GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE
Semester Hour Minimum
The candidate must earn graduate credit amounting to a minimum of 30-36 semester hours.
Credit for Problems Courses
Courses at the 300- and 400-level may be counted toward the degree upon a written recommendation of the student's advisor and approval of the chair of the department in which the course is offered and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Students taking such courses for graduate credit will be expected to complete course requirements different from those ordinarily included for undergraduates. The number of individual problems courses taken for credit toward the degree and the approved undergraduate courses is limited to a combination of no more than 12 hours.
Undergraduate courses taken for leveling or as undesignated electives are used in the calculation of the semester and cumulative grade point averages and thus determine one’s academic standing.
Limitations on Transfer and Correspondence Courses
Upon the recommendation of the advisory committee and the head of the major department and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the University may accept as many as 12 hours of graduate work completed at another regionally accredited institution. Course work in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A, B, C, etc.) are given (for example CR, P, S, U, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Credit for course work submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours.
A maximum of 6 hours from courses that have been applied or counted toward a completed graduate degree program may be transferred into a Tarleton master’s degree or doctoral program with the approval of the academic department in which the degree is sought. A maximum of 6 hours from a completed master’s degree from Tarleton may be counted toward a second master’s degree with the approval of the academic department. All courses accepted in transfer must have been completed within six years of the time that the student will complete his/her graduate degree program at Tarleton.
No academic work completed by correspondence may be applied to graduate degree programs.
Admission to Candidacy for Master's Degree
Full admission to graduate study is a prerequisite to admission to candidacy for the master's degree. A graduate student may be admitted to candidacy when his / her advisory committee files an approved degree plan accompanied by the student's application for candidacy. The advisory committee will not file a degree plan until the student has completed at least 12 semester hours of graduate credit with an overall B (3.0) GPA.
A graduate student's degree plan includes those courses listed for degree credit on the official degree plan form. All courses on the approved degree plan must be completed with a satisfactory grade to meet requirements for the degree. Changes in an approved degree plan can be made by recommendation to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies by the student's complete advisory committee and head of his or her major department.
Courses listed for graduate credit on the approved degree plan in which the student has received a final grade may not normally be removed from the degree plan, although courses acceptable for graduate credit may be added. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the student's advisory committee, head of his or her major department, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
All degrees require a minimum of 18 semester hours to be completed in the student's major field.
The graduate major requires an undergraduate background of at least 24 semester hours, including 12 advanced hours. However, graduate students who have taken 18 hours of advanced undergraduate education courses as a prerequisite for a teaching certificate may be admitted to a Master of Education degree program. Students choosing the Political Science concentration for the MA may be admitted with a baccalaureate degree in any social science or valid bachelor's-level degree and one year's experience in the public service field.
Research and Practicum Requirement
All students seeking a master's degree must have credit for an approved research course.
Not every graduate program at Tarleton requires a thesis for completion of a master's degree. The Master of Arts, Master of Science, and some majors in the Master of Education degree provide a thesis option.
Students must have full admission to a degree program and the permission of the department head to enroll in thesis. A thesis will not be accepted unless a student has completed a minimum of six semester hours of thesis course work (588). The Thesis Manual, www.tarleton.edu/graduate/studentresources.html, which contains details regarding the preparation and submission of a thesis for approval, is available in the Graduate Office and on the graduate college website. Students who plan to pursue a thesis should obtain a copy of this manual early in their graduate programs.
Thesis Credit. Students who pursue a thesis are required to enroll each semester in at least one thesis course until the thesis is completed. Those who make satisfactory progress will be given the grade of I. Once the thesis has been approved and accepted, the final six semester hours of thesis will be assigned the grade of S. The thesis grade of S is not included in the GPA calculation for the degree major or minor. Only six hours of thesis credit will count towards the 36 required hours.
Microfilming and Copyrighting of Theses and Dissertations
All theses, Dissertations and abstracts completed by graduate students at TSU are sent to UMI/ProQuest of Ann Arbor, MI, for microfilming to be available worldwide. A required fee of $55 is charged for the master’s thesis and $65 for the doctoral dissertation. ProQuest all master’s thesis abstracts in Master’s Abstracts which is distributed on a subscription basis. The abstract of a given thesis is restricted to 150 words. Mathematical formulas and other illustrated materials in the abstract are equated to the number of words that will occupy the space in determining its length. The author retains the right to publish all or any part of the thesis by any means at any time, except by reproduction from a negative microfilm.
The author wishing to copyright a thesis or dissertation must pay an additional cost of $55. However, if the document contains extensive use of material copyrighted by another author, the author of the document must certify that the material is used with the written permission of the other copyrighted author.
Copy quality must be acceptable to the Graduate Office. The fee for binding the thesis copies is $37.50. The fee for binding the dissertation copies is $87.50. The student may request that additional copies be bound for $12.50 each. This process is carried out through the Graduate Office.
The Comprehensive Examination
Candidates for any of the master's degrees at Tarleton must satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination. A graduate student must be admitted to candidacy for a degree before he/she will be allowed to take the comprehensive examination.
The policies and procedures for the comprehensive examinations are available in the office of the department head of the student's major field of study. Early in their degree program students should review the requirements for taking the examination. Some departments require both oral and written examinations, which must be scheduled early in the semester in which they are to be administered. Consult the University calendar for deadlines for submission of comprehensive examination results to the College of Graduate Studies.
The oral examination, when required, is conducted by the student's advisory committee. A representative of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will be invited to participate in this examination.
Students whose performance on the comprehensive examination is unsatisfactory may reschedule an examination at the next regular administration, or, at the discretion of the advisory committee and head of the department involved, at an earlier date. Unless departmental requirements are more limiting, students who attempt the comprehensive examination three times and are not successful will be dropped from the graduate program.