General Requirements for Advanced Degrees

Master's Degree

About the Requirements for Master’s Degrees

The number of credit hours required by the University Graduate School for master’s degrees varies according to the individual degree (see below for details). However, with the exception of the Dual Master’s Program, the requirements for all master’s degrees must be completed within five consecutive years.

With the exception of the Master of Arts for Teachers (M.A.T.), a thesis or reading knowledge of a foreign language is normally required for a master’s degree (see departmental entries for exceptions). If a thesis is not required, departments are encouraged to substitute some other type of special project that is creative, exploratory, or experimental in nature. In lieu of the traditional thesis, for example, the department might require seminar papers, presentations, publishable reports, artistic performances, or exhibitions. The thesis or alternative project should be equivalent to no fewer than 3 nor more than 9 hours of graduate credit; such credit should be granted under an appropriate departmental course or independent study number. Departures from traditional thesis requirements prescribed by the individual departments must be approved by both the department and the dean. If a thesis is submitted, the student must file the original and one copy (both bound) with the University Graduate School. These copies will later be placed in the University Library. At least one additional bound copy must be filed with the major department. The title page must bear the statement: “Submitted to the faculty of the University Graduate School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of ______ in the Department of ______________ , Indiana University.” At least three members of the faculty shall normally participate in the approval of the thesis and must sign an acceptance page which appears after the title page. The statement, “Accepted by the faculty of the University Graduate School, Indiana University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of ___________ ,” should precede the signatures on the acceptance page. Each copy of the thesis is to be accompanied by the student’s vita sheet inserted at the end. For details regarding the typing and duplication of theses, see Preparation of Theses and Dissertations.

Three or more faculty members should participate in certification of the student’s fulfillment of the requirements for a master’s degree. Their participation may take any of several forms, such as administering a final or comprehensive examination, or evaluating the candidate’s thesis or alternative project. In instances where shortcomings are apparent, the student may be required to complete additional course work or assignments.

If the master’s degree is used to meet part of the requirements to convert a provisional or standard teaching certificate into a professional certificate (which is no longer a life license), the student’s degree program must include at least 18 credit hours of graduate work in the major or minor field or both.

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