Non-degree graduate status is used if you are not pursuing a degree program. Typically, non-degree students take classes:
- For their personal or professional development
- To help them decide whether to pursue a degree
- While in the process of applying to a degree program
- When they do not meet the Minimum Requirements for direct admission into a degree-seeking master's program.
If you are required by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to be a degree-seeking student, you are not eligible for non-degree status.
For more information on non-degree graduate status, see Graduate Admission → Certificate/Non-Degree Path. (The admimssion application link is on the Application Checklist page.) Official transcripts are required, but the GRE, TOEFL, and letters of recommendation are not. Applications for non-degree graduate student status are reviewed by the department's Graduate Admission Committee.
As a non-degree graduate student, you can register for at most 9 credit hours per semester. You should consult with the Non-Degree Graduate Student Advisor on course selection and other matters relating to your academic program, especially if you are interested in eventually pursuing a graduate degree. You should not fill out a Plan of Study as a non-degree student, even if you plan to apply for degree-seeking status in the future.
Changing Status To Degree-Seeking
A non-degree graduate student who wants to become a regular degree-seeking student must apply through Graduate Admission and be accepted to a degree program. Simply taking courses does not confer degree-seeking status.
If you meet the minimum requirements for a degree program, you can apply for degree-seeking status at any time, even during your first semester as a non-degree student. You should follow the appropriate case below if you do not meet the minimum requirements. Grades of "B" or better must be earned in all courses below (including CS 201, CS 401, and CS 402). Note, when applying to a degree program, all the other program admission requirements will apply (the GRE, letters of recommendation, etc).
Case 1: Students with a Bachelor's degree in CS and a GPA ≥ 2.5 / 4.0 but < 3.0.
- Apply for non-degree graduate status and take at least two 400- or 500-level CS courses*.
- Then apply for admission to the Master of Computer Science (not Master of Science in CS) degree program.
Case 2: Students with a Bachelor's degree not in CS and a GPA ≥ 2.5 / 4.0 but < 3.0.
- Apply for non-degree graduate status and take Prerequisite Undergraduate Courses (CS 201, 401, 402) as necessary.
- Next take at least two more 400- or 500-level CS courses*.
- Apply for admission to the Master of Computer Science (not Master of Science in CS) degree program.
Case 3: Students with a foreign diploma not equivalent to a US Bachelor's degree and a GPA ≥ 3.0 / 4.0.
- Apply for Undergraduate Post-Baccalaureate (UBP) status (see Graduate Admission → Prospective Students) and take any necessary one or more 200- and 300-level Prerequisite Undergraduate Courses. (Foreign students note: You cannot be UPB while on a student visa.)
- Next take at least two 400-level CS courses*.
- Apply for non-degree graduate status and take at least two 500-level CS courses.
- Apply for admission to the Master of Science in CS or Master of Computer Science degree program.
(*) Prerequisite undergraduate courses, specifically CS 401 and 402, do not count as 400-level courses.
Applying Non-Degree Coursework To A Degree Program
After admission into a degree program, you can request up to 9 credit hours of non-degree coursework be applied to the degree Program of Study. CS 201, 401, and 402 cannot be applied; see Transfer Courses for details.
Last modified: 3/18/2019.
2019-03-18: Update links for non-degree status. Tweak wording about needing all requirements when applying NDG -> program. 2018-06-26 Make clear that B's are required for CS 201/401/402. Also make clear that for degree admission, the other requirements must be met (GRE in particular).