Credit Information

The unit of credit at Bucknell University is the course credit, which for transfer purposes is equivalent to four semester hours. Unless otherwise specified, a course listed in the catalog is equal to one course credit. A minimum of eight course credits, at least four of which must be taken in the major department, is required for graduation. One of the eight course credits must be a thesis or project, except that a department may require seven course credits plus a master’s essay or treatise or project report (which may equal one-half course credit) instead of a thesis.

Course Information

Courses with numbers at the 600-level are open to graduate students for graduate credit. Undergraduate students may register for the same course under the corresponding 300/400 number. In such courses graduate students are expected to perform at a significantly higher level and/or to submit additional assignments.

Master of Arts Requirements

Candidates for the master of arts degree may be required by their department to demonstrate a reading knowledge of an approved foreign language. This requirement may be met by passing a reading test given by the appropriate department at Bucknell or by presenting evidence of having completed two years of college-level language study.

GPA Requirement

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required of graduate students for all work attempted and must be attained upon completion of courses on the student’s approved Program of Courses. No more than two courses of C or C+ work and no course with a grade of C- or below will be accepted toward the required number of courses for the master’s degree. In computing the cumulative grade point average and determining good academic standing, all coursework is considered. Any student who does not maintain the minimum grade point average of 3.0 is liable to be dismissed.

Thesis Information

A thesis, treatise, or research/project report is required for all degrees and must be presented to the department at least three weeks before the last day of classes of the student’s final semester. A final approved copy of the thesis must be delivered to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval of format on the last day of classes of the student’s final semester. A final, approved, copy of the thesis must be submitted online to the University library, by the last day of the final exam period. Normally the master’s essay, treatise, or project report is filed only in the department, unless otherwise required by the academic department, and a notice is sent to the Registrar’s Office. The dean of graduate studies must approve essays and treatises for formatting only if they are to placed in the University library.

Thesis Formatting Guidelines (Arts & Sciences)
Thesis Formatting Guidelines (Engineering)

In accordance with the requirements for graduation for graduate students, certain deadlines must be met by students expecting to qualify for degrees at the completion of the semester. See these on the 4-yr Academic & Planning Calendar.


All departmental requirements for the master’s degree must be successfully completed and the results sent by the department chair to the registrar by the last day of classes of the student’s final semester. This includes final reports for all courses taken prior to the current semester for which grades I or IP were reported.

Seven Year Limit

No course completed more than seven years before the degree is to be granted will be credited toward the master’s degree. All graduate courses carrying the grade of I or IP which have not been completed within a seven-year period will revert to the grade of W (withdraw).

Incomplete Grades

All incomplete grades must be removed during the first three weeks after the close of the academic semester unless an extension is approved by the dean of graduate studies on the basis of special circumstances; all incomplete grades depending on laboratory work must be removed during the next semester in which the course is offered.

Application to Graduate

All master's degree candidates must inform the registrar of their intended graduation date by submitting the Application for Graduation (pdf). See the 4-yr Academic & Planning Calendar for due dates.