Campuses:

ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY

Credit Requirements for Master's and Doctoral Degrees
Responsible University Officer: Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner: Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Policy Contact: Belinda Cheung, Vicki Field

POLICY STATEMENT

This policy governs the credit requirements for the following degrees:

  • Master’s Plan A degrees
  • Master’s Plan B degrees
  • Master’s Plan C degrees
  • Doctoral degrees
  1. Credit requirements for master’s degrees

    1. Master’s degrees must consist of the following minimum credits:
      1. Plan A degrees: 10 master’s thesis credits (xxxx8777)and a minimum of 20 graduate-level course credits.
      2. Plan B degrees: a minimum of 30 graduate-level course credits, including Plan B Project credits as defined by each program and approved by the college.
      3. Plan C degrees: a minimum of 30 graduate-level course credits.
    2. No collegiate unit or program may require more than:
      1. 36 credits with a combination of course and thesis for a master’s Plan A
      2. 36 credits with a combination of course and Plan B project credits for a master’s Plan B, and
      3. 48 course credits for a master’s Plan C.
    3. Master’s thesis credits (xxxx8777) may be taken for the master’s Plan A at any time during a student’s degree program.
    4. A minimum of 6 graduate-level course credits is required for a master’s level minor.
  2. Credit requirements for doctoral degrees

    1. Doctoral degrees must consist of a minimum of 48 credits: a minimum of 24 graduate-level course credits and a minimum of 24 doctoral thesis credits (xxxx888).
    2. No collegiate unit or program may require more than 72 credits with a combination of course and doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888) for the completion of the doctoral degree.
    3. Programs have the discretion, with college approval, to determine when it is academically appropriate for students to take doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888).
    4. A minimum of 12 graduate-level course credits is required for a doctoral level minor.
  3. Exceptions

    Collegiate deans or the appropriate campus Vice Chancellor may request exceptions from the Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost to items 1b and 2b based on accreditation requirements, national standards of the field, interdisciplinary nature of the program or similar arguments. Collegiate deans or the appropriate campus Vice Chancellor may petition the Provost for an exception to the 24 doctoral thesis-credit (xxxx8888) minimum in item 2a on behalf of doctoral programs that do not require dissertations. The petition should show that the exception conforms to national standards in the field and that appropriate additional credits (course credits, internships, project credits, etc.) will replace the 24 doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888).

REASON FOR POLICYRETURN TO TOP

This policy establishes the minimum and maximum credit requirements for Master’s Plan A, B, and C degrees and for Doctoral degrees. It provides a framework for curriculum development that balances coursework, research training, and independent scholarly work.

SubjectContactPhoneEmail/FAX
Primary ContactBelinda Cheung
Vicki Field
612-625-6977
612-625-6532
cheun002@umn.edu
field001@umn.edu
University of Minnesota – DuluthErik Brown218-726-8891etbrown@d.umn.edu

DEFINITIONSRETURN TO TOP

Graduate-level Course Credits
Graduate-level course credits That are primarily numbered as 5xxx or above, excluding thesis credits. Graduate programs may choose to allow 4xxx-level course credits to be applied toward a graduate degree, up to the limit specified in Administrative Policy: Application of Graduate Credits to Degree Requirements.
Plan B Project Credits
Credits taken by the students in relation to their Plan B project as part of the degree requirements
Thesis Credits
Credits taken by students in relation to their research work as part of the degree requirements. These include: xxxx-8777 (master’s thesis credits) and xxxx-888 (doctoral thesis credits).

RESPONSIBILITIESRETURN TO TOP

Colleges and Programs
Restructure program requirements to conform to this policy by the effective date. Request exceptions from the Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost to items 1b and 2b based on accredidation requirements, national standards of the field, interdisciplinary nature of the program or similar arguments.

RELATED INFORMATIONRETURN TO TOP

There is no Related Information associated with this policy.

Amended:
June 2015 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision: The changes provide greater clarity around the specific type of credits. Removed the effective date of the policy statement, which was inserted when this policy was first created.
Effective:
September 2011 - New Policy, Comprehensive Review. Establishes the minimum and maximum credit requirements for Master's Plan A, B, and C degrees and for Doctoral degrees. Provides a framework for curriculum development that balances coursework, research training, and independent scholarly work. Eliminates the requirement for outside coursework in view of the trend towards interdisciplinary curricula within many programs. Programs are given the option to require a minor or supporting program where warranted by educational objectives. Outlines a process by which collegiate deans may request exceptions.

Document Feedback

Date Revised

September 2011

Date Effective

September 2011