Switching to the MS

Switching from the PhD to the MS is relatively simple. First, if this is your decision, be sure to discuss it with your advisor and inform the Grad Office before you proceed with the process. If this is a decision that your advisor and you have decided upon, you can go forward with the process. You will need to complete a Change Degree Status or Curriculum to formalize the switch through the Grad School. The online form will require you to sign in using your Unity ID and password. Please make sure you complete the form correctly, and make sure to check with the Grad Office about anything that you are unsure.

Keep in mind that switching to the MS will abruptly change your GSSP support, to the point that you may no longer qualify for full support. Unfortunately, the GSSP clock is based on the semester you were originally admitted into the university, so it will not reset if you switch programs. It is very important to contact the Grad Office for assistance in determining your funding. See the section about the GSSP for more information.

International students must consult with OIS to determine how the change in program will affect your visa status. There is an additional form for international students to complete, Change of Level/Curriculum.

After the Change of Degree Status or Curriculum form is submitted to the Grad School, it will take a few days for the Student Information System (SIS) to recognize the change. Once you’re officially an MS student, you must revise your Plan of Work and follow the guidelines for the MS POW. Note that you will be asked to choose between two different templates. You should pick the one called “POW New MS Switched from PhD.” That template will allow you to include PhD coursework. If a class you took and passed with a C or better does not appear when you search your transcript, contact the Grad Office. Once you complete your new MS POW, finish with the committee tab, note you do not need a GSR. Your Patent Agreement should transfer automatically.

Your advisor and/or the DGP will likely give you a specific deadline to defend and complete the MS. Follow the information on Final Defenses & Graduation to schedule your final defense, write and submit your thesis, and apply for graduation. Please remember that you cannot schedule a defense unless you have an approved MS POW in the system.

If you are an international student on an F1 visa, before you schedule your final defense, please see OIS to determine your deadlines based on visa status. If you are submitting an OPT, your separation from the university will coincide with the end of semesters or your defense date, rather than the end of your active TA/RA contract or any deadlines imposed by the Grad School. You may also have to get a new I-20 based on your switch to the MS, so to avoid any surprises visit OIS as soon as you change your curriculum.