Master's Degree Policy

Students enrolled in the PhD degree program may obtain the Master’s Degree on the way to completing the PhD program. The Master's Degree is completed by either a thesis or comprehensive examination. The advisor determines the choice of plan.

The minimum residence requirement for a Master's Degree is three academic quarters, at least one of which must follow advancement to candidacy if you are continuing in the program.

If your degree will be terminal, advancement to candidacy can take place during the same quarter as the degree is granted if minimum requirements have been met. You must be registered for the quarter in which the degree is to be awarded.

Fill out an Application for Candidacy Form. List only the courses required for the Master's Degree. A minimum of 36 units is required. Please contact the Scripps Graduate Coordinator for the form. You must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in upper division and graduate course work undertaken, with a total of no more than eight units of F and/or U grades.

Minimum Requirements Are:

Plan I, Thesis: A course of study must include 36 units of credit. Credits must be distributed as follows: At least 12 units in graduate courses in the major field, 6 additional units in graduate courses, 12 units in graduate or upper-division courses, and 6 research units leading to a master's thesis.

Plan II, Comprehensive Exam (requires the passing of your departmental exam): A course of study must include 36 units of credit. Credits must be distributed as follows: At least 14 units in graduate courses in the major field, 10 additional units in graduate courses, and 12 units in graduate or upper-division courses. No credit will be allowed for 299 research courses.

Policy on Duplicate Master’s Degree:
UCSD will not award a master’s degree to a student who already holds one, unless it is in a substantially different area of study (e.g. Literature and Oceanography). Please check with the Scripps Graduate Coordinator to discuss each individual situation.

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