Requirements for the Master's Degree

Graduate Course Option
Enrollment Requirements
Program of Study
Master's Thesis
Requirements for the Award of the Master's Degree

Graduate Course Option

Students completing both a bachelor’s and master’s in the same discipline at Georgia Tech may use up to six credit hours of graduate-level coursework in the major discipline for both degrees. Recognizing that some master’s degree programs do not have a unique undergraduate counterpart program and that some master’s programs are offered by several schools, the term “discipline” in the prior sentence will be broadly interpreted in such cases. To qualify for this option, students must complete the undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and complete the master’s degree within a two-year period from the award date of the bachelor’s degree.

Enrollment Requirements

While students may enroll in a master's degree program upon admission with either full or conditional standing, all conditions must be met and the student's status changed to "full" in order to graduate with a master's degree. Students enrolled in a master's degree program must register for at least one semester per year in order for the original requirements for their degree to remain unchanged. In other cases, the school may reevaluate the student's credentials and impose additional degree requirements.

Students who have completed all coursework and are planning to submit a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree should register for research hours (MAJR 7000) consistent with a realistic appraisal of the amount of remaining thesis work and required faculty involvement. Students are not eligible to receive thesis guidance during any term for which they are not registered.

Students must normally enroll for a minimum of three hours each semester. Thesis students may enroll for one hour of thesis only in the semester of graduation; this option may be used only once. The Institute has no residency requirements for the master's degree.

If a student has completed all degree requirements and will no longer require any of the Institute's facilities or faculty time, the student may request an enrollment waiver.

Program of Study

The student, in consultation with the faculty advisor, should prepare a program of study for the master's degree as a guide for planning an academic schedule. In some cases, the student's school may require that the proposed program be submitted to the chair of that school for approval.

The program of study must be completed satisfactorily within six consecutive calendar years and must include, at a minimum, 30 approved credit hours distributed as follows:

With thesis:

  1. Minimum course credit hours in major field (a basic field of knowledge, not a department of specialization): 12
  2. Minimum course credit hours at 6000 to 9000 level: 12
  3. Minimum course credit hours for degree: 18
  4. Minimum Thesis hours (7000): 6
  5. Total credit hours: 30

Without thesis: (must have approval of school chair)

  1. Minimum course credit hours in major field (a basic field of knowledge, not a department of specialization): 18
  2. Minimum course credit hours at 6000 to 9000 level: 21
  3. Total credit hours: 30

Some schools require more than the minimum credit hours. Refer to specific academic program descriptions for more detailed information.

Other than thesis hours, the student may use only three hours under the pass/fail designation in the approved program of study. As a rule, a course may not be counted toward more than one degree.

Undergraduate courses required for graduation in the discipline (designated degree) or discipline of origin (undesignated degree) at Georgia Tech may not be applied toward a master's degree.

Master's Thesis

To complete the requirements for the master's degree, the student must submit a master's thesis unless the school chair determines that additional coursework is of more importance in meeting approved objectives.

Students who meet the requirements for the master's degree by completing a combination of coursework and thesis must register for a minimum of six hours of thesis credit.

A candidate whose program includes a thesis must present a treatise in which the results of an investigation directed by a member of the faculty of the Institute are set forth in a clear, articulate form. The purpose of the thesis is to further educational development by requiring the student to plan, conduct, and report an organized and systematic study of importance.

The Manual for Graduate Theses specifies the formatting requirements for the thesis. Information regarding electronic thesis/dissertation submission can also be found on the Graduate Studies website.

Requirements for the Award of the Master's Degree

For a student to receive a master's degree from Georgia Tech, the following requirements should be met:

  1. During the semester prior to the anticipated final semester of work, students should petition to graduate. This can be done by completing the Online Application for Graduation.
  2. The Approved Program of Study (which is listed on the petition for degree application) should show that course requirements for the master's degree will be satisfied before or during the final semester. The Approved Program of Study should be completed within a period of no more than six consecutive calendar years.
  3. Students should have an overall GPA of at least 2.70 and satisfy all school academic requirements. (Some schools may require a higher overall GPA, and some programs may have different GPA requirements for certain segments of the program requirements, such as for core classes. If so, this must be reported to the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee through the initial proposal or as a curriculum change and will be considered an informational item on the agenda. These requirements will be enforced at graduation.)
  4. Students should earn a grade of at least D on coursework for it to be considered completed. (Some individual programs may require a grade of C or higher. These requirements must be reported to the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee either as part of the initial proposal or as part of a curriculum change and will be considered an informational item on the agenda. These requirements will be enforced at graduation.)
  5. Students may take three hours on a pass/fail basis, per Institute policy. (However, individual programs may not allow pass/fail grades at all or may restrict them to only specific portions of the degree such as electives. These restrictions must be reported to the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee as part of the initial proposal or as part of a curriculum change and will be enforced at graduation.)
  6. Students should be registered for a minimum of three credit hours at all times. However, thesis students are permitted to enroll for one hour of MAJR 7000 in the semester of graduation. This reduction may be used only once. Students who have met all requirements for graduation before the last day of registration for the graduation term and who were registered the preceding semester may be eligible for a waiver of enrollment.
  7. Coursework at the 1000 or 2000 level may not be used for a master's degree. In most cases, coursework at the 3000 level may not be used for a master's degree. But individual programs may allow a reasonable number of 3000-level courses in special circumstances, such as in a program that requires language proficiency. Individual programs may include 4000-level coursework, but this must be reported to the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee as either part of the initial proposal or clearly stated when revising a program. These rules will be enforced at graduation.
  8. Students should have completed satisfactorily any language requirement imposed by the major school.
  9. Thesis students must complete the requirements for training in Responsible Conduct for Research (RCR).
  10. Students should have passed any qualifying or comprehensive examinations required by their school.
  11. Students should have completed any required coursework outlined at the time of matriculation.
  12. Students should ensure that all requirements for the degree are completed and certified by the Office of the Registrar no later than 48 hours after final grades for the term are due. If a candidate for a degree is not certified by the appropriate deadline, the degree will not be awarded. It is the responsibility of the student to reactivate the degree petition for the following semester.
  13. The diploma of a candidate for a degree shall bear the date of the latest commencement ceremony for the term in which the degree is awarded with the exception of summer graduation diplomas, which will bear the date of the official end of term.

Additional Requirements for Master's Thesis Students

  1. Students should submit the thesis topic and committee form to Graduate Studies for approval and make satisfactory progress on the thesis.
  2. Students should complete the requirements for training in Responsible Conduct for Research (RCR).
  3. Students should submit the thesis electronically to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation  website and receive final acceptance from Graduate Studies.

Language Requirement

The student's school may require a reading knowledge of one appropriate language other than English.