1501. Requirements for the Master's Degree

(Am. 11.7.12)
  1. Students will pursue one of the following Plans for the fulfillment of requirements for the Master's Degree.
    • Departments may adopt one or the other, or both, of the Plans.
    • Departments adopting both Plans shall designate the Plan to be followed by each student.
  1. Upon recommendation of a department that has adopted only one of the Plans, the Graduate Council may grant special permission to an individual student to follow the Plan other than that adopted by the Department of the student’s major work.


    • There are required 20 units and a thesis.
    • The courses must be graduate courses or upper division undergraduate courses.
    • At least 8 of the 20 units must be strictly graduate work in the major subject.
    • No unit credit is allowed for the thesis.
    • It is expected that the work of the graduate course or courses, together with the thesis, will ordinarily amount to not less than half of the entire work presented for the Degree.
    • Provided that the foregoing general requirements and the special departmental requirements be met, the work may be distributed among any courses in the 100 or 200 series.
    • The student is subject to guidance by the major department respecting the distribution of the student’s work among the departments.
    • With the special approval of the Graduate Council, the candidate may satisfy the 20-unit requirement for the Degree by a comprehensive supervised plan of research to an acceptable thesis, the schedule for each candidate to be as follows:
    • Research (designation and number of courses) 8-12 units per term, or 2-4 units per Summer Session.


    • There are required 24 units of upper division and graduate courses, of which at least 12 units must be in strictly graduate courses in the major subject.
    • The student is subject to guidance by the major department respecting the distribution of the student’s work among the departments.
    • A comprehensive final examination in the major subject, to be of such nature and to be conducted in such manner as may be determined by the department concerned, is required of every candidate. (Am. 3.83)
  1. Plans 1 and 2

The following rules apply to both Plans.

    1. Not all upper division courses offered in Summer Session may be offered in satisfaction of requirements for the Master's degree. A list of acceptable courses is published annually for use of students in Summer Sessions.
    2. Only courses in which the student is assigned grades A, B, C, or Satisfactory may be counted in satisfaction of the requirements for the Master's degree. Furthermore, the student must maintain an average of three grade points per unit in those courses and in all upper division and graduate courses elected during the student’s residence at the University of California as a graduate student.
      • In case of students who have made a distinguished record during the final year of residence this requirement may be waived by the Administrative Committee of the Graduate Council.
      • Satisfactory grades will be disregarded for the purpose of computing the grade-point average.
  1. The degree of Master of Advanced Study (M.A.S.) shall be granted to those candidates who have received a Bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university of recognized standing. Admission is limited to those who have established their eligibility for graduate standing at the University of California and who comply with such other requirements regarding preparation for advanced study as may be prescribed by the relevant Faculty.