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3. Degree Requirements
The general requirements for graduate degrees are given in this chapter. Specific requirements and course descriptions for each graduate program are given in chapter 4. Detailed information about each degree program is available from the graduate adviser and the graduate coordinator for that program.
Limitation for Faculty
No tenured member of the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin may pursue an advanced degree at this institution.
Grade Point Average
The graduate grade point average is calculated by the registrar and appears on the student’s official record maintained by the registrar. To graduate, all graduate students must have a graduate grade point average of at least 3.00. Individual Graduate Studies Committees may set grade point average requirements of 3.00 or higher for all or a portion of their students’ coursework.
Additional information about grades, symbols, and the graduate grade point average is given in General Information.
Only the courses that appear on the student’s Program of Work are counted toward the degree. The following policies govern the inclusion of courses on the Program of Work.
Courses Taken in Residence
Courses completed with a letter grade. Courses in which the student earned a grade of at least C while registered in the Graduate School may be included in the Program of Work. Limitations on the amount of undergraduate work that may be included are given in the section “Options” and in chapter 4.
Courses completed on the credit/no credit basis. No more than 20 percent of the hours on the Program of Work for a master’s degree may have been taken on the credit/no credit basis, and no more than a comparable portion of the Program of Work for the doctoral degree. Thesis, master’s report, master’s recital, dissertation, and treatise courses, which are offered only on the credit/no credit basis, are not included in the 20 percent. More information about credit/no credit grading is given in General Information.
Courses with incomplete grades. Courses for which the symbol X (incomplete) or I (permanent incomplete) is recorded may not be included on the Program of Work. More information about incomplete grades is given in General Information.
Transfer of Credit
Ordinarily, all work for the master’s degree must be done at the University of Texas at Austin. Under some circumstances, a maximum of six semester hours of graduate coursework in which the grade is A or B may be transferred to the Program of Work from another institution, but only on the basis of a petition by the Graduate Studies Committee and with the approval of the graduate dean. (In the School of Nursing, a higher number of hours may be transferred in some degree programs.) A student seeking a transfer of credit must provide the Graduate School with an official transcript and an official explanation of the course numbering and grading systems at the school at which the credit was earned. Only graduate courses may be transferred. Work counted toward a degree at another institution cannot be transferred. Students are encouraged to seek approval before taking any coursework they plan to transfer. Students should not take courses at another institution the semester they plan to graduate, because the grades may not be received in time to certify the student’s Program of Work for graduation. Unless its inclusion has been approved by the graduate dean, no coursework listed on the Program of Work may be over six years old.
No formal petition is necessary for coursework from other institutions to be used on the doctoral Program of Work, but use on the Program of Work is subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.
Transferred coursework as described in this section appears only on the student’s Program of Work. It does not appear on the official student record maintained by the registrar. Because it is not part of the official record, such coursework does not appear on the student’s transcript and is not included in the graduate grade point average.
Up to six semester hours of work done in extension classes through the University’s Division of Continuing Education may be listed on the Program of Work, with the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee and the graduate dean. The extension credit must be in graduate courses; the courses and instructors must be approved in advance by the Graduate School and by the program in which the student would otherwise take the work on campus; and the student must be admitted to the Graduate School before taking the extension courses.
All grades in graduate courses taken through the Division of Continuing Education are included in the graduate grade point average.
Courses taken by correspondence may not be counted toward graduate degrees.
Credit by Examination
Credit by examination may not be counted toward graduate degrees.
Enrollment of Undergraduates in Graduate Courses
Graduate Work for Undergraduate Credit
An undergraduate may enroll in a graduate course under the following conditions:
- He or she must be an upper-division student and must fulfill the prerequisite for the course (except graduate standing).
- He or she must have a University grade point average of at least 3.00.
- He or she must receive the consent of the instructor of the course and of the graduate adviser for the field in which the course is offered. Some colleges and schools may also require the approval of the dean’s office. Individual divisions may impose additional requirements or bar undergraduates from enrolling in graduate courses.
- Students in most colleges must have their dean’s approval before they register for a graduate course.
Undergraduate students may not enroll in graduate courses that have fewer than five graduate students enrolled.
A graduate course taken by an undergraduate is counted toward the student’s bachelor’s degree in the same way that upper-division courses are counted, unless the course is reserved for graduate credit as described in the next section. Courses reserved for graduate credit may not also be used to fulfill the requirements of an undergraduate degree.
An undergraduate student enrolled in a graduate course is subject to all University regulations affecting undergraduates.
Reservation of Work for Graduate Credit
Under the following conditions, a degree-seeking undergraduate may enroll in a graduate course and reserve that course for credit toward a graduate degree.
- The student must have a University grade point average of at least 3.00.
- The student must have completed at least ninety semester hours of coursework toward an undergraduate degree.
- The student may not register for more than fifteen semester hours in the semester or for more than twelve semester hours in the summer session in which the course is reserved.
- No more than twelve semester hours may be reserved for graduate credit.
- All courses reserved for graduate credit must be approved by the twelfth class day of the semester or the fourth class day of the summer session by the course instructor, the student’s undergraduate adviser, the graduate adviser in the student’s proposed graduate major area, the dean of the student’s undergraduate college, and the graduate dean. A form for this purpose is available in the Office of Graduate Studies.
An undergraduate student enrolled in a graduate course is subject to all University regulations affecting undergraduates.
A student who reserves courses for graduate credit must be admitted to a University graduate program through regular channels before the credit may be applied toward a graduate degree. By allowing a student to earn graduate credit while still an undergraduate, the University makes no guarantee of the student’s admissibility to any graduate program.
A course reserved for credit may be listed on the student’s Program of Work for the master’s or doctoral degree. Because it was taken before the student entered the Graduate School, it is not included in the graduate grade point average.
Use of the Course 398T on the Program of Work
With the consent of his or her Graduate Studies Committee, a student may include the college teaching methodology course, numbered 398T, on the Program of Work. Master’s degree students may include up to three semester hours. Doctoral degree students may include up to six semester hours, if they complete both introductory and advanced teaching methodology courses.
Courses Counted toward Another Degree
No course counted toward another degree may be counted toward a master’s degree, either directly or by substitution.
Work done for the master’s degree may be included in the work for the doctoral degree, provided it is acceptable to the Graduate Studies Committee, the supervising committee, and the graduate dean and provided it has not already been used toward another doctoral degree.
Students in a dual degree program must meet the course requirements for both degrees. Courses common to the two curricula in a dual degree program are included on the Program of Work for one of the degrees and are waived by the other degree program as specified in the dual degree program requirements. The Program of Work on which courses are waived must meet the Graduate School’s minimum-credit-hour requirements for the degree. A list of approved dual degree programs is given in chapter 1.
All graduate students are expected to enroll and pay tuition and fees by the twelfth class day of the fall semester and the spring semester of each academic year until graduation. If the student has been admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, registration in the dissertation course or the equivalent or in international study and research is required. The only alternative to continuous registration is a leave of absence, discussed below.
If a student who is not on approved leave fails to register by the twelfth class day, he or she may not return to the University without applying for readmission. The student must apply for readmission both to the University and to the graduate program and must pay the general application fee. The application is reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee, which may choose to readmit the student or to deny readmission.
Leave of Absence
Graduate students may apply for a leave of absence of no more than two semesters. If the student has not yet been admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, this request must be approved in advance of the leave by the graduate adviser. If the student has been admitted to candidacy, the application must be approved in advance by the graduate adviser and the graduate dean; it will be approved by the graduate dean only in rare and unusual circumstances.
A student on approved leave must apply for readmission in order to return to the University, but readmission during the approved period is automatic and the application fee is waived.
A student on leave may not use any University facilities; nor is he or she entitled to receive advice from any member of the faculty. A leave of absence does not alter the time limits for degrees or coursework.
Application to Another Graduate Major (Change of Major)
To change his or her major, a student must submit the form Application for Admission to Another Graduate Major to the Graduate and International Admissions Center. The application must be approved by the graduate adviser in the new program. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate and International Admissions Center by April 1 for the summer session, by July 1 for the fall semester, and by October 1 for the spring semester. Students should consult the graduate adviser for the proposed new major about priority deadlines and additional requirements, procedures, and materials.
If the student has been away from the University for a semester or longer, he or she must apply for readmission.
Warning Status, Academic Dismissal, and Termination
To continue in the Graduate School beyond the first semester or summer session, the student must make satisfactory progress in fulfilling any admission conditions that were imposed, meet any requirements made in writing by the Graduate Studies Committee, maintain a graduate grade point average of at least 3.00, and receive the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.
Graduate Studies Committees are responsible for evaluating the students in their programs to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress toward a degree. If the Graduate Studies Committee finds that a student is not making satisfactory progress, it may recommend to the graduate dean that the student’s program be terminated.
A graduate student whose graduate grade point average falls below 3.00 at the end of any semester or summer session will be warned by the Office of Graduate Studies that his or her continuance in the Graduate School is in jeopardy. The student must attain a graduate grade point average of at least 3.00 during the next semester or summer session he or she is enrolled or be subject to dismissal; during this period, the student may not drop a course or withdraw from the University without the approval of the graduate adviser and the graduate dean.
A graduate student who has been dismissed may be readmitted for further graduate study only by petition of the Graduate Studies Committee in the student’s major area or by the Graduate Studies Committee of another program that will accept the student. The petition must be approved by the graduate dean.
Academic dismissal is reflected on the student’s academic record.
Additional information about grades and the grade point average is given in General Information.
Master’s degree. All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within one six-year period. Work over six years old may be reinstated only with the permission of the graduate dean, upon recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee.
Doctoral degree. All completed work that is included in a doctoral student’s degree program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years (exclusive of a maximum of three years of military service). The Graduate Studies Committee will review the program of students who have not completed the degree at the end of three years from admission to candidacy; the committee will review the status of the student’s program yearly thereafter. At those times, the committee may recommend additional coursework, further examinations, or termination of candidacy. In addition, the program is subject to review by the graduate dean.
The Master’s Degree
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, information studies, nursing, pharmacy, public affairs, and social work. A complete list appears in Chapter 1. Often, 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 a regionally 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 with two or more members, one of whom is designated as supervisor. The supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Studies Committee in the major area. In general, all committee members must be members of a Graduate Studies Committee. Occasionally, scholars who hold nonfaculty appointments at the University—research scientists, research engineers, or adjunct faculty members—or off-campus scholars are appointed because their expertise would be valuable to the student. The composition of the committee is subject to the approval of the graduate dean. 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.
For each option, the Graduate School requires at least thirty semester hours of credit. Individual programs may have higher requirements, and many programs do require more hours in the report and no thesis/no report options than in the thesis option. 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 degree programs and options, the number of upper-division hours allowed is lower.
At least eighteen semester hours must be in the major area; the thesis, report, or recital course, if part of the program, must be in the major. 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; thesis, report, and recital courses are not included in the 20 percent.
Master’s degree with thesis. Each student’s Program of Work must include at least twenty-one semester hours of graduate coursework, including the thesis course. The thesis is prepared under the direction of a supervisor, who is chair of the supervising committee. It is subject to the approval of the committee and ultimately 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 for credit. Both 698A and 698B must be taken on the credit/no credit 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.
Some students seeking the Master of Music complete a recital rather than a thesis. All policies affecting the master’s degree with thesis apply to the master’s degree with recital, but the student completes the two-semester course Music 698R, Master’s Recital, rather than a thesis course. The recital is prepared under the direction of a supervisor, who is chair of the supervising committee, and graded by faculty members from the student’s performance area.
Master’s degree with report. Each student’s Program of Work must include at least twenty-four hours of graduate coursework, including the report course. The report is prepared under the direction of a supervisor, who is chair of the supervising committee. 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 of the graduate dean. Three semester hours of credit are granted for preparing the report; the student must register for the master’s report course. The student must take this course on the credit/no credit basis and must register for it the semester that he or she files for graduation.
Master’s degree without thesis or report. Each student’s Program of Work must include at least twenty-seven semester hours of graduate coursework. Students must be registered the semester they apply to graduate.
Graduate Catalog, 2007-2009
page 1 of 2 in Chapter 3