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UCLA Graduate Division

File Your Thesis or Dissertation - Graduation Requirements

 
Master's Degree

Thesis or Comprehensive Examination Plan
Depending on what is offered by their major department, students follow either the thesis plan or the comprehensive examination plan. The University minimum standards are the same under either plan, but a department may set higher standards and require additional courses and/or examinations to evaluate a student's capability in his or her field. The departmental graduate adviser should be consulted concerning such requirements. Information regarding standards and examinations may also be found in the UCLA General Catalog and in Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees.

Scholarship
To be in good standing, a 'B' (3.0) grade point average is required in all courses taken in graduate status at the University. A student also must have a 3.0 grade point average in all courses to be applied toward the master's degree.

Academic Residence
Students are required to complete at least three quarters of academic residence (registration and enrollment) in graduate status at the University of California, including at least two quarters at UCLA. A student is in academic residence after completing at least one course (four units) in graduate or upper-division work during a quarter. One quarter of residence in summer study may also be earned in either of these ways: (1) enrollment in two six-week Summer Sessions taking at least two units of upper division and/or graduate work in each session, OR (2) enrollment in one eight-week Summer Sessions for at least four units of credit. Residence earned through Summer Sessions enrollment is limited to one-third of the degree requirements.

Advancement to Candidacy
It is the student's responsibility to file advancement to candidacy forms for the master's degree in the major department no later than the second week of the quarter in which the student expects the award of the degree. Failure to do so will prevent the student from receiving the degree until the quarter in which the forms are filed and the student is advanced to candidacy, regardless of when the degree requirements were completed. Advancement to candidacy may not occur until the foreign language requirement has been satisfied. Forms for this purpose are available in the department. Petitions and transcripts pertinent to the master’s program should be attached to the advancement to candidacy form. Any change in program of study after filing for advancement to candidacy should be reported in writing to the Registrar's Office by the department chair or graduate adviser. Candidates have one calendar year from the date of advancement to candidacy in which to complete all requirements for the degree. After that point, a petition to extend candidacy is required. In instances where five years have passed since advancement to candidacy, the student and department must justify in writing to the Graduate Division why the student should be allowed to graduate without being required to repeat course work, examination or language requirements. Such justification also may be required in instances where the course work included in an advancement to candidacy petition was completed five or more years ago.

Registration in the Final Quarter for the Award of the Degree
If a student is completing courses, using faculty time, library facilities, laboratories, or other University resources, or receiving University funds, the student is required to register in the final term in which the student expects to receive the degree. When the award of a degree is expected at the end of a given term, but special circumstances (not involving preparation of the manuscript), over which a student has no control, prevent the completion of all requirements before the first day of instruction in the next term, a student may petition for a waiver of registration for that term. Such petitions must be accompanied by a letter from the graduate adviser or department chair elaborating the exceptional circumstances of the case. If a student was registered for the preceding term and has completed all requirements for a degree in the interval between terms (before the first day of instruction), a student is not required to register to receive a degree at the end of the following term. Complete official transcripts are available approximately 30 working days after the last day of the term. For graduating students, official transcripts with the graduation date included are available approximately seven weeks after the end of the term. If a student requires earlier proof of graduation, the student should contact a degree auditor at 1113 Murphy Hall.

Doctoral Degree

Scholarship
To be in good standing, a 'B' (3.0) grade point average is required in all courses taken in graduate status at the University.

Advancement to Candidacy
Students are advanced to candidacy following completion of course and language requirements and the written and oral qualifying examinations. The academic residence requirement for doctoral advancement to candidacy consists of four quarters of registration, three of which (ordinarily the last three) must be spent in continuous residence at UCLA. If offered by the program, the Candidate in Philosophy degree (see below) is awarded for the quarter in which the student is advanced to candidacy. A student is advanced to candidacy by the Graduate Division when the report on the University oral qualifying examination is received, providing that all the above conditions are met. The student is automatically billed for the doctoral advancement to candidacy fee at the time advancement occurs. In instances where ten years have passed since advancement to candidacy, the doctoral committee chair must justify in writing to the Graduate Division why the student should be allowed to graduate without being required to repeat course work, examination or language requirements. In all such cases, the student is required to complete a final oral examination (defense of the dissertation) with all committee members present. This requirement cannot be waived by the doctoral committee.

Academic Residence
Doctoral students are required to complete at least two years of academic residence (registration and enrollment) in graduate status at the University of California, including one year, ordinarily the second, in continuous residence at UCLA. If the master's degree was earned at UCLA, one year of the residence requirement may have been met towards the doctorate. In most cases, however, a longer period of academic residence is necessary, and from three to five years is generally considered optimal. Academic residence occurs after a student has completed at least one course (four units) of graduate or upper-division course work during a quarter.

Final Oral Examination (Defense of the Dissertation)
If the final oral examination is required, either for all students in a specific degree program or for an individual student by the doctoral committee, the entire committee must be in attendance and each member must record a decision of "passed" or "not passed." A student is not considered to have passed the final oral examination with more than one "not passed" vote, regardless of the size of the committee. The final oral examination may be waived with the written consent of all members of the doctoral committee on a designated form obtained from the department. If the examination is required for all students in a specific degree program, the waiver request form also must be accompanied by an additional written justification from the chair of the program.

Registration in the Final Quarter for the Award of the Degree
If a student is completing courses, using faculty time, library facilities, laboratories, or other University resources, or receiving University funds, the student is required to register in the final term in which the student expects to receive the degree. When the award of a degree is expected at the end of a given term, but special circumstances (not involving preparation of the manuscript), over which a student has no control, prevent the completion of all requirements before the first day of instruction in the next term, a student may petition for a waiver of registration for that term. Such petitions must be accompanied by a letter from the graduate adviser or department chair elaborating the exceptional circumstances of the case. If a student was registered for the preceding term and has completed all requirements for a degree in the interval between terms (before the first day of instruction), a student is not required to register to receive a degree at the end of the following term. Complete official transcripts are available approximately 30 working days after the last day of the term. For graduating students, official transcripts with the graduation date included are available approximately seven weeks after the end of the term. If a student requires earlier proof of graduation, the student should contact a degree auditor at 1113 Murphy Hall.

Excerpted from Standards and Procedures.