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The University offers two types of master's degree. The first, the Master of Arts, requires advanced study in the humanities, sciences, or education and the preparation of a thesis or report. This degree frequently serves as preparation for further study. The second type of master's degree provides preparation in a professional field. These degrees are offered in such fields as architecture, business administration, education, engineering, fine arts, library and information science, nursing, pharmacy, public affairs, and social work. A complete list appears in chapter 1. Most of these degree programs require more coursework than the Master of Arts but do not include a thesis or report.
The following general requirements for the master's degree set a minimum standard. With the approval of the graduate dean, specific programs may impose additional requirements.
Every master's degree program assumes that participants have a general college education through the baccalaureate level. Accordingly, to enter a master's degree program a student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited United States institution or proof of equivalent training outside the United States. He or she must also have taken at least twelve semester hours of upper-division undergraduate coursework in the area of the proposed graduate major or must have the consent of the graduate dean. Some areas may require more undergraduate preparation. Students who lack adequate preparation may be admitted to a graduate program on the condition that they complete additional preparatory coursework designated by the graduate adviser. These courses are in addition to the thirty semester hours or more required for the master's degree itself.
Each master's degree program is developed under the guidance of a supervising committee composed of two or more members of a Graduate Studies Committee, one of whom is designated as supervisor. The supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Studies Committee in the major area. The supervising committee is responsible for the quality, depth, and balance of the student's educational experience.
The Graduate School recognizes three options under which a student may pursue the master's degree: with thesis, with report, and without thesis or report. All three options may not be available in any one field of study; information about the options that are possible is given in chapter 4 or is available from the student's graduate adviser.
At least thirty semester hours of coursework are required for the master's degree with thesis; at least thirty-three hours are required for the degree with report; at least thirty-six hours are required for the degree without thesis or report. No more than nine semester hours of upper-division coursework may be included, of which no more than six hours may be in either the major area or the supporting work. In some fields of study, the number of upper-division hours allowed is lower.
At least eighteen semester hours must be in the major area; the hours in the major must include the thesis or report if written. At least six hours must be in supporting work. Supporting work, often referred to as the minor, is an obligatory part of each degree program. It consists of coursework outside the major area, although the Graduate Studies Committee may permit some or all of it to be taken in other areas within the department.
The exact number of hours in the major area and in supporting work is determined in consultation with the graduate adviser. The Graduate Studies Committee must then review and approve the Program of Work, made up of the proposed courses in the major area and in supporting work. Courses listed on the Program of Work may not be more than six years old. The student may earn no more than 20 percent of the hours of credit listed on the Program of Work on the credit/no credit basis.
Master's degree with thesis. Each program must include at least twenty-one semester hours of graduate-level coursework, including the thesis. The thesis is prepared under the direction of a supervisor who is chairman of the supervising committee appointed by the graduate dean; it is subject to the approval of the committee and ultimately to the approval of the graduate dean. Six semester hours of credit are granted for researching and writing the thesis. Course 698A (research project) must precede course 698B (writing period); 698A may not be repeated. Both 698A and 698B must be taken on the letter-grade basis. The student must register for 698B the semester he or she intends to graduate. The thesis cannot be accepted before the semester in which the student applies for graduation.
The thesis is normally written in English. Requests for permission to write in another language pertinent to the research will be granted when there are circumstances warranting an exception. An insufficient command of English is not justification for an exception. The petition from the graduate adviser should include assurance that faculty members competent both in the language and in the field are available and willing to serve on the thesis committee. The request must be approved by the graduate dean when the student is admitted to candidacy. The abstract and a substantial summary and conclusions section in English must be submitted with the thesis.
Master's degree with report. Each program must include at least twenty-four hours of graduate-level coursework, including the report. The report is prepared under the direction of a supervisor who is chairman of the supervising committee appointed by the graduate dean. Reports typically result from gathering special materials, from an internship or similar experience, or from seminars, conference courses, or supervised research. The report is subject to the approval of the committee and ultimately to the approval of the graduate dean. Three semester hours of credit are granted for preparing the report; the student must register for the report course, usually numbered 398R, in addition to the thirty hours of coursework required for the degree. The student must take this course on the letter-grade basis and must register for it each semester that he or she files for graduation.
Master's degree without thesis or report. Each program must include at least twenty-seven semester hours of graduate-level coursework. The master's degree without thesis or report is not available to students seeking the Master of Arts, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Science in Applied Physics, the Master of Science in Architectural Studies, the Master of Science in Geological Sciences, or the Master of Science in Statistics. Students must be registered the semester they file to graduate.
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