Skip to main content

Graduate Degree Requirements


You are responsible for fulfilling the degree requirements of your degree program as they are when you enter the program. Changes in program requirements normally should not affect students already in the program. You should be able to complete a degree under conditions in effect at the time of your admission or reentry. You should also be able to follow any degree requirement(s) that come into effect after you enter the program, if you choose. With that in mind, keep the graduate program requirement information you are given by your program when you enter and refer to it as needed. You may also find past and current degree requirements for your program on its respective program page.

Specific requirements for degrees vary with programs but there are general requirements which are uniform throughout the UC system and are supervised by Graduate Studies. Advanced degrees are conferred in recognition of a "command of a wide range of knowledge in an academic field." Residency requirements and specific program requirements are means the faculty uses to ensure that students will be adequately prepared when they are required to demonstrate proficiency in examinations and research projects.

General Graduate Degree Requirements

  • Grade Requirements
  • Only upper division and graduate courses with grades of A, B, C (including C-) or S may be counted in satisfaction of the unit requirements for the master's degree. Programs may establish higher grade minimums in their degree requirements. The University requires that students maintain a 3.0 grade point average (A=4, B=3, C=2) each quarter in order to be in "good standing."
  • Registration Policies
  • Upon matriculation in a particular program, students are expected to register continuously until completion of the degree. However, leaves may be granted for causes such as illness, family problems, and uncertainty regarding educational goals under the Planned Educational Leave Plan (PELP) program. Students who do not register and fail to have a leave approved are not guaranteed readmission at a later date.
  • Enrollment Policies
  • Students are expected to enroll each quarter for an academically appropriate number of units. The minimum is 12 units of upper division or graduate courses per quarter.
  • Residency Requirements
  • The minimum university residence requirement is three quarters for the master’s degree and six quarters for doctoral students. Students are regarded as being in residence when they are taking a minimum of four units for graduate level coursework per term. Alternatively, two consecutive six-week summer sessions may replace one regular quarter. In this case, a minimum of two units must be taken in each summer session.  See Policy on Residence and Transfer Credit.