DePaul University Catalog > Colleges & Schools > College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Graduate > Master's Programs

Master's Programs

For the master’s degree, all programs involve one or more of the following: 1) credit hours, 2) thesis, 3) paper on approved topic, 4) integrating project, 5) final or comprehensive examination, and 6) program time limitation. 

Credit Hours

For the master’s degree, most programs for graduate students require 48 quarter hours of course work. When the program includes a thesis, no more than eight quarter hours of registration in Thesis Research will be counted toward the degree. Specific degree requirements are listed in the departmental and program sections of this Catalog. 


The University offers the master’s degree both with and without the thesis; however, the thesis is required by some departments. The thesis is limited to the student’s field of specialization and should offer satisfactory evidence of the candidate’s potential for scholarly research. 

The student is advised to consult the College Office or its website for information regarding the required format of the thesis and accompanying forms. Responsibility for fulfilling theses requirements lies with the student. 
The student, after completing the thesis, will submit it to the director of his or her thesis committee for consideration. When the thesis is fully approved, purged of all errors, and in the correct format, the student must submit an electronic copy to the College Office.  The College Office will arrange for the electronic archival of your thesis with the library and your department.

Paper on Approved Topic

The type and length of the paper is determined by the department or program that lists it as a requirement for the master’s degree. The purpose of the paper is to give evidence of the student’s ability to find, select, organize and interpret material in a manner consistent with the standards and practices of the discipline involved. 

Integrating Project

Procedures for such a project are set in advance in each specific case through consultation between the student and the department or program advisor.

Final or Comprehensive Examination

The type and the subject matter of the examination follow the regulations established in the various departments and programs. If the student does not pass the examination, the department or program may grant permission for another examination. The examination may not be repeated until after the next convocation nor may the examination be taken more than twice. 

Program Time Limitation

Graduate students in master’s programs are expected to complete their program degree requirements within a six-year period from the first registration date for a course in the program. When a graduate student fails to finish before the end of the sixth year, the department or program director may recommend, on receipt of the student’s petition, in writing, an extension of time with or without additional courses, examinations, or other conditions. ​