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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 4D: Change of Program and Degree Level/ Addition of Programs

Note: International students must submit new financial verification whenever they change programs and/or degree level to stay in compliance with their immigration status.

1. Admission for Second Degree in Same Program

Students in good academic standing who wish to be admitted to a Ph.D. degree program before the completion of a master’s degree in the same program must submit the Add an Academic Program Degree Level form directly to the Graduate School before the master’s degree is conferred.The form requires a signature from the program director or department chair to admit the student to the program. Note: Admission to the higher (i.e., Ph.D., D.N.P.,Ed.D.) degree is not guaranteed. Some programs may require students to submit departmental application materials to be admitted to the Ph.D. program in addition to completing the Add an Academic Program Degree Level form. A program may require the student to be considered along with all other applicants to the program. Please contact the program for additional requirements.

Students who are being dismissed from the Ph.D. program for academic deficiency or failure of a second attempt at an examination (qualifying, preliminary, or final), and who do not hold a master’s degree in that discipline,may discuss admission to the master’s degree program with the program director/department chair before they are officially dismissed. If the student qualifies for admission to the master’s degree and the program supports the student’s admission, the student and program director/department chair should complete and submit the Add an Academic Program Degree Level form to the Graduate School as soon as possible but before the student is officially dismissed.

2. Admission for Second Graduate Degree in Different Program after Degree Completion

Students who wish to pursue another graduate degree in a different program after completion of the first graduate degree for which they were admitted (e.g., pursue a master’s degree in math after completing a master’s degree in physics, or pursue a Ph.D. in material sciences and engineering after completing a master’s degree in Physics) must submit a formal online application to the Graduate School. The student will be evaluated via the Program’s and the Graduate School’s application process and must be readmitted to the Graduate School to continue studies. International students will be required to verify finances as part of the readmission process.

3. Change of Degree Level or Thesis/Non-Thesis within Current Program

Students who are in good academic standing and who wish to change their degree level (i.e., change from a Ph.D. to a master’s degree or from a master’s degree to a Ph.D. degree) within the same department/program must complete a Plan and Degree Level Change form and submit it to the Graduate School for approval and processing. The program director/department chair must approve the change by signing the form before it is submitted to the Graduate School. Note: Some programs may require students to submit departmental application materials to be admitted to the Ph.D. program in addition to completing the Plan and Degree Level Change form. Admission to the Ph.D. program is not guaranteed. A program may require the student to be considered along with all other applicants to the program.Please contact program for additional requirements. A new Program of Study must be submitted when changing from the master’s degree to doctoral (and vice versa).

If the student wishes to change from thesis to non-thesis, or non-thesis to thesis, the Plan and Degree Level Change form must be completed, signed, and submitted to the Graduate School. If approved, the student must submit a Program Change form to update their Program of Study with the correct degree requirements.

4. Change of Program

Students who wish to change their program (but maintain their degree level) must complete a Plan and Degree Level Change form and submit it to the Graduate School for approval and processing.To be eligible, the student must have successfully completed one semester in the program to which they were admitted. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. International students will be required to verify finances before the Program Change form is processed. The program director/department chair for the current program and the program director/department chair for the new program must approve the change by signing the form before it is submitted to the Graduate School. Note: Some departments may require students to submit departmental application materials to be admitted to the new program in addition to completing Plan and Degree Level Change form.Please contact the department or program for additional requirements. A new Program of Study must be submitted if the student changes programs.

5. Pursuing a Master’s Degree in a Different Discipline while in a Doctoral Program

Doctoral students at WSU may earn a master’s degree in a different area of study under the following conditions:

  • The student must be a currently enrolled doctoral student at WSU.
  • The student must have completed one semester at WSU in the doctoral program.
  • The student must have at least a 3.0 in the WSU coursework on their doctoral Program of Study.
  • The student must have documented support of the program/department chair in both programs to pursue a master’s degree in another discipline while working on the Ph.D. degree.

The Add an Academic Program Degree Level form must be completed, signed, and submitted to the Graduate School before the semester in which the student wishes to pursue the master’s degree. Note: Some departments may require students to submit departmental application materials to be admitted to the master’s program in addition to completing the Add an Academic Program Degree Level form. Please contact the department or program for additional requirements.

 

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