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Requirements and Procedures for Master's Degrees

Thesis (Plan A)

Examinations (Plan C)



Plan B

Credit Hour Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required. A minimum of 18 credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 600-798 (excluding Thesis 700) including at least one graduate seminar in the major program or in a related program. Not more than 9 credit hours in directed reading/research (course 699) may be applied to meet degree requirements. This degree plan typically includes a final project, practicum, or similar culminating experience.

When the student is advanced to candidacy, the chair of the graduate program appoints a program advisor or a program committee made up of members of the graduate faculty. The program advisor/committee advises the candidate and approves a coherent program of courses for the candidate.

Candidates must be enrolled during the term in which they complete the requirements for the degree; regular course work or the appropriate Master’s Plan B Studies 500 may be used to meet this requirement. The 500 course is offered as a 1-credit course with a mandatory grading of S/NG but does not carry credit toward meeting degree requirements.

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 at all. 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 graduate 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 performance in the general examination. Students who are denied advancement to candidacy are dropped from the program and lose their status as classified graduate students.

Final Examination

At the option of the faculty of the graduate program, a final examination may be required of Plan B candidates for the master’s degree. If required, it is designed to determine the candidate’s achievement in the graduate program at the master’s level. This examination has several possible forms. It may be a seminar appearance, a written comprehensive examination, an oral examination, some equivalent, or a combination of these. If a final examination is required by the graduate program, it must be given prior to the established deadline before the end of the term during which the degree is conferred.

Students failing the final examination may be permitted to repeat it only once upon approval by the graduate program. Notification should be sent to the Graduate Student Services Office via the Form II of a second attempt. Students failing the examination a second time are dropped from the program and lose their status as classified graduate students.