Non-Thesis Option

Adding or Switching to a MS Degree
Preliminary Exams

A student choosing the non-thesis option must pass (Pass or Ph.D. Research Pass) any one of four Ph.D. preliminary exams.  

A student who fails a written preliminary exam may, in a later semester, make one and only one more attempt to satisfy this requirement.  In doing so, the student may switch between the thesis and the non-thesis option of the program, or between one preliminary exam area and another.  Students who fail two preliminary exams are subject to dismissal from the program.

Graduating with your MS (MS only or MS to PhD)
  • Add the MS degree to your degree stack
  • View MS deadline sheet for all deadlines: Thesis Plan      Non-Thesis Plan
  • Complete Candidacy Application for MS Degree
    • Complete internal MS Degree Audit to help
  • Complete Masters Exam Report
    • Know the date of the Prelim you wish to use
    • Know the committee members (graders) 3 are required, If you only had two graders the Graduate Chair will be the third member.
    • Get appropriate signatures- Graduate Chair must always approve this form
    • Make a copy for the Graduate Coordinator
    • Turn original into Graduate School
  • Apply online to Graduate by deadline- thru MyCUInfo

Thesis Option

Adding or Switching to a MS Degree
Thesis Credits

A student electing to do a thesis must enroll in 4-6 hours of thesis credit.

Thesis Defense

The M.S. student on the thesis option must be registered for a minimum of 1 credit hour during the academic term (including summer session) the defense is passed. 

  • Select Committee (see rules on Exam Report)
  • Submit Title of Thesis to Graduate School – see dealine sheet for dates
  • Complete Master's Exam Report for committee approval –select Final (at least 3 weeks prior to Defense Date)
    • Get Graduate Chair signature/approval
    • Make copy for Graduate Coordinator
    • Submit original to Graduate School
  • Print a copy of Thesis Signature page, get signatures and submit directly to the Graduate School. 
  • Have Committee Chair pick up Exam Report from Graduate Coordinator prior to Thesis Defense. (Graduate Coordinator will have it ready at least 48 hrs. prior to Exam time)
  • Submit Thesis to Graduate School electronically- see deadline sheet for dates and instructions.
  • Submit 3 hard copies of thesis to Graduate Coordinator. Same due date as Graduate School submission date. This version will serve as the archival copy kept by the University Library. These three copies will be bound for you by the department free of charge (one for you, one for the department, and one for your advisor)
    • One copy must be printed single sided, on 8.5 x 11 watermarked paper of at least 25 % cotton and 20# weight.
    • The other two copies can be printed double sided, , on 8.5 x 11 watermarked paper of at least 25 % cotton and 20# weight. 
  • Submit Thesis to CU Electronic Scholars Depository- see instructions here.
Graduating with your MS (MS only or MS to PhD)
  • Add the MS degree to your degree stack
  • View MS deadline sheet for all deadlines: Thesis Plan      Non-Thesis Plan
  • Complete Candidacy Application for MS Degree
    • Complete internal MS Degree Audit to help
  • Complete Defense
  • Apply online to Graduate by deadline- thru MyCUInfo