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Coursework-based Master's Degree

Requirements for a Coursework-based Master's Degree

Coursework-based master's degrees offer flexibility for professionals seeking a degree in the field in which they are employed and who may already be engaged in related workplace projects. Such degrees provide coursework directly related to the students' professional focus, without requiring non-course-based components that do not always fit well with this professional orientation.

Requirements for this plan follow those for the Master's Degree with Thesis (Plan A) in matters of admission and language. Admission requirements for coursework master's degrees will not be less rigorous than for more traditional master's degrees. Professional experience may serve as an appropriate and useful complement to other admission standards. This plan, however, is a coursework-only master's degree which provides an alternative structure for degree completion, such as a culminating experience in the form of a capstone course and/or paper. In some cases. this experience replaces the final examination for the degree. Under Plan C, students must complete an approved program of coursework consisting of at least 30 graduate-level course credits.

In general, M.A. and M.S. degrees should exhibit the focus on research that is traditionally associated with these degrees:  They should offer the thesis-based and project-based options for degree completion, and require a final examination (written or oral, or both) administered by a three-person committee. Compelling evidence should be presented to offer M.A. and M.S. degrees in a coursework-only format.