Graduation Requirements


Credit-Hour Requirements for Graduation

The minimum credit-hour requirements for graduation with a graduate degree are specified for each degree program listed in this catalog. Each graduate must have an academic average (computed over all graduate work attempted) of at least 3.00 (“B” average).

In addition, candidates for degrees must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. A candidate for graduation must be enrolled in the University during the semester in which academic requirements are completed.
  2. Each candidate for graduation is required to file, in the Office of the Registrar, an Application for Graduation before the announced deadline for Commencement. The application requires the payment of a graduation fee. A new application and graduation fee are required if the applicant fails to meet all degree requirements for the commencement for which the original application was filed.
  3. Comprehensive examination requirements, thesis defense requirements or capstone research report requirements must be completed.
  4. A minimum of one-half of the hours required for the degree must be earned in residence.
  5. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of the first enrollment that is applicable to the degree. (The first graduate course taken to be used toward the degree.)
  6. Each candidate for graduation must achieve a required score on his /her major exit examination or other required examinations for the major. All required assessments must have been completed.
  7. Candidates must apply for graduation by the following deadlines:

Term of Expected Graduation/Completion Application Deadline

Fall Semester September 1

Spring Semester February 1

Summer Semester July 1

Commencement Participation Policy

The University will observe three degree conferral dates–May, July, and December. Participation in commencement exercises is not required.

  • May conferral date. Students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the Spring Semester will have a May conferral date on their diplomas.
  • July conferral date. Students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the Summer Semester will have a July conferral date on their diplomas.
  • December conferral date. Students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the Fall Semester will have a December conferral date on their diplomas. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not necessarily mean that a student is graduating.

Requirements for Graduation

Transfer Credit
A maximum of fifteen (15) semester hours completed in residence in a recognized graduate school may be accepted as transfer credits, provided such work makes up a sequence and provided the grades in each course are “B” or better.

Transfer credit is acceptable at the discretion of the advisor with the approval of the departmental chairperson and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Courses taken more than seven years prior to enrollment will not be accepted for transfer credit, and resident courses must be updated if the program is not completed before the courses are seven years old or older. (See re-validation of courses.)

Reading and Writing Proficiency Requirement
The Board of Regents requires that all master’s degree candidates show evidence of proficiency in reading and writing the English language. The College of Graduate Studies tests students using a Writing/Reading Test administered during Graduate Studies Orientation. If a graduate student does not receive a passing score on this test, then the requirement must be satisfied upon the completion of eighteen hours of graduate credit. Those not satisfying this requirement will not be allowed to enroll for additional credits. Students who have not met the requirement should contact the Graduate Studies Office to arrange tutoring and schedule a time to take or retake the Writing/Reading Test.

Residence Requirement and Time Limitation
The minimum residence requirement is one academic year of two semesters or the acceptable equivalent in summer work. Any transfer credit allowed may not be used to reduce the period of residency. The time limitation to completing all requirements for the master’s degree is seven calendar years from the date of the student’s first enrollment in the Graduate College.

Students are required to complete the program requirements within seven years. If the program has certain requirements for licensure, certification, etc., these must also be met even if the course(s) has/have already been completed. Certification requirements must be met regardless of catalog mandates.

Re-Validation of Courses
Courses are good for a period of seven (7) years. A course more than seven (7) years old but not more than ten (10) years old may be re-validated. Courses more than 10 years old must be retaken. A maximum of three courses in a program may be re-validated. The student must see the department chairperson for guidance in the re-validation of courses.