Completing the Degree

Time Limit for Completion of the Degree

Master’s degree candidates are expected to complete degree requirements within five years of beginning their programs, as measured by the matriculation into the degree program.

Failure to complete the degree within the established time limits will result in termination unless the student successfully petitions for an extension to the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education. The college, school, or department and the student’s advisor must recommend this extension. If it is not approved, the student will be terminated from the program. Students may petition for an extension of time for a minimum of one quarter and up to a maximum of one year per request. For more information, see Exceptions regarding extensions of time.

MCE: The Ed.S. must be completed in six years.

Final Procedures for Earning the Master's Degree

The student must assume full responsibility for meeting all basic requirements for the degree as well as the specific requirements outlined by the college, school or department. The student must complete the following:

  • Apply for graduation by the deadline. Failure to complete the degree during the expected graduation term may require a new application and payment of a fee for additional evaluation and services.
  • Satisfactorily complete all coursework and non-coursework requirements for the degree. 
  • Arrange for an oral defense of the thesis, if the graduate program requires one. The Office of Graduate Education should review and approve the oral defense committee as soon as the thesis proposal has been approved or defended but no later than the first day of the quarter in which the student expects to complete the degree. Formal notification of the oral defense should be filed in the Office of Graduate Education no later than four weeks before the defense date and in accordance with the University schedule of deadlines when graduation candidacy is in the same quarter as the defense.
  • Complete any required final defense, oral, written or both, at least three weeks before the end of the quarter in which the degree is awarded.
  • All Incomplete grades must be removed at least three weeks before the end of the term in which the degree is to be awarded.
  • All in-progress courses must have a grade entered.
  • Submit an electronic copy of the thesis to ETD/ProQuest and have the thesis director or advisor submit the final approval to the Office of Graduate Education two weeks prior to the end of the quarter. The student should contact the Office of Graduate Education for the schedule of deadlines and obtain specific instructions for the preparation of the thesis format.
  • If revisions are such that the thesis in its final form cannot be filed at least two weeks before the end of the quarter, the awarding of degrees will be postponed.

Notes: Students in Formal or Flexible Dual Degree programs must file an application for graduation for both degree programs.

Individual academic units may have more stringent policies. Contact the unit for details.