Master’s Comprehensive Examination
The School of Education requires a comprehensive examination for all master’s degrees. The comprehensive examination is designed to assess the student’s mastery of the general field of graduate study. The comprehensive examination is constructed, administered, and scored by the program or department to which the student has been admitted. Procedures and schedules of administration are available from the program or department. *The student must be enrolled to take the comprehensive examination.
*See also Comprehensive Examination under Regulations Pertaining to Master of Arts and Master of Science Degrees . The University-wide regulations on comprehensive examinations detailed there apply to all School of Education master’s programs.
Thesis, Thesis Equivalent, and Research Paper Requirements
Some MA and MS degree programs within the School of Education are offered with a thesis requirement while others are offered with the option of completing either a thesis or a thesis equivalent. All MAT degree programs and some MEd programs require the completion of a research paper.
Master’s Degree with Thesis
The master’s degree with thesis is intended for graduate students who have pursued advanced graduate study in at least one field of education specialization and have demonstrated through the master’s thesis the capability to plan and carry through a project of original research. The plan of studies should include at least 6 credits in thesis work.
The thesis overview is a written proposal for the thesis. The overview is presented to the master’s committee, which consists of a minimum of three faculty members (at least one from another program or department) selected in consultation with the student by the research advisor and approved by the department. The student must submit a form for approval of the thesis committee. A student must be registered in the term during which the thesis overview meeting is scheduled. A unanimous vote of the master’s committee is required for approval of the overview. The outcome of the overview meeting is submitted on the appropriate form along with a corrected copy of the overview to the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.
Approval of Research with Human Subjects
If the research proposed in the overview involves human subjects, the proposed research must be approved by the University Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects before it may be carried out. Information on materials that must be submitted and the procedures that must be followed for an IRB review are available in departmental offices and the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.
Advancement to Master’s Candidacy
To be advanced to candidacy for the master’s degree with thesis a student must:
- be admitted to full graduate status;
- have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (transfer credits not considered);
- have an approved plan of studies on file in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services;
- have passed the comprehensive examination;
- have an approved overview on file in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services; and
- if the proposed research involves human subjects, have a letter on file in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services from the IRB approving the proposed research.
The thesis research is completed and the thesis is prepared under the direction of the research advisor according to the approved overview. In preparing the thesis, the student must follow the University’s ETD Format Guidelines, and specific departmental or program requirements.
Final Oral Examination
The completed thesis is submitted to the master’s committee for the final oral examination. The student must be registered in the term during which the final oral examination is scheduled. The final oral examination is devoted primarily to the thesis, and an affirmative vote by a majority of the committee members is required to pass the examination. One corrected copy of the thesis as approved by the master’s committee must be filed, along with one copy of a research advisor approved abstract and the form showing a passed final oral examination, no later than one week before the end of the term during which the student expects to graduate. The dean/associate dean must approve any exception to this requirement.
Master’s Degree with Thesis Equivalent Option/Research Paper
Master’s degrees with the thesis equivalent option or research paper requirement are intended for graduate students who have pursued advanced study in at least one field of educational specialization and have demonstrated capability of presenting information relevant to an issue or problem in education. The plan of studies should include at least 3 credits in a research seminar, supervised research, or directed study involving research in the student’s focus area.
Research Paper Requirements
Each candidate for the master’s degree with the thesis equivalent option or research paper requirement must complete, in acceptable form, a research paper that demonstrates the ability to locate, organize, and summarize information bearing on an issue or problem in education. This project is usually initiated and completed in the research seminar of the student’s major. For certain majors, this requirement may be met by other means, such as successful exhibits or demonstrations.