Graduate School policy updates

Approved changes in effect for 2019-2020 academic year

The following Graduate School policies have been recently updated and are currently in effect for the 2019-2020 academic year. Please note that while some updates are reflected in the University catalog, not every approved change reflects in the current catalog. 

  1. All doctoral programs that require a dissertation are now required to hold both a public and a private defense of the dissertation. The public defense, which precedes the private defense, must be announced in the University events calendar. The doctoral student or student’s committee chair/major advisor must submit details of the dissertation defense, including, student name, dissertation title, date/time, defense location and major advisor name/email address to the Graduate School via an online submission form at least 10 business days prior to the holding of the defense.
  2. The minimum number of units required by the Graduate School for a non-thesis master’s degree has been reduced from 32 credits to 30 credits. Individual graduate programs may retain the 32-credit requirement if they so choose.
  3. The number of credits that are allowed to be transferred or shared between graduate special and degree programs (master’s and doctoral) has been increased from 9 to 12.
  4. Doctoral students who have completed a master’s degree in an appropriate discipline from an accredited institution may, with the approval of their graduate director, transfer up to twenty-four (24) units toward a Ph.D. degree. The twenty-four (24) unit limit does not apply to students earning a master’s degree en route to a doctoral degree at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Approved changes taking effect in 2020-2021 academic year

  1. Incoming international graduate students are no longer required by the Graduate School to take the Bridge Test. The Bridge Test is recommended but not required. However, individual graduate programs may still require the Bridge Test if they so choose.

If you have questions regarding any of the policy changes, please contact Kara Cleveland, Director of Graduate School Operations at