To be eligible for any graduate degree, a student must complete a minimum of three quarters of full time residence in the University, or its equivalent. To be eligible for a degree from the College, a student must complete a minimum of six quarters. 

Students who expect to receive a degree at the end of a quarter must file a degree application. This can be done through the myUChicago portal, except for Booth students who should apply through the Booth student portal. The application for the degree should be filed before the beginning of the quarter but no later than the end of the first week of the quarter in which the degree is expected.

A degree application is valid only for the quarter in which the application for the degree is made. The application must be filed even if degree plans are tentative. If the degree is not granted at the end of that quarter, re-application must be made no later than the end of the first week in the next quarter in which a degree is expected. A cancellation fee will be charged for each degree application that is cancelled after the end of the fifth week of the quarter in which it is filed.

Students are expected to settle all financial obligations to the University and clear all restrictions established by academic and administrative departments within the University, including current quarter tuition and fees, by the end of ninth week of autumn, winter and spring quarters, and by the end of the eighth week of summer quarter. Should the ninth week of autumn quarter conclude with the Thanksgiving holidays, this deadline shall be the day before Thanksgiving.

PhD students interested in pursuing a UChicago master’s degree in a field other than their PhD program must discuss the process and requirements with their Dean of Students and the Dean of Students of the desired master’s degree program if different. Understanding that there is no presumption that the master’s degree in a different field will automatically be allowed, students should discuss options with their Dean of Students as early as possible upon considering the possibility.

Most professional master’s degree programs (e.g., Booth MBA programs, and the Physical Science Division MSFM (Financial Math) and MPCS (Computer Science) will not allow PhD students to pursue a master’s degree as part of a PhD program outside of official joint programs.

UChicago Master’s Degree as Part Of PhD Program

Depending on doctoral program, students may earn a master’s degree as part of their PhD program, and although the master’s degree would generally be in the same field of study, it need not necessarily be in the same degree program as the doctorate. With appropriate approvals, PhD students may earn a UChicago master’s degree in a closely allied PhD program in lieu of a master’s degree in their own PhD program.

Second UChicago Master’s Degree During PhD Program

Students who have been awarded a UChicago master’s degree in their own PhD field as part of their progress towards the PhD may consider applying for a second master’s degree under a separate process, where the second master’s degree forms a coherent whole with the student’s doctoral program.

To protect the integrity of the University's degrees, the following conditions must be satisfied to award a second master's degree:

  • The second master's program should form a coherent intellectual whole with the primary program.
  • In the absence of a formal joint degree program approved by the Council of the Senate, there should be no overlap in the work used to satisfy the degree requirements (e.g., courses, papers, lab work).
  • Before half of the course requirements for the second degree have been undertaken, the student's plan to obtain a second master's degree must be approved in writing by the dean or chair of the student's primary program and the student's area Dean of Students. The student must formally apply to the unit granting a second degree and receive written approval of acceptance into the program from the dean or chair of this unit, as well as from the area Dean of Students (if in a different division or school). There is no presupposition that such an application would be approved.
  • After approval at the department and divisional level, the Office of the Provost must approve in writing the student's plan to obtain a second master's degree.

Students coming to the University with a master's degree from another institution may receive a master's degree from the University in the same or a different field if they fulfill all the standard requirements for a University of Chicago master's degree while a student at the University.