Master's Minimum Degree Requirements

Minimum Division of Graduate Studies Requirements

These are UO Division of Graduate Studies minimums. Your specific graduate program may have higher or more stringent requirements.

MINIMUM THESIS CREDITS (if completing a thesis)


Total Credit Minimum

To earn a 1st UO master's degree, students must complete at least 45 graduate credits. The credits must be taken after admission to the master's degree program or approved by petition. See more at Transfer Credit.

To earn a 2nd UO master's degree, students must complete at least 30 graduate credits after admission to the 2nd master's program. All other minimum requirements listed below also apply to a 2nd UO master's degree. 

Students completing 2 master's degrees concurrently must complete at least 45 graduate credits for degree 1 and at least 30 graduate credits for degree 2. 

Minimum Credits in Major

A minimum of 30 graduate credits in the major are required for a master's degree with a departmental major. Some interdisciplinary programs have different requirements. Contact your department or the Division of Graduate Studies for details.

Minimum Credits Taken at the UO (Residency Requirement)

A minimum of 30 graduate credits (applicable to degree requirements) must be taken at the University of Oregon over the course of at least two terms of study. Individual schools or departments may have additional residence requirements.

Minimum Graded Credits Taken at the UO

A minimum of 24 credits must be University of Oregon graded (not pass/no pass) credits.

Programs exempt from this requirement:

  • Architecture
  • Interior Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Community and Regional Planning
  • Art
  • Geography

Minimum 600-Level Credits taken at the UO

At least 9 credits in courses numbered 600-699 must be taken at the UO.

Minimum Thesis Credits

Each program specifies whether a thesis is required or optional. For the thesis option, a minimum of 36 credits of course work and a minimum of 9 credits of Thesis (503) is required.

Credit for thesis is given pass/no pass. In your final term, you must register for at least 3 credits, at least 1 of which must be in 503 Thesis. There are exceptions to final term registration requirements in certain cases.

Minimum GPA

Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in all graduate courses taken with graded option. Departments may require a higher minimum GPA.

The accumulation of more than 5 credits of N or F grades, regardless of GPA, is considered unsatisfactory.

Grades and Incompletes

Language Requirement: Distinction Between MA & MS Degrees

The master of arts (MA) degree requires second year level of proficiency in a language other than English, as required for the bachelor of arts (BA) degree. Competency may be demonstrated by either a standardized test or with adequate undergraduate course work.

Language competence must be demonstrated within the overall seven-year limit for completion of a master's degree. The student's major department may establish a higher level of proficiency.

There is no language requirement for the master of science (MS) and professional master’s degrees unless the department so specifies.

Time Limit for Program Completion

All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within a seven-year time period. The seven-year time will begin with the term of admission to the master's program.

Example: A master's student admitted in Fall 2019 will have a completion deadline of Summer 2026.

The beginning date of the seven-year time period will be adjusted to an earlier date to include any graduate credits, approved for transfer into the program, that were taken before the date of admission.

Example: A master's student admitted for Fall 2019 who has approved transfer credits taken in Fall 2017 (either at the UO or at another university) will have a completion deadline of Summer 2024.

The language requirement for the master of arts must also be completed within the seven-year time limit.

Students may petition for additional time to complete the degree (or to count transfer or language credits older than 7 years) by using the Extension of 7 Year Deadline petition. 

Registration and Continuous Enrollment

Master's students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment for a minimum of 3 graduate credits each term (starting with the term of admission) until all degree requirements have been completed, unless on-leave status has been approved for term(s) after the first term of matriculation. 

Some departments/programs may require full-time enrollment. Students are expected to become familiar with departmental policies regarding enrollment and satisfactory progress.

Research Clearance for Master's Thesis, Project or Doctoral Dissertation

All graduate students using human or animal subjects in their research for a thesis, project or dissertation must obtain permission (and a protocol number) from either the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) or Animal Welfare Services before beginning data collection.

Research Compliance Services