Master's Program

Number of Credits

The minimum requirement for the Master of Science or Master of Engineering degrees in the School of Engineering and Science (SES), the School of Systems and Enterprises (SSE), and the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science degrees in the School of Business require 30 credits; the Master of Science in Technology Management for Experienced Professionals (MSTM) requires 36 credits, and the MBA requires 48 credits. Degree requirements for interdisciplinary programs vary. Up to nine transfer credits may be accepted, if these credits have not already been used to obtain an academic degree. All credits for transfer must show grades of "B" (3.0 GPA) or better, and the courses must be approved by the appropriate departments, the Office of Graduate Education and then submitted to the Registrar's Office. 

Academic Standing

Students must maintain a satisfactory academic standing each semester. Please see Probation and Dismissal Guidelines.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

In order to graduate a student must obtain: (1) a minimum of “B” (3.0 GPA) average in his or her major field, and (2) an overall average of “B” in the courses offered to meet the requirements for the degree.

When a student has completed 20 credits or within two weeks after the start of the term in which he or she expects to complete the requirements for the degree, whichever comes first, the student prepares an Application for Candidacy form, has it approved by the Faculty Advisor, and submits it to the Office of the Registrar. The Application for Candidacy takes precedence over all Study Plans and Change of Study Plans previously submitted.


A master's thesis is optional and may carry from five to ten credits. All theses require two readers - the advisor and one other professor and must be defended. 

The chair or co-chair must be a tenure-track, full-time professor, professor emeritus or non-tenure track faculty who have been approved with current policy (Click here for policy).

The thesis advisor must approve assignment of more than five credits by signing the "Master's Theses" form.

Both the reader and the advisor must sign the title page.

A letter grade ranging from C- to A will be ascribed by the thesis advisor.

The student enrolls in the appropriate 900 course for a specified number of credits, which total from five to ten.

The interim grade for the thesis is "S"; the final grade is determined when the thesis is accepted.

Three copies of the thesis and two copies of the abstract are submitted to the Librarian.

Please refer to the Academic Calendar for submission deadlines.

The thesis must be written in accordance with the "Specifications for Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations," a copy of which may be obtained from the SC Williams Library website downloaded from the Office of the Registrar.

Additional requirements, if any, vary with the departments. Consult with your advisor regarding additional requirements.

Time Limit

A maximum of six years is allowed for the completion of the degree. Requests for extension of the six year limit can be made in writing to the Office of Graduate Education.

Enrollment and Leave of Absence

All regular students are expected to maintain continuity of enrollment, except for summer sessions. If this cannot be done, the student must apply in writing for a leave of absence, which is subject to the approval of the Office of Graduate Education. A leave of absence is granted for a limited period only. The period may be extended at the discretion of the Office of Graduate Education. Time spent in the Armed Forces of the United States while on leave of absence is not included in the six-year limitation noted above. Time spent on leave of absence for other reasons may or may not be included in the six-year limitation. Each case is decided on the basis of individual circumstances by the Office of Graduate Education.

Leave of Absence does not waive a review of an action on a students academic performance. Students who do not maintain continuity of enrollment and who do not obtain a leave of absence may be dropped from the program. Re-enrollment requires permission of the Office of Graduate Education and the Department Director.

Interdisciplinary Programs

A student interested in a program which does not fit the requirements of any of the existing master’s degree programs proceeds as follows:

  1. Along with the Application for Admission the student outlines in writing the program that he or she would like to take including a statement of purpose and submits it to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

  2. Graduate Admissions submits the application along with the statement of purpose to the Senior Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

  3. If the Senior Vice Provost for Graduate Education approves the program, he or she appoints an interdisciplinary advisory committee from the pertinent disciplines to study.

  4. If the committee accepts the program, the student is admitted as an interdisciplinary student. The committee prepare a study plan and submit it to the Senior Vice Provost for Graduate Education for approval.

One member of the committee is appointed to be the student’s faculty advisor and the committee performs the usual departmental functions.