University Credit Requirements

Paths to success

University Credit Requirements

Credit requirements vary greatly between all programs. Before completing your GS6 Program of Study online, it is important that you review the University credit requirements for your degree type as well as any additional departmental requirements. Please contact your department for any additional departmental requirements.

Master’s Degrees

Plan A master’s degrees require the preparation of a thesis. The thesis is typically a written formal document which addresses, in an original fashion, some important concern of the discipline. A thesis involves significant independent work. A certain number of credits are allowed for the preparation of the thesis.

Plan B master’s degrees do not require a thesis; instead, more credits are earned in other types of courses and/or a scholarly paper is required. Plan B master’s degrees may also require a project, journal, or professional paper.

Plan C master’s degrees generally require only coursework. No thesis, project, or final examination is required. Designed for professional degrees.

Master of Fine Arts is a terminal degree for practicing professionals in the visual or literary arts and requires the preparation of a major artistic work.

Steps to DegreeFormsETD ResourcesCSU Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy Degrees

The Ph.D. is the highest academic degree offered by the university. Those who earn it must demonstrate significant intellectual achievement, high scholarly ability, and great breadth of knowledge. The nature of the degree program will vary greatly depending on the discipline involved. In addition, doctoral work requires heavy participation in research or other kinds of creative activity. Particular projects may assume any of an almost infinite number of forms.

At least 72 credits total beyond the baccalaureate degree is required. Further, individual departments may have credit requirements in excess of these minimum university requirements, so students are encouraged to contact their departments to verify these.

Steps to DegreeFormsETD ResourcesCSU Catalog

Additional Resources for Degree Programs

Certificate Programs

Graduate certificates are offered and transcripted by the University. Certificate programs undergo an approval process by the University Curriculum Committee (UCC).

  • Certificate programs are 9-15 credits. This is typically 3-4 courses.
  • For conferral purposes, a student’s GPA for the cumulative Graduate Certificate coursework must be a minimum of 3.0.
  • Students must earn a minimum of a C in all certificate coursework.
  • Students may not take a course more than twice during the certificate process in order to enhance their grade for the course or GPA for the overall certificate.
  • Transfer coursework and course substitutions are not allowed for certificate programs.  Coursework and credit requirements are listed in the Colorado State University general catalog.