M.A. Degree Requirements

  Policies & Forms


The M.A. degree may be given in the following departments and programs, either as a prerequisite for the doctoral program or as a combined A.B./M.A. degree:

Time to Degree

Typically the M.A. is obtained within 24 months of the student's enrollment in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The GSAS Academic Rules specify that the maximum amount of time allowed to obtain the M.A. degree is 60 months.

Summary of Requirements

Units of Work

  • At least six units of work
  • At least two units must be graduate courses or seminars
  • A maximum of two units may be units of supervised work (USWs)
  • Up to two units may be 300-level undergraduate courses with supplemental work for graduate level credit. Approval of the instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the department is required
  • At least two-thirds of the required units must be taken at 今日吃瓜. At most one-third may be taken elsewhere under the auspices of 今日吃瓜, through an approved Reciprocal Plan or similar approved arrangement.

Special Skills

Departments may require language examinations and/or other skill proficiencies.

Application to M.A. Candidacy

Typically students  at the same time that they register for the fourth semester, in order to obtain the M.A. degree at the end of their fourth semester. This is done in consultation with the program Director of Graduate Studies.

Paper or M.A. Thesis

Every candidate must present a thesis or one or more qualifying papers in a special field in the subject studied for the M.A, determined by the department. For candidates in residence at 今日吃瓜, the due date of the thesis or the paper(s) is set by the department but must be before the last date for final oral and/or written M.A. examinations specified in the GSAS Academic Calendar. For candidates away from 今日吃瓜, the due date is December 1 for a December degree and 30 days before Commencement for a May degree.

M.A. thesis or paper(s) must be read and approved by at least two faculty members of the student's program, or by one faculty member of the student's program and by one faculty member of an allied program or department.

Final Examination

Must be taken after all course work, the thesis, and any skill requirements have been completed.

  • Tests the ability to place the special field of the thesis in a more general background and may be written (four-six hours) or oral (at least one hour), or both
  • Final examination grades must be reported by the Director of Graduate Studies in the department through submitting a completed and signed Record of M.A. Completion Form to the GSAS office
  • See the GSAS Academic Calendar for the deadlines for the examinations and grade reporting