirements is started. This time limit, at the option of the university, may be extended for students who pass a comprehensive examination in the entire subject field or who validate the outdated coursework by examination.  Please click on Procedures for recertifying expired courses for more information. 
  14. A Report of Culminating Experience must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office during the quarter of graduation. This report certifies that a graduate student has successfully completed all components of the Culminating Experience for the designated degree as specified in the Catalog.

At the time students are admitted to a Master's program, they should arrange to meet with the graduate coordinator to prepare an official program (graduate contract). If they are admitted as unconditional graduate students, they should accomplish this step as soon as possible. A graduate contract must be prepared and submitted for approval to the Graduate Studies Office no later than the end of the second quarter of attendance, or prior to the completion of 13 units.

When the program has been approved by the Graduate Studies analyst, a copy is sent to the graduate coordinator who has approved it. A copy is retained by the Graduate Studies analyst. The original contract is sent to the Evaluations Office and is used as the official record of the student’s progress toward the degree.