Graduate Programs
Requirements for Degrees

General Requirements

Basic requirements for the graduate program are outlined below. Some of the colleges and departments have special requirements above and beyond those stated here, and students are advised to consult the appropriate section of this catalog for any further degree requirements.

The masterís degree may be conferred upon a student who has completed a minimum of 30-48 semester hours of approved graduate courses in one of the programs outlined in this catalog and has a 3.00 or higher graduate cumulative grade point average. A student may be required by the dean of graduate studies or by the appropriate graduate coordinator to take certain additional courses as prerequisites, to take additional undergraduate or graduate courses, or to engage in independent study in order to remedy deficiencies and ensure a sound academic program. No course which has been applied toward a previous degree may be counted toward the masterís degree. Courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be repeated for graduate credit. No more than three hours of 300-level coursework available for graduate credit (cross-listed at 500 level) may be applied on a degree, and a minimum of 70 percent of the coursework required for graduation must be taken at the 700 level. Only six semester hours of workshop credit may be applied toward a degree.

A graduate student is allowed to satisfy requirements for a graduate degree under any catalog in effect during the time a student has been admitted to a degree program at UT Martin provided that the catalog has been in effect within six years of graduation and provided the student has been enrolled as a graduate student in the catalog year.

The requirements for each graduate degree, and the majors (with concentrations, if applicable), and other specialized curricula for the degrees, are described in the sections of the catalog which follow. The student has the ultimate responsibility to fulfill the requirements for the degree, to check his or her own eligibility to take courses, and to observe the academic rules governing his or her program.

Residence and Time Limits

The minimum-residence requirement for the masterís degree is the equivalent of two semesters of fulltime graduate study (18 semester hours). Most programs require a minimum of 30 hours for the thesis option and 36 hours for the non-thesis option. Refer to the individual program requirements for exceptions. The time limit for the use of graduate credit toward a masterís degree is six years from the beginning date of the earliest course applied toward the degree. Normally, this time limit may not be extended. In exceptional cases, courses taken beyond this period may be recognized by special written examination if given prior approval by the Graduate Council.

Thesis Option

Students in Family and Consumer Sciences may choose to write a thesis. This option is not available for students in Agriculture, Business or Education.

The studentís major professor serves as chair of the thesis committee. The committee also includes two other graduate faculty members from the major department. A student should consult the appropriate graduate coordinator regarding the formation of the thesis committee at the time the thesis option is elected. The thesis courses (Family and Consumer Sciences 701-702) must be taken consecutively. Only one course may be selected each semester.

Family and Consumer Sciences students schedule a regular conference with their thesis committee chair and periodic evaluation conferences with members of their thesis committee to assess strengths and weaknesses. A statement of progress is prepared to assist in planning the balance of the graduate program.

Theses are to follow the style of the current Thesis and Dissertation Manual of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools which is available at the University Bookstore. It is the responsibility of the student to secure and comply with these guidelines.

Two unbound final copies of the committee-approved thesis must be presented to the dean of graduate studies no later than two weeks before the end of the semester (including final exams) in which the student expects to graduate. The student must make any necessary corrections in the unbound copies of the thesis in the Graduate Studies Office no later than one week before the end of the semester. The student must be enrolled for thesis credit the term the thesis is accepted. Exception: A student submitting an approved and corrected thesis to the Graduate Studies Office on the last workday preceding the first day of class for the semester in which the student will graduate will not be required to re-enroll in thesis credit.

Use of Human Subjects in Research

Federal laws require that research projects (whether undertaken by students or faculty members) involving human subjects be designed to protect the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of these subjects. Current regulations state that formal protection approval must be obtained if human subjects are used other than in a normal educational setting or if those subjects are at risk because of physical intrusion or privacy violation. Approval of all research must be obtained before any data are collected. The Faculty, Staff, and Student Guide to Research with Human Subjects and all approval forms are available in the respective departmental offices, in the Office of Research, Grants, and Contracts, and on the RGC website (

Non-Thesis Option

A student who elects this option must meet the requirements as stated for his/her degree. Courses must be approved in advance by his/her advisor. A written comprehensive examination is required and will be scheduled during the final semester of coursework.

Non-Thesis Option

Master Research Project

Students in the Master of Science in Education with a major in Teaching (Advanced Elementary, Advanced Secondary, and Subject Area Concentrations) must complete a Master Research Project for their culminating experience during their last two semesters.


All graduate students must pass a final comprehensive examination which consists of an oral and/or a written examination on all work, residence and transferred, offered for the degree. These examinations shall be held during the semester in which the student expects to receive the degree, at least three weeks prior to the end of that semester. During the semester a graduate student takes (repeats) his/her comprehensive exam, he/she must be enrolled in a graduate class at UT Martin or pay a fee equal to one credit hour (in-state rate). The final examination for students will be conducted by a committee chaired by the graduate studentís major professor. Any members of the university faculty and graduate students may attend an oral final examination.

All students in Agriculture are required to take a final written examination which is comprehensive in nature. The student should consult his/her advisor at the beginning of the semester in which he/she expects to graduate in order to establish the final examination committee.

A Family and Consumer Sciences student who chooses the non-thesis option will write a narrative comprehensive exam covering major areas studied. Questions will be submitted by all members of the graduate committee. A final oral examination may be required by the graduate committee.

All students in Business are required to take a written comprehensive examination which is an integral part of Accounting 790 (M.Ac.) and Management 790 (M.B.A.). Students earning a grade of at least a ďBĒ in the course have represented successful completion of a comprehensive exam. Students not earning at least a ďBĒ will be required to take a comprehensive exam following the existing catalog guidelines regarding repeating the comprehensive examination. Students must take Accounting 790/Management 790 in their last semester and must contact the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Business relative to scheduling.

All students in Education are required to take a final written examination which is comprehensive in nature. The student should consult his/her advisor at the beginning of the semester in which he/she expects to graduate in order to establish the final examination committee.

All requests for a change in the examination committee must be approved by the studentís advisor, the appropriate graduate program coordinator, the chairperson and/or dean, and the dean of graduate studies.

In the event that a student fails his/her comprehensive examination, these guidelines apply:

  1. The examination may be repeated within a period not to exceed one full semester from the date of the original examination only when it is the consensus of the examination committee that the student has a reasonable chance of mastering the necessary material.
  2. The members of the original examination committee shall constitute the committee for the second examination, except for unusual circumstances approved by the appropriate graduate coordinator, the department chairperson, the dean of the college, and the dean of graduate studies.
  3. The second examination cannot be given within one month of the first examination and will be scheduled by the chair of the committee.
  4. The committee shall require the student to do such additional work as it deems necessary.
  5. If a student fails the second examination, the committee chair will notify the student if he/she will be required to take additional courses and/or to complete additional examinations recommended by the committee before being permitted to have a third, and final, examination.

A copy of the required work in preparation for a third examination is to be sent to the graduate program coordinator, the department chair and/or the dean of the college, and the dean of graduate studies. In no case shall a third examination be given until a complete semester has passed since the semester that the second examination was failed. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of ďBĒ in each course required by the examination committee will disqualify a student from a third examination. Failure to pass the third examination will disqualify a student from receiving a masterís degree for the coursework taken. This does not exclude a student from beginning a new degree program at this institution, but any coursework toward the first unsuccessful degree program may not be applied toward a new one.

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