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Master’s Degrees

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for the master’s degree, although some programs require more.

All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within a five-year period. Some programs provide a choice of either a thesis or non-thesis option.

Please check with your program and the Graduate School Catalog for more information about master’s degree requirements.

All theses must be submitted electronically.

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Degree Completion Requirements


Final Semester Registration
Before the close of general registration, register for at least one credit during the semester that you intend to graduate. For each semester, register by the following dates:

  • Fall: August 29
  • Summer*: May 29
  • Spring: January 29

*Registration during the Summer is not required, except in the following circumstances:

  • Student is graduating in the summer and was not registered in the preceding Spring semester.
  • GAs with an appointment in the Summer must be registered for 3 credits in order to retain FICA exemption during the Summer.
  • All GAs with appointments during the Summer are required to register for the graduate assistantship course GRAD 603.

Apply for Graduation

Apply for Graduation icon

The application window by which you can apply are listed per semester below:

  • Fall: July 1 – September 15
  • Summer: April 1 – June 15
  • Spring: December 1 – February 15

Outstanding University Balance
Pay the cashier all outstanding university debts.

Academic Regalia
If you plan to participate in the graduation ceremony:

  • Order regalia. Orders can be submitted through our Herff Jones vendor*. Official information regarding ordering and picking up graduate regalia can be reviewed on the UMBC Commencement website.
  • Inform Patricia Winborn, Master’s Graduation Coordinator, that you plan to attend commencement.

*Late academic regalia orders have a $25 late fee assessment.

Thesis-Option Candidates
Due two (2) months prior to the final exam. Check with your Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Catalog for related information regarding: preparation of your thesis, examination committee, final examinations and other requirements for the master’s degree.Bring to the Graduate School the completed Nomination of Members for the Final Master’s Examination Committee form.The Graduate School will notify the Chairman of the Committee and the Dean’s selected representative of the approved/appointed committee by returning the above form showing Graduate School approval and appointment of the Dean’s representative.

Certification Readiness to Defend
Due two (2) weeks before the thesis defense. After all committee members have read the thesis, the Chairperson and the Graduate Program Director sign the Certification of Readiness to Defend the Master’s Thesis form. Bring the completed form to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will then send the Procedures for Examination of the Master’s Thesis and the Report of the Examining Committee form to the Dean’s representative of your committee.

Examining Committee Report
Due within two (2) business days after the oral defense. The Representative for the Dean returns the completed Report of the Examining Committee form to the Graduate School.

Approval Sheet & Thesis
The signed approval sheet, Thesis and Dissertation Electronic Publication form, and electronic thesis must be submitted to UMI/ProQuest by the dates per semester listed below. The original signed approval sheet must also be submitted to the Graduate School.

  • Fall: November 30
  • Summer: July 31
  • Spring: May 1

Certification of Completion
Due August 19th – This is the last day to submit the Certification of Completion of Master’s Degree Requirements form.

Commencement Ceremony

The graduation commencement ceremony will be held on the following dates per semester listed below:

  • Fall: December 20
  • Summer: No Ceremony, however we invite all August graduates to participate in the December Commencement ceremony.
  • Spring: May 24

Diploma Delivery
Diplomas are mailed approximately eight (8) weeks after your degree conferral date.

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