Graduate Degree Requirements

  1. Curricular requirements: Completion of published curricular requirements for the degree with a minimum cumulative quality point average of 3.00 in all graduate work completed at SUNY Fredonia. A student's graduate degree requirements (required course work, total credit hours, etc.) are those in effect at the time the student is admitted to the degree program.
  2. Time limit requirement: Completion of all degree requirements within a five-year period beginning in the admission semester, unless an extension has been recommended by the chairperson of the major department, and has been approved by the Dean of the College of Education (education majors only) and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research. A graduate student is expected to make steady and reasonable progress, as determined by the department in which he/she is enrolled, toward the completion of his/her degree requirements. The Academic Standings process will identify students who are not making reasonably steady progress, and they may receive warning letters, be placed on academic probation, and/or be required to withdraw from their programs.
  3. Capstone Research Experience: All degree programs require a thesis, comprehensive examination, capstone project or portfolio, or other evidence of the student's advanced mastery of his/her field. Some degree programs may require the formation of a graduate committee in the student's major and related fields of study for the purpose of assessing the capstone project. Committee members are often appointed by the chairperson of the major department.

    Information concerning the capstone requirements for individual programs is listed in each department section. Students must familiarize themselves with the guidelines of the department, school, college, and/or university. It is with the student's responsibility to know and meet the requirements of their individual majors. Students should consult their faculty advisor for information about their final project.

    Each master's thesis must be prepared in accordance with a set of uniform instructions and time limits available in the student's department or on the Graduate Studies website at In general, signature-ready thesis work is due in the student's department three weeks before the desired graduation date (approximately April 20 for May graduation). Department deadlines may vary.

  4. Thesis: A copy of each thesis must be reviewed in advance and approved by the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research before the graduate student is approved for graduation. If changes are required, a student will need to make them before degree conferral. Graduate students beginning work on thesis research or thesis writing should obtain the university-wide thesis guidelines well in advance.
  5. Fulfillment of Residence requirement: A candidate for the master's degree must have completed at least 21 semester hours of graduate work in residence, i.e. in courses offered by SUNY Fredonia rather than credits transferred from other institutions. Students should refer to Residence Credit below.
  6. Additional Master's Degree (enrollment in Master's program beyond the first earned Master's Degree): If a student already has a Master's Degree and wants to enroll in another program, it should be noted that the minimum requirement for a graduate degree at SUNY Fredonia is 30 credit hours. See individual program information for the exact number of credits required. Credit from previous degrees may not be applied toward the new degree program. In addition, the credit hours for courses that are waived by departmental advisors must be obtained by taking approved substitute courses of equal credit so that the minimum credit hours required for degree completion are met.
  7. Recommendation of the department: The department in which the student is majoring will forward a recommendation form to the Graduate Studies Office upon student completion of all requirements and thesis.
  8. Application for degree: The application for the graduate degree must be filled out by the degree candidate and filed with the Registrar's Office at least three months prior to the expected date of completion of all degree requirements.

Completion of a Degree Program

The application for graduation (Application for Degree) must be filed with the Office of the Registrar three months before the expected completion of the degree. Students should refer to the academic calendar for published deadlines (

Upon receipt of the student's final capstone project, his/her department will forward the Recommendation for Award of Master's Degree form to the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research, which initiates the final audit and conferral of degree. Degrees are awarded in May, August, and December.

The potential degree candidate list for May is prepared in March. Students and their advisors hold joint responsibility to ensure that the student's name has been included on the list. A student who completes his/her degree work in December will obtain his/her formal degree conferral at the following May Commencement.

Residency Requirement

Students accepted in graduate degree programs must complete at least 21 semester hours of residence credit. Residence credit is defined as credit granted by SUNY Fredonia for course work taught by Fredonia faculty or other staff approved by the appropriate university officials, whether on or off campus.

Transfer Credit

A student may transfer a maximum of 9 credit hours of graduate course work completed at another institution. Credit will be accepted for course work that forms a related part of the student's total SUNY Fredonia graduate program. Students are advised to secure prior approval before registering for credit courses at other colleges or universities; credit may also be awarded for course work completed without prior approval.

The request for transfer credit approval form is available at the following link: The form must include the course catalog number and title, and be accompanied by a description of each course proposed for transfer credit. Credit toward the degree will be given only for courses in which the student earns grades of A or B. Transfer credit will not be included in the computation of the graduate student's average. Courses transferred into a degree program cannot be more than five years old by the time the degree requirements are completed, unless an extension has been granted by the Office of Graduate Studies.