A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework is required to earn a master's degree. The minimum residence requirement is two semesters in full-time study or the equivalent in part-time work. In practice, most students need at least three semesters, or two semesters plus summer work, to complete degree requirements.

Foreign Language

The requirements in a foreign language or languages are established by the student’s program. In those cases where the program deems it necessary that the student have competency in a foreign language, the student will be required to demonstrate such competence by examination in one or more languages. The choice of language or languages required will be by the program.


Decision as to the thesis subject must be approved by the program. The thesis committee will consist of not less than three members. The committee chair must be Regular Faculty from the student’s program or department of concentration (this includes secondary appointments). In addition to the chair, one of the remaining members must also be Regular Faculty or have Graduate Faculty status in the student’s program or department of concentration; the third member must be an outside member. “Regular Faculty” are faculty having tenured or tenure-earning appointments of a program or department. A thesis or dissertation committee cannot be chaired by a person unless they hold a higher or equivalent degree as the candidate for the graduate degree. Exceptions to the committee composition may be approved by the Chair of the Department and Dean of the Graduate School. A program may require additional members.

The committee is nominated by the Graduate Program Director of the program concerned. The duties of the thesis committee are similar to those of the dissertation committee. The student who presents a thesis must enroll for at least 6 credit hours of thesis. Ordinarily no more than 6 credit hours may be granted.    

The Dissertation Editor will provide information on the guidelines and deadlines that will become critical in the final months of the degree process and this information is located on the Graduate School website. The Graduate School office telephone number is 305-284-4154 and the email address is

Master’s degree students who are required to write a thesis must defend their thesis by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar and on the ETD website, upload one Dissertation Editor-approved PDF conforming in style to the formatting standards set by the Graduate School to the ETD database, and submit the final three forms to the Graduate School in the semester the student wishes to graduate. Final forms include one Certificate of Defense Approval form, one ETD Final Content Approval form, and one ETD Availability Agreement form. The forms are available on the Forms page of the Graduate School website.

All students are required to adhere to the following deadlines (and the requirements associated with these deadlines) posted on the ETD website: 1) Deadline to defend the thesis, dissertation, or doctoral/lecture recital essay; 2) Deadline to submit the full draft of the thesis, dissertation, or doctoral/lecture recital essay draft for formatting review by the Dissertation Editor; 3) Deadline to produce the final PDF; and 4) Deadline for completion.

It is the duty of the student to acquire a copy of the guidelines for preparing theses and dissertations and to conform to the requirements therein. It is recommended that students begin the process early in the semester by discussing with their advisors a suitable timetable for meeting these deadlines. All information pertaining to the formatting and electronic guidelines for electronic thesis and dissertation submission can be found on the Graduate School website. The Graduate School also encourages students to contact the Dissertation Editor early in the semester at if they have questions regarding any aspect of the ETD process.

Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) Embargo Policy

Graduate students can elect to withhold their electronic thesis or dissertation for up to two years before the work is available for download from the University of Miami’s Scholarly Repository.  The metadata for all theses and dissertations regardless of the availability option elected (i.e., open access, UM campus only, or embargo) will be immediately available for viewing in the university’s Scholarly Repository after the Dissertation Editor has approved and released the thesis or dissertation to the repository. If embargo is elected by the student, the existence of the student’s information page will appear in the Scholarly Repository right away displaying title, defense date, abstract, committee, keywords, etc., but the PDF of the electronic thesis or dissertation will not be downloadable until the term of embargo elected has expired. After the elected embargo period has expired the electronic thesis or dissertation will be released for open access in the Scholarly Repository. Students requesting embargo should carefully review the details of embargo election described in the ETD Availability Agreement form posted on the Graduate School website to ensure they fully understand the terms of access for their embargoed work.

Final Examination

A final public oral defense of the thesis is required. However, none but the members of the thesis committee may interrogate the candidate. In addition there may be required, if desired by the program, a final written integration examination to test the candidate’s ability to integrate the whole graduate program and the thesis in relation to it. These examinations must be held at least two weeks prior to commencement.

Research in Residence

Once a student has completed all course and required research credit hours, they must enroll in Research in Residence status until the degree has been granted. Research in Residence status is considered full-time enrollment. Time restrictions on obtaining degrees will be strictly enforced and can be waived only by the Dean of the Graduate School. (See Recency of Credit and Time to Completion sections of the Bulletin.) Research in Residence students, while not required, may purchase or receive any perquisites that are normally available to graduate students.

Comprehensive Examination

In most master's programs (and some doctoral programs) a comprehensive examination, either written, oral, or both, is a requirement. When the thesis is not a part of the program, an examining board, at least one of whose members must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty, will be appointed by the program.

A student failing the comprehensive examination may be allowed one opportunity to retake it if the student's committee so advises. The re-examination may not be taken during the same semester or summer session, and must be taken within one calendar year.

Transfer of Credit Hour

Upon recommendation of the major program and the approval of the Graduate School, a maximum of 6 credit hours of graduate credit hour, with grades of B or above, may be transferred from another accredited graduate institution, in partial satisfaction of a master’s degree requiring less than 36 credit hours. 9 credit hours of graduate credit hour may be approved for transfer to a degree program requiring 36 credit hours or more. Work taken more than six years prior to transfer will not be accepted. All work transferred is subject to examination by the program. Any student wishing to transfer credit hour must first be admitted to a graduate program at the University of Miami. The satisfaction of the requirements of another university does not relieve the student from the University of Miami’s requirements. An official transcript of work to be transferred must be on file in the Graduate Office. Credit hours that pertain to or have been counted toward another degree cannot be transferred. Students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program are not eligible for credit hour transfers. 

Exceptions must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

No transferred credit hours are calculated into the University of Miami G.P.A.

A Second Master's Degree

A student enrolled in a University of Miami master’s degree program or holding a University of Miami master’s degree may earn a second master’s degree in a related area at the University by completing a minimum of 21 credit hours in residence toward the second degree, as long as all program and admission requirements for the degree are met and the total credit hours for both masters degrees is at least 60 credit hours. Each degree must have a separate thesis if two thesis options are elected. The second program decides if the areas are related enough to qualify for the reduced number of credit hours. The student must contact the second program during the application process for the second program to determine if the areas are related enough to qualify for the reduced number of credit hours.