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Degree Completion

Read about the requirements for degree completion for doctoral and all varieties of master programs. 

Master's Students (all)

  • The minimum residence requirement is three academic quarters; AT LEAST ONE of which must follow advancement to candidacy.
  • A student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above in upper division and graduate course work, have no more than 8 units of F or U, and resolve any outstanding grading problems.
  • A student must be registered or file a General Petition to pay the filing fee in lieu of registration.

Master's Thesis (Plan I) and Master of Fine Arts (Plan III) Students

Master's thesis and Master of Fine Arts students should check with their advisor regarding when the thesis must be submitted for review by the master committee.

  • A student must make an appointment with the Graduate Division for a preliminary check of his/her thesis . At that appointment the format is checked and instructions on the final preparation and submission of the thesis are given. The thesis must be formatted according to the requirements explained in the Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses.
  • The thesis committee shall supervise and approve the student's thesis by signing the thesis signature page; signatures must be original. Proxy signatures are not accepted.
  • The requirement for a thesis defense varies by department; students should check with their committee chair or with the graduate coordinator.
  • The Final Report of the Thesis or Comprehensive Examination (Plan I or II) for the Degree of Master of Arts or Science or the Final Report of the Modified Thesis Examination, Plan III, for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts must have the original signatures of all members of the thesis committee, the program’s graduate advisor, and the program’s chair. The form for Plan I must also indicate if the student will continue at UC San Diego or will terminate. (The Final Report forms are obtained from the graduate coordinator). Proxy signatures are not accepted.
  • The final version of the thesis must conform to procedures outlined in the Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses.
  • The thesis submission fee must be paid at the cashier’s office prior to the student’s final appointment with the Graduate Division. 
  • The student submits the final approved thesis along with the Final Report of the Thesis and Degree and Diploma Application to the Graduate Division at the final appointment (both forms are obtained from the program's graduate coordinator). Final approval and acceptance of the thesis by the Dean of the Graduate Division (on behalf of the University Archivist and Graduate Council) represents the final step in the completion of all requirements for the Master's degree.
  • Academic Senate regulations for the MA/MS Thesis (Plan I) 
  • Academic Senate regulations for the MFA

Master's Students (Plan II Comprehensive exam)

The Final Report of the Thesis or Comprehensive Examination (Plan I or II) for the Degree of Master of Arts or Science is submitted to the Graduate Division along with the Degree and Diploma Application. The Final Report must list the date the examination was completed, and must have original signatures of the program's graduate advisor and the program's chair. The form must indicate if the student will continue at UC San Diego or will terminate. (The Final Report and the Degree and Diploma Application are obtained from the graduate coordinator).

Master of Business Administration Students

Master of Education Students

The M.Ed. is a two-year, full-time program, with no advancement to candidacy required.

Completion of the degree is verified by department submission of the final report via the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). Check submission deadlines and process with graduate coordinator.

Procedures

  • Only courses required for M.Ed. should be listed on the DARS - 64 units. Proxy signatures are not acceptable.
  • Candidates must have a GPA equivalent to 3.0 or above in upper division and graduate course work, with a total of no more than eight units of "F" and/or "U" grades.
  • The DARS report must be submitted by the last day of the quarter in which the student will receive the degree. The report may be filed anytime during student's last quarter of enrollment. Filing early in quarter is encouraged.

Note: Submit the Degree and Diploma Application with the DARS final report.

Master of Engineering Students

The M.Eng. is a one-year, full-time program, with no advancement to candidacy required.

Completion of the degree is verified by department submission of the final report via the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). Check submission deadlines and process with graduate coordinator.

Procedures

  • Only courses required for M.Eng. should be listed on the DARS - 48 units. Proxy signatures are not acceptable.
  • Candidates must have a GPA equivalent to 3.0 or above in upper division and graduate course work, with a total of no more than eight units of "F" and/or "U" grades.
  • The DARS report must be submitted by the last day of the quarter in which the student will receive the degree. The report may be filed anytime during student's last quarter of enrollment. Filing early in quarter is encouraged.

Note: Submit the Degree and Diploma Application with the DARS final report.

Master of Advanced Studies Students

The M.A.S is a one-year, full-time program, with no advancement to candidacy required.

Completion of the degree is verified by department submission of the final report via the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). Check submission deadlines and process with graduate coordinator.

Procedures

  • Only courses required for M.A.S should be listed on the DARS - 36 units. Proxy signatures are not acceptable.
  • Candidates must have a GPA equivalent to 3.0 or above in upper division and graduate course work, with a total of no more than eight units of "F" and/or "U" grades.
  • The DARS report must be submitted by the last day of the quarter in which the student will receive the degree. The report may be filed anytime during student's last quarter of enrollment. Filing early in quarter is encouraged.

Note: Submit the Degree and Diploma Application with the DARS final report.

Master of Pacific International Affairs/Master of International Affairs

The MPIA is a two-year, full-time program, with no advancement to candidacy required.

Completion of the degree is verified by department submission of the final report via the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). Check submission deadlines and process with graduate coordinator.

Procedures

  • Only courses required for MPIA should be listed on the DARS - 98 units. Proxy signatures are not acceptable.
  • Candidates must have a GPA equivalent to 3.0 or above in upper division and graduate course work, with a total of no more than eight units of "F" and/or "U" grades.
  • The DARS report must be submitted by the last day of the quarter in which the student will receive the degree. The report may be filed anytime during student's last quarter of enrollment. Filing early in quarter is encouraged.

Note: Submit the Degree and Diploma Application with the DARS final report.

Doctoral Students

  • A student must have completed 6 quarters of academic residency, of which 3 quarters must be between advancement and the final examination/defense.
  • A student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above in upper division and graduate course work, have no more than 8 units of F or U, and resolve any outstanding grading problems.
  • A student must be registered or file a General Petition to pay the filing fee in lieu of registration.
  • The doctoral dissertation must be submitted to each member of the doctoral committee at least four weeks before the final examination.
  • A student must make an appointment with the Graduate Division for a preliminary check of his/her dissertation . At that appointment the format is checked and instructions on the final preparation and submission of the dissertation are given. The dissertation must be formatted according to the requirements explained in the Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses (PDF).
  • The doctoral committee shall supervise and approve the student's dissertation. Academic Senate policy states that the committee conducts the final oral examination/defense, which is to be public and announced as such.
  • All committee members are required to be present at the final examination/defense. Graduate Council has permitted any absent member to examine the candidate in advance of the exam date and to then sign off on the Final Report and the dissertation signature page. If the absent member has questions for the committee to consider at the exam, these should be forwarded to the committee chair and the committee chair should then withhold signature until those questions are resolved.
    • This procedure should not be undertaken without the program and committee chair's advance approval. The committee chair and the tenured outside member must always be present at a final examination/defense.
  • The Final Report and the dissertation signature page must have the original signatures of all members of the doctoral committee; the Final Report must also be signed by the program chair. Proxy signatures are not accepted.
  • The final version of the dissertation must conform to procedures outlined in the Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses (PDF).
  • The student submits the final approved dissertation along with the Final Report of the Final Examination and Filing of the Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree and Degree and Diploma Application to the Graduate Division at the final appointment (both forms are obtained from the program’s graduate coordinator). Final approval and acceptance of the dissertation by the Dean of the Graduate Division (on behalf of the University Archivist and Graduate Council) represents the final step in the completion of all requirements for the doctoral degree.

Filing Deadlines and Participation in Commencement

Filing Deadlines and Participation in Commencement

Academic Senate Regulations for Higher Degrees

Academic Senate Regulations for Higher Degrees
Graduate Coordinators may request academic forms by calling the Academic Affairs Assistant at 858-822-2244.