The Graduate College

Request for Master's Degree

Graduate programs have the option of making their master's degrees available to students pursuing doctoral degrees in the same field without applying for admission to the master's programs, provided the student continues to make satisfactory progress toward the doctoral degree.

A student admitted to a doctoral program may be awarded a master's degree in the same field as the doctoral program provided that all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The student does not already have a master's degree in the same field.
  • A Plan of Study for the doctoral program is approved by the student’s advisor, department chair, and the Graduate College.
  • The student makes normal academic progress toward the fulfillment of the doctoral degree requirements, consistent with the doctoral Plan of Study.
  • An approval form must be submitted to the Graduate College. Contact the Graduate College to request the form.
  • Courses cannot count toward both the master's degree and the doctoral degree requirements.
  • The student’s advisor and department chair approve the awarding of the master’s degree and the student submits an application to receive the master’s degree.
  • A Plan of Study for the master's degree is submitted in the semester when the student expects to pass the doctoral preliminary exam and is approved by the student’s advisor, the department chair, and the Graduate College. 
  • All Graduate College, academic School/College, and Department/Program requirements for the master's degree are satisfied.
  • The maximum time limit for completion of the doctoral degree remains unchanged.

All doctoral students who are admitted to a Ph.D. program and receive approval from the Graduate College to earn a master's degree en route to the Ph.D. must fulfill all requirements for the Ph.D. in order to receive the master’s degree.

All students who decide to abandon the Ph.D. program in favor of a master’s degree program with the intention of applying for practical training in the field of the master's curriculum must apply for and be admitted to the new curriculum at the master's level at least one semester in advance of the intended change. International students must document the level change in writing from the Graduate College with the appropriate forms in order to be eligible for practical training in that field.

Students in F-1 status who transfer to a new curriculum at the master's level must have a new Form I-20 issued prior to the transfer and should also understand that the Ph.D. I-20 will remain as an "incompleted" program in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The international doctoral graduate student must communicate his/her intentions to the Graduate Coordinator as well as to the Office of International Affairs and receive approval at least one full semester in advance of the change. Failure to do so could result in a violation of non-immigrant status and subsequent ineligibility for any type of employment.

To Begin the Process:

  1. The student's advisor should contact the Graduate College to request details about the process.
  2. Submit the plan of study for the master's at least one semester prior to applying for the master's degree.

Students must meet graduation eligibility requirements and submit an application for graduation during the term they wish to graduate. See Graduate Catalog for complete instructions and deadlines.