Dissertation Credits

How many dissertation credits do I need to graduate?

You need 18 dissertation credits to graduate.

When should I take dissertation credits?

It's never too early to get started.

You can take these credits at any point in your graduate career, even if you have not completed coursework.* To minimize the amount of money these credits will cost, make sure to take them while you still hold an assistantship. (GEO assistantships waive all tuition and some fees, and they pay for most of your health insurance.)

Another quick tip: Because the UMass fee schedule specifies a set amount of money per blocks of credits (i.e., 1-4 credits, 5-8, 9 or more), it makes sense to always take the maximum number of credits in your credit block per semester. For instance, if you are taking 2 courses, for a total of 6 credits, why not tack on 2 dissertation credits? If you have an assistantship, you are not paying for the actual credits, just the fees. And the fees are the same regardless of whether you take 6 or 8 credits. If you are taking 3 courses, for a total of 9 credits, then add as many dissertation credits as are allowed!

*This may only apply to students who already have an MA. If you are still working on your MA, you may need to check with the graduate secretary.

How do I register for credits?

Contact the English graduate secretary to register. Unfortunately, you cannot do this in SPIRE.

Learn more

To learn more about English department requirements, visit the official Department of English page:

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