Graduate students

Requirements for Second Master's Degrees

Policy Number: 100813

Current Policy

Category: Academic » University Requirements



With the approval of the student's advisor or committee, a student may petition to use up to 9 units or 25% of course work, whichever is greater, from a previous master's degree  to satisfy the requirements for a second master's degree at Northern Arizona University. The student must meet all program requirements for the second master's degree and all but the 9 units or 25% must be earned at Northern Arizona University. If a student has earned a master’s degree that houses different emphases, they are not eligible to pursue the same master’s degree with a different emphasis for their second master’s degree. Students may only pursue individual graduate degrees which have a distinct a graduate program plan and are recognized as their own degree. 

Depending on the nature of the courses, the student’s experience in the workforce, and/or the student’s utilization of the first Master’s degree, an exception to the six-year time limit for these courses (see Transfer Credit - Graduate Students) may be granted by the Graduate College.  However, faculty within a graduate program/department assume the responsibility to ensure these courses demonstrate the current core learning competencies, expectations, and criteria for the student’s degree or certificate program. The age of the transfer work under consideration, or the year taken, may be a factor in the decision as to whether or not the coursework is admissible into a graduate student’s program. An exception to the 6-year time limit may be granted by the Graduate College, with proper approval from the academic unit or program, through a request in writing to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. 

To request an extension of the six-year limit, students must submit a "Petition for Extension of Time Limit for Master's Degree" form to the Graduate College. This form, available on the Graduate College website, must be endorsed by the student's advisor and department chair. The Graduate College Dean or Associate Dean makes the final decision. 

Units Required for Master's Degree Programs

Each Master’s degree program at NAU requires a minimum of 30 credit units. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 credit units. 

Reapplication for Admission Is Required

If students have completed one master's degree at Northern Arizona University, students must reapply for admission through the Graduate College before beginning work on another degree. The reapplication process is required whether the student wishes to work toward a second master’s degree or toward a doctoral degree.   

General Procedure

Students should discuss their options with their graduate advisor or committee.

Students can petition for exception

Graduate students may petition for an exception to any academic, non-grade-related, graduate regulation for which no specific appeal or petition process exists. Petitions should be submitted, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. When applicable, the student’s advisor and department chair may endorse the petition letter. In some specific instances, utilizing the Graduate Academic Appeal Policy is more appropriate.

Students should contact the Associate Dean of the Graduate College for clarification on which process to initiate.

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