Applicants pursue a thesis program for a Master of Science degree. To be acceptable, the thesis must contain an original contribution to knowledge and be in form and of literary quality worthy of publication. In addition to the thesis, 24 semester hours of course work are required. Those expecting to continue into a Ph.D. program can either finish their Master degree or pass a Ph.D. qualifying exam after their fourth semester. A detailed description of the Master of Science curriculum and requirements can be found in the SSE Graduate Handbook.