Master's Degree Requirements

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Requirements for the completion of master’s and doctoral degrees in the College are governed by department- or program-specific policy, College policies and procedures, Graduate Studies policies, and the University Senate Rules and Regulations.

Information on degree requirements presented in this section are limited to the most frequently consulted policies and key milestones in the graduate career. Students will find additional information under the KU Policy Library, the Graduate Studies and College's graduate regulations sections of the online catalog, the academic unit’s handbook, and the University of Kansas Rules and Regulations.


Coursework requirements for the Master’s degree are established and tracked by the department or program, and their completion verified and approved by the College. Please consult with your advisor, the academic unit’s graduate handbook, and the relevant Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for further information on specific courses or course sequences required for the degree.


Master’s students complete either a thesis or an equivalent enrollment in research, independent investigation, or seminar. Students earning a master's thesis degree must have completed at least 1 hour of thesis enrollment. General rules for the preparation of a thesis are available on the Graduate Studies website.

Final Examination

A final general examination in the major subject is required. The examination, which may be oral, written, or both, is held during the semester of the student’s final enrollment in course work and, in the case of thesis students, when the thesis has been substantially completed. In thesis programs, an oral thesis defense may be one of the degree requirements. All master's exam dates must be approved in advance by the College. See also Master’s Degree Requirements M.A. and M.S. Degrees in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.


At the end of each spring semester, the College holds a master’s hooding ceremony and Graduate Studies organizes the annual doctoral hooding ceremony. The School of the Arts hosts a separate ceremony for SOTA graduates. University Commencement information is available in the KU Commencement section of the KU website.

Attendance at these ceremonies is optional. Please consult the COGA website for more information.

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