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My university requires me to publish* in order to defend my master thesis and receive my diploma. It took me four years to complete this requirement, instead of the usual two in my country. Because all deadlines have already expired, I have to request exceptional approval to defend my thesis. I would like to know about the situation in other universities in order to build my argumentation.

Is the requirement to publish during a masters degree common? What about the list of requirements below? If uncommon, what other universities/regions have similar requirements?


*: The full list of requirements for the publication in my program is:

  1. Has to have acceptance letter (submission is not sufficient, but waiting for actual publication is not required).
  2. Limited to a government-issued list of "good" journals and events. The list is admittedly large, but still incomplete, infrequently updated, and contains mistakes. During my masters there was no event of my area in my country, for example, but some predatory journals were included. This list was not created to evaluate students, and is being "reused" by the program.
  3. The student must be the first author (to avoid just adding names to a submission).
  4. The advisor must be a co-author.
  5. The thesis content must be related to the publication.
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    I was not aware of any master's program that requires original publication until now. What is your country? – The Doctor Jun 5 '18 at 10:57
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    Brazil, masters program in computer science. I'm not aware of any other university with this requirement either. Note that most other students are fine, as the government list is more complete for their area, but my lab is struggling with this requirement. – BoppreH Jun 5 '18 at 11:09
  • @BoppreH, what does "During my masters there was no event of my area in my country" mean? Is "event" a conference or other opportunity to publish/present, etc.? And "area" is your field of study? – shoover Jun 5 '18 at 22:43
  • @shoover by event I mean conferences and other opportunities to present, and the sentence refers to the lack of conferences fulfilling the program's requirement. About the area, I was trying to be intentionally vague to avoid pointing fingers; if you think it's important, the "area" is computer security, as opposed to the more specific field of study that is crypto. Sorry if the vocabulary sounds odd, these are translations of precisely defined terms. – BoppreH Jun 6 '18 at 7:39
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In my part of Europe this list is the minimum suggested for a PhD. By suggested I mean that it is common, in the sense that is customary, but not strictly required, i.e. there are ways to graduate without it, your advisor just needs to work extra hard to get the committee to approve you thesis.

Master students are encouraged to publish, but that is in no way a requirement. Many of them publish as first authors a short paper on a local conference, or a poster at an lower tiered international one. Papers with more impact are not unheard of, but are usually limited to co-authorship.

The "list of good" venues is a problematic point for many computer science departments. For example, while it is widely held that for computer science, conferences are the primary publication venues, my institution still insists on at least one journal publication for PhD students as it is a recommendation that holds for all departments at the university.

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