Requirements for Master's Degrees

In this section, we describe the general requirements that apply to all master's degree programs.  

Coursework Requirements  

We expect you to have adequate undergraduate preparation for your intended major. Generally, you must have at least the equivalent of an undergraduate minor (18 hours), and your adviser may require that you take, as a prerequisite for your graduate study, any undergraduate course normally required of undergraduate majors in the field.


You may take up to two 400-level NAU courses as part of  your master's program with prior approval by your program committee.  You must file the Override Authorization - Audit/Class Links/Out of Career form (available on the Registrar's Office website) to get credit for a 400 level course in your master's degree.


To earn a master's degree at NAU, you must complete at least 24 hours of formal coursework--that is, courses other than such individualized studies as independent studies, directed readings, and research.  


In addition, you must satisfactorily complete the number of graduate hours required for your program with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. See the Registration, Grading, and Academic Policies chapter of this catalog for more information.  

Time Limits  

You must complete all requirements for your master's degree within a six-year period. If you take courses from other institutions and transfer them to your program at NAU, they must also be taken within the six-year period. (See the Registration, Grading, and Academic Policies chapter of this catalog for more information about transfer credit.)  


We may grant one extension of up to one year to complete your degree requirements if there are compelling extenuating circumstances. The reasons for which we may grant an extension include, but aren't limited to, job relocation, military duty, pregnancy, illness, a serious accident, divorce, or other personal tragedies within your immediate household.  


To request an extension of the six-year limit, you must submit a petition to the Graduate College. This form, which is available from the Graduate College, must be endorsed by your adviser and department chair. The final decision is made by the dean or associate dean of the Graduate College.  

Second Master's Degree  

With the approval of your adviser or committee, you can use up to 9 hours of coursework from a previous master's degree (earned at NAU or another university) to satisfy the requirements for a second master's degree at NAU. You must meet all program requirements for the second master's degree and all but the 9 hours must be earned at NAU. The six-year time limit does not apply to courses from a previous master's degree.  


If you have completed one master's degree at NAU, you must reapply for admission through the Graduate College before beginning work on another degree. We require this reapplication process whether you wish to work toward a second masterís degree or toward a doctoral degree.  

Concurrent Master's Degrees  

You may pursue two master's degrees at the same time, with the permission of both programs. To do so, you must be admitted to both programs. Please note that you can count up to 9 hours of coursework in both programs.