Each graduate program at the University has specific graduation requirements, which must be met prior to graduation. In addition, students must fulfill the following requirements for a graduate degree:
- Have a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.000 or better at graduation. A maximum of six semester hours of course work at the grade of C+ or C may apply toward graduation. A maximum number of nine semester hours of approved transfer credit may be applied to the degree.
- Have regular student status.
- Complete the program’s minimum number of hours of approved course work.
- Pass a final comprehensive and/or oral examination in the major area of study, if required by the program.
- Submit a graduation planning sheet signed by the student’s graduate advisor during the semester term in which graduation is to occur. The deadline for submission is published.
- Complete a thesis or directed research project if required by the program. If choosing the thesis option, submit an electronic copy and one unbound paper copy of the approved thesis to the Library. Reproduction and binding costs are the responsibility of the student. (Individual programs may require additional bound copies.)
Note: Enrollment for thesis or directed research credit is required for any academic term during which University resources (e.g., faculty time, computer use, library, etc.) are being used. However, a maximum of six (6) semester hours of thesis or directed research course work will count toward meeting graduation requirements for MS/MA degrees.
Undergraduate Leveling Courses
Only graduate courses (500 level or above) will count toward a graduate degree. However, students admitted to graduate study may be required to complete some undergraduate prerequisite or leveling courses in addition to their graduate work.
Courses taken for undergraduate credit by a graduate student (courses 400 level or below) do not enter into the graduate grade-point computation. A graduate program director/coordinator may, however, stipulate a grade point to be achieved in such undergraduate courses.
Graduate programs may include courses which are dually numbered at the undergraduate (400) and graduate (500) level. Students registered for graduate credit are required to perform at the graduate level. Dual-listed courses taken for undergraduate credit will not apply toward a graduate program. Graduate students may not repeat for graduate credit a dual-listed course which was taken in the undergraduate program.
Graduate programs may require a final comprehensive and/or oral examination. Scheduling is made through the graduate advisor. Students who fail a final examination may retake the examination once. A re-examination cannot be scheduled in the same term as the original examination.
Graduate Thesis Policies
Some graduate programs provide an option that includes a thesis and an oral defense of the thesis. Students must submit a research plan prior to the work. The plan must define the topic of study and outline the research design. The plan must have the written approval of all members of the student’s graduate committee and the program director/coordinator.
The graduate committee shall consist of at least three faculty members approved by the thesis advisor and the program director/coordinator. At least two members of the committee must be from within the department of the student’s graduate program. Changes in membership in the graduate committee may be requested in writing by the student to the program director/coordinator.
The research/thesis plan should be filed as soon as possible after the degree plan is filed and before 18 credit hours of the student’s degree plan have been completed.
Some graduate programs offer non-thesis options to students. Details of the requirements are specified in the respective section of this catalog. Students also should consult with the appropriate program director/coordinator for the requirements.
Students writing a thesis in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements must submit an electronic copy and one unbound paper copy of the approved thesis to the University Library. (Students should contact the Office of the Dean of Library Services for further details.) The student will pay the Library for the binding cost (based upon the fee schedule maintained by the Library) of the required copy plus any additional copy bindings requested by the student. The bound thesis will be submitted to the library. Individual programs may require additional bound copies.
The Thesis Must:
- Contain a title page;
- Contain a certificate of acceptance;
- Conform to the style and form approved by the major department and outlined in the thesis plan;
- Be printed on high-quality paper with a minimum of 25 percent rag content; and
- Be bound.
The required University copy of the thesis must be of high-quality printing and must use a paper of the same quality as the original and include color pages wherever appropriate. Other copies of the thesis may be duplicated in any manner the student desires.
It is imperative that the utmost care be taken in the preparation of the final copy of the thesis. The completion of the thesis, including preparation and duplication, is the sole responsibility of the student.
The thesis abstract should consist of no more than five hundred (500) words. The thesis abstract should cover the following items:
- Purpose of study;
- Research materials and methods results; and
- Summary and conclusions.
For additional thesis or directed research requirements, consult your program advisor.
Oral Defense of Research
Upon completion of a master’s thesis, an oral defense/final comprehensive examination must be scheduled. Application for the oral defense is made to the graduate advisor.
A report of the outcome of the oral defense must be filed with the program director/coordinator. The report must be signed by all members of the student’s graduate committee. Students must pass the oral defense to complete their thesis or directed research requirement successfully.