There are three types of master's programs at WSU—a thesis master's degree, a non-thesis master's degree, and a professionally oriented master's degree.

  • In addition to curricular requirements, a thesis master's degree program requires completion of a thesis, which is a scholarly study that makes a significant contribution to the knowledge of the chosen discipline.
  • In addition to curricular requirements, a non-thesis master's degree program requires completion of a special project.
  • A professionally oriented master's degree program prepares the student to practice in a profession by emphasizing competency in a set of specific skills. These programs are typically government-regulated or externally accredited and may lead to licensure or certification after graduation. The professionally oriented master's degree program may include required internships, practicum, fieldwork, clinical hours, or a final capstone experience that applies the professional knowledge, skills, and training to a problem within the profession. In addition to curricular requirements, a professionally oriented master's degree program requires completion of a capstone project or comprehensive exam.


The Graduate School provides a semester-by-semester guideline to assist each graduate student in timely completion of all necessary documentation: http://gradschool.wsu.edu/students/.