University of Texas at El Paso
2010-2011gradbanner
 

General Degree Requirements

PRELIMINARY DEGREE PLAN

Each master’s student must submit to the Graduate School a graduate advisor and college dean approved Preliminary Degree Plan. The Preliminary Degree Plan should list the courses required by the department that the student must complete prior to graduation. The degree plan must be approved by the Graduate School.
Nine semester hours of upper-division undergraduate courses approved for graduate credit are the maximum allowable in any individual’s program. Undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit require additional work, the amount and nature of which to be determined by the instructor. Undergraduate courses approved for graduate credit are listed in the Graduate Catalog under the respective program. The Graduate School discourages students from working toward more than one graduate degree at the same time.
For doctoral students, the Preliminary Degree Plan must be submitted during the first year of graduate study. For composition of the supervising committee, the student should refer to the section in this catalog that describes his/her respective doctoral program.

TIME LIMITS AND CATALOG CHANGES

All requirements for a masters degree must be completed within one six-year period, including any transfer work or work completed prior to admission to the program. Work over six years old is lost and can be reinstated only by special permission of the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the committee on graduate studies. Doctoral students should consult the specific program for the policy on time limits for completing doctoral degree requirements.
General and specific requirements for degrees in the Graduate School may be altered in successive catalogs. Provided the requisite courses continue to be offered, the student is bound only by the course requirements of the catalog in force at the time of admission or re-admission within a six-year limit, unless, with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, the student elects to be bound by the course requirements of a subsequent catalog. This regulation applies to course requirements only.

COURSE WORK REQUIREMENTS

Course Load
Registration in excess of 15 semester hours during a long semester, or 6 semester hours in a summer term requires the approval of the departmental graduate advisor, college dean and the Graduate School.
At least 30 semester hours of upper-division and/or graduate instruction are required for any masters degree. Nine semester hours of upper-division undergraduate courses approved for graduate credit are the maximum allowable in any program of study. Undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit will require additional work, the amount and nature of which to be determined by the instructor. Every proposed program of study needs the approval of the Graduate School. The Graduate School discourages students from working toward more than one graduate degree at the same time.

 Fall and Spring Full-time    =    9 or more hours per semester
Part-time    =    8 or less hours
Maximum course load is 15 semester hours.
 
 Maymester and Wintermester Full-time    =    3 or more hours per term
Part-time    =    2 or less hours
Maximum course load is 6 hours.
 Summer and 10 weeks Full-time    =    3 hours or more per term
Part-time    =    2 or less hours
Maximum course load is 6 hours.

For enrollment verification to financial aid, loan agencies, insurance companies, scholarships, etc., the following categories will be followed.

Fall and Spring    Hours Per Semester/Term
Full-time                   
Part time                   
Half time                   
Less than Half        

=    9 or more hours per semester

=    6-8 hours
=    4-5 hours
=    fewer than 4 hours
Maymester and Wintermester
Full-time                     
Part time                    
Less than Part          

=    3 or more

=    2 hours
=    1 hour
Summer Sessions
Full-time                   
Part time                     
Less than                 


=    3 or more

=    2 hours
=    1 hour

Students are encouraged to enroll in the appropriate number of credit hours as required by financial aid, loan agencies, insurance companies, scholarships, etc. Veterans Affairs (VA) students are recommended to consult with the campus VA Office.
Students who participate in the Career and Professional Development Services Cooperative Education Program and who are only enrolled in a CO-OP course will be classified as full-time for the semester/term.  International students with assistantships seeking to enroll in CO-OP must obtain approval from the Graduate School before enrolling in CO-OP. Enrollment in CO-OP beyond two semesters requires Graduate School approval.
This full-time classification is a criterion for employment as teaching and research assistants and for receipt of stipends and scholarships. It represents a minimum standard and individual programs may require students to enroll in more hours to qualify for support.
Summer Enrollment Students continuously enrolled on a full-time basis the immediate preceding fall and spring semesters are not required to enroll during the summer term if course offerings directly applicable toward degree completion are not available during the summer term. Students eligible to pursue this alternative must obtain permission from the Graduate School.  

Enrollment Verification for Thesis and Dissertation Students
Master’s degree students, who have completed all requirements for the degree, including 5398, are classified by the Graduate School as full time if only enrolled in 5399 (which is a 3 credit-hours course).This full-time classification applies to three final semesters of continual enrollment in 5399.
The same consideration will be given to non-thesis students who have completed all requirements for the degree except the final six hours of coursework as determined by the Graduate Catalog and the approved degree plan. Students eligible for this consideration must obtain permission from the Graduate School to enroll in six or less hours of approved coursework. If approved, full-time classification will be granted for one final semester only.
Doctoral degree students who have completed all requirements for the degree including 6320 or 6398 are classified by the Graduate School as full- time if only enrolled in 6399 or 6321 (which is a 3 hour course). This full-time classification applies to four final terms of continual enrollment in 6322 or 6399.
Graduate students enrolled in 3 hours during one of the summer semesters are classified by the Graduate School as full time for the entire summer.
This full-time classification is a criterion for employment as teaching and research assistants and for receipt of stipends and scholarships. It represents a minimum standard and individual programs may require students to enroll in more hours to qualify for support.
Graduate students receiving financial aid must register for a minimum of four hours every semester to retain their financial aid eligibility even if they are in the final semester of thesis, dissertation or coursework.

Prerequisites
Every master's degree program is based on the assumption that the student participating in it already possesses a general college education through the baccalaureate level. Accordingly, the first prerequisite for the entering student is a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. A second prerequisite is that the entering student must have taken at least 12 semester hours of advanced undergraduate courses in the area of study in which he or she proposes to pursue a graduate major. Some areas may require more semester hours of undergraduate preparation. Students must earn at least a 3.0 grade point average in any deficiency or leveling work required. If a student without adequate preparation is admitted to a given graduate program, admission will be conditional until such time as the student has completed the courses of preparatory work designated by the graduate advisor. These courses will be in addition to the 30 hours (or more) required for the master's degree itself.

THESIS REQUIREMENTS

The candidate must be accepted into a graduate program prior to pursuing the thesis. The candidate for the master's degree writes a thesis under the direction of a supervising committee, consisting of at least two departmental representatives and one member from outside the department. All members of the supervising committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty. The thesis is subject to the approval of the committee and ultimately to the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. The researching and writing of the thesis involves 6 semester hours of credit. To earn the 6 hours of thesis credit, the student must register in course 5398 when work on the thesis is begun. Thereafter, the student must register for 5399 during each semester or term in which work on the thesis is conducted. Students may not enroll in 5398and 5399 simultaneously, nor may they enroll in more than three hours of thesis at any one time, and must be enrolled during the semester of graduation.
A copy of the thesis, using any publication style appropriate to the given discipline, must be submitted to the Graduate School for format check prior to the scheduled defense date. The thesis must be prepared according to the Graduate School’s thesis and dissertation manuscript guidelines available at the Graduate School website. The student will receive email confirmation from the Graduate School upon approval of the format.
The candidate must submit a copy of the final Graduate School approved thesis in PDF electronic format on a CD in a hard case by the deadline as published in the Class Schedule of the intended semester of graduation. A hard copy of the signature page and defense form with original signatures of the members of the thesis committee must also be submitted to the Graduate School. The signature page must be included in the PDF file but should not be signed. The Graduate School approved thesis must also be submitted at the University Microfilms International website for on-line publication (http://dissertations.umi.com/utep). Theses are regarded as publications and will be made public once they are approved and submitted to the Graduate School.
If a student has not completed thesis work at the end of two years after the subject has been approved and recorded, the supervisor may require the choice of another subject. Credit in thesis courses will not be granted until the thesis is completed and approved.

Non-Thesis

     Some programs require internship reports, professional reports or formal papers prepared in certain graduate seminar or conference-type courses in lieu of a thesis. Non-theses should be comparable to a thesis in every respect except for the evidence of original research and are normally completed just as theses; they must be reviewed and accepted by the supervising committee and if required submitted to the academic graduate department rather than to the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not require the submission of non-theses but requires the submission of a Completion/Defense form for all non-theses. Students are responsible for adhering to the policies and procedures of their departments.

DISSERTATION REQUIREMENTS

A doctoral candidate must be accepted into a doctoral program prior to pursuing the dissertation. The candidate for the doctoral degree writes a dissertation under the direction of a supervising committee. All members of the supervising committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty. For composition of the supervising committee, the student should refer to the section in this catalog that describes their respective doctoral program. The dissertation is subject to the approval of the committee and ultimately to the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. The student must register for dissertation course 6320 or 6398 when work on the dissertation is begun. Thereafter, the student must register for course 6321 or 6399 during each semester or term in which work on the dissertation is conducted. Students may not enroll in 6320 and 6321, or in 6398 and 6399 simultaneously nor may they enroll in more than three hours of dissertation at any one time, and must be enrolled during the semester of graduation.
A copy of the dissertation, using any publication style appropriate to the given discipline, must be submitted to the Graduate School for format check prior to the scheduled defense date. The dissertation must be prepared according to the Graduate School’s thesis and dissertation manuscript guidelines available at the Graduate School website. The student will receive email confirmation from the Graduate School upon approval of the format. The defense date must be scheduled on or before Dead Day of the intended term of graduation if the doctoral candidate plans to participate in commencement activities. Summer candidates wishing to participate in spring commencement must defend by Dead Day of the spring semester. The Defense form with original signatures must be submitted to the Graduate School after the scheduled defense date or by Dead Day if the doctoral candidate is participating in commencement.
The candidate must submit a copy of the final Graduate School approved dissertation in PDF electronic format on a CD in a hard case by the deadline as published in the Class Schedule of the intended semester of graduation. A hard copy of the signature page with original signatures of the members of the dissertation committee must also be submitted to the Graduate School. The signature page must be included in the PDF file but it should not be signed. The Graduate School approved dissertation must also be submitted at the University Microfilms International website for on-line publication(http://dissertations.umi.com/utep). Dissertations are regarded as publications and will be made public once they are approved and submitted to the Graduate School.

FINAL EXAMINATION

All graduate degree candidates are required to satisfactorily complete an oral or written examination or both. The examining committee, composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty, will usually serve as the student's supervising committee. One member of the committee must be from outside the major area of study or from another department. Individual departments may elect to drop a student after a first or second failure of the examination upon the recommendation of the examining committee, but under no circumstances will a student be permitted to take the examination more than three times. A student failing such an examination for the third time will be dropped from the program.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Degrees are conferred at the end of each semester and at the end of the summer session. For summer graduates, regardless of the summer session of enrollment, the degree is conferred at the end of the last summer session. Formal commencement ceremonies are held in May for all candidates who complete degree requirements during the spring semester and in December for fall candidates and graduates of the previous summer.
Summer candidates may participate in the May commencement ceremony if no more than 6 hours are needed to complete the degree during the summer session. Summer candidates participating in May commencement must complete the application process by the published deadline for May graduation. Summer candidates’ names will not appear in the May program but in the December program.
Graduation requirements are as follows:
1.    Completion of all required course work as listed on the approved Degree Plan.
2.    Acceptance of the thesis or dissertation by the Graduate School.
3.    Satisfactory completion of an oral or written exam or both.
4.    Filing of a departmental graduate advisor and college dean approved Application for Graduate Degree with the Graduate School.
5.    Payment of all applicable fees

Degree Application Procedures

Graduate degree candidates must submit an Application for Graduate Degree during the semester they expect to graduate and by the deadline stated in the on-line Class Schedule at www.utep.edu/register. This form must be completed by the student and approved by the graduate advisor and college dean. The student must bring the approved form to the Graduate School before the published deadline to allow a complete review of the academic record. The diploma fee and if applicable, the thesis/dissertation University Microfilms on-line publishing fee is billed to the student’s Goldmine account upon approval of the Application for Graduate Degree.
The Application for Graduate Degree is only valid for one semester. If the student does not graduate on the date specified in the application the student must resubmit an Application for Graduate Degree. Graduation fees are non-refundable.

Posthumous Degree

A posthumous degree may be awarded only if the student was enrolled in courses that would have allowed the student to complete all work for the degree, and if the student had the appropriate grade point average (GPA) in the required areas. For further details, students should contact the Graduate School at (915) 747-5491.