This checklist is intended to be used as a supplement to information obtained from the University Catalog and the gradute program, and as an aid to preparing degree plans for master students. The graduate program should be consulted about specific additional requirements.
Pre-Candidacy (Early and mid-way through your degree program)
Work with your graduate program to understand the degree requirements for your degree. Each graduate program has coursework requirements above and beyond those listed below.
Graduate School minimum requirements:
- Minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate level work taught by members of the graduate faculty. Thesis plan students must register for 4-6 thesis hours (9 for MFA students).
- A graduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all coursework taken to earn a degree and in order to maintain good academic standing.
- Any course being applied toward the degree must be taken for a letter grade and must be given a grade of C or better to apply.
- A maximum of 6 credits at the 3000-4000 level may be used toward a master's degree at the discretion of the graduate program.
- For additional detail regarding coursework requirements, refer to the graduate school rules in the University Catalog.
After completion of one semester (or six credit hours) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit a transfer of credit request if applicable. Transfer credit is defined as any credit earned at another accredited institution, credits earned at another campus of the CU system, or credits earned as a non-degree student within the CU system. Work with your program to complete a Request for Transfer of Credit form. Each graduate program will review the courses for course content and may have requirements above and beyond those listed below.
Transfer of credit minimum requirements:
- The transfer of credit limit is 9 credit hours, and 18 for the MFA degree.
- Courses must have been taken at an accredited institution with a grade of B or better.
- Transfer work that is five years old or more at the time of transfer must be evaluated by the major department as to current relevance and applicability to degree requirements.
- Courses may not have been used toward a bachelor's degree, toward another degree of the same level, or from a doctoral degree to a subsequent master's degree. See the back of the form for further transfer of credit rules.
All Master's Students:
All deadlines must be met to insure graduation during a particular semester. Deadlines are available from the major department or from the Graduate School.
Master's students must submit to the Graduate School a Candidacy Application for an Advanced Degree by the posted deadline during the semester in which the degree is to be awarded. Applications follow a workflow process and must be approved by the academic department before they are directed to the Graduate School.
Non-Thesis Students with Final Examination Requirement:
Master's students with a final examination requirement are required to complete a comprehensive-final examination after the other requirements for the degree have been substantially completed. The examination/defense must be scheduled, and the Graduate School notified by submission of the Master’s Examination Report form at least two weeks before it is held. The chair of the exam committee must hold a regular graduate faculty appointment. The other committee members must hold a regular or a special appointment. Students must be registered as a regular, degree-seeking student during the semester the examination is passed. The student must have an affirmative vote from the majority of the committee to pass. Some programs do not require a final examination for non-thesis students; contact your graduate program with questions.
Thesis Plan Students:
Master's thesis students are required to complete a thesis defense after the other requirements for the degree have been substantially completed. The defense must be scheduled, and the Graduate School notified by submission of the Master’s Examination Report form at least two weeks before it is held. The chair of the exam committee must hold a regular graduate faculty appointment. The other committee members must hold a regular or a special appointment. Students must be registered as a regular, degree-seeking student during the semester the examination is passed. The student must have an affirmative vote from the majority of the committee to pass.
Master's thesis plan students must submit their thesis electronically, along with the Thesis Approval Form (TAF), by the Graduate School’s deadline in order to graduate in any given semester. Students should submit the thesis electronically and must have an approved submission by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day. The TAF must be submitted along with the thesis as a supplemental file. See formatting specifications for the thesis. The Graduate School recommends that a pre-check of your format be done before you submit the final version. You can request that by e-mailing a pdf of your thesis to email@example.com.
Graduate students who need to leave school for 1-2 semesters may participate in the Leave of Absence Program (details available from the Office of the Registrar). Any semester(s) on Leave of Absence are included in the time limit to complete the degree. Students who are not utilizing the Leave of Absence program and do not register during a given fall or spring semester will be automatically withdrawn from the University and must fill out an application for readmission. Students who withdraw from school permanently must do so formally with the Registrar’s Office. If you are an international student and plan to participate in the Leave of Absence program or withdraw from school, please see an advisor at International Student and Scholar Services.