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 then inform the Grad Office, otherwise we will contact you to initiate 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. See the section about the GSSP for more information, or contact the Grad Office. International students must consult with OIS to determine how the change in program will affect your visa status.

After turning in the Change of Degree Status or Curriculum form to the Grad School, it will take a few days for the SIS system to recognize the change. Once you’re officially an MS student, you should 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, include your new committee, and “sign” your new Patent Agreement (a separate tab found in the POW section). You can’t submit your new POW unless you sign the online Patent Agreement.

Your advisor and/or the Program Director 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. Don’t forget that you can’t schedule a defense unless you have an approved POW in the system.

If you are an international student on an F1 visa, please see OIS to determine your deadlines based on visa status before scheduling your final defense. Defense and separation from the university deadlines tend to coincide with the end of semesters, rather than the end of your active 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.