Master of Arts and Master of Science

These degrees are available with a thesis option in most fields. A non-thesis option is available in selected fields.

Thesis Option

Course Requirements: A minimum of 30 semester credits is required in a program of study for the M.A. or M.S. degree in a major field. This includes the credits granted for the thesis and the research leading to the thesis. At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500-level. A maximum of eight semester credits may be transferred from another institution. Workshop credits are not accepted on the program of study.

The program may include just the major, the major and a minor, or the major and a cognate area. The major must include 20 credits from the major department, and a minor area must include at least nine credits. A cognate must include at least 6 credits. Students should refer to the section of this catalog entitled “Departmental Programs” for program specific admission, degree examination, and course requirements.

Residence Requirements: Students should contact the program or the School of Graduate Studies for current residency requirements.

Thesis: The student must submit a thesis to the School of Graduate Studies as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree. Credit will be given for the writing of the thesis and for the research completed and incorporated into the thesis. The amount of credit may vary from four to nine credits and will be determined by the major department. The thesis, prepared under the guidance of the student’s faculty advisor, must show sound method and demonstrate scholarship. All Theses must be prepared in accordance with the Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations. The “Manual” is available on the School of Graduate Studies website.

The topic for a thesis must be approved by the student’s Faculty Advisory Committee. Approval is effected by the student’s completing a form entitled “Topic Proposal of Thesis,” available with instructions from the School of Graduate Studies, then submitting the proposal to the Advisory Committee and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for its approval. The approved proposal is then filed in the School of Graduate Studies to become part of the record. The proposal must be approved the semester prior to the semester in which the student expects to graduate, and must be filed in the School of Graduate Studies before a student is advanced to candidacy for a master’s degree.

A preliminary draft of the thesis must be presented to the Advisory Committee sufficiently in advance of the preliminary approval deadline that the Advisory Committee may thoroughly evaluate and correct the thesis. After the necessary corrections and changes have been made, the student should secure the committee members’ signatures on a form entitled Preliminary Approval of Theses and Dissertations, available on the School of Graduate Studies’ Website, and file this form in the School of Graduate Studies. The Preliminary Approval, which indicates to the student that no major changes will be required in the final copy of the thesis, must be in the School of Graduate Studies no later than the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar, or the student will not be permitted to graduate that semester. Once a student has received signed preliminary approval and has made all of the corrections from their committee, and before the final copy is submitted, the thesis will need to be checked by the School of Graduate Studies for correct style and format.

Copies of the thesis in its final form must be prepared and presented to the student’s Faculty Advisory Committee in time that they may thoroughly read the thesis prior to the final examination. When the final version of the thesis has been approved by the Committee, it must be submitted electronically to ProQuest for publication and receive the signed approval of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies by the deadline announced in the Academic Calendar (usually two weeks prior to commencement).

The final copy of the thesis will be printed and bound by ProQuest and cataloged in the University Library. The student must submit one copy to the major department and one to the advisor.

Candidacy for the Degree

Admission of a student to the School of Graduate Studies as a Degree Student in Approved status implies only that the student has met the minimal entrance requirements and will be permitted to take graduate courses which normally will lead to a degree. The student has not been admitted as a candidate for a degree. Advancement to candidacy is a formal procedure and can be granted only after the student has met certain academic requirements. To become a candidate for the Master of Arts or Master of Science (thesis options), the following requirements must be met in approximately the following sequence:

  1. Completion of 12 graduate credits at UND.
  2. A GPA of at least 3.00 for all work attempted.
  3. The appointment of a Faculty Advisory Committee. The Faculty Advisory Committee is appointed by the dean upon the recommendation of the chairperson, or designate, of the student’s major department and normally will consist of three members, but may consist of four. The form for Committee appointments is available on the School of Graduate Studies website. If the student intends to include a minor on the program of study, one committee member must be chosen to represent the minor field. The chairperson of the Committee normally must be a Full Member of the Graduate Faculty but may be an Associate Member under certain conditions The chairperson must represent the student’s area of interest, and must serve as the thesis advisor. The Committee is responsible for program advisement, thesis advisement, and examination of the student.
  4. Approval of a Program of Study. Until such time as a student selects a thesis advisor, the department chairperson, or designate, will act as a temporary advisor for the selection of courses, etc. After the formation of a Faculty Advisory Committee, the student and the Committee should formulate a Program of Study for the degree on a form available on the School of Graduate Studies website. The program should be developed early in the second semester of enrollment. After the program has been signed by the student and the Committee, it is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for the approval of the Dean.
  5. Approval of a Topic Proposal. A proposal for a thesis research project must be submitted to the student’s advisory committee and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for approval. The proposal is submitted on a form available on the School of Graduate Studies website. This proposal, when approved by the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Graduate Dean is deposited in the School of Graduate Studies and indicates acceptance of a topic for the thesis research project. The proposal must be filed at the School of Graduate Studies the semester prior to the one in which the student expects to graduate.

Students and their advisors will receive a status sheet when advanced to candidacy. Students must complete all requirements for advancement to candidacy prior to the semester in which they plan to graduate.

Final Examinations. Students are required to present themselves for a final examination before their full Faculty Advisory Committee. The examination will be written and/or oral and will include defense of the thesis, but also may include examination over the course of study for the degree. The “Notice of Defense” form, found on the School of Graduate Studies Web page, must be completed and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies at least one week prior to the final examination. The results must be reported to the School of Graduate Studies, on the Final Report on Candidate form, by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar. The Committee members must have had an opportunity to examine the final copy of the thesis prior to the examination and will indicate their approval by signing the approval page of the thesis. Final examinations which are failed may be repeated only with the prior approval of the Advisory Committee and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Non-Thesis Option

The degrees Master of Arts and Master of Science without a thesis are available in selected fields. Except as noted below, the requirements are the same as those listed under the thesis option.

Course Requirements. A minimum of 32 semester credits is required for the degree. This includes 2 credits in the major for an independent study report for which the student registers for the course numbered 997 or 995. The program may include just the major, the major and a minor, or the major and a cognate area. The major must include at least 22 credits from the major department and a minor must include at least nine credits. A cognate must include at least six credits.

Students should refer to the section of this catalog entitled Departmental Programs for additional admission, degree, examination, and course requirements unique to each department.

Residence Requirement. Students should contact the program or the School of Graduate Studies for current residency requirements.

Independent Study or Scholarly Project. The independent study or scholarly project is designed to require the student independently to investigate a topic related to the major field of study. The study need not be an original contribution to knowledge but may be a presentation, analysis, and discussion of information and ideas already in the literature of the field. The requirement is to ensure that a student can investigate a topic and organize a scholarly report on the investigation. Independent studies are single author works; scholarly projects may be team projects.

The topic for an independent study or scholarly project must be approved by the student’s advisor. Approval is effected by the student’s completing a form entitled Topic Proposal, available on the School of Graduate Studies website, then submitting the proposal to the advisor and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for approval. The proposal, which must be approved no later than the semester prior to the one in which the student expects to graduate, must be filed in the School of Graduate Studies to become part of the record before a student is advanced to candidacy for a master’s degree.

Three copies of the report (one each for the student, the advisor, and the department) must be accepted by the advisor who will certify completion by submission of the Final Report on Candidate to the School of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar and submit a grade for 997-Independent Study or 995-Scholarly Project to the Office of the Registrar.

Candidacy for the Degree. The requirements for advancement to candidacy under the non-thesis option are the same as those listed under the thesis option with the following exceptions:

  1. Advisor. Students must obtain the appointment of an advisor from the major department. The advisor, must be a member of the Graduate Faculty, and will be appointed by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, upon the written recommendation of the chairperson, or designate, of the student’s major department. The advisor is responsible to the department and to the School of Graduate Studies for the supervision of the student’s work.
  2. Program of Study. Students must submit a Program of Study for School of Graduate Studies approval which will have been developed in consultation with the advisor and signed by the departmental chairperson (or designate). If a minor is declared, the program also must be signed by the chairperson of the minor department. The Program of Study should be developed early in the second semester and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Topic Proposal of Independent Study or Scholarly Project. Students must obtain approval of a topic for the independent study or scholarly project. The advisor approves the Topic Proposal, and the student submits the form to the School of Graduate Studies for approval to become part of the record. The topic proposal must be filed prior to the semester or session in which the student expects to graduate.

Final Examinations. Those advanced to candidacy for non-thesis master’s degrees must pass written final comprehensive examinations covering the major field but may, at the advisor’s discretion, draw upon or cover the supporting areas. Such examinations generally will be given and evaluated by the major department. The results of the final examination will be certified to the School of Graduate Studies by the advisor and the Department Chairperson on the form entitled “Final Report on Candidate” by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar. The appropriate comprehensive examination(s) will be arranged by the advisor and administered by the department no earlier than the semester preceding the semester in which the candidate intends to graduate. Comprehensive examinations which are failed may be repeated only once with the prior approval of the advisor, the department, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, but in no event earlier than at the next regularly scheduled offering.

Candidates may not take the final comprehensive examination(s) unless they have been advanced to candidacy for the degree, and are in satisfactory academic standing.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
1.800.CALL.UND
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382