Standards & Degree Requirements

The general academic standards and degree requirements of The Graduate School apply to all graduate students enrolled in certificate and degree programs. Some programs have additional requirements that are more detailed or tailored to the needs of the specific program. Students should acquaint themselves with all of the standards and degree requirements for their degree program, as specified in both the Graduate Catalog and official graduate program handbooks. Undergraduate and non-degree students taking a graduate course should
consult the appropriate catalog for regulations that apply to them.

Course Grades

Instructors are required to file grades with the University Registrar for all credit-bearing courses taken by a student. Although instructors are free to set the standard of performance expected in their courses, the following uniform scale is published to encourage general agreement on the meaning of grades:

  • The letter A signifies work of distinction.
  • The letter B represents work of good quality, such as is expected of any successful graduate student.
  • The letter C represents work below the standard expected of graduate students in their area of study. It is recognized that work of C quality in a supporting area may be of benefit to students and that they should not be discouraged by the grading system from including some supporting work in their programs. Such work shall be identified on the plan of study. Plus and minus values may be assigned to all but failing grades, are entered on the permanent record, and are computed into the student’s grade point average.
  • A grade of D+, D, or D- signifies work of unsatisfactory quality. If a graduate student receives any form of a D grade, the course may not remain on the plan of study and the student’s eligibility to continue in the degree program is reviewed by the student’s advisory committee.
  • The grade of F or U signifies failure in the course and necessitates a recommendation by the advisory committee to The Graduate School as to whether or not the student shall be permitted to continue graduate study.

Final grades of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) are associated only with certain courses designated as such by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council. Certain foreign language courses designed under method (2) for fulfillment of a doctoral language requirement also may carry the S or U grading option, if chosen by the student. (See “Foreign Language; Related or Supporting Area of Study.”) An S is not computed into the student’s grade point average whereas a U is viewed as an F.

Graduate students are not permitted to take any course, undergraduate or graduate, on a Pass/Fail basis.

A mark of I (Incomplete) is assigned if a student has been doing work of acceptable quality but, for some reason satisfactory to the instructor, has not completed all of the work required to earn credit for a course by the end of the semester or session.

If a student whose work in a course throughout the semester has been of satisfactory quality fails to take a required final examination in the course because of illness or other serious cause, the instructor is permitted to give a mark of X (Absent) and may, with the permission of The Graduate School, reschedule the examination. If the student’s work up to the time of the examination was not clearly of passing quality, the instructor is to enter a mark of F or U if a required final examination is missed.

Note:  Beginning with the fall 2004 semester, the symbol I or X is replaced by the final course grade on the permanent academic record when the student completes all required work for the course and the instructor reports the final grade to the Registrar. Prior to the fall 2004 semester, the symbols I and X appear together with final course grades on students’ permanent academic records.

The letter W signifies withdrawal from a course after either the tenth (10th) day of a semester course or the first week of a summer session course. Except in extraordinary cases where academic factors or extreme or unusual circumstances warrant it, this mark is not deleted from the permanent academic record.

The letter N signifies that no grade was reported by the instructor for an individual student duly registered for a course.

The letter T indicates that course credit has been accepted in transfer from another institution.

The letter R is an administrative symbol signifying that a student is registered. Any zero-credit course (e.g., GRAD 5998, 5999, 6998, or 6999) for which a student registers appears on the permanent academic record with the letter R as the grade.

Students are required to maintain in their course program at least a B (3.00) average, for which a grade point average will be computed using the following scale:

A+ 4.3
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0

Maintenance of good academic standing in The Graduate School requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher at all times while enrolled in a graduate program. An official transcript of an individual’s graduate academic career, however, includes grade point average calculations based on all coursework completed during the student’s graduate career (including any 1000’s level courses). Credits completed elsewhere and accepted in transfer by The Graduate School do not affect the student’s University of Connecticut grade point average in any way.

Whenever a student’s cumulative average falls below 3.00, the program is to be reviewed by the student’s advisory committee to determine whether or not the student shall be permitted to continue graduate study.

If all work required to change a mark of I or X is not submitted to the University Registrar within twelve (12) months following the end of the semester or session for which the mark was recorded, or within a shorter period of time specifically designated by the instructor, no credit is allowed for the course. For grades of I, it is the student’s responsibility to reach and to maintain an understanding with the instructor concerning the timely completion of the work. For grades of X, it is the student’s responsibility to seek the required permission to take the final examination from The Graduate School as soon as possible after it has been missed.

Upon the recommendation of the instructor to The Graduate School, a limited extension of an Incomplete may be granted. The Graduate School is not obligated to approve an extension if the instructor of the course no longer is a faculty member at the University of Connecticut. If more than three (3) courses have been left Incomplete, the student may be required to complete those still viable before being allowed to register for additional coursework. Too many permanent Incompletes on the record may be grounds for the student’s termination or dismissal. An employment authorization for a graduate assistantship appointment may not be approved for a student who has four (4) or more viable Incomplete courses on her/his academic record.

For further information, the reader is referred to the document “Key to the Transcript,” available from the Office of the Registrar.

Final Grade Appeals

The Graduate School endorses the process for appealing a final course grade as described in the University Senate By-Laws.  Information regarding the process can be found at: http://guide.uconn.edu/instruction/challenges-to-a-grade/.

Termination of status, academic dismissal, and academic dismissal procedures to be discussed separately.

 

POST-BACCALAUREATE AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

A certificate from the University of Connecticut provides post-baccalaureate students with critical knowledge in a specific field or niche. UConn’s certificate programs may be offered face-to-face, entirely online, or in a blended/hybrid format. Those that involve a substantial online component are predominantly administered through UConn eCampus. Post-baccalaureate and graduate certificates can often be completed in a single year, allowing working professionals to update their skill sets or expand into an emerging area quickly.

Both post-baccalaureate and graduate certificate programs are offered through The Graduate School. Students are awarded certificates based upon completion of a well-defined program of coursework. A certificate is not a degree. Rather, it is a focused series of courses that, when completed, demonstrates competence in a coherent academic specialty. Completion of a certificate program does not guarantee admission to any graduate degree program. Detailed information concerning criteria and procedures may be obtained from certificate program coordinators.

To be awarded a certificate, a student must satisfactorily complete (grades of B [not B-] or higher) a set of courses consisting of 12- to 15-credits specified in the certificate program requirements. In a small number of cases where detailed justification has been provided, a certificate program may require as few as 9-credits. In certain cases where the appropriate programs have obtained specific prior approval, one (1) 3-credit course may be used simultaneously to satisfy course requirements in two (2) different certificate programs. A student may enroll in a certificate program on either a part-time or a full-time basis, but the student must complete the requirements for the certificate within three (3) years of initial enrollment.

Advanced coursework taken on a non-degree basis at the University of Connecticut may account for up to six (6) of the course credits required toward a certificate’s plan of study provided the following conditions are met: (1) courses are the appropriate level; (2) the grades earned in such coursework are B (not B-) or higher; and (3) such coursework is within the time limit for completion of the certificate program requirements. Credits earned at other institutions may not be counted toward a certificate’s plan of study. Non-degree coursework may be included on the plan of study only with the consent of the advisor.

Admission to a certificate program does not guarantee admission to a related degree program, but if a certificate student is admitted to a degree program, all credits from the certificate may be counted toward the graduate degree, subject to the approval of graduate program faculty in that field of study or area of concentration. The terminal date associated with the degree will be determined using the date of the first (1st) certificate class as the initial date of enrollment for the degree. Students should contact graduate program coordinators to determine whether credits earned as part of a certificate program satisfy degree requirements of any particular degree program.

 

MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMS

Master’s degree programs are offered in a broad range of fields throughout the University. A master’s degree program represents the equivalent of at least one (1) year of full-time study beyond the baccalaureate (or its equivalent).

The Master of Arts degree usually is awarded to qualified candidates in the humanities, the social sciences, education, and other non-scientific fields. The Master of Fine Arts is a terminal degree in the fields of Art, Digital Media and Design, and Dramatic Arts. The Master of Science degree is awarded to candidates in the natural, physical, mathematical, pharmaceutical, nutritional, and agricultural sciences, as well as Accounting, Nursing, and Engineering. Other master’s degrees awarded include the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Dental Science, the Master of Engineering, the Master of Music, Master of Professional Studies, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Public Health, and the Master of Social Work.

Time Limits

The student is expected to register for coursework with reasonable regularity and to complete all requirements for the degree within a moderate span of time to assure continuity and adequate familiarity with developments in the field of study. (See “Continuous Registration.”) The Graduate School requires a minimum of 24-credits for a master’s program. Some programs may require more than 24-credits. Ordinarily, the master’s degree should be completed within three (3) years. In any event, all work for the master’s degree must be completed within six (6) years from the beginning of the student’s matriculation in the degree program. Failure to complete the work within this period or failure to maintain Continuous Registration (See “Continuous Registration.”) as required may result in termination.

A one-time extension of the student’s terminal date of no longer than two (2) years is considered only when there is substantial evidence that the student has made regular and consistent progress toward completion of degree requirements. A detailed recommendation to extend the terminal date must be signed by the major advisor and submitted in a timely manner to the Dean of The Graduate School.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Master’s Degrees

Master’s degrees may be earned under either of two (2) plans, as determined by the advisory committee. The Thesis plan emphasizes research activities while the Non-Thesis plan requires comprehensive understanding of a more general character. Non-Thesis plans in the Masters of Fine Arts emphasize research that culminates in a final Research Project. The Thesis plan requires no fewer than 15-credits of advanced coursework and no fewer than nine (9) additional credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950 or GRAD 5960), as well as the writing and oral defense of a thesis. The Non-Thesis plan requires no fewer than 24-credits of advanced coursework and a comprehensive final examination if the program requires it. In either case, advisory committees may require more than the minimum number of credits.

Transfer Credit

Advanced coursework taken on a non-degree basis at the University may account for up to 25% of the course credits required toward a master’s degree plan of study provided the following conditions are met: (1) courses are graduate level; (2) the grades earned in such coursework are B (not B-) or higher; (3) such coursework is within the time limit for completion of master’s degree requirements; and (4) such credits have not been applied toward any other degree, at the University of Connecticut or elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). In any event, inclusion of non-degree coursework on the plan of study requires the consent of the advisory committee.

Up to 25% of the credits required for a University of Connecticut master’s degree program may be accepted in transfer from other institutions provided these conditions are met: (1) the major advisor or the advisory committee indicates its approval of the transfer of credit(s) by signing the Plan of Study and the Transfer Credit Request form as appropriate for the degree program; (2) the courses must be at a level appropriate for a graduate degree and offered by an accredited institution; (3) such coursework is within the six year limit for completion of master’s degree requirements; and (4) the grades earned in any courses to be transferred must be B (not B-) or higher. Official transcripts of any coursework to be transferred must be on file in The Graduate School. Once the approved plan of study or program plan is submitted to The Graduate School and official transcripts indicating satisfactory completion of the coursework to be transferred are received, the transfer of credit is noted on the student’s permanent University of Connecticut academic record. Any credits transferred to a graduate degree program at the University of Connecticut must not have been or be used toward a degree elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future).

Students admitted to study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy may earn a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree, if one is offered specifically in their field of study, under either the Thesis or the Non-Thesis Plan. Students also may apply for this degree if they have on file a fully approved Ph.D. plan of study including at least twenty-four (24) completed credits of suitable content coursework taken at this University and have passed a master’s final examination. They also may apply for this degree if they have completed at least 24-credits on an approved Ph.D. plan of study, have passed the doctoral General Examination, and have been recommended by their major advisor or by the Dean of The Graduate School for award of the master’s degree. More than one (1) master’s degree may not be awarded at this institution to an individual student unless the degree titles are different or unless the degrees are earned in substantially different fields of study. The same course may not be offered for credit toward more than one (1) degree, except in the case of officially approved dual degree programs.

Plan of Study and Program Plans

To become a candidate for a master’s degree, the student must have on file with The Graduate School an approved plan of study or advising report approved by their advisory committee or major advisor as appropriate for the degree program. The student may not take the final examination for the degree before the plan of study or program plan has been prepared and approved. The plan of study must be prepared and signed by the student and the members of the advisory committee, and submitted no later than the beginning of their final semester to The Graduate School. Failure to present the plan on time may prolong the period of study for the degree. Before drawing up and approving the plan of study, the major advisor should have on file and should consult for guidance a set of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work the student has taken. The advisory committee may require that the student take an exploratory examination to guide the committee in formulating the plan of study. Certain master’s degree programs submit advising reports for individual students at the conclusion of master’s study rather than a plan of study. Advising reports require the approval of the major advisor or program director.

Courses elected shall be consistent with the student’s objectives and related to the field in which the degree is to be taken. The plan of study shall consist largely of courses at the 5000’s level or above. Not more than 6-credits at the 3000’s or 4000’s level may be accepted. In addition to the minimum number of course credits required for the degree, the advisory committee, major advisor, or program director, may require the student to take other courses with or without graduate credit, depending on the student’s objectives and previous preparation. Course credit by examination is not allowed as a means of accumulating credits to meet the requirements for advanced degrees at this institution.

Once the approved plan of study or advising report is submitted to The Graduate School, any request for change must be submitted to The Graduate School on the official form bearing the signatures of the major advisor, the members of the advisory committee, and the student as appropriate. Successful completion of all work indicated on the approved plan of study or advising report is a fundamental prerequisite to the conferral of the degree.

The Master’s Thesis

The advisory committee must approve the topic and scope of the thesis and, upon its completion, ascertain that it represents an independent investigation of a significant topic and is an important contribution to ongoing research in the candidate’s field. The thesis must be acceptable in literary style and organization.

Specifications for preparation of the thesis can be obtained at The Graduate School or from The Graduate School’s website at:  http://grad.uconn.edu/. It is the student’s ultimate responsibility to be certain that the thesis conforms to the specification.

The thesis must be dated as of the calendar year in which all requirements for the degree are completed. The Graduate School requires the electronic submission of the thesis though Digital Commons, a University repository for public access. The final copy must meet all specifications outlined on The Graduate School website. The Thesis Submission Checklist must be submitted to The Graduate School with an approval page bearing original signatures of all members of the advisory committee. No restrictions that limit or delay the accessibility, use, or distribution of the results of a master’s student’s research are acceptable if such delays are inconsistent with an embargo period requested by the student or if they interfere with the timely completion of a student’s academic program.

Final Examination

Fields of study may require that candidates complete a final examination as part of a master’s degree. If a final examination is required, it must be completed no later than one (1) year after completion of coursework or the thesis. The contents of the final examination are under the jurisdiction of the advisory committee. The student may not take the final examination before Regular graduate status has been granted. The advisory committee has discretion to determine whether the examination shall be written, oral, or both. Invitation to participate in an oral examination is issued by the advisory committee, although members of the faculty may attend. The examination must be completed by the published deadlines for the appropriate conferral period for the degree to be granted with that conferral date.

The decision as to whether a student has passed or failed the examination rests solely with the advisory committee, which shall take into account the opinions of other participating faculty members. The vote of the advisory committee must be unanimous. Following the examination, the major advisor shall communicate the results to the student and send a report on the official form to The Graduate School. If the student has failed the examination or if the advisory committee considers the result of the examination inconclusive, the committee has the option of requiring the student to retake it. In such cases, the recommendation must reach The Graduate School promptly, and any re-examination must take place within twelve (12) months from the date of the original examination.

Under the Thesis plan, the examination may center on the candidate’s research and its relation to the field of study as a whole, but may have a wider scope. Under the Non-Thesis plan, the examination shall be comprehensive and designed to assess the candidate’s mastery of the field and ability to integrate the knowledge acquired. The final examination for M.F.A. candidates may include a focus on the candidate’s research project and its relationship to the field.

 

THE DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS DEGREE

The D.M.A. degree is the highest practice-oriented degree offered by The Graduate School in the field of Music. The program leading to its attainment is intended to give persons of outstanding ability the opportunity to become creative contributors in musical performance and scholarship. Award of the degree testifies to broad mastery of the art of music, an ability to practice that art on an exceptionally high level, and acquisition of appropriate research skills.

While certain minimum requirements are set by The Graduate School and the Music Department, it is important for students to realize that work toward this degree is not merely a matter of accumulating course credits or satisfying other requirements. The degree will be conferred only after the advisory committee and the Graduate Music Faculty are convinced that the student is able to demonstrate consummate artistry in a public forum, and has developed independence of judgment and mature scholarship.

Time Limits

The equivalent of at least two (2) years of full-time study beyond the master’s degree is required. All work must be completed within eight (8) years of the beginning of the student’s matriculation in the degree program. The General Examination shall be passed within four (4) years of the beginning of doctoral study. Failure to complete the work within the periods specified or failure to maintain Continuous Registration (See “Continuous Registration.”) will require re-evaluation of the entire program and may result in a notice of termination. A five (5) year time limit applies to the acceptance of foreign language courses. (See “Foreign Language.”)

A one-time extension of a student’s terminal date of no longer than two (2) years is considered only when there is substantial evidence that the student has made regular and consistent progress toward completion of degree requirements. A detailed recommendation to extend the terminal date must be signed by the major advisor and submitted in a timely manner to the Dean.

Residence Requirement

A graduate student can fulfill the special demands of a doctoral program only by devoting a continuous period of time to concentrated study, practice, and research with a minimum of outside distraction or employment. The D.M.A. student must complete one (1) year (two [2] semesters) of full-time study in residence. This residence period must be completed through registration for and completion of appropriate course loads or research at the Storrs campus. Students ordinarily must register for full-time student status during the residence period (See “Course Loads.”).

The principal criterion for full-time study as required for fulfillment of the doctoral residence requirement is whether the student is in fact devoting essentially full-time effort to studies, without undue distraction caused by outside employment. It is left to the advisory committee to determine whether a student’s outside employment is a distraction that prevents the student from devoting essentially full-time effort to the planned program. The advisory committee will record this determination on the plan of study, along with a description of the nature, extent, and period(s) of outside employment during the residence period.

Plan of Study

The plan of study must be prepared; signed by the student, the members of the advisory committee, and the Director of Graduate Studies in Music; and then submitted to The Graduate School for approval when 18-credits of coursework have been completed. The student may not take the General Examination before the plan of study has been fully approved. Failure to present the plan on time may prolong the period of study for the degree. Before formulating and signing the plan, the major advisor should have transcripts of all of the student’s undergraduate and graduate work on file and should consult them for guidance. The advisory committee may require that the student take an exploratory examination to guide the committee in formulating the plan of study.

A limited number of credits at the 3000’s or 4000’s level (not more than six [6]) may be accepted. The degree ordinarily requires at least 60-credits. The plan will designate any foreign language(s) in which the student is to be tested. Course credit by examination is not allowed as a means of accumulating credits to meet the requirements for advanced degrees at this institution. At least 15-credits of GRAD 6950 – Doctoral Dissertation or GRAD 6960 – Full-time Doctoral Dissertation Research must appear on the plan of study. This effort represents the research for the D.M.A. dissertation, which is an essential component of the student’s program.

Up to 12-credits of coursework taken on a non-degree basis at the University of Connecticut may be included on a D.M.A. plan of study provided the following conditions are met: (1) the grades earned in such coursework are B (not B-) or higher; (2) such coursework is within the seven (7) year limit for completion of D.M.A. degree requirements; and (3) such credits have not been applied toward any other degree here or elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). In any event, inclusion of non-degree coursework on the plan of study requires the consent of the advisory committee and is subject to the approval of The Graduate School.

After approval of the plan, any request for change must be submitted in advance to The Graduate School on an official form bearing the signatures of the members of the advisory committee and the student. Such requests are subject to approval by The Graduate School. The successful completion of all work indicated on the approved plan of study is a fundamental prerequisite to conferral of the degree.

Once the plan of study is approved, the student and the advisory committee should reevaluate it regularly and modify it, following the established procedure, if appropriate.

Foreign Language

Students in all areas of concentration shall be required to have a competent reading knowledge of at least one (1) foreign language appropriate to the general area of study.

Students should plan to meet the language requirement early in their graduate career and well before they begin preparation for the General Examination. Methods for establishing evidence of reading competence are the same as those for the Ph.D. (See explanation of the Foreign Language requirement under “The Doctor of Philosophy Degree.”)

Transfer Credit

Transfer of credit for coursework completed at other institutions is approved only after the student has demonstrated the ability to do acceptable graduate work at the University of Connecticut. Such ability must be demonstrated by successful completion of graduate level University of Connecticut coursework. The maximum number of credits accepted from accredited institutions is twelve (12), provided it is of at least B (not B-) quality and contributes to the objectives of the proposed doctoral program. Such graduate work may be approved for transfer provided that the General Examination is to be passed and all degree requirements are to be completed within the prescribed period of seven (7) years from the beginning date of the earliest course, wherever taken, listed on the approved doctoral plan of study. (See “Time Limits.”) Transfer credit is not granted for individual courses used for a degree elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). Instead, consideration is given to that degree program as an entity when the doctoral plan of study is being prepared.

Evaluation of Performance

The advisory committee shall evaluate continually the student’s performance. Any graduate student whose scholastic performance does not meet the minimum requirements of The Graduate School may be subject to dismissal. The first (1st) recital for all D.M.A. students, except for those in conducting, is considered to be a qualifying recital, and must be presented during the first (1st) year of D.M.A. study. The hearing for this recital is evaluated by the full performance faculty. Any student who does not demonstrate an appropriate level of performance in this hearing and recital is subject to dismissal.

General Examination

The General Examination shall be taken near the end of the course program. Before arrangements for the examination are made, the foreign language requirement(s) should have been met and the plan of study must have been approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council. The examination is comprehensive in nature and incorporates elements of music history and literature, music theory, performance practice, and practical application of these constituent components.

The examination is under the jurisdiction of the student’s advisory committee and contains both written and oral components. Not fewer than five (5) faculty members, including all members of the advisory committee, constitute the examining committee and participate in the examination. The final decision as to whether or not the student has passed the examination is determined solely by majority vote of the examining committee.

After the examination, the major advisor communicates the results to the candidate and sends the official report on the examination to The Graduate School.

D.M.A. Dissertation Proposal

Before preparation of the D.M.A. dissertation is well under way, the student must file a proposal describing the intended research with the Graduate Studies Committee of the Music Department. Failure to file the proposal early may result in wasted effort on a document if changes are required in the project. The proposal must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Music Department at least four (4) months before the filing of the D.M.A. dissertation and it must be approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council at least three (3) months before the filing of the D.M.A. dissertation.

Candidacy, Recitals, and D.M.A. Dissertation Preparation

Upon passing the General Examination, the foreign language requirements, and (in the case of all students except conducting majors) the qualifying recital, the student becomes a candidate for the degree Doctor of Musical Arts. Students are notified of their advancement to candidacy.

Students in every D.M.A. area of concentration except conducting must present three (3) full-length recitals during the course of study for the degree. The first (1st) of these is considered a qualifying recital, which must be preceded by a pre-recital hearing. This hearing must be presented on a designated date at least three (3) weeks before the scheduled recital, and is adjudicated by the full performance faculty. Hearings for subsequent degree recitals may be held at the discretion of the major advisor or applied instructor. These recitals and concerts represent the culmination of the performance aspect of this degree, and will be judged according to the highest levels of musical artistry. Majors in conducting must appear in concert as conductors with an appropriate departmental ensemble. Appearances in multiple concerts are permitted provided that the amount of music prepared and performed is equal to a whole concert appearance.

A written dissertation representing research into some aspect of music performance, repertoire, or pedagogy is an important requirement of this degree. The D.M.A. dissertation is under the immediate supervision of a member of the music theory or music history faculty, and secondarily under the supervision of the advisory committee. It must be acceptable in literary style and organization. It is the student’s responsibility to be certain that the dissertation conforms exactly to the specifications prescribed by the student’s advisory committee. The D.M.A. dissertation receives no academic credit, although the 15-credits of GRAD 6950 are associated with its preparation. This document will uphold the highest standards of scholarship, identical to those required of Ph.D. dissertations.

The advisory committee will set a date for completion of the D.M.A. dissertation, allowing time for each advisor to make suggestions for revisions, and then will set a date for the final examination, allowing time for the student to make those revisions. In some cases, further revision of the dissertation may be required by the advisory committee as a result of the final examination. Final approval of the dissertation following the examination is indicated by the original signatures of all members of the advisory committee on the dissertation’s final approval page. This must be submitted to The Graduate School following the examination. Final approval pages must be received at The Graduate School by the conferral period deadline in August, December, or May. The technical specifications for the preparation of the D.M.A. dissertation are identical to the specifications for the preparation of the Ph.D. dissertation (See “Candidacy and Dissertation Preparation.”).

No restrictions that limit or delay the accessibility, use, or distribution of the results of any student’s research are acceptable, if such delays interfere with the timely completion of a student’s academic program.

Final Examination

The final examination is oral and under the jurisdiction of the advisory committee. It deals mainly with the subject matter of the D.M.A. dissertation. It is held by the conferral period deadline in August, December, or May. Invitation to participate in the examination is issued by the advisory committee, although any member of the faculty may attend. Not fewer than five (5) members of the faculty, including all members of the candidate’s advisory committee, must participate in the final examination unless written approval for a lesser number has been secured in advance from the Dean of The Graduate School. The decision as to whether a candidate has passed or failed the examination rests solely with the advisory committee, which will take into account the opinions of any other participating faculty members. The vote of the advisory committee must be unanimous. Following the examination, the major advisor communicates the results to the student and verifies that the official report has been completed and signed for submission to The Graduate School.

 

THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE

The Ph.D. is the highest degree offered by the University. The program leading to its attainment is intended to give persons of outstanding ability the opportunity to become creative contributors in a scholarly field. Award of the degree testifies to broad mastery of an established subject area, acquisition of acceptable research skills, and a concentration of knowledge in a specific field.

Although certain minimum requirements are set by The Graduate School, it is important for students to realize that work toward this degree is not merely a matter of accumulating course credits or of satisfying other requirements. The degree will be conferred only after the advisory committee and the Graduate Faculty are convinced that the student has developed independence of judgment and mature scholarship in the chosen field. An individual may not earn more than one (1) Ph.D. degree in a single field of study at this institution.

Time Limits

All work must be completed within a period of eight (8) years of the beginning of the student’s matriculation in the Ph.D. program. Failure to complete the work within the periods specified or failure to maintain Continuous Registration (See “Continuous Registration.”) will require reevaluation of the student’s entire program and may result in a notice of termination.

A one-time extension of the student’s terminal date of no longer than two (2) years is considered only when there is substantial evidence that the student has made regular and consistent progress toward completion of degree requirements. A detailed recommendation to extend the terminal date must be signed by the major advisor and submitted in a timely manner to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Plan of Study

The Graduate School requires a minimum of at least 30-credits of content coursework beyond the baccalaureate (or its equivalent) or at least 15-credits of content coursework beyond the master’s degree in the same or a closely-related field of study (exclusive of any required Related Area). The plan of study should be completed, signed by the student and advisory committee members, and submitted to The Graduate School for approval no later than when 18-credits of coursework have been completed.

Courses elected should be consistent with the student’s objectives and related to the field in which the degree will be taken. Plans of study will consist largely of courses at the 5000’s level or above. A limited number of credits at the 3000’s or 4000’s level (ordinarily not more than six [6]) may be accepted.

In addition to the content coursework and any required Related Area included in the plan of study, satisfactory completion of at least 15-credits of GRAD 6950 – Doctoral Dissertation Research or Grad 6960 – Full-Time Doctoral Dissertation Research is required.

The plan of study for some programs also may designate a foreign language(s) in which the student is required to demonstrate reading knowledge and any courses comprising a Related Area. Course credit by examination is not allowed as a means of accumulating credits to meet the requirements for advanced degrees at this institution.

Up to 12-credits of coursework taken on a non-degree basis at the University may be included on a Ph.D. plan of study provided the following conditions are met: (1) the grades earned in such coursework are B (not B-) or higher; (2) such coursework is within the time limit for completion of Ph.D. degree requirements; and (3) such credits have not been applied toward any other degree here or elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). In any event, inclusion of non-degree coursework on the plan of study requires the written consent of the advisory committee and is subject to the approval of The Graduate School.

After approval of the plan, any request for change, including associate advisor changes, must be submitted to The Graduate School on the Request for Changes to Plan of Study form bearing the signatures of the members of the advisory committee and the student. Such requests are subject to approval by The Graduate School. The successful completion of all work indicated on the approved plan of study is a fundamental prerequisite to the conferral of the degree.

Transfer Credit

Up to 30-credits of letter-graded, graduate-level academic work completed at accredited institutions may be accepted by The Graduate School in transfer provided the grade earned in any course to be transferred is B (not B-) or higher and any course to be transferred was taken within the time limit prescribed for the student’s degree program. Official transcripts must be on file with The Graduate School to document any and all coursework accepted in transfer. Transfer credit is not granted for individual courses used toward a degree elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). Transfer of credit toward the Ph.D. degree requires the approval of both the advisory committee and The Graduate School. Submission by the advisory committee of the completed Transfer Credit Request form together with the signed Ph.D. plan of study is required.

Related Area and/or Foreign Language Requirement

For all fields of study except those listed in the following paragraph, satisfactory completion of at least one (1) Related Area or demonstrated reading proficiency of at least one (1) appropriate language other than English is required.

Fields of study which require neither a Related Area nor demonstrated reading knowledge of a language other than English currently include: Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Science, Cell Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, Educational Leadership, Educational Psychology, Environmental Engineering, Human Development and Family Studies, Learning, Leadership and Education Policy, Linguistics, Materials Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Molecular and Cell Biology, Pathobiology, Philosophy, Physics, Plant Science, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, and Statistics.

If a related or supporting area is required, the courses chosen must comprise a coherent unit of advanced (i.e., 4000’s level or above) work outside the major field of study (or area of concentration, if appropriate). Coursework toward the Related Area normally is taken outside the student’s “home” department. The courses must be approved by the advisory committee as a part of the plan of study. With few exceptions, they must be taken at this institution. With the consent of the advisory committee, a 3-credit advanced course in mathematics or statistics passed satisfactorily at this institution may fulfill the otherwise 6-credit minimum requirement if the student’s preparation contains a suitably advanced prerequisite course (i.e., equivalent to a 4000’s level University of Connecticut course) passed satisfactorily at this or another institution (although no course credits will be accepted in transfer).

For a specific language to be considered appropriate there must exist a significant body of literature written in that language in the student’s field. Students should plan to meet any language requirement early in their graduate careers and usually well before they begin preparation for the General Examination. One of five (5) methods below may be used to establish evidence of reading competence in an approved language. The advisory committee may designate which method shall be used or may leave the choice of method up to the student. For methods (1) through (3), courses and examinations will not be accepted if passed more than five (5) years prior to submission of the plan of study for approval.

  1. The student may pass both semesters of an approved one (1) year reading or intermediate course in the language with grades equivalent to C (not C-) or higher. This requirement will be considered to be met if, in light of previous preparation, the student is permitted by the instructor to enter directly into the second (2nd) semester of the one (one) year sequence and earns a grade of C (not C-) or higher. The courses may be taken by graduate students on a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory basis, with a grade of Satisfactory denoting performance at the level of C (not C-) or higher. Courses approved for this purpose include French 1163-1164, German 1145-1146, and Spanish 1003-1004. Alternatively, the student may pass a course in a foreign language or literature at or above the 3000’s level, provided that the reading for the course is required to be done in the language. Language courses taken at other institutions are not accepted. However, the student may consider option (2) below.
  2. The student may pass an examination set by a member of the University faculty (or, if approved by the advisory committee and The Graduate School, a faculty member at another college or university) designated by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the head of the department in which the major advisor holds an appointment. The examiner may be a member of the same department but may not be a member of the student’s advisory committee. The examination will include, but need not be limited to, the translation of a passage approximately 400 words in length. The use of a dictionary may be permitted at the option of the examiner. The translation is to be written in English unless permission is granted by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council to write it in another language. Such permission is granted only if it is deemed in the best interest of the student and if an acceptable examiner is available. The examiner will choose the passage from among books or articles submitted by the major advisor. The passage may be the same for a group of students in the same field or may be selected individually for each student. The examination must be supervised and have a reasonable time limit. The result of the examination, whether passed or failed, must be reported to The Graduate School on the official form bearing the signature of the examiner.
  3. A doctoral reading examination passed at another graduate school of approved standing may be accepted in transfer (subject to the above five [5] year limitation) provided the examination was taken prior to the student’s enrollment in The Graduate School.
  4. The student may establish evidence of competence in the language through an official transcript stating that the baccalaureate or a higher degree was earned with that language as the major.
  5. The student may establish evidence of competence in the language through documentation that it is the student’s native language, learned in childhood and used primarily through at least secondary school.
Evaluation of Performance

The advisory committee continually evaluates the student’s performance. Any graduate student whose scholastic record does not meet the minimum requirements of either the program and/or The Graduate School may be subject to dismissal.

General Examination

The doctoral General Examination usually is undertaken when the student has completed at least 75% of the content coursework listed on the approved plan of study. The student may not take the General Examination before the plan of study has been approved.

The General Examination is under the jurisdiction of the student’s advisory committee unless the members of the Graduate Faculty in a student’s field of study have voted to assign jurisdiction for all or part of the examination to a differently constituted examining committee. The examination may be written, oral, or both. All members of the advisory committee must participate in any oral examination. A student is examined in the several facets of her/his field of study, not merely in the particular area of concentration. Advisory or examining committees may give a series of cumulative examinations, to be taken at intervals over the student’s period of study. For practical purposes, the final part of such a series shall be regarded as “the General Examination,” and its scope may be limited as the advisory or examining committee may judge appropriate.

The examining committee includes at least one (1) faculty member representing each of the major areas addressed in the examination. Not fewer than five (5) faculty members, including all members of the student’s advisory committee, must participate in the examination. All examiners are invited to submit questions and to evaluate answers, but the final decision as to whether or not the student has passed the examination shall rest solely with the advisory committee unless the members of the Graduate Faculty in a student’s field of study have voted to assign this authority to a differently constituted examining committee.

After the examination, the Report on the General Examination, indicating the result of the entire examination and the names of all faculty members participating, must be signed by the members of the advisory committee and submitted to The Graduate School no later than the date of the submission of the Dissertation Proposal for final approval by The Graduate School (see below).

Dissertation Proposal

The Dissertation Proposal is to be prepared in consultation with the members of the advisory committee before the research is well underway. The Dissertation Proposal, bearing the signatures of the members of the student’s advisory committee as well as the signature of the department or program head verifying satisfactory review by two (2) experts (see the following paragraph) who are not members of the advisory committee, should be submitted to The Graduate School for final approval by the time the student has completed the ninth (9th) credit of GRAD 6950 or 6960. The Graduate School will not grant final approval of the Dissertation Proposal without proof of any required IRB, IACUC, or human stem cell approval granted by SCRO. In any event, the approved Dissertation Proposal must be on file in The Graduate School before the public announcement of the oral defense of the dissertation.

When the Dissertation Proposal has been completed and signed by the student and also has been approved by the members of the advisory committee, the proposal then is submitted to the head of the department or program to which the student was admitted. The department or program head appoints reviewers from outside the advisory committee to conduct a critical evaluation of the Dissertation Proposal. The use of at least one (1) reviewer from outside the University is encouraged. Reviewers may be appointed to evaluate an individual student’s proposal, or they may be appointed to a committee responsible for reviewing all proposals in a particular field of study or group of related fields of study.

Dissertation Proposals are reviewed with the following questions in mind:

  1. Is the proposal well written, well organized, and well argued?
  2. Does the proposal describe a project of appropriate scope?
  3. Does the student demonstrate knowledge of the subject and an understanding of the proposed method of investigation?
  4. Does the student show awareness of the relevant research by others?
  5. Does the student consider how the proposed investigation, if successful, will contribute to knowledge?

The department or program head’s signature on the proposal when the review is completed confirms that the results of the review were favorable. The evaluation may take the form of a reading of the proposal or attendance at an oral presentation and discussion of the proposal. A copy of the signed approval form and Dissertation Proposal must be received by The Graduate School when the review process has been completed. Receipt by The Graduate School of the approved Dissertation Proposal and any required IRB, IACUC, or SCRO approval is a basic requirement for eligibility to schedule the oral defense of the dissertation and for conferral of the doctoral degree.

Candidacy, Dissertation Preparation, and Final Oral Defense

Upon approval of the plan of study, passing the General Examination, and approval of the Dissertation Proposal by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council, the student becomes a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

A dissertation representing a significant contribution to ongoing research in the candidate’s field is a primary requirement. The preparation of the dissertation is under the immediate and continuous supervision of the advisory committee, and it must meet all standards prescribed by the committee and by The Graduate School. It must be acceptable in literary style and organization. Specifications for its preparation may be obtained from The Graduate School website under the section entitled Current Students, Doctoral Degree Program. It is the student’s ultimate responsibility to be certain that the dissertation conforms to the specifications.

The oral defense of the dissertation must be announced publically by means of the University’s online Events Calendar at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the defense. At this time, electronic tentative approval of the dissertation and an electronic working copy of the entire dissertation must be filed with The Graduate School (or with the Health Center, if appropriate). Not fewer than five (5) members of the faculty, including all members of the candidate’s advisory committee, must participate in the final examination, unless written approval for a lesser number has been secured in advance from the Dean of The Graduate School.

The decision regarding whether a candidate has passed, conditionally passed, or failed the examination rests solely with the advisory committee, which will take into account the opinions of other participating faculty members and other experts. The vote of the advisory committee must be unanimous. Following the examination, the major advisor communicates the results to the student and verifies that the official report has been completed and signed for submission to The Graduate School (or to the Health Center, if appropriate).

The abstract and dissertation must be dated as of the calendar year in which all requirements for the degree are completed, including submission of the dissertation. The Graduate School requires the electronic submission of the dissertation through Digital Commons, a University repository for public access. The final copy must meet all specifications outlined on The Graduate School website. The Dissertation Submission Checklist must be submitted to The Graduate School with an approval page bearing original signatures of all members of the advisory committee. No restrictions that limit or delay the accessibility, use, or distribution of the results of a doctoral student’s research are acceptable if such delays are inconsistent with an embargo period requested by the student or if they interfere with the timely completion of a student’s academic program.

CONFERRAL OF DEGREES

Conferral

Degree conferral requires that the student be in good academic standing and that all requirements for the degree have been completed satisfactorily by the deadline specified in The Graduate School’s Academic Calendar. Degrees are conferred three (3) times each year in August, December, and May. However, the only graduate Commencement ceremony is held annually in May. Students who qualify for degree conferral receive their diplomas by mail, normally within three (3) months following conferral.

Application for the Degree

Formal application for a degree to be conferred must be filed online by the degree candidate using the Student Administration System. Information and instructions can be found on The Graduate School website under the section titled Current Students. If filing is not timely, conferral is delayed to the next conferral period, even though all other degree requirements may have been completed on time.

Commencement

The graduate Commencement ceremony is held once each year at the end of the spring semester. Individuals who have had degrees conferred at the end of the previous summer or fall semester, and candidates for degrees who complete degree requirements by the end of the spring semester may participate in the annual Commencement ceremony. Academic regalia appropriate for the University of Connecticut degree being conferred is strictly required for all who participate in the ceremony. Information concerning the Commencement ceremony, including academic regalia and guest tickets, is made available by the mid-spring semester, and can be found on The Graduate School website.

One thought on “Standards & Degree Requirements

Leave a Reply