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Requirements and Procedures for Master's Degrees

Plan B

Examination (Plan C)



Graduate Education Master's Degree Programs

Thesis (Plan A)

Credit Hour Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required including 18 credit hours of approved course work, excluding 699s and Thesis 700, at least 12 of which must be in courses numbered 600-798; at least one graduate seminar in the major or related field; and at least 6 credit hours of Thesis 700. The thesis research credit requirements are set uniformly for each graduate program by the faculty in that program.

Candidates must be registered in the thesis research course (700) each semester during which the thesis is being written. Candidates who accumulate the maximum number of thesis research credit hours, but fail to complete the thesis must register for a minimum of 1 credit hour of thesis research at the beginning of the term in which all requirements for the degree will be completed.

Thesis Requirement

When a thesis proposal has been approved by the student’s committee, the chair of the graduate program sends to the Graduate Student Services Office a Student Progress Form II (approval of thesis topic). The student may then enroll in the thesis research course (700) at the beginning of the next term. Students must register for Thesis 700 during the announced registration period. Failure to make satisfactory progress on a thesis does not entitle a student to a refund of tuition.

Upon request by the thesis committee, relevant work done by the student in directed reading/research (course 699) may be utilized as part of the thesis research. In such instances, the total credit hours for such directed reading/research (course 699) and thesis research (700) to be applied toward the minimum requirement for the degree shall not exceed the maximum total credit hours specified for thesis research in the graduate program.

The thesis committee is made up of three members of the graduate faculty.

The chair of the thesis committee is primarily responsible for directing and guiding the candidatevs research and writing activities. It is the studentvs responsibility to keep all members of the committee informed of the scope, plan, and progress of both the research and the thesis. The committee members approve via Progress Form II and Progress Form IV (signature page). Guidelines for thesis preparation are available on the Graduate Education website.

The electronic submission of the thesis is required. Submit a pdf file on a disc (two discs if publishing with ProQuest Information and Learning). Theses must be deposited with the Graduate Student Services Office by the specified deadline (see the “Calendar”).

General Examination

At the option of the faculty of the graduate program, a general examination may be required before a student is advanced to candidacy for a master’s degree. All students within a particular graduate program must take the examination if it is required. The examination is usually given during the first semester of residence. It is designed to reveal the quality of the student’s preparation for advanced work in the program and the ability of the student to pursue graduate work at the master’s level. The examination also enables the student’s committee or advisor to assist in planning a program that will overcome any deficiencies in the student’s background.

A student who passes the examination may be recommended for advancement to candidacy for the master’s degree. A student who fails the general examination may repeat it once upon approval by the graduate program. However, students failing the general examination a second time are dropped from the program.

In graduate programs not requiring a general examination, the student may be advanced to candidacy upon the recommendation of the advisor and/or the graduate faculty of the program concerned. It is assumed that in these cases the recommendation for advancement to candidacy will be based on some evaluation of the student’s potential performance other than a general examination. Students who are denied advancement to candidacy are dropped from the program and lose their status as classified graduate students.

Final Examination

A final oral examination covering the thesis and related areas may be required by individual graduate programs. All Plan A students within a particular graduate program must take the examination if it is required at all. It should be held prior to the specified deadline before the end of the term during which the degree is conferred. It is conducted by the thesis committee and is open to all graduate faculty members. As an alternative, the committee chair may have the candidate present results of the thesis at a departmental graduate seminar, but all members of the thesis committee must be present.

Students failing the final examination may repeat it only once upon petition approved by the graduate program. Notification should be sent to the Graduate Student Services Office via the Form II of a second attempt. Students who fail the final examination a second time are dropped from the program and lose their status as classified graduate students. If the graduate program does not require a final examination, the chair of the graduate faculty concerned reports the completion of all degree requirements on Student Progress Form III.

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