The Graduate School
G-1 Communications Building
Seattle, Washington 98195-3770
Memo 28: Master's Degree Programs: Thesis/Non-Thesis Options
Master's degree programs may include both a "thesis option" and a "non-thesis option," provided that each has been set forth in writing and approved by the Graduate School. The Master's thesis should be evidence of the graduate student's ability to carry out independent investigation and to present the results in clear and systemic form.
The overall level of achievement for the Master's degree should be the same, whether the option chosen requires completion of a thesis or not.
Under a thesis program, a minimum of 36 quarter credits with a minimum of 9 credits of thesis must be presented. At least 18 of the minimum 36 credits for the Master's degree must be for coursework numbered 500 and above.
Under a non-thesis program, a minimum of 36 or more quarter credits of course work are required. Thesis credits (700) will not apply to a non-thesis master's degree. At least 18 of the minimum 36 credits must be for work numbered 500 or above.
When the faculty in an academic unit currently offering a Master's program which includes a thesis requirement wishes to add a non-thesis option, a statement should be transmitted to the Academic Affairs and Planning Office of the Graduate School describing in some detail each option, its aims and objectives, its course and other significant requirements, and the proportion of Master's students expected to enroll for each option. In the converse situation, when a faculty offering a non-thesis Master's program wishes to offer a thesis-option similar information should be transmitted.
Revised: January, 1989; Updated: June 2010