Master’s Degree Policies

The College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) graduate studies sets minimum standards for all students to fulfill. Departments and programs may have additional requirements that exceed those of the college (departmental handbooks can be found at the college's web page).

A candidate for the master’s degree must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate-level course work and such other study as may be required by the department in which the student is registered. To qualify for the degree, a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000, equivalent to a grade of B, must be obtained. This average will be calculated each semester. A student who does not make satisfactory progress toward degree requirements, as specified by the individual department, may be terminated from the program.

To maintain current student status within CAMD, graduate students must make satisfactory progress in their degree, including working toward the graduation requirement of a GPA of 3.000 and the timely completion of course work. See the university’s policy on academic standing (“Minimum Cumulative Grade-Point Average”).

All students must be registered in the last semester of their program. Any student who does not attend Northeastern University for a period of one year will be required to apply for readmission.

Student Aid Awards

Only those students who are registered in degree programs are eligible for awards. Award recipients will receive an official award letter from CAMD graduate studies. Pay attention to this letter as it is an official contract that should be read carefully. Graduate Student Scholarships (GSS) are contingent on satisfactory academic progress toward the degree and meeting department-specific guidelines. Recipients must be in full-time status and be registered for a minimum of 8 semester hours. Receipt of financial support administered by CAMD graduate studies requires that all students receiving awards will generally have a 3.000 GPA. Students whose cumulative GPA is below 3.000 will be reviewed by their departments and by CAMD graduate studies and may have their funding terminated on recommendation of their department or by decision of CAMD graduate studies in consultation with their department. Renewals of awards depend on the student making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree and satisfactory performance of any duties required by the award.

Leave of Absence

Full-time students who are not involved in any academic endeavor for a period of time are required to petition the coordinator of student services, through their department, for a leave of absence by completing the leave of absence petition through the myNEU web portal. CAMD graduate studies will not accept retroactive leave requests. Note that if a student is requesting a leave for medical reasons, students should contact University Health and Counseling Services at 617.373.2772. Leaves of absence generally are not approved for more than one calendar year at a time. International students should consult with an advisor at the International Student and Scholar Institute for proper guidance. Leaves of absence are not appropriate for master’s degree students who are working on a thesis but are away from the Northeastern campus. Except in the case of medical leaves, being on an approved leave of absence does not extend the amount of time allowed for degree completion or the makeup of incomplete grades.

Time Limitation

For the master’s degree, course credits earned in the program of graduate study are valid for a maximum of seven years.

If students wish to apply for an extension of the time limit, they must submit a petition to their department of study.
The petition must include a detailed plan for completion of all remaining degree requirements. In the case of time limit extension requests for master’s degree course work, the department must certify that the content of each of the courses has not changed since the time the student completed the course. If deemed appropriate, the department will recommend approval of the extension to CAMD graduate studies.

Changes in Requirements

The continuing development of CAMD graduate studies forces regular revision of curricula. When no hardship is imposed on the student because of changes and the facilities of the school permit, the student is expected to meet the most recent requirements. However, if it can be demonstrated that doing so imposes a substantial hardship, the requirements of the year in which the student matriculated will be applicable.


Theses are required in some programs and should demonstrate the individual’s capacity to execute independent work based on original material. Registration for the thesis is required. Theses must be approved by the departmental graduate committee and must receive a grade of B (3.000) or better to be accepted. Students who have not completed their thesis after having registered for the specified number of thesis credits must register and pay for Master’s Continuation.