Bypass the M.S. Degree

Policy in Catalog:
M.S. Bypass Option in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog

Forms:
Notification of Intent to Bypass the M.S. Degree
Request a Change in Advisory Committee Prior to Comprehensive Exam
Application to Bypass the M.S. Degree

General Information

If you are considering the possibility of bypassing the master's program for the doctoral program, you are advised to consult with your advisor and committee members no later than mid- to late-fall of the second academic year.

Filing Your Notification of Intent to Bypass

Once the committee is in agreement, you will file the Intent to Bypass form with the Registrar. The recommended completion date for filing the Intent to Bypass form is by mid-December of the second academic year. The Academic Status and Degrees Committee (ASDC) will then review your academic qualifications, standing in the program, a CV and a 1-2 page statement describing your achievements and potential to conduct independent research that you submit with the form. The advisor, department chair and Associate Dean will make a determination of funding availability. You must be in good academic standing (cumulative GPA of B or better with no core course grade lower than B-). In addition, you should be registered to complete the required SMS core curriculum for the M.S. degree, as specified in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog, by the end of the second spring semester (for students who enter in the fall).

This timeline is important because the milestone for passing the comprehensive exam, which is required before you can apply for the bypass, is 21 months.  The comprehensive exam must be passed within 6 months of the milestone due date in order to complete the bypass.

Filing Your Application to Bypass

After the intent to bypass notification is approved and following successful completion of the comprehensive exam, the student may submit the Application to Bypass the M.S. Degree form to the Registrar. The application must include:

  • An approved Notification of Intent to Bypass the M.S. Degree form
  • A CV and 1-2 page statement by the student describing the student's achievements and demonstrated potential to conduct independent research. (These can be the same documents that were submitted with the intent to bypass package unless the student wants to provide an update.)
  • A 1-2 page statement by the student's advisor describing the student's achievements and demonstrated potential to conduct independent research
  • A recommendation by the advisory committee that the student be allowed to bypass the master's degree.

A bypass represents a change in funding obligations and, for that reason, must be approved by the student's department chair.

The Academic Status and Degrees Committee (ASDC) will recommend to the Associate Dean of Academic Studies whether or not permission to bypass should be granted. Appeals of an adverse decision may be made to the Associate Dean of Academic Studies

Note: A student's classification in Banner is not changed to the doctoral program until all steps of the bypass are complete. Once a student's application to bypass is approved, milestone deadlines will also be updated to the 72-month degree program timeline.

Recommended Timeline for Completing the Bypass

(for students who matriculate in the fall)

During the 2nd Academic Year
December/January - Submit Intent to Bypass Paperwork to SMS Registrar
By February 1 - Notification of Intent to Bypass is Approved
March/April - Add 5th External Member for PhD Level Committee
May/June/July - Complete the Comprehensive Exam
By August 1 - Submit Application to Bypass Paperwork to SMS Registrar

At the Beginning of the 3rd Academic Year
August/September - Application to Bypass is Approved and Student Enters the PhD Program

Last Updated: 13-March-2019 by J. Hay