For graduate students in the College, advising and course selection take place at the department level. Individual programs also prescribe the number of hours required to complete a degree; however, the University requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours for a Master's to be awarded. These 30 hours must be in courses numbered 500 or higher and taken for graduate credit with a grade of C or higher.
In some cases it may be possible to complete a master’s degree with fewer than 30 hours if the student enters the program especially well prepared and maintains a superior grade-point average. Additional information about this possibility may be found on COGA's page on Transfer Credit, Count Toward Degree, & Reduced Hours.
Additionally, each master’s program must contain a research component, represented either by a thesis (usually for 6 hours of credit) or by an equivalent enrollment in research, independent investigation, or seminars. Within these requirements and well-founded practices, departmental master’s programs may be flexible enough to meet the particular needs of individual students.
There is no University minimum number of hours required for a doctoral degree. Individual programs determine course requirements for doctoral students in their program and take relevant prior graduate work into consideration in setting up programs of study leading to the doctorate.
The University does require doctoral students to fulfill a research skills component, which may be a course in some cases. See Doctoral Requirements for specific information regarding the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement.