Oct 02, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Requirements for Master’s Degrees


On Campus Residence

Foreign Language Requirement

Course Work Requirements

Thesis/Non-Thesis Option

Final Examination

Master’s Thesis

Time Limit for Master’s/Specialists Degrees

 

On Campus Residence

There is no Graduate School-wide sustained residence requirement for master’s degrees at the University of Kentucky. However, students are advised to review the requirements for the programs in which they are interested and consider carefully the spirit of resident graduate work as discussed in the section on doctoral residency. Students who contemplate continuing in a doctoral program should take into account at the outset the residence requirements for the doctoral degree.

Foreign Language Requirement

Many programs require a reading knowledge of a foreign language for the master’s degree. Accepted languages for fulfillment of this requirement are those currently taught at the University of Kentucky, subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. Other languages may be recommended by the major advisor and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School on the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director sends this recommendation to the Dean. The following options may satisfy the language requirement:

  • completion of one of the accelerated graduate level language courses (011 courses) with a grade of B or better
  • completion of the fourth semester of a foreign language with a grade of B or better at an accredited college or university
  • completion of a more advanced foreign language course (beyond the fourth semester level, with all course work and readings in the target language) with a grade of B or better at an accredited college or university
  • completion of an accelerated graduate level language course for reading knowledge with a grade of B or better, at another accredited university
  • transfer of a language taken to satisfy the requirements for a master’s degree at another accredited university
  • completion of special examinations given for graduate reading courses with a grade of B or better. Forms may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office, Funkhouser Building. Other types of special examinations are scheduled in the Graduate School
  • completion of a placement test administered by the foreign language programs of the University, and testing to a level beyond the fourth semester of foreign language study, which is the equivalent of a grade of B or better. This method may be appropriate for students with significant life experience in the foreign language culture, and requires the approval and recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies
  • with the approval of their program, students who are non-native speakers of English may satisfy the foreign language requirement by presenting a TOEFL score of 550 or above (the equivalent score on the computer version of the TOEFL is 213 and on the internet-based test is 79) or a IELTS score of 6.5 or above.

Course Work Requirements

Graduate students are eligible to take regular courses which meet as organized classes and independent-study or research courses in which each student carries on investigations independent of class meetings. Independent study or research courses must not duplicate thesis work; thesis work must be done in addition to the minimum course requirements. At least two-thirds of the minimum requirements for the master’s or specialist degree must be in regular courses, and at least half of the minimum course requirements (excluding thesis, practicum, or internship credit) must be in 600- or 700-level courses. Exceptions to this rule may be made only with the approval of the Council.

Candidates for the master’s degree must have a major area (defined usually as an academic department) and must take at least two-thirds of the course work in this area. The other one-third may be taken in this area or in related graduate areas. In Agriculture and Education, only one-half of the work must be in the major area. When the establishment of major topics seems to require it, the Graduate Council may, on recommendation of the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies, authorize courses taught outside the major to count toward the major requirement.

Thesis/Non-Thesis Option

The Graduate Faculty authorizes graduate programs to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree by either of two options, thesis (Plan A) or non-thesis, (Plan B). Both options require a minimum of 30 credit hours. The thesis option (Plan A) requires a minimum of 24 hours of course work plus a thesis to be developed under the direction of a full or associate member of the Graduate Faculty. While working on the thesis, master’s candidates should register for 6 credits of XXX-768 (Residence Credit for Master’s Degree) in the appropriate department.

After meeting coursework and 768 requirements, Plan A master’s degree candidates who are in residence and receiving financial support from the University and/or utilizing University resources while working on the thesis must be enrolled in their departments XXX-768 or XXX-748 (Master’s Thesis Research; 0 credit hours) each semester through to the defense.

The non-thesis option (Plan B) requires that six or more graduate credit hours of course work be submitted in lieu of a thesis. A student may follow this option with approval of the program concerned. Students should consult their advisor for any additional requirements established for Plan B in their area of study. 

Final Examination

A Final Examination (oral and/or written) is given to all candidates for master’s degrees not later than eight days before the last day of classes of the semester in which the degree is to be awarded. The examination is scheduled by the Dean of the Graduate School and the report is returned to the Dean upon completion of the examination, which in no case may be later than two weeks after the start of the examination. The examining committee consists of at least three qualified faculty members recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. At least two committee members (including the chair or co-chair) must be members of the Graduate Faculty, and at least one of the two must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty. It is expected that at least two members of the committee will be from the student’s program/department. 

The request for a final examination must be filed at least two weeks prior to the date of the examination; https://ris.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/MastersCommittee/Student/Selection_Screen.cfm . Students on scholastic probation are not eligible to sit for the final examination. Class must be in session for the student to sit for the exam. If the candidate fails the final examination, the committee may recommend the conditions under which a second examination may be administered. Insofar as it is practicable, the same examining committee gives this examination. In all decisions the majority opinion of the committee prevails. If the committee is evenly divided, the candidate fails. A third examination is not allowed. 

Master’s Thesis

Collaborative effort by two or more graduate students is not forbidden. However, there must be enough independent effort to enable each student to make a separate contribution and to prepare an individual thesis. Before the final examination, the thesis director and the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies must indicate to the Graduate School that the student’s thesis satisfies all requirements of the Graduate School and is complete in content and format with the exception of pagination, and that the student is ready to be examined. Any modification in the thesis which the final examination committee specifies must be made before the degree is conferred.  Theses must be prepared in conformity with the instructions published by the Graduate School. Detailed instructions can be found at www.gradschool.uky.edu/thesdissprep.shtml. The thesis in its final form must be received in the Graduate School within 60 days of the Final Examination. Theses must be presented to and accepted in the Graduate School by the last day of the semester if a student plans to graduate that semester. Theses submitted by candidates become the physical property of the University of Kentucky. 

Time Limit for Master’s/Specialists Degrees

Students enrolled in a master’s/specialist program 6 years to complete all requirements for the degree, but still have the opportunity to request extensions up to an additional four years for a total of ten years. Extensions up to two years may be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Requests for extensions longer than two years must be considered by Graduate Council. All requests should be initiated by the Director of Graduate Studies. No activity completed more than ten calendar years preceding the proposed graduation date as appropriate will be considered for graduation.

Programs may opt to shorten or extend the required time to complete the master’s/specialist program. Petitions must be submitted to Graduate Council for approval. The program should be able to demonstrate that the six-year time limit would be detrimental to the progress of their students or to the program itself. If the request is to extend the time limit, the program must demonstrate how students will remain current in the field over this extended time period. Any approved change in the time limit would apply to all students in the program.

A program may submit an appeal to the Graduate Council to allow a time-to-degree terminated student to be readmitted and pursue the degree without re-taking all required coursework. The appeal should:

  • Provide an explanation for the failure to initially complete the degree on-time.
  • Provide a detailed description of the requirements that must be fulfilled in order to receive the degree.
  • Provide confirmation that the appeal was approved by the majority of the program graduate faculty.