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Requirements and Procedures for Master's Degrees

Plan A (Thesis)

Plan B



Graduate Education Master's Degree Programs

Examination (Plan C)

Neither a thesis nor a certain number of credit hours is required by this plan. The student must demonstrate competence by examination and must meet the minimum residence requirement of two semesters of full-time study.

A preliminary conference will be held to discuss the student’s objectives and how to meet them and to determine the general program the student will follow to prepare for the required examinations. The conference will be conducted by the chair of the graduate program or by a designated member of the graduate faculty. The plan of study developed at this conference may include course work and/or independent study and research. Plan C is available in second language studies, linguistics, mathematics, natural resources and environmental management, physics, and tropical plant and soil sciences. Each graduate program specifies its own requirements in addition to the following:

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 C Studies 500 may be used to meet this requirement. The 500 course is offered with a mandatory grading of S/NG but does not carry credit toward meeting degree requirements.

General Examination

A general exploratory examination (oral and/or written) will be given to determine if the intended candidate should be admitted to candidacy for the master’s degree under Plan C and to ascertain weaknesses in the student’s academic preparation. This examination 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 will be conducted by the student’s interim advisor and the graduate faculty of the program or a committee thereof consisting of at least three members of the faculty. It is given during the first semester of residence and is from one to two hours in length. A student who fails the general examination may repeat it upon approval by the graduate program. Notification should be sent to the Graduate Student Services Office via the Form I of a second attempt. A student who fails the general examination a second time is dropped from the program and loses classified graduate student status.

Final Examination

A final examination or series of examinations, written and oral, will be given to determine the candidate’s comprehension of the graduate program at the master's level. Since there are no course requirements for this plan, the final examinations will be designed to give the student opportunity to demonstrate a level of achievement consonant with the level of achievement required by Plans A and B. It is assumed that many students will prepare themselves for the examinations by taking courses recommended by advisors.

Specifications for the number of written examinations required, what they cover, and the amount of time required for each (two or more hours for written examinations and one or more for the oral portion) are set forth in the statement of requirements in each graduate program. The written examinations may be given by the candidate’s committee or by an examination committee of graduate faculty members constituted for that purpose.

The oral portion of the final examination follows the written portions and must be held prior to the specified deadline before the end of the term during which the degree is conferred. It is conducted by the candidate’s committee and is open to all members of the faculty. The examination must be announced in the weekly News@UH. It may be scheduled on any working day during normal working hours. Arrangements for the final examination must be made at least three weeks prior to the date of examination for fall and spring semesters, and four weeks prior to the date of the examination for the summer.

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

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