Graduate Requirements for the Master's Degree

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It is the responsibility of each graduate degree candidate to meet the following Graduate School minimum requirements (plus any additional requirements that may be specified by the program in which the master’s degree is being earned; see item 7):

  1. Under a thesis program, a minimum of 36 quarter credits (27 course credits and a minimum of nine credits of thesis) must be presented. Under a non-thesis program, a minimum of 36 quarter credits of course work is required.
  2. At least 18 of the minimum 36 quarter credits for the master’s degree must be for work numbered 500 and above. (In a thesis program, nine of the 18 must be course credits and nine may be for Master’s Thesis [700].)
  3. Numerical grades must be received in at least 18 quarter credits of course work taken at the University of Washington Tacoma. The Graduate School accepts numerical grades in approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major and in all 500-level courses. The student must earn a minimum grade of 2.7 in each class in order for it to be counted. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for a graduate degree at the university.
  4. The minimum residency requirement for matriculated graduate students is 30 credits. Full-time students achieve this by taking 10 credits per quarter and part-time students achieve this by adding credits from multiple quarters. A full quarter of residence is granted for any quarter in which at least 10 credits in approved courses, research, thesis, or internship are satisfactorily completed. Excess credits beyond 10 credits per quarter may not be added together to satisfy the residency requirement.
  5. In a thesis degree program, a thesis, approved by the supervisory committee, must be submitted to the Graduate School. A student must register for a minimum of nine credits of thesis (700). With the exception of summer, students are limited to a maximum of nine credits per quarter of thesis (700).
  6. A final master’s examination, either oral or written, as determined by the student’s supervisory committee, must be passed if it is a program requirement.
  7. Any additional requirements imposed by the graduate program advisor in the student’s major department or by the student’s supervisory committee must be satisfied. A master’s degree student usually takes some work outside the major department. The graduate program coordinator in the major department or the student’s supervisory committee determines the requirements for the minor or supporting courses.
  8. The graduate student must apply for the master’s degree within the first nine weeks of the quarter in which he or she expects the degree to be conferred. See Graduate Degree Application Process.
  9. The graduate student must be enrolled for a minimum of two credits in the quarter in which the degree is conferred. A student who does not complete all degree requirements by the last day of the quarter must be registered for the following quarter.
  10. All work for the master’s degree must be completed within six years. This includes quarters spent on leave or out of status and applicable work transferred from other institutions.
  11. A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.

Graduate Degree Application Process

Students must submit master’s degree requests on the web. Students may submit a request from the first day of the quarter they expect to graduate until the Sunday (midnight Pacific Time) of the ninth week of the quarter they expect to graduate. If degree requirements are not met in the requested quarter, they must submit another degree request for the quarter in which they expect to complete requirements.

Master’s degree request schedule

Your department may require an earlier request submission date, please consult your department.

Autumn/winter/spring quarters:

  • Weeks 1-9 are considered as filing the Request on time
  • Weeks 10-11 the request system is closed and no requests are accepted. The next option is to graduate during the following quarter.

Summer quarter:

  • Weeks 1-7 are considered as filing the Request on time
  • Weeks 8-9 the request system is closed and no requests are accepted. The next option is to graduate during the following quarter.

Completing the master’s degree request

  • When completing the master’s degree request, the program will automatically run a degree audit to inform the students of any unsatisfied Graduate School requirements.
  • Students will receive an email confirming receipt of their master’s degree request and the students’ departments are notified through MyGradProgram that a request has been submitted.
  • Authorized departmental users enter department contingencies into MyGradProgram and can elect to send an email to the students to notify them of the departmental contingencies. Authorized departmental users will print the master’s degree warrants and the warrants will be routed to the students’ master’s committees in a manner determined by the department.
  • By signing the master’s degree warrants, the students’ committees certify that the students have met all departmental requirements for the degree (except the thesis if one is required) and the warrants must be placed in the students’ department file.
  • Once the warrants have been signed, the authorized departmental users will recommend whether or not the students are to graduate that quarter and these recommendations are conveyed to the Graduate School through MyGradProgram following the end of the quarter. Emails are sent to the students notifying them that their departments have made a recommendation on their request.
  • Once the Graduate School receives the degree request recommendation, a final transcript audit and a review to determine if all Graduate School and department contingencies are met, will be completed by Graduate School staff.
  • The Graduate School enters the final graduation decision into MyGradProgram, email notifications are sent to the students informing them of their graduation status, and authorized department users can view their quarter graduation list in MyGradProgram.


Formal Commencement exercises are conducted at the close of spring quarter, on the second Friday in June. Information on participating in Commencement is posted on the UW Tacoma website at

Diploma distribution

Diplomas are produced approximately 12 weeks after the end of the quarter in which they are earned and are mailed to the student.