University of Vermont

2012-2013 Catalogue

Requirements for the Masters Degree

In addition to the requirements described below, individual programs may have their own specific requirements. Students must read and familiarize themselves with their program's requirements. Some of them are detailed in this catalogue under individual program listings and other requirements are available from the director or chairperson of each program.


Master's degrees require a minimum of thirty hours of credit; some programs require more. A minimum of fifteen graded credits used in compilation of the graduate GPA must be taken in residence at UVM. Consult individual program descriptions for exceptions. In programs that require a thesis, the number of credits earned in thesis research may vary between six (minimum) and fifteen (maximum). Thesis credit is included as part of the 30-hour minimum. Consult individual programs for specific information. With the prior approval of their department and the Graduate College, students may apply one 100/200 level, three-credit undergraduate course towards their graduate program. A student's advisor must petition the Graduate College for approval before the student enrolls in the course. Consult individual programs for further limitations. Under no circumstances will a course numbered below 100 be applicable to a master's program.

Minimum Residence Requirements

Candidates for the master's degree must satisfactorily complete twenty-one hours in residence. The residency requirement is completed by courses that (1) are taken for graduate credit through the University of Vermont either in the academic year or summer on the main campus or at off-campus locations, and (2) are taken after the student has been admitted to the Graduate College. Some programs may require more than the above minimum hours in residence. Consult with the individual program.

Comprehensive Examination

All master's degree students are required to pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination in their field of specialization. If both formats are used, satisfactory completion of the written examination is prerequisite to standing for the oral examination. All comprehensive examinations are taken on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington. One re-examination only is permitted for any failed comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is not the same as the oral thesis defense, and must be passed satisfactorily before defending the thesis. Consult individual program descriptions for specific information.

Students must notify the Graduate College of the date of the Master's Comprehensive Examination prior to taking the comprehensive examination. There is no fee. The student's program director or advisor must notify the Graduate College of the outcome of the examination. A grade of "S" or "U" is recorded on the academic transcript.

Research and Thesis

Consult the program description to determine whether or not a thesis is required. If a thesis is required, the candidate for the master's degree undertakes a problem of original research under the supervision of a faculty member in the department of specialization. At the conclusion of the research, the student must present a thesis which embodies the results of the work and demonstrates the capability for independent research.

Thesis Defense Forms

Defense Committee Membership and Defense Notice forms must be submitted to the Graduate College by the designated deadlines. A Public Notice of the defense is required in order to defend. The Intent to Graduate form must be submitted to the candidate's department before the List of Potential Graduates is due.

Thesis Format

Students are required by the Graduate College to use a computer software program appropriate to the discipline to create the Table of Contents and the Lists of Tables and Figures from the thesis text headings.

The thesis must be prepared and submitted in compliance with the "Guidelines for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation" available from the Graduate College office. A formatted copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Graduate College for a Format/Record Check at least three weeks prior to the scheduled defense. Students must also provide defendable copies of the thesis to members of their Thesis Defense Examination Committee at least two weeks before the scheduled examination. Individual departments may require earlier deadlines.

Students must notify the Graduate College of the Thesis Defense prior to defending their thesis.

The oral defense of a thesis may be scheduled only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination and the submission of an original copy of the thesis to the Graduate College for a Format/Record Check.

Thesis Defense Examination Committee

The thesis defense examination committee consists of at least three University of Vermont faculty members, at least two of whom must be regular members of the Graduate Faculty. Ordinarily, two committee members will be from the candidate's program, including the thesis advisor. The third member, who acts as chair of the committee, must be a member of the Graduate Faculty, must be from a different program and department (including any secondary or adjunct appointments) than the candidate, and must be approved by the graduate dean upon nomination by the thesis advisor. For University-wide interdisciplinary programs, the chairperson must be outside the department of the candidate's advisor.

The chairperson of the Thesis Defense Committee has the responsibility for ensuring proper conduct of the examination, appropriate documentation of the results, and that the signatures of endorsement are added to the acceptance page of the thesis following a successful defense.

The acceptability of the thesis is determined by the Thesis Defense Committee. A grade of "S" or "U" is awarded. If a student's Defense Examination performance is not satisfactory, then only one reexamination is permitted.

After a successful thesis defense, candidates must forward an original and two copies of the corrected thesis to the Graduate College within the time period specified by the Thesis Defense Examination Committee, and/or the Graduate College.

Options within Master of Arts Programs

At least twenty-one hours of graduate credit, including credit for the thesis and research leading to the thesis, must be earned in the field of specialization. All course credit included in these twenty-one credits must be earned in courses which have been approved for graduate credit. Students may wish to include in their programs up to nine credits of graduate level courses outside their fields of specialization. These courses must be approved in advance by the student's advisor or studies committee.

Additional Requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching

The MAT degree is intended for people who are already licensed as secondary school teachers or who will complete teacher licensure requirements before graduation. For already licensed teachers, the program requires a minimum of thirty credits of course work; at least twenty-one credits in the field of specialization and at least six in education. For those seeking teacher licensure, the program requires at least thirty credits of education course work and at least twenty-one credits in the field of specialization. The individual program of study for each MAT student must be approved by their faculty advisor in their field of specialization and their faculty advisor in the Department of Education.

In addition to the comprehensive examination in the field of specialization, students must also take a comprehensive examination in the field of education. Consult specific program listings for additional requirements for this degree program.

Additional Requirement for the Master of Science for Teachers

Applicants for the Master of Science for Teachers must be licensed teachers. Students in a Master of Science for Teachers program may apply more than one three-credit, 100-level course toward their degree. Consult specific department listings for additional requirements and policies related to this degree program.


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