Mar 03, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
  
2023-2024 University Catalog

General Graduate Program Requirements



Master’s Degree

Course Requirements

The minimum requirement for a master’s degree at the University of New Orleans is 30 semester hours of graduate work, including no more than six hours allowed for research and writing of a thesis. Many degree programs require more than the minimum and students should check the program description for requirements. Graduate credit is awarded for courses numbered 5000-level and above. As a minimum, a student must earn at least half of the required semester hours of work in courses numbered 6000 or above (including not over six hours of thesis credit). Some departments require more than these minimum standards.

Independent Study

No more than 20% of the total hours required for a degree may be satisfied by coursework completed as independent study. Research conducted towards an independent study course should be distinct from research conducted towards completion of a master’s thesis.

Time Limit

Programs for master’s degrees must be completed within six years. A student may request an extension beyond the time limit with approval from the program and the Graduate School. Courses over fifteen years old will not normally be considered for an exception. A Time Limit Extension form must be submitted to the Graduate School.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to the Graduate School does not imply admission of a student to candidacy for a master’s degree. Admission to candidacy is contingent upon the recommendation of the student’s program and approval by the Graduate School after meeting the formal requirements below.

A student will be admitted to candidacy for a master’s degree only after attaining unconditional graduate standing, completing at least 12 semester hours of work with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and receiving approval of the student’s major department for such admission. Formal application of a Plan of Study must be filed in the Graduate School Office not later than a date announced in the calendar. Acceptance of the Plan of Study rests with the major professor and the Graduate School. The Plan of Study includes the coursework required to complete the degree. The graduate student must adhere to the program outlined on the Plan of Study. Any changes must be approved by the department and by the Graduate School in writing.

Foreign Language Requirement

Some departments require a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language (classical or modern) for the master’s degree. Students should discuss this matter with their major professor as early as possible.

Thesis

In most departments the preparation of a thesis is an important element in the program leading toward the master’s degree. A master’s thesis should demonstrate capacity for research, originality of thought, and competency in organization. It must be acceptable in subject matter and exhibit proficiency in composition. Instructions on preparation of the thesis may be obtained from the Graduate School website (grad.uno.edu).

Final acceptance of a master’s thesis rests with a special committee of three or more graduate faculty members who are nominated by the chair of the department in which major work is taken. The major professor is designated chair of this committee. One member ordinarily represents a minor field. The results of the examination are submitted to the Graduate School.

Upon committee approval, the thesis is submitted to the Graduate School for approval of the format and publication in the University’s institutional repository, ScholarWorks.  ScholarWorks is a digital collection of the research, scholarship, and creative work which provides open access and disseminates published works to a global audience of students and scholars.

Comprehensive and Final Examinations

After a candidate’s course work is at least substantially complete, the candidate will be required to pass a comprehensive examination. This exam may consist of:

  1. A written and/or oral examination based on the content of the degree program;
  2. A “capstone” course requiring interpretation and integration of information from previous courses;
  3. A research paper, a “policy and practice” paper, or equivalent experience;
  4. A public performance or exhibition along with a contextualizing paper; and/or
  5. A practicum or internship.

If the comprehensive exam requirement is met with option 1 then the examining committee for comprehensive examinations must consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty and documentation of passage must be provided to the Graduate School through a Non-Thesis Examination Report.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest degree offered by the University of New Orleans. It is conferred only for work of distinction in which the student displays power of original scholarship and only in recognition of achievement and marked ability.

The degree is not awarded solely on the basis of study, extending over any prescribed period of time. Nothing in the following summary of minimum standards should be construed to imply that the degree will be granted merely in recognition of faithful performance of prescribed work. The basic requirements are twofold:

  1. To be admitted to candidacy an applicant must exhibit unmistakable evidence of penetrating mastery of a rather broad major field, which is ordinarily done in a general examination.
  2. A candidate must prove ability to complete a significant program of original research, which is done in a dissertation embodying creative scholarship and by passing a rigorous final examination. The dissertation must add to the sum of existing knowledge, and it must be presented with literary skill.

The degree must be completed within six calendar years following admission to candidacy (upon completion of General Examination), or less, if specified by the individual college or program. Prior work applied to the degree (including transfer and locally-earned credits) must have been completed within nine calendar years immediately preceding the date on which the degree is conferred. An extension may be granted if approved by the Graduate School.

While the degree of Doctor of Philosophy cannot be earned simply by passing courses, the program of work prescribed ordinarily provides for a minimum of at least 60 semester hours beyond requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Although coursework requirements are concentrated in the student’s major field, a certain amount of work is always required in one or two minor fields. Graduate course work taken at another institution with grades of “A”, “B”, “P”, “S”, or equivalent  may be included in the program of study if approved by the program, the student’s advisory committee, and the Graduate School.

Independent Study

No more than 20% of the total hours required for a degree may be satisfied by coursework completed as independent study. Research conducted towards an independent study course should be distinct from research conducted towards completion of a doctoral dissertation.

Residence Requirement

A doctoral student must earn two consecutive semesters of a minimum of nine hours of residence. The doctoral residence requirement may be met alternatively by three semesters of enrollment at six or more hours, which may be non-consecutive.

The purpose of residency is to provide the doctoral student with significant time for sustained contact with faculty members, an opportunity for research, and time to incorporate professional values into the graduate school experience.

Qualifying Examination

Early in the student’s program of graduate study the major department may evaluate the doctoral student for suitability to pursue the doctoral degree. Each graduate program has its own procedure for this evaluation, which may involve written or oral examinations, performance in coursework, or other means.

A student becomes an applicant for the doctorate after passing the Qualifying Examination, if one is required by the program, or at the end of the first year of enrollment in the doctoral program.

Language Examinations

Each doctoral program has specific requirements for proficiency in a foreign language or for the mastery of certain equivalent research skills. These requirements should be met as early as possible, in no case later than the application for the general examination. Consult with the graduate coordinator of the program for further information.

Advisory Committee

An applicant for the doctorate will develop a program of study with the advice and help of a dissertation committee. The committee composition will include at least three members from the major department or a related program. The department chair or designee appoints the committee after consultation with the student and his/her major professor. All committee members must be graduate faculty at the University or approved as ad hoc members based on department, college dean, and Graduate School approval. This committee will serve as the examination committee for the general examination.

General Examination

An applicant becomes eligible for the general examination after satisfying the language requirement, completing a substantial portion of the coursework, and demonstrating adequate academic and professional preparation for independent research. The general examination is ordinarily the most rigorous test in the entire program for the doctorate. The examination may be oral, written, or both according to the rules of the program. The structure and composition of the examining committee is at the discretion of the department or program. A comprehensive examination committee is comprised of at least three graduate faculty at the University or approved as ad hoc members based on department, college dean, and Graduate School approval.

The content of the examination must be comprehensive enough to demonstrate expert competence over broad segments of the major field and evidence of deep and current knowledge in the student’s chosen specialty as well as evidence of progress in research.

The general exam must be passed (unconditionally) prior to completion of 90% of the credit hours required for the program. Candidates may be required to take the examination an additional time to receive an unconditional pass. No candidate will be permitted a third examination.

In most cases the remainder of a student’s time will involve concentrated work on the dissertation and preparation for the dissertation defense.

Candidacy

Doctoral candidacy involves formal notification to and certification by the Graduate School that a student has demonstrated superior learning and working capacities, completed or very nearly completed all course work and other formal degree requirements, and unconditionally passed the general examination. Students who have met all the requirements for candidacy must file for candidacy with the Graduate School via the Report on General Examination. The form is available from the Graduate School website (grad.uno.edu). Once the form is approved by the Graduate School, the student is recognized as a candidate for the doctorate.

Dissertation

The dissertation must demonstrate a mastery of research techniques, ability to do original and independent research, and skill in formulating conclusions that in some way enlarge upon or modify knowledge in their major field. The results must be presented in a scholarly and literate form. Research involving human or animal subjects must be approved by the Committees on Human and Animal Subjects and verification of approval must appear in the final version of the dissertation.

Final acceptance of a dissertation rests with a special committee of three or more graduate faculty members who are nominated by the chair of the department in which major work is taken. The major professor is designated chair of this committee. One member ordinarily represents a minor field. The results of the examination are submitted to the Graduate School.

The form and style of the dissertation should follow the accepted practices of the major field concerned. Additional information about acceptable dissertation layout is available from the Graduate School (grad.uno.edu). After successful defense and dissertation committee approval, the student must submit the dissertation to the Graduate School by the stated deadline for approval of the format and publication in the University’s Institutional repository, ScholarWorks.  ScholarWorks is a digital collection of the research, scholarship, and creative work which provides open access and disseminates published works to a global audience of students and scholars.