M.S. Plan III (Coursework Only) Pathway

Steps listed here are summarized to provide students with an overview of degree requirements. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with:

Questions regarding these regulations and requirements should be directed to the appropriate ECE staff/faculty and then, if necessary, to the Graduate Studies staff.

Deadlines: Every semester prior to registration

Advisement holds are automatically placed on ECE student records every semester. The ECE Advisement Hold serves as a reminder to discuss planned coursework with your faculty advisor.

How to Get Your Advisement Hold Lifted

Complete an Advisement Worksheet and have your faculty advisor approve it. Please e-mail this signed form to the ECE Graduate Office at carolj@unm.edu for hold releases or course overrides.

Deadlines: Completed by end of graduation term

M.S. Plan III (coursework only) requires 31 credit hours of coursework, with a minimum of 18 hours in ECE and 1 hour of ECE 590 Graduate Seminar. ECE graduate students are required to choose an emphasis area.  Coursework must include at least 12 credit hours of ECE core courses, among which 9 hours are required by the emphasis area as three major core courses, and the other 3 hours are selected from another emphasis area as a minor core course. The minor core course must be selected from one of the core courses outside of the student’s major core (emphasis). The remaining courses are free electives. Students should familiarize themselves with ECE’s M.S. Degree Requirements.

Transfer Credits

With the approval of the ECE Graduate Office, a maximum of 50% of the coursework requirements for the master’s degree may consist of a combination of applied/transfer credits, assuming they meet the restrictions specified in the UNM catalog. Coursework that has been counted toward a previous degree may not be counted again in the Program of Studies for a master’s degree. All applied/transfer credit must meet the following criteria:

  1. The coursework was taken at an accredited institution and is approved by both the ECE Graduate Office and the UNM Dean of Graduate Studies.
  2. The coursework is graded at least a B and was completed within the required seven-year period; and
  3. The courses are submitted to the ECE graduate office for approval. This usually requires a course syllabus and consultation with the Graduate Program Director and appropriate faculty members.

Important Course Notes:

Thesis Continuous Enrollment - Once graduate students begin enrollment in ECE 599 thesis hours, they must enroll in 599 every term until the manuscript is accepted by Graduate Studies. The summer term is excluded from this policy except when the student is graduating in the summer.

  • ECE 400/500 Cross-listed Courses - Students who have completed 400-level ECE core courses at UNM in undergraduate status SHOULD NOT register for the same 500-level course before discussing options with their faculty advisor. Completing the same cross-listed 400/500 course at both levels will appear as a repeated course on the transcript and will not count toward degree requirements.
  • ECE 495 and 595 Special Topics Courses - The maximum combined ECE 495 and 595 credits allowed are 15. ECE 595 credits earned beyond this limit, will not count toward degree requirements.

Deadlines: By March 1st for Summer graduation; July 1st for Fall graduation; October 1st for Spring graduation

Students must submit a Program of Studies (POS) listing all the courses that apply to their degree. The POS can be submitted after completing a minimum of 12 hours of graduate courses in graduate status, but no later than the term before the student intends to graduate. The POS form should be submitted to the ECE Graduate Advisement office well in advance of the deadline to allow enough time for department approval.

Deadlines:  Last Thursday of the term prior to graduation

ECE students must submit a Proposed Graduation Form by the last Thursday of the term prior to their planned graduation. Link to electronic form can be found on the ECE Current Students webpage. This link is updated every term to accept submissions for the upcoming term. 

Master’s students must be enrolled for and complete at least 1 graduate credit in the term they complete degree requirements as per the required enrollment policy found in the UNM catalog.

Courtesy Policy

Students who miss required POS and/or Intent to Graduate deadlines for their graduation term, but complete these requirements by the last day of that term, may choose to follow the Courtesy Policy. These students will be eligible to graduate the following term without having to be enrolled. They must, however, complete the ECE Proposed Graduation form for the actual term of graduation. See notification of intent to graduate above.   

  • Program of Studies (POS) has been submitted and approved
  • Student has submitted Proposed Graduation form
  • All coursework has been completed by end of graduation term
  • Student is enrolled in at least 1 graduate credit hour during graduation term (unless eligible for Courtesy Policy)
  • All Incomplete (I) and Unreported (NR) grades have been resolved. Students may not graduate with incomplete or unreported grades.

Two graduation ceremonies are available to ECE students during the spring and fall terms. Graduates may attend one or both events, along with their family and friends.


The University Commencement Program takes place in the Dreamstyle Arena (better known as “The Pit”). UNM’s President presides over this ceremony and officially confers degrees upon the graduates. Students must be dressed in academic regalia (i.e., cap and gown) to walk in this ceremony. Regalia can be purchased at the UNM Bookstore. To participate, students must sign-up at: http://graduation.unm.edu. Other details about UNM Commencement are also available at this site. 


The second event is the School of Engineering Convocation. The Convocation is the School’s own ceremony specifically to honor you in the presence of your family and friends. The highlight of this event is the recognition of each SOE graduate individually on stage, where you will be congratulated by your department faculty and staff, your deans, and the Convocation’s honored guests. Graduate students will be met on the stage by their faculty advisor for the traditional “hooding” ceremony. For additional details see: http://engineering.unm.edu/about/convocation/index.html.


Students do not receive their official diploma at the graduation ceremonies. Official diplomas are mailed to the student’s address on file with the Registrar 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester their degree is officially granted.

For questions regarding diplomas, students should contact the Office of the Registrar at (505) 277-8900 or by email at degrees@unm.edu.