Time and Registration Requirements

The Master’s degree is granted to properly qualified students who complete satisfactorily at least two full semesters of advanced work.  Candidates for the Master’s degree have six years in which to complete their programs.  The time to complete the degree begins when the student first registers for courses.  Students should confer with their advisors to be certain that specific department and program course requirements are met.

Program for the Master's Degree

In meeting the requirements for the degree, the student complies with the following regulations:     

1) Each candidate for the Master’s degree must complete the form “Program for Master’s Degree,” setting forth the courses proposed to satisfy the degree requirements.  This program must have the approval of the chairperson of the student’s major department.  All courses included that are not offered by the student’s major department also must be approved by the chairpersons of the departments concerned.  The program of courses must be submitted to and approved by the Graduate and Research Committee.  Submission should be as soon as possible after 15 credit hours toward the degree have been completed.  Approval of the program by this committee signifies that the student has formally been admitted to candidacy for the degree.

2) The “minimum” program for the Master’s degree includes:

· not less than 30 credit hours of graduate work; audit credits may not be used toward the degree; research or thesis registration counts as part of the 400-level coursework requirement

· not less than 24 credit hours of 300- and 400-level coursework of which 18 credit hours must be at the 400-level

· not less than 18 credit hours in the major field; of which 15 credit hours must be at the 400-level

3) The 18 credit hours required in the major field are ordinarily taken in one department with exceptions for those programs that are interdisciplinary.  Specific exceptions to this rule are mentioned in the departmental statements at the head of course listings.  The remaining twelve hours of a “minimum” program, or any part of them, may also be taken in the major department, or they may be taken in any other field in which courses for graduate credit are offered, as the needs or interests of the student may indicate, subject to the approval of the chairperson of the major department.  In all cases, the course work for the Master’s degree is taken under at least two instructors. 

4) A graduate student may include in his or her program courses numbered 200 or higher outside the major field and courses numbered 300 or higher in the major field.  A graduate student registered in 200 or 300 courses may be assigned additional work at the discretion of the instructors.  Advisor and/or department approval is required in order to register for a 200-level course.

5) The Master’s degree is not granted unless the candidate has earned the grades of “B-” or better in at least eighteen hours of the work on his or her program AND in all 300 courses in the major field.  No course in which the grade earned is less than “C-” is credited toward the degree.

6) All work which is to be credited toward a master's degree must be done through or approved by the appropriate academic unit of Lehigh University. A student who receives more than four grades below “B-” in courses numbered 200 or higher becomes ineligible to qualify for the Master’s degree or to register for any other 400-level courses.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of up to nine credits taken at the graduate level elsewhere may be transferred from an accredited graduate college or graduate university to a Lehigh University Engineering Master’s Program.  All courses must be assigned a grade of “B” or better to be eligible, and have not been used toward any prior degree.  The credits must be completed within four years of first enrollment into a Lehigh graduate program.  A transfer credit approval form must be submitted along with course descriptions, an official transcript, and the recommendation of the departmental chairperson.  The full, university graduate transfer credit policy can be found on the approval form.  For transfer credit policy pertaining to those students who are undergraduates of Lehigh University please see page 4, section 1.1.5.

Thesis and Comprehensive Examination

Candidates for the Master’s degree may be required to submit a thesis or report based on a research course of at least three credit hours, and/or to pass a comprehensive examination given by the major department.  The department specifies whether one, or both of these requirements apply.  If a thesis is required it must be based on a research course of at least 3 credit hours, with a maximum of 6 credit hours.  The credits to be allowed are fixed by the chairperson of the major department.

University procedures must be followed if the thesis or research project involves human subjects.

The thesis must be prepared according to the rules outlined in Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines.  The thesis must be approved by the thesis advisor and the departmental chairperson.  The student will submit their approved Thesis no later than approximately three weeks before the degree award date using the online submission system found at www.etdadmin.com/lehigh.  Check the official University Academic Calendar for the exact date.  Submission instructions, inlcuding a list of required documents, can be found on the college’s degree completion website at https://engineering.lehigh.edu/degree-completion-information.

Lehigh accepts no restriction on the right to publish and disseminate Master’s theses developed as part of a sponsored or non-sponsored project.  All theses must be fully accessible to the Graduate and Research Committee and to the faculty.  A checklist of procedures and deadlines is provided in Table 5.

1. Formulation of a tentative program of coursework in consultation with your advisor.

2. Filing of Master's Degree program. Submit as soon as 15 semester hour grades are completed. The form may be completed via DocuSign using the link found here. A program can be revised if a change is necessary.
3. Application for degree submitted online. Apply before date specified in the academic calender. Reapplication for degree is required if the student missed the expected graduation date.
4. Submission of thesis using the online submission system and additional required documents.  Instructions can be found here.  Check final submission date in the University academic calendar.
5. Commencement ceremony information can be found on the university website at https://www2.lehigh.edu/commencement.
6. Registration is required in the semester in which the degree is to be conferred.  If there are any questions, contact the Manager of Graduate Programs (314 Packard Lab, 758-6310).

Table 5: Steps to receiving the Master’s Degree.