Navigating your Masters Degree

The goal of any master’s program is to provide you with advanced knowledge in a specific academic, applied or professional area. Coursework is emphasized in such degrees although some master’s programs require a research-based thesis, course-based project or an internship. After completing a master’s degree you will be prepared to understand and solve complex problems in your area of study. For some, the master’s degree is the goal of their advanced studies because the degree enhances their career opportunities or personal growth. For others, the master’s degree is a first step on the road to advanced professional certifications or doctoral degrees. A master’s degree takes about two years of full-time study to complete.

Navigating Your Path to a Master’s Degree

The Graduate School does not oversee the academic and other requirements that are specific to your program or graduation requirements. Your department’s Graduate Advisor will work closely with you on planning your degree and meeting course and other requirements. When you reach the semester in which you will graduate, your Graduate Advisor, together with staff in the Office of Records and Registration, will review your record and determine if you have met all degree requirements. If you have, Records and Registration will confer your degree. This means that you will need to work closely with your Graduate Advisor to assure that you do not overlook requirements and will graduate on time.

Starting Off

Know Your Degree Plan

Degree plans describe the course and examination requirements you must meet to earn a degree. You can find your degree plan in MyMav where it is called the Graduate Academic Plan or GMAP. You use MyMav to see your requirements and track your progressYour advisor can help you review your GMAP which will keep track of the courses you need to take and courses you have completed.

Three degree plans can lead to a master’s degree. Each has somewhat different requirements. Not all programs offer all three options. Check your program in the University Catalog to see which master degree plan options are available to you.

The thesis degree plan requires a minimum of 30 hours of course work which include at least 6 hours of thesis research course credit culminating in a written thesis report which is presented to a supervising committee for review and approval.

The thesis substitute degree plan requires successful completion of coursework which generally consists of lectures and seminars. However, this degree plan also includes a required project, research or internship course.

The non-thesis degree plan does not require a thesis or a thesis substitute activity. Students complete their degree by simply finishing a number of required and elective courses.

Register for courses

  • Review your department’s description of your degree requirements in the Catalog or on their website
  • Use the Catalog, your academic plan (GMAP) and the step-by-step degree completion map to identify courses you would like to take in the upcoming semester.
  • Meet with your advisor to discuss your course selections and to have “holds” removed so that you can register.


Contact the Graduate School (348 University Administration Building, if you have questions about:

  • General, University-wide policies and procedures such as those described in the University Catalog under University Requirements and Policies. There are rules and requirements that apply to graduate students that supplement your program’s specific requirements.

  • Programs and workshops that enrich your experience and opportunities at UT Arlington.

Contact your graduate advisor with questions about:

  • your degree plan
  • enrollment problems
  • degree requirements
  • whether you meet graduation requirements
  • assistant ship opportunities

Contact Records and Registration ( with questions concerning:

  • whether you have met all degree requirements and are eligible to graduate
  • whether your degree has been awarded
  • your diploma official transcripts
  • submitting the Master’s Examination Final Report

Be aware of these things:

General Rules and Requirements: There are rules and requirements that apply to all master’s students which supplement your program’s specific rules and requirements. These are found under University Requirements and Policies in the University Catalog.

Masters student forms

Helpful links

Contact information for your graduate advisor: Find Your Graduate Advisor and scroll down the page to the section with the Find your Graduate Advisor heading.


You can follow the path that will take you from the start to the end of your master’s degree program by following the step-by-step “map” to complete Non-Thesis and Thesis Substitute Master’s Degrees or a Thesis-based Master’s degrees.

Non-Thesis Degrees

See all steps required to earn a non-thesis, or a thesis-substitute master's degree.

View steps

Thesis Degrees

See all steps required to complete a Master’s Thesis degree plan.

View steps