Academic Programs Overview - Graduate School of Management

Master’s Degree Overview

The master's degree is awarded in recognition of academic accomplishment as demonstrated by a program of course work, and when required, passing of the required examinations and/or the preparation of a thesis, project or essay.


A specialization (or sub-plan), consisting of a minimum of twelve credits of course work in a specific field, may be required for some master's programs. Students should communicate specialization plans to their program director or the Graduate School of Management at gsm@marquette.edu

Comprehensive Examinations

Candidates for a master’s degree in many departments must successfully pass a comprehensive examination on their total graduate program of studies. If students fail, a second and final examination may be given at the discretion of the department, as each department administers its own comprehensive exams.

Students are encouraged to contact their program for specific information including deadlines and procedures. A department may require students to complete a specific course instead of passing a comprehensive exam. Generally speaking, this course may be taken only after students have completed all of the other core course requirements.

Plan B — Master’s Degree Without Thesis

Minimum Credit Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required and a minimum of 18 credit hours of the course work must be taken in the major field. Some departments require more credit hours; students should consult the Programs section of this bulletin. Courses in the program must be taken at the graduate level (5000-level or above). Consult individual program listings and department advisers to determine the specific requirements for Plan B programs.

Professional Project Credits

Academic units may require students to register for project credits or similar course work. Students who enroll in and pay for project credits are not entitled to a refund of tuition of these credits if they should subsequently drop out of or be withdrawn from their programs.

Professional Project

In a project, students demonstrate familiarity with the tools of research and scholarship in the major field, show thorough knowledge of the subject covered and reflect independence of thought, critical insight and originality. The project must be acceptable to the department in style and composition. Formatting of professional projects is at the discretion of the department.

An electronic copy of the professional project and the original Master’s Thesis/Essay/Professional Project/Publication Approval Form with appropriate signatures must be submitted to the Graduate School of Management on or before the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar.