Requirements for Graduate Degrees

General Requirements

  1. The student must demonstrate a high order of scholarly achievement in his or her chosen field of study, including appropriate research and professional competencies. The Program Steering Committee, through designated graduate advisers and mentors, determines the student’s program of study and evaluates whether adequate mastery has been acquired.
  2. For any graduate degree, a student must be in academic residence for at least two terms of full-time enrollment. In practice, the master’s degree usually requires one to two years of graduate study while the doctorate usually requires four or more years. (Some courses used to meet this requirement may be taken at other universities participating in an interinstitutional program.)
  3. The student must discharge all financial and other obligations to the Medical Center. In the event of nonpayment, one or more actions may be taken by the Dean:
    1. Readmission may be denied;
    2. A student’s grades and official transcript may be withheld;
    3. The degree to which the student would otherwise be entitled may be withheld.

In addition to the foregoing general requirements, there are specific requirements in each degree Program (refer to Program descriptions for further information).

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Specific Requirements for the Master’s Degree

Each Program Steering Committee determines the number of hours of course credit required for the master’s degree. Additionally, the Program specifies whether the student is required to complete a thesis, or its equivalent, that is acceptable to a Supervisory Committee appointed to direct and evaluate the thesis.

Master’s degree candidates from a Program requiring a thesis must submit to the Graduate School office an electronic copy of the thesis, as well as a report of the final oral examination signed by the Supervisory Committee members. These documents, as well as research papers, can be made available to interested members of the public.

For a master’s degree by examination, the Program Chair must submit to the Graduate School office a written report documenting that the degree requirements have been met. Deadline dates for submission of approved theses for each term are published in the annual academic calendar from the Office of Enrollment Services.

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Specific Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Each Program specifies a minimum number of credit hours to meet requirements for admission to candidacy in the Program. In all Programs, students must pass a qualifying examination, as specified by the Program, in order to demonstrate mastery of and the ability to perform scholarly work in a field.

When the student is deemed by the Program Steering Committee to have met all academic requirements and has passed the qualifying examination, he or she is formally admitted to candidacy. The degree is awarded after the candidate has conducted independent research under the guidance of a supervising professor, prepared a dissertation, and successfully defended it in an oral examination before an appointed Committee.

Doctoral degree candidates must submit to the Graduate School office an electronic copy of the dissertation and a report of the final oral examination signed by the Supervisory Committee members. Deadline dates for submission of approved dissertations for each semester are published in the annual academic calendar prepared by the Office of Enrollment Services.

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Graduation

Degrees may be conferred at the end of any term, but only one commencement ceremony is held each year – at the end of the spring term. All students on whom degrees have been conferred since the previous graduation will be listed in the commencement Program.

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