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Thesis-based Master's Degree

Requirements for a Master's Degree with Thesis

Major and Related Field(s) or Minor

Students must complete an approved program of coursework consisting of at least 20 graduate-level course credits in the major field, and at least 10 thesis credits (8777). Students who wish to complete a designated minor that will be certified on the transcript (a related-fields minor will not be certified on the transcript) must complete at least 6 semester credits in a single field. A designated minor must be approved by the director of graduate studies in the minor field. In cases where the student takes coursework beyond the minimum requirements, both the adviser and the Graduate School may demand comparable standards of performance for all work taken.

Admission to the Graduate School requires the specification of a major field. A Change of Status must be requested from The Graduate School for a subsequent change in major.

Official Degree Plan

After completing 10 credits and ordinarily not later than the second semester of registration (the second year for longer programs), students must file a Graduate Degree Plan with the Graduate School. This requirement may vary with the program. Students list all coursework, completed and proposed, that will be taken to fulfill degree requirements, including transfer work. If a foreign language is required, it is specified. The members of a student's final examining committee (who are also the thesis reviewers) may be appointed only after the student's official degree plan is approved. A degree plan approved by the Graduate School must be on file before the reviewers' report, examination report, or graduation forms will be released to the student.

Changes in the Degree Plan

Once approved, the degree plan must be followed to meet graduation requirements. Alterations in the plan must be requested in advance by means of a Graduate School Petition. Committee member changes must be requested using the Assign/Update Examining Committee online process.

Language Requirement

See individual program requirements.

Master's Thesis

The thesis and thesis title must be approved by the advisor. The thesis itself must be on a topic related to the major, be written in acceptable English, demonstrate the student's ability to work independently, and display the student's power of independent thought both in perceiving problems and in making satisfactory progress toward their solution. Familiarity with the bibliography of the special field and correct citation of authorities are expected. The thesis should be formatted according to the Thesis Formatting and Submission Guidelines set by The Graduate School, and submitted online to ProQuest.

Final Examinations

Candidates for the Master's Degree with Thesis must pass a final oral examination. A final written examination may also be required at the discretion of the graduate faculty in the major field. The thesis is declared ready for defense by the committee members prior to the examination date using the electronic Reviewers' Report form. Students initiate this form from their Graduation Packet, and it is then routed online to the committee members for approval.

The final examination covers the major and minor or related fields and may include other related work. This examination is coordinated by the chair of the student's examining committee. A majority vote of the committee, all members present and voting, is required for a pass. Results are reported to the Graduate School on a Final Examination Report form. Students initiate this form from their Graduation Packet, and it is then routed online to the committee chair for the recording of committee members' votes. In case of failure, unanimous consent of the examining committee is required to retake the examination, providing the reexamination is conducted by the original committee.

All forms must be received by the Graduate School by the last business day of your intended graduation month.