Academic Requirements

A candidate for the master’s degree must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate-level coursework and additional requirements as determined by the department in which the student is registered.

To qualify for the degree, a minimum cumulative average of 3.000, equivalent to a grade of B, must be obtained. This average will be calculated each semester according to the grading system noted on the Office of the University Registrar's website and will exclude any transfer credits and nonrepeatable courses that have been retaken. A student who does not make satisfactory progress toward degree requirements, as specified by the individual department, may be dismissed from the program.

Continuity of Registration

Students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward their intended degrees. 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.

Comprehensive Examination

Some programs require a final written or oral comprehensive examination. This examination will be given by the department concerned at least two weeks before the commencement at which the degree is expected. Students should check with individual departments for specific guidelines. 


Some programs require or offer Master's Thesis. Theses should demonstrate the individual’s capacity to execute independent work based on original material. Registration for XXXX 7990 Thesis is required. In cases in which a grade is required, theses 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 for XXXX 7996 Master’s Thesis Continuation in the subsequent semester. Master’s Thesis Continuation will carry no credit but will be recorded on the student transcript with the appropriate grade (S or U). Master's Thesis Continuation is not repeatable. 

  • Upon successful defense of the thesis, the student must have a thesis approval record signed by the members of the thesis committee. Visit Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Guidelines for the approval form template and additional guidance.
  • The student must have the thesis approval record approved by a representative from the CSSH Graduate Office. 
  • The student must submit an electronic copy of the thesis to ProQuest, following the directions outlined on the University Library website.