Credit Requirements for Master's and Doctoral Degrees
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can programs determine that it is not appropriate for their students to take thesis credits prior to passing the preliminary oral examination?
Yes. Programs may choose not to allow their students to take thesis credits prior to passing the preliminary oral exam.
- Can programs that choose to allow their students this option determine on a case-by-case basis when it is appropriate for individual students to take thesis credits?
Yes. Programs should apply fair and consistent standards and should ensure appropriate consultation with the student’s advisor and with the DGS before allowing students to enroll in thesis credits.
- Do xxxx8888W credits count toward the 24 thesis credit requirement for the doctoral degree?
- My program would like to issue permission numbers for doctoral students who have not yet passed the preliminary oral examination but who are ready to begin their research and register for our program’s xxxx8888 (doctoral thesis credits) course. Can we issue permission numbers for this purpose?
No. In order for a program to allow its students who are "research-ready" to register for doctoral thesis credits prior to passing the preliminary oral examination, the program faculty must first vote to extend this option to its students and then replace the current course prerequisite in ECAS with an alternative prerequisite that reflects the program’s intent (e.g., Ph.D. student in the program, consultation with advisor recommended, advisor consent, etc.). The graduate program's college must also approve the change. The change in the course prerequisite clearly indicates the program's intent to allow students who are ready to register for doctoral thesis credits prior to passing the prelim oral exam. The program must also publicize its position with respect to early thesis credit registration. The procedures for modifying doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888) are specified in the Procedures section of this policy. Registration via the use of permission numbers may be reversed or cancelled.
- My major program is in CEHD. Am I required to register for thesis credits in CEHD?
Yes. Students must register for thesis credits that correspond to their collegiate unit AND their major program.
- Can I take more than the maximum number of credits as required and specified by my graduate program?
Yes, individual students, under certain circumstances, may benefit from taking more than the maximum number of required credits in order to gain the necessary knowledge to prepare them for more advanced courses and/or to support their research and scholarly work.
- Can I include more than the maximum number of credits as required by my program on my degree plan?
Yes, degree plans are subject to program and collegiate approval. For master’s students, please refer to the Master’s Degree: Completion policy for the minimum GPA required for courses included on the degree plan for degree clearance. For doctoral students, please refer to the Doctoral Degree: Performance Standards and Progress policy for the minimum GPA required to remain in good academic standing.
- Can colleges or graduate programs require coursework outside of the program or supporting field credits?
Yes, graduate programs, with collegiate approval, may require coursework outside of the program or supporting field credits as part of the program requirements as long as the total number of required credits conforms with the Credit Requirements for Master’s and Doctoral Degrees policy.
- Can graduate programs require pre-thesis credits (8666)?
Yes, graduate programs may require pre-thesis credits (8666); however, those credits cannot be counted toward fulfilling the graduate course credit requirements or the doctoral thesis credit requirement. For students changing from the doctoral status to the master’s status in the same program, xxxx8666 may be applied toward the master’s Plan A thesis requirement, subject to program approval.