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Master's Final Exams


To define the minimum requirements for a master’s degree final examination or defense when these are a required component of the degree.

Applies to: 

All Lawrence/Edwards Campus graduate students.

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

A final general examination or defense is required of all candidates for a master’s degree that includes a thesis, project, or performance as a culminating effort. Programs may also choose to require a final general examination as a stand-alone requirement for completion of the master’s degree.

At the option of the department, this examination may be oral or written, or partly oral and partly written. In some departments, passing a written examination is a necessary preliminary to taking the oral examination by which success or failure is judged.

When a general examination or defense is required and includes an oral component, the examinations must be administered by a committee in accordance with the Master’s Student Oral Exam Committee Composition policy.

The examination is held during the semester of the student’s final enrollment and, if applicable, when the thesis, project, or performance has been substantially completed.

The department’s request to schedule the general examination must be made on or before the date set by the Graduate Division, normally a minimum of two (2) weeks before the examination date. The degree program and the Graduate Division of the school/College shall ascertain that the graduate student is in good academic standing (3.0 or higher grade point average) before scheduling the final general examination or defense.

Students earning a master’s thesis degree must have completed at least one (1) hour of thesis enrollment before the master’s degree may be awarded.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

This policy does not apply to master’s programs that entail:

1. only coursework for conferral of the degree;
2. an optional final presentation of work that does not entail assessment; or
3. a culminating exam, presentation, or project conducted within the context of a capstone or similar course and evaluated by the course instructor.


Office of Graduate Studies

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Friday, June 12, 2009
Effective on: 
Friday, June 12, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Test, final, examination, project, final project
Change History: 

07/25/2023: Updated to specify to which types of master's programs this policy does not apply.
07/21/2022: Updated to specify in which cases a final master’s examination is required and incorporate content from retired policies.
01/30/2015: Policy Updated.
03/10/2013: Policies added to the Policy Library.

Academic Categories: 

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