Graduate Studies

MSC 03 2180
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
Humanities Building
Suite 107

Phone: (505) 277-2711
Fax: (505) 277-7405

Guidelines for Completing Program of Studies (POS) for Master's Degree

POS Form

General Information

Deadlines: Your completed Program of Studies can be submitted after you have completed a minimum of 12 hours of graduate courses in graduate status. However it must be submitted to GS by the following deadlines: March 1 for Summer, July 1 for Fall, October 1 for Spring. Failure to submit this form on time will delay your graduation. Your department will require some time to review and approve the form, so it is highly recommended that you submit the form to your department well in advance of the GS deadline. (TIP: We suggest early submission of your POS; i.e. by mid-semester break.)

Revisions: If you CHANGE COURSEWORK or substitute a required course, a memo signed by your advisor, the faculty graduate director and/or the graduate unit chair (depending on unit policy) must be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies. If you change the level of your program from Plan I to Plan II or from Plan II to Plan I you must submit a "REVISED" Program of Studies form.

Note on Graduate Regulations: You are responsible for knowing all UNM graduate regulations and requirements as well as those specific to your graduate program. You are encouraged to become familiar with the “Graduate Program” section of the UNM Catalog, as well as any written guidelines your graduate unit may provide. Questions regarding these regulations and requirements should be directed initially to the appropriate staff/faculty in your graduate unit/program and then, if necessary, to GS staff.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Filling out the Program of Studies

Before you begin filling out this form, it is strongly recommended that you obtain a copy of your Advisement/Unofficial Transcript. Unofficial transcripts are available free of charge from the Records and Registration Office on the second floor of the Student Services Center, 277-2916.

All spaces on the form must be filled in. If there is missing information, the form will be returned for completion, which could delay your graduation.

  1. Personal Information.

  2. Department or Graduate Unit. List your current department or graduate unit. If you are a dual degree student, list both departments.

  3. List all degrees you currently hold. List all degrees that you have already completed.

  4. Indicate the UNM master’s degree you seek. A list of degrees and major codes is provided at the end of these guidelines. If you are seeking dual degrees, list both. Please print and be accurate.

  5. Subdivision (concentration, emphasis, etc). If you are pursuing a concentration/emphasis within your major, list it here.

  6. Minor. Transcripted minors are only available from graduate programs that have approved minors on file at GS. If you are declaring a transcripted minor, you must complete a “Transcripted Minor” form and have it approved by your major and minor departments and GS. The transcripted minor form should accompany the Program of Studies for final approval by GS.

  7. Plan I (thesis) or Plan II (non-thesis). Choose Plan I if you are writing a thesis, Plan II if you are taking an exam, doing a project or writing a professional paper that serves as a comprehensive examination.

  8. Semester and year you expect to complete requirements. Projected date of graduation. This can be changed without penalty. Further paperwork will be required at the time of graduation (see GS Graduation Checklist).

  9. Which publication are you using to meet degree requirements? You may use any bulletin/catalog that has been in effect since you entered your current graduate program. If you have been readmitted to a program or have changed degree programs, you may only use catalogs in effect since your readmission/change of degree (see “General Academic Regulations” in the UNM Catalog for further details). Although students may choose which degree requirements they wish to follow, all students must follow the General Academic Regulations in the current catalog.

Program of Graduate Study (pages 2-3)

  • All courses should be listed in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER in the appropriate sections, as described below.

  • List all courses you will use for your master’s degree, including those in which you plan to enroll in the future. Include only the courses that are needed to fulfill your degree requirements; once they are listed here, courses cannot be used toward another degree (with the exception of approved masters hour toward Ph.D./Ed.D. degrees).

  • If any course is a substitution for a required course or if a required course is being waived by your program this must be noted in a memo accompanying the POS, and must be approved by your advisor, department chair, and/or graduate director (depending upon unit policy).

  1. Undergraduate Deficiencies. These are courses specified by your program faculty, usually at the time you are admitted. These courses become required courses in addition to the regular university and program degree requirements and cannot be used toward your degree. You must list them.

  2. Graduate Degree Courses. These should include only courses taken while in graduate status. The name of the instructor and the grade you earned must be listed for each course you have already taken. Put a check mark to the left of each course used to fulfill a specific core requirement. If you are completing a Dual Degree Program, list the courses for each major separately (in chronological order). In such cases, both graduate units must approve the Program of Studies.

  3. Applied Credit*. These courses should include UNM courses you are using for your degree program, which you took while not in regular graduate status. You may only count such courses if you have taken them for graduate credit (see “Graduate Credit in UNM Catalog) and earned a grade of at least “B” (B-minus is not transferable). Include Non-Degree, Extension and any pre-approved (by Graduate Authorization Cards [GCA]) graduate courses taken while in undergraduate status.

  4. Transfer Courses*. These should include any graduate credits you wish to use for your degree that were completed at an institution other than UNM. Your academic unit will determine the relevance of the content of transfer courses. If you do list transfer courses, note the institution at which they were taken. An official transcript must be on file at GS. You may only transfer graduate credits for which you have earned a grade of “B” or better (B-minus is not transferable). You may not transfer extension credits from another institution, or courses taken on a pass/fail basis. Coursework that has been counted toward a previous graduate degree may not be counted again toward any subsequent master's degree.

*NOTE: According to current University policy, the number of non-degree, UNM extension, transfer credits, and courses taken in undergraduate status that may be applied to your degree may not exceed 50% of your required course work credits (Thesis 599 credits are not considered course work). Individual graduate units may impose stricter limits.

  1. Language and/or Skill Requirements. This question should be answered and signed off by the Faculty Graduate Director for your program.

  2. Approvals. Sign your Program of Studies and print your advisor’s name on the indicated line. Your advisor and faculty graduate director or graduate unit chair must sign to indicate your graduate unit’s approval. After the Dean of Graduate Studies signs the form, a copy will be retuned to your department or graduate unit.

Additional Information 

NOTE ON MASTER’S EXAMINATION/THESIS DEFENSE: You may take your master’s examination or defend your thesis after your POS has been approved, and you have a graduate GPA of at least 3.0 and are not on probation. You must be enrolled in at least one graduate credit in the semester in which you take the master’s examination or defend your thesis.

NOTE ON THESIS HOURS: Once Plan I students enroll in thesis hours (599), they must remain continuously enrolled in at least one credit hour of 599 each fall and spring semester until the manuscript is accepted by GS. You need not register for thesis hours during the summer semester unless you are submitting your manuscript for summer graduation.