Graduate Student Getting Started at UMUC

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Let the Journey Begin

Transitioning from Undergraduate to Graduate Studies

Whether it has been a while since you completed your undergraduate program or you are a recent graduate, it is important that you adequately prepare for your transition into graduate school.

Post-graduate work is more rigorous than undergraduate study and requires a significant investment of time and other resources. You should expect to devote at least three hours of outside study per week for every credit hour in which you’re enrolled. For graduates enrolled in 3 credit hours, the expected study time would equal 9 to 12 hours per week.


Before beginning your graduate program, we encourage you to evaluate your current work and family responsibilities to determine what adjustments will be needed to achieve your academic goals.
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Let the Journey Begin

Selecting the Right Program

The graduate program you select should depend on your career goals and complement your professional and/or personal interests. When determining a course of study, carefully review the program description, requirements, objectives, and career paths. Do these components match your academic and career goals?

Because of more stringent degree requirements at the graduate level, there is less flexibility to change from one program to another. Please consult your advisor for further details.



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Managing Your Program

Things to consider

  • Read your program requirements and program rules each term. Review each course each term.
  • Keep in mind that your degree is designed to be completed in at least two years but you have seven years from the semester your first course in your program was taken to complete the program. (Please Note: If you are pursuing an MBA you have seven years to complete your program from the semester your first course in your program was taken.)
  • If you maintain continuous enrollment (no more than a two-year break between enrollments), then your requirements should remain the same as when you started. You should keep an electronic copy of the program catalog from the first year you began your program. If you take a break of more than two years between enrollments, a new course catalog will apply to your program.
  • Be careful when registering for cluster courses—6 credit courses that are a combination of two required courses for some programs—to avoid duplicate credit.

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Accelerated Pace of Graduate Study

The time to degree completion is shorter at the graduate level. You have seven years from the date of enrollment in the first credited course of a master's program or executive certificate to complete the program. The MBA program is excluded from this requirement. If you are pursuing an MBA you have five years to complete your program. The degree completion deadlines cannot be adjusted; therefore, it is important to take at least one course each term.

Please consult with your advisor if you have any questions regarding how long you have to complete your specific degree program.

Making the Grade

Coursework and grading at the graduate level is different from the undergraduate level. Work is at a higher level and therefore more intensive requiring a significant amount of time, research, writing, class participation, and collaboration with other students.


"UMUC requires students to earn and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in order to successfully complete their graduate program. The grade of B is the benchmark for all courses in The Graduate School.”
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Let the Journey Begin

Checklist

VERIFY:

  • I have selected the program that most closely aligns with my career or personal interests.
  • I understand the grading expectations.

TAKE ACTION:

  • I have developed a timeline for completing my program.
  • I have a printed copy of my program requirements from the UMUC Web site.
  • I understand my program requirements

Transitioning from Undergraduate to Graduate Studies

Selecting the Right Program

Managing Your Program

Accelerated Pace of Graduate Study

Checklist