M.Sc. Transfer to Ph.D.

Transfer to the Ph.D. program: Students registered for a Master’s degree who have made excellent progress over the first ~20 months in their program may be considered for transfer to the Ph.D. program. The transfer process, as outlined below, must be completed within 24 months of the student’s commencement in the Master’s program.


Such transfer will be considered only when:


1.   Both the student and the advisor request, in writing, that the student transfers to the Ph.D. program. This request should be made to the Chair of the Graduate Student Affairs Committee.


2.   At least 12 credit hours of course work, exclusive of the mandatory ‘Research Seminar’ course, have been successfully completed (GPA >3.5).


3.   The student is able to demonstrate a high potential for success in the Ph.D. program. This will be shown by their research and course work accomplishments to date, as well as their ability to communicate and defend their findings and future plans in both a written and an oral format, as outlined below.


The Transfer to Ph.D. examining committee will consist of the student’s advisory committee and the Chair of the Graduate Student Affairs Committee, or his/her designate, as Chair. Two weeks prior to an oral examination, the committee will receive a 5-10 page (plus references and figures, if necessary) description of the candidates research project, his/her progress to date, and a proposal for how the project will be continued in their Ph.D. program. This written summary must be completed in the student’s own words, and should not be proofread by their advisor prior to submission.


The student's oral presentation should not exceed 30 minutes and should highlight their accomplishments since beginning their Master’s project, as well as their plans for continuing the project. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period that should not exceed an additional 90 minutes. Following the completion of questioning, the examining committee will evaluate, in private, the student’s course work, research accomplishments, performance in the written summary and oral question period, and the proposed Ph.D. research program. They will then jointly determine whether the request for transfer is granted. Decisions to approve the transfer must be unanimous and will be based upon the apparent readiness of the student to enter the Ph.D. program versus the benefit the student may gain by writing and defending a Master’s thesis.


A student can request transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D. program only once Students who do not transfer may apply to the Ph.D. program after completing their Master’s program.


Revised 2009