M.A. Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree may be given in the following departments and programs, either as a prerequisite for the doctoral program or as a combined A.B./M.A. degree:

A Summary of Requirements

Units of Work

  • At least six units of work
  • At least two units must be graduate courses or seminars
  • A maximum of two units may be units of supervised work (USWs)
  • up to two units may be 300-level undergraduate courses with supplemental work for graduate level credit. Approval of the instructor and the program Graduate Advisor is required

Special Skills

Departments may require language examinations and/or other skill proficiencies.

Application to M.A. Candidacy

Typically students apply for M.A. candidacy [pdf] at the same time that they register for the fourth semester, in order to obtain the M.A. degree at the end of their fourth semester. This is done in consultation with the program Graduate Advisor.

Paper or M.A. Thesis

Must be read and approved by at least two faculty members of the student's program, or by one faculty member of the student's program and by one faculty member of an allied program or department.

Final Examination

Must be taken after all course work, the thesis, and any skill requirements have been completed.

  • Tests the ability to place the special field of the thesis in a more general background and may be written (four-six hours) or oral (at least one hour), or both
  • Typically scheduled the first week of May for a May degree or the first week of December for the December degree

Time to Degree

Typically the M.A. is obtained within 24 months of the student's enrollment in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Faculty Rules specify that the maximum amount of time allowed to obtain the M.A. degree is 60 months.