University Requirements for all Doctoral Degrees

Candidates must satisfy all applicable university degree requirements and all requirements established by the doctoral program faculty. Programs may impose more stringent requirements than those listed here.

  • Admission. Students must have been fully admitted into degree status.
  • Credit Hours. Candidates must earn a minimum of 72 graduate credits, which may be reduced by a maximum of 30 credits from a completed master’s degree or other suitable, approved transfer work.
  • Degree Credit. The remaining 42 credits for students with a master’s degree may apply only to the doctoral degree and not to a second master’s degree.
  • Credit Level. Only graduate courses may apply toward the degree.
  • Institutional Credit. More than half of all credits applied to the doctoral degree (minimum 72) must be earned at Mason or in the case of programs offered through joint, cooperative, or consortium arrangements, at the participating institutions.
  • Residency. More than half of all credits (minimum 72) must be taken in doctoral degree status, after admission to the degree program.
  • Candidacy. Candidates must pass a written or oral doctoral candidacy (qualifying) exam, or both.
  • Dissertation. Candidates must complete a minimum of 12 credits of doctoral proposal (998) and doctoral dissertation research (999), including at least three credits of 999. A maximum of 24 credits of 998 and 999 may be applied to the degree.
  • Defense. Candidates must pass a final public defense of the doctoral dissertation.
  • Quality. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in course work presented on the degree application, which may include no more than 6 credits of C. (Grades of C+, C-, or D do not apply to graduate courses. The GPA calculation excludes all transfer courses and Mason extended studies or nondegree credits not formally approved for the degree.)

See the Academic Policies chapter of the University Catalog for all other university requirements and policies, including those involving time limits and master’s theses.

This information is from the Academic Policies chapter of the University Catalog 2013-2014. The catalog is the official statement of all university policies.