Master’s Degree

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(Graduate Handbook 4.1)

Credit Hour Requirement (Graduate Handbook 4.1.A)

Students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) graduate credit hours, of which at least six (6) must be earned in courses numbered 600 or above.

Culminating Experience (Graduate Handbook 4.1.B)

A culminating experience is required of all candidates for the master’s degree. Each department determines the culminating experience requirements. If credit bearing, the culminating experience credit must be taken at the 600 level or above.

Thesis Option (Graduate Handbook 4.1.B.1)

A thesis is an original research, scholarly, or creative project that is written and meets disciplinary standards. A thesis must be directed by a Miami University faculty member with graduate level A standing and be approved by a committee of a minimum of three (3) members with Miami University graduate level A or B standing. All theses are required to be uploaded to OhioLink. Thesis credit ranges from six (6) to twelve (12) hours for a 30-credit-hour program. For each required hour over thirty (30), the department may increase its thesis credit by one.

Non-thesis Option (Graduate Handbook 4.1.B.2)

A non-thesis culminating experience may take many forms such as a practicum, internship, research experience, or written project. Departments/programs must provide clear guidelines for completion and evaluation of non-thesis culminating experiences. A non-thesis option master’s must be advised by a Miami University faculty member with graduate level A or B standing and be approved by a committee of a minimum of three (3) members with Miami University graduate level A or B standing. Non-thesis projects are not uploaded to OhioLink.

Final Examination (Graduate Handbook 4.1.C)

Students are required to pass a final examination (aka thesis defense) that covers the entire field of their graduate study, as well as a thesis if required, to receive the master’s degree. To be eligible for the examination, students must have a 3.00 graduate grade point average or better and must not have grades of incomplete. Students may take the final examination during the semester in which they finish their coursework or at a later time, but they must pass the examination no later than five (5) years after completing their first course toward the degree.

Each department determines specific criteria and guidelines for the final examination. The final examination may be oral, written, or both. In the case of the non-thesis option, it may be an integrated component of the non-thesis culminating experience.With a committee of three, two (2) of the committee members must agree that the student passes the examination for him or her to receive his or her degree. If the committee is larger than three, the student will pass the examination if no more than one member casts a dissenting vote.

If a student fails the examination on the first attempt, his or her department may allow him or her to take the examination a second time after a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days from the first attempt. A student may only take the examination two (2) times; after that, he or she is ineligible to receive the master’s degree.

After completion of the Final Examination, a fully executed Form M-1 “Certificate for Awarding the Master’s Degree” should be submitted to the Graduate School at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date (Section 4.1.H).

Guidelines for Forming Master’s Examining Committees (Graduate Handbook 4.1.D)

The Master’s Final Examination Committee must have three (3) or more graduate faculty members, two (2) of which represent the student’s major department. The third and other additional members may represent the major department, a related discipline, or the Graduate School. For a thesis based master’s, the chair must have Level A Graduate Faculty standing (Section 5). Members other than the chair must hold at least Level B standing. For a non-thesis based master’s degree, the chair and all committee members must hold at least Level B standing. Students should consult with their department or the Graduate School to determine the eligibility of faculty to serve on the examining committee.

Thesis Evaluation (Graduate Handbook 4.1.E)

For students who chose the Thesis Program, the thesis director must change all thesis evaluations to the final grade of “P” or “F.” The thesis director must change specified research and internship courses which have been approved for “P” and “F” to the final grade. These changes can be made by completing the bottom section of Form M-1 “Certificate for Awarding the Master’s Degree.

Thesis, Internship, or Practicum Report Submission Guidelines (Graduate Handbook 4.1.F)

Internship, Non-Thesis, or Practicum (Graduate Handbook 4.1.F.1)

Students completing an internship or practicum report for the master’s degree must do the following:

  1. Follow the thesis preparation guidelines established by the Graduate School to receive the master’s degree. The Guide for Writing Theses and Dissertations by contacting the Graduate School at etds@miamioh.edu. It is required that students use the Graduate School’s thesis front matter template, and the template may be obtained by emailing etds@miamioh.edu or on the Graduate Student Association’s Canvas site.
  2. Submit to the department’s Graduate Director an electronic copy of the report that has been approved by the department or program.
  3. Submit to the Graduate School a fully executed Form M-1 “Certificate for Awarding the Master’s Degree” at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date (Section 4.1.H). The form is available on the Graduate School’s website.
  4. Students also must apply for graduation and pay a commencement fee by the application deadline in order to graduate (Section 4.10).

Thesis (Graduate Handbook 4.1.F.2)

Students completing a thesis for the master’s degree must do the following:

  1. Follow the thesis preparation guidelines established by the Graduate School to receive the master’s degree. The Guide for Writing Theses and Dissertations by contacting the Graduate School at etds@miamioh.edu. It is required that students use the Graduate School’s thesis front matter template, and the template may be obtained by emailing etds@miamioh.edu or on the Graduate Student Association’s Canvas site.
  2. Have the format and style of the thesis checked and approved by the Graduate School prior to submission.
  3. Submit to the Graduate School a fully executed Form M-1 “Certificate for Awarding the Master’s Degree” at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date (Section 4.1.H).
  4. Submit to the Graduate School a fully executed Form M-2 “Certificate for Approving the Thesis” at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date (Section 4.1.H).
  5. All students must submit their thesis electronically through OhioLINK. Submission to OhioLINK must be completedin accordance with the Graduate School’s deadlines available on the Graduate School’s webpage or on GSA’s Canvas site. Additional help and information regarding formatting and electronic submission of the document can be obtained from the Center for Information Management (CIM) at King Library.
  6. Students must also apply for graduation and pay a commencement fee by the application deadline in order to graduate (Section 4.10).

Time Limit for Degree Completion (Graduate Handbook 4.1.G)

Students must complete the coursework and earn the master’s degree within five (5) years after they first register as a graduate student. This limit applies to all degree-seeking students, both full- and part-time.

Note: Students have until December 31st of the fifth year to complete the degree. For example, a student first registering in the summer of 2016 has through December of 2021 to complete the degree.

Required Forms for Completing the Master’s Degree (Graduate Handbook 4.1.H)

FORM M-1:  Certificate for Awarding the Master’s Degree (All Students)
This form is completed by the student’s department before the final examination. It is then printed and given to the student to present at the time of the final examination. The committee members will indicate their vote and will sign the form at that time. After all requirements for completion of the degree are reviewed and approved by the department or program, the form is then signed by the department chairperson and forwarded to the Graduate School at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date. The form is available on the Graduate School’s website.
FORM M-2: Certificate for Approving the Thesis (Thesis-option Only)
This form is the first page of the required front matter in the thesis. It must contain the approval signatures of the major advisor(s) and the reader(s). Other graduate committee members may also sign approval as desired by the department/program or student. The form is available on the Graduate School’s website.


Revised 2016

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