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These are the requirements for a Master's Degree.

 

<New Policy in Graduate School>

1. MASTER'S COMPLETION

2. MASTER'S PERFORMANCE

We expect you to excel at the University of Minnesota Duluth Graduate School. To be sharper and more focused than ever before. To exceed even your own notions of what’s possible. You get there in one of three ways:

Quick Start for Plan A

Quick Start for Plan B

Quick Start for Plan C

Plan A - Requirements for Master’s Degree with Thesis

Major and Related Field(s) or Minor
Students must complete an approved program of coursework consisting of at least 20 graduate level course credits in the major field, and at least 10 thesis credits (8777). Students who wish to complete a designated minor that will be certified on the transcript (a related-fields minor will not be certified on the transcript) must complete at least 6 semester credits in a single field. A designated minor must be approved by the director of graduate studies in the minor field. In cases where the student takes coursework beyond the minimum requirements, both the adviser and the Graduate School may demand comparable standards of performance for all work taken.

Admission to the Graduate School requires the specification of a major field. (link to programs page) Any proposal for a subsequent change in major necessitates a formal request to the Graduate School.

Official Program for the Degree
After completing 10 credits and ordinarily not later than the second semester of registration (the second year for longer programs), students must file the Degree Program with the Graduate School. This requirement may vary with the program. Students list all coursework, completed and proposed, that will be offered to fulfill degree requirements, including transfer work. If a foreign language is required, it is specified. The members of a student’s final examining committee (who are the thesis reviewers for Master’s Degree with Thesis) are appointed on recommendation of the faculty in the major field at the time the student’s official degree program is approved. A degree program approved by the program’s director of graduate studies must be on file before the reviewers’ report, examination report, or graduation forms can be released to the student.

Changes in the Program
Once approved, the program must be followed to meet graduation requirements. Alterations in the program—including committee changes—must be requested in advance by means of a Graduate School Petition.

Language Requirement
See individual program requirements.

Master's Thesis
The thesis title is submitted for approval as part of the information provided on the student's official Graduate Degree Plan. The thesis title must be approved by the adviser. The thesis itself must be on a topic related to the major, be written in acceptable English, demonstrate the student's ability to work independently, and display the student's power of independent thought both in perceiving problems and in making satisfactory progress toward their solution. Familiarity with the bibliography of the special field and correct citation of authorities are expected. Thesis report writing guidelines and submission options.

If the thesis is accepted, the candidate should have it prepared in final form and should submit the Application for Degree before the first working day of the month in which the candidate plans to graduate. Application for Degree forms may be obtained as part of the Graduation Packet online. Students in MEEd, MEHS, MAPL, M.Ed, MSpEd, MTAG, and MEng should use the Forms/Documents link to download the Application for Degree form.

Final Examinations
Candidates for the Master's Degree with Thesis must pass a final oral examination; a final written examination may also be required at the discretion of the graduate faculty in the major field. If both a written and an oral examination are specified, the written examination must precede the oral examination.

The final examination covers the major and minor or related fields and may include other related work. This examination is coordinated by the chair of the student's examining committee. A majority vote of the committee, all members present and voting, is required for a pass. Results are reported to the Graduate School on a Final Examination Report, which is issued to the chair when the oral exam is scheduled. In case of failure, unanimous consent of the examining committee is required to retake the examination, providing the reexamination is conducted by the original committee.

Reports
Forms are provided for signed reports concerning the thesis and final written and/or oral examinations. All reports must be filed in the UMD Graduate School office by the published deadline.

 

Plan B - Requirements for Master’s Degree without Thesis

The requirements for this plan follow those for Master’s Degree with Thesis (Plan A) in matters of admission and language requirements. Unless otherwise specified by the program, a Master’s Degree without Thesis (Plan B) student must pass either a final written examination or a final oral examination, or both, at the discretion of the graduate faculty in the major field.

Plan B differs from Plan A in substituting for the thesis a heavier course requirement and/or special projects. For professional purposes, the Master’s degree program under Plan B is less focused on research interests and more adapted to individuals who will profit from a broader range of knowledge in their fields. Whether taken for professional or personal purposes, the requirements for Plan B are meant to test interests and intellectual abilities at the same level as that of Plan A, but for a different purpose.

Under Plan B, students must complete an approved program of coursework consisting of at least 30 graduate-level course credits, including Plan B Project credits as defined by each college. Normally, a majority of the program credits are in the major field. These are minimum credit requirements; some major fields require additional work.

After completing 10 credits and ordinarily not later than the second semester of registration (the second year for longer programs), students must file an official Graduate Degree Plan with the Graduate School. This requirement may vary with the program. Students list all coursework, completed and proposed, that will be offered to fulfill degree requirements, including transfer work. If a foreign language is required, it is specified. The members of a student’s final examining committee are appointed by the Graduate School dean on recommendation of the faculty in the major field at the time the student’s official degree program is approved. A degree program approved by the Graduate School must be on file before reviewers’ report, examination, or graduation forms can be released to the student.

Students who wish to complete a designated minor that will be certified on the transcript (a related-fields minor will not be certified on the transcript) must complete at least 6 semester credits in a single field. A designated minor must be approved by the director of graduate studies in the minor field.

If Plan B projects are required, these should take a combined minimum of 120 hours of effort on the part of the student. This requirement may be satisfied through papers written in conjunction with regular courses, papers written in specially designed courses, presentation of a studio show (art), or other appropriate methods. Students should consult individual programs concerning the project’s requirement. If one Plan B project is required, it must be in the major; additional projects may be in related field(s).

In cases where the student takes coursework beyond the minimum requirements, both the adviser and the Graduate School may demand comparable standards of performance for all work taken and, in evaluating and approving the minimum program submitted, will reject the minimum degree program (and may terminate candidacy) if the GPA for the total number of courses taken falls below 2.80.

Under this plan, the candidate is examined by a committee of not less than three members, two from the major field and one from a related field or minor, appointed by the Graduate School dean upon recommendation of the adviser and the director of graduate studies. The adviser is expected to contact the UMD Graduate School office before the student’s final examination for the degree to obtain an Examination Report Form for use by the student’s committee. The student must make available to the examining committee for its review the projects prepared to fulfill the required 120 hours of effort, within an adequate period of time to allow for evaluation before the examination(s). A majority vote of the committee, all members present and voting, is required to pass. The vote is reported to the Graduate School on a form the student must obtain from the UMD Graduate School office before taking the examination. In case of failure, unanimous consent of the examining committee is required to retake the master’s final examination, providing the original committee conducts the re-examination.

Plan C - Requirements for Master's Degree with Coursework Only

Coursework (Plan C) master's degrees offer flexibility for professionals seeking a degree in the field in which they are employed and who may already be engaged in related workplace projects. Such degrees provide coursework directly related to the students' professional focus, without requiring non-course-based components that do not always fit well with this professional orientation.

Requirements for this plan also follow those for the Master's Degree with Thesis (Plan A) in matters of admission and language. This plan, however, is a coursework only master’s degree which provides an alternative structure for degree completion, such as a culminating experience in the form of a capstone course and/or paper. In some cases. this experience replaces the final examination for the degree.

Under Plan C, students must complete an approved program of coursework consisting of at least 30 graduate-level course credits.

In general, M.A. and M.S. degrees should exhibit the attributes traditionally associated with these degrees: They should offer the Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (project) options for degree completion, and require a final examination (written or oral, or both) administered by a three-person comittee. Compelling evidence should be presented to offer M.A. and M.S. degrees in a coursework format.

Admission requirements for coursework master's degress will not be less rigorous than for more traditional master's degrees. Professional experience may serve as an appropriate and useful complement to other admission standards.

 

 

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