The Change of Degree Status Petition is used by current graduate students to:

  • Add or drop a master’s degree (with the exception of an MFA), credential, emphasis, or certificate

  • Drop a doctoral degree

For currently enrolled UCSB master’s/credential students interested in adding a UCSB MFA or doctoral degree program, or currently enrolled UCSB doctoral students interested in transferring from one doctoral program to another, please follow the application instructions here.

Adding or Dropping a Master’s Degree Objective or Emphasis within the Same Department

After discussing desired program changes with your faculty advisor/mentor and the Department Graduate Advisor or Chair, students should follow the steps outlined in the Change of Degree Status Petition Instructions. If a student drops a degree objective via petition, the student will need to reapply via the online application (not reinstate) to the program if the student wishes to return.

Adding a Master's Degree Objective in Another Department

Prior to petitioning to add a master’s degree objective in another department, students should:

  • Consult with the Department Graduate Advisor or Chair in their current home department to discuss how the additional program could impact their progress in their existing degree program.
  • Consult with the Department Graduate Advisor or Chair in the new department to inquire if they are currently accepting applications.
  • Ensure that the other program offers a terminal master’s program. You cannot add a master’s degree in a department that doesn’t offer a terminal master’s program. See here for a list of programs that offer a terminal master’s degree

Students should be aware that departments are asked to give the request the same scrutiny as a new application for admission, including provision for departmental financial support (e.g. fellowship, TAship, GSR appointment). It is important to note that if petitioning to add a second UCSB master's degree, coursework used to complete one degree cannot be used to complete the requirements of the other degree. Students seeking a second master’s degree must provide:

  • A written statement indicating they will complete sufficient units and quarters of residency for each degree
  • A study plan outlining the coursework that will be used to fulfill requirements for each degree

Students petitioning to add a Master’s degree objective in another department should follow the steps outlined in the Change of Degree Status Petition Instructions.

Adding or Dropping an Interdisciplinary Emphasis or Certificate Program

Students interested in adding an interdisciplinary emphasis or certificate program to their major should first consult with their faculty/research advisor and Department Graduate Advisor or Chair. Both the program director of the interdisciplinary emphasis or certificate program and the Department Graduate Advisor or Chair in the student's home department must approve the request.

Students petitioning to add an interdisciplinary emphasis or certificate program should follow the steps outlined in the Change of Degree Status Petition Instructions.

Unclassified, Non-Degree Objectives

Students who are admitted to an Unclassified, Non-Degree objective may not use a Change of Degree Status Petition to change to a master's and/or doctoral degree. Instead, student must complete the Graduate Admissions Application, meeting all requirements stated in the application.

Departments Offering Terminal Master’s Programs at UCSB

  • Computer Science
  • Earth Science
  • East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
  • Education
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Science and Management
  • Geography
  • Global Studies
  • Latin American and Iberian Studies
  • Marine Science
  • Materials
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Media Arts and Technology
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  • Music
  • Statistics & Applied Probability
  • Technology Management
  • Theater and Dance