The College of Arts, Media and Design graduate studies sets minimum standards for all students to fulfill. In addition, departments and programs may have requirements that exceed the standards outlined below. Finally, the CAMD Graduate Programs General Regulations booklet (found at the college's webpage) further summarizes the expectations for student conduct, academic life, and the responsibilities of the students and the college to one another. 

A candidate for the master’s degree must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate-level coursework 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 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 coursework. See the university’s policy on academic standing (“Minimum Cumulative GPA”).

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.


No more than 8 semester hours of electives may be taken outside of CAMD. Any additional non–CAMD elective hours will not count toward the degree.

Graduate Student Scholarship 

Students who are registered in degree programs are eligible for a CAMD Graduate Student Scholarship. 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. The GSS is 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. Note, however, that recipients remain eligible for the GSS in their final semester even if they are enrolled in less than 8 semester hours. Receipt of financial support administered by CAMD graduate studies requires that all students receiving awards must maintain a 3.000 cumulative GPA. Students whose cumulative GPA is below 3.000 will be placed on academic probationary status and are not eligible to receive the award while on probation. The GSS can be reactivated by raising the cumulative GPA to 3.000 in the subsequent semester; students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement at the end of the next semester cannot receive additional probationary periods. 

Leave of Absence

Full-time students who are not involved in any academic endeavor for a period of time are required to petition the manager of student services, through their department, for a leave of absence by completing the leave of absence petition through the Student Hub. 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 must consult with an advisor at the Office of Global Services 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 coursework, 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 (e.g., equipment, technology, studios, etc.) of the college permits, the student is encouraged to meet the more recent program requirements. This requires application to change the catalog term of the student’s program of study. To accomplish this, the student’s advisor can assist the student with the process of applying to change catalog term. 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 course 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 Thesis Continuation.