Degree Change Procedures

Procedures for Current Graduate Students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering to Continue on for a PhD after a Master's Degree or to Change Degree Programs 

Continuing on for a PhD after the Master's or changing degree programs requires a petition for current graduate students in the department. Depending on what is desired, there are differences in terms of the required supporting documentation and in how the petition is processed. These procedures are described below.

In all cases, the petition and all the required supporting material should be submitted electronically to the departmental admission committee (grad-admissions@cse.tamu.edu). The student will be notified by the admissions committee when the departmental committee has made a decision. If the petition is approved, then the student should proceed to file the necessary petitions required by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to change their degree objective.

Upgrades:   Continuing on for a Ph.D. after the Master's, or Changing from a Master's program to a Ph.D. program or from a non-thesis Master's to a thesis Master's program

Continuing on for a Ph.D. after the Master's, or changes from a course-work only masters (MCS or MEN) to a thesis masters program (MS) or from a masters degree program (MCS, MEN or MS) to a Ph.D. program will be handled by the Graduate Admissions and Recruiting Committee. The committee will evaluate the application as they do the other applications to that degree program.

Requests for a degree "upgrade" should send an email to grad-admissions@cse.tamu with the following information: The admissions office will communicate the committee's decision to the student.

  • Your name.
  • Your UIN.
  • Current degree and the degree which you wish to upgrade to.

You will then receive an email with the instructions to request a degree change. The admissions office will communicate the decision to the student. 

Downgrades:   Changes from a PhD program to a masters program, or from a thesis masters to a non-thesis masters program

Changes from a Ph.D. program to a masters degree program, or from a thesis masters program (MS) to a course-work only masters (MCS or MEN) will be handled by the Graduate Admissions and Recruiting Committee. Students should be aware that petitions for such changes in degree objective are normally granted only in exceptional cases. Also, students should understand that such petitions are rarely granted if the student has received financial support from the department in terms of an assistantship or a scholarship. 

To request a degree "downgrade" an email should be submitted electronically to the Graduate Admissions Office grad-admissions@cse.tamu.edu. The admissions office will communicate the committee's decision to the student. Include the following information in the email:

  • Your name.
  • Your UIN.
  • Current degree and the degree which you wish to downgrade to.

You will then receive an email with the instructions to request a degree change.

Note: If the reason the student wishes to change is that they could not find an advisor, then the committee will want to know that the student put in a good faith effort to find an advisor. The student should describe this in the statement. A supporting letter of recommendation from the potential advisor detailing the work that had been done is needed as well. Faculty members are advised to refrain from sending a letter of recommendation unless they have worked with the student. 


Updated January 8, 2009