This policy sets the standards for the master’s final examination and the requirements for completion of the master’s degree. Programs and collegiate units may have additional and/or more stringent requirements
I. Final Examination Committee: Plan A and B Master’s Degrees
- The master's final examination committee must consist of at least three members, including the advisor/s. All members assigned to the committee must meet the minimum standards established by the program and college. All members of the committee and the student must participate in the final examination. Committee members and/or the student may participate remotely as long as all conditions for remote participation on the examination are met.
- At least two members (including the advisor) must be from the student’s major field.
- At least one member must represent a field outside the student’s major. If the student has a declared minor(s), the outside member(s) must be from the minor field(s).
- Members cannot satisfy the requirement with respect to more than one field.
- Collegiate deans or their designated representatives at the collegiate level must verify eligibility and approve members of the final oral examination committee.
- The approved committee membership must be centrally archived in the system of record
- Changes in committee membership may be made after filing the degree plan if approved by the director of graduate studies (DGS) and the collegiate unit. Changes must also be archived centrally in the system of record.
II. Final Examination
- For students submitting a Plan A thesis/professional engineering design project, the final examination must contain an oral component.
- The final oral examination is a closed examination open only to the final oral examination committee and the student. Programs may also require a written final examination.
- Students must provide the reviewers with a copy of the Plan A thesis/ professional engineering design project at least 14 days before the scheduled date of the final examination.
- Every member of the final examination committee must certify on the master’s thesis reviewer’s report that the thesis/professional engineering design project is ready for defense before the final examination may take place.
- Committee members must notify the candidate in writing of all required revisions to the thesis/professional engineering design project as well as specify a time limit for the submission of the revised master’s thesis or project within 7 days of the final examination.
- If revisions are required as a condition of passing the final examination, the advisor/s must certify that the revisions have been completed before the degree is awarded.
- For students submitting a Plan B project, the final examination may be oral, written, or both. The final oral examination is a closed examination open only to the final oral examination committee and the student.
- A majority vote of an examining committee is required to pass the master’s final examination.
- If the student fails the final examination, the student may retake the examination only if all committee members, or all committee members save one, approve this option.
- The retake committee for the master’s final examination must comprise the same members as the first examination unless an extraordinary or emergency situation necessitates a substitution.
- If the committee does not approve a retake, or if the student fails the second attempt, the student will be terminated from the master’s program.
III. Thesis Submission: Master’s Thesis/Professional Engineering Design Project
All students who complete a Plan A thesis/professional engineering design project must file a digital copy of the thesis/project with the University in accordance with University standards. Students may choose whether to request a temporary embargo on publication of the thesis/project.
- Plan C Master’s Degrees
The Plan C master’s degree typically does not include a standard final examination. Students pursuing the Plan C must satisfy all of the course and other requirements specified by the program to be awarded the degree.
- Minimum GPA required for degree clearance
Students must have a 2.800 minimum GPA for courses applied toward degree requirements at the time of degree clearance.
This policy does not apply to the M.B.A. [Twin Cities] degree.
This policy applies to all students admitted after January 1, 2013. Students who matriculated before January 1, 2013, and continuously maintained active student status, may choose to continue under the policies in effect when they initially matriculated in their graduate program.
Reason for Policy
This policy establishes uniform standards for the master’s final examination; defines timely submission of copies of the thesis for University archives, and supports Board of Regents Policy: Openness in Research which covers public dissemination of University-sponsored research.