Ph.D. Course Requirements

  1. Residency. You must be on-campus and enrolled in nine credits for two consecutive semesters (not counting summers).  
     
  2. Credits.You must take a total of 36 credits.  The following complex list of restrictions and limits on which courses you can take. 
    • 18 of those credits must be Dissertation Credits (899), usually taken in the two semesters of residency.
    • 18 of the credits must be at the 600-800 level (excluding 899). Credit for graduate courses from other departments must be approved by the GPD.  Classes taken to satisfy the core requirements count toward these 18 credits.
    • Independent studies and courses taken pass/fail may together account for no more than 6 of these credits.
    • Classes with a grade below a C may not be counted toward the PhD degree.
    • It is not possible to transfer course credits from outside UMass Amherst to satisfy those requirements.
       
  3. GPA. Your overall grade point average for those 36 credits must be 3.0 or higher.