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General Degree Requirements - University at Buffalo Skip to Content

General Degree Requirements

Master of Science (MS)
  • Requires successful completion of 30 graduate credit hours
  • Must maintain at least 3.0 GPA throughout program
  • Program formats:
    • All course option (30 credit hours of coursework)
    • Project option (27 credit hours of coursework, plus 3 credit hour project)
    • Thesis option (24 credit hours of coursework, plus 6 credit hour thesis)
  • Major advisor plays important role for Project and Thesis options
  • Full-time status: Requires twelve credit hours per semester
  • Program duration: Typically three to four semesters
  • Informal courses: Up to six credit hours are permitted  
Master of Engineering (ME)
  • Requires successful completion of 30 graduate credit hours
  • Must maintain at least 3.0 GPA throughout program
  • Full-time status: Requires twelve credit hours per semester
  • Not available in all departments
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Research-focused degree program
  • Requires successful completion of 72 graduate credit hours
  • Must maintain at least 3.0 GPA throughout program
  • Key component is dissertation, features original research, typically 24 credit hours effort
  • Major advisor plays important role throughout
  • Nearly all PhD students receive a stipend (RA or TA), plus full tuition scholarship (see Financial Support page for details)
  • Milestones: Qualifying Exam, Preliminary Exam, Dissertation Defense
  • Full-time status: Requires nine credit hours per semester, plus RA or TA
  • Program duration: Typically five plus years from BS degree
  • Informal courses: Up to twelve credit hours are permitted