Academic Catalog

Academic Regulations for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

For complete information regarding the academic rules and regulations of the University, students should consult the Academic Regulations section of this bulletin. The following additions and amendments pertain to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Graduate Programs Admission Requirements

Admission to any graduate degree program is contingent upon meeting the admission requirements of the Graduate School.

Preference is given to those students who have achieved superior undergraduate scholastic records and who evidence superior abilities.

All credits prerequisite to a degree or certificate program must be earned prior to or concurrent with the initial graduate credits applicable to the program. If undergraduate preparation for the major field is considered deficient, additional coursework may be required at the undergraduate level. Many programs have additional individual admission requirements. Students should consult the subsequent departmental sections in this bulletin for specific requirements in each field of study.

Graduate Record Examinations

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is used to assist advisors in evaluating educational preparation and to serve as a basis for planning future study. There is no uniform policy concerning GREs. Some departments require GRE scores from all applicants for admission, while others require scores only from students in specified classifications. Students should consult the department in which they wish to major to determine which examinations must be taken.

Students required to take these examinations must apply at the Testing and Evaluation Office, 698 Student Center, either prior to or at the time of admission. Students who previously have taken the examination may have transcripts of these scores submitted. After the initial registration, no subsequent enrollment will be permitted nor will candidacy be authorized until examination requirements have been fulfilled.

AGRADE — Accelerated Graduate Enrollment

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has established an accelerated combined undergraduate and graduate program (‘AGRADE’) whereby qualified seniors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may enroll simultaneously in some undergraduate and graduate programs of the College. A maximum of sixteen credits may be applied towards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a student’s major field if the major department is an ‘AGRADE’ participant. (Students should contact the chairperson of their major department to ascertain its ‘AGRADE’ status.) Those who elect the ‘AGRADE’ program may expect to complete the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in five years of full-time study.

Eligibility: ‘AGRADE’ applicants must have an overall g.p.a. of 3.5. Applicants are also expected to have performed at a superior level in their major, as determined by the major department and reflected in a g.p.a. in the major of at least 3.6 at the time of application.

Application: A student seeking ‘AGRADE’ status should present to the Graduate Admissions Committee of his/her major department all of the materials which that department requires for normal admission, EXCEPT for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required by some departments. For departments in which the GRE is required, it is expected that this examination will be taken at the normal time and scores forwarded to the major department. Specific departmental admission requirements can be found in this bulletin or obtained from the Graduate Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (313-577-5188).

The earliest date by which a student may apply for the ‘AGRADE’ program is during the semester in which he/she completes ninety credits toward the undergraduate degree.

AGRADE Credits: Students may elect a minimum of three and a maximum of sixteen ‘AGRADE’ credits. These credits will be used to complete the baccalaureate degree as well as to serve as the beginning of graduate study. Upon formal admission to a master’s program, ‘AGRADE’ credits are transferred as if they were graduate credits transferred from a graduate program at another university. The remaining graduate credits required for the master's degree will be earned in the conventional manner following formal admission to the graduate program. Formal admission to the graduate program occurs as AGRADE students complete their baccalaureate degree.

For more details about the ‘AGRADE’ program, contact the chairperson of the department in which ‘AGRADE’ enrollment is sought or the Graduate Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (313-577-5188).

Degree Requirements

Graduate degrees are conferred not merely upon the completion of a prescribed number of courses nor necessarily after a given period of residence, but rather in recognition of each candidate’s outstanding ability and high achievement as evidenced in all course work, research, scholarly writing, examinations and personal fitness for a chosen profession. All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the Graduate School and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition to the general Graduate School requirements for degrees and to the information provided below, other requirements are specified by the individual graduate departments. Students should consult the programs and requirements of the departments in which they plan to major.


Candidacy is an advanced status recommended by student advisors and authorized by the Graduate School or Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office upon evidence of superior scholarship, appropriate personal qualities and promise of professional competence. Students should note that admission as an applicant does not assure acceptance as a candidate for a degree, and that candidacy is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for graduation.

To be eligible for candidacy, students must file officially approved Plans of Work. The Plan should provide for effective concentration in a major field, with proper supporting courses in related fields. Ph.D. applicants should file their Plan with the Graduate School; master’s applicants should file with the graduate officer of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In preparing a Plan, students should evaluate with care their personal and professional objectives as well as all degree and departmental requirements. Normally, a student enrolled in a master’s degree program is expected to file a Plan of Work by the time twelve graduate credits or their equivalent have been earned.

It is recommended that an approved Plan be filed by applicants for the Ph.D. degree before approximately forty credits beyond the baccalaureate degree have been earned. In addition to filing the Plan, students must satisfy any foreign language requirements.

Candidacy is reached after the Plan of Work has been approved, the final Qualifying Examination has been passed, approximately fifty credits have been completed, and the dissertation committee has been named.


Information concerning commencement announcements, caps and gowns, invitations, tickets, time and place, assembling and other relevant items will be mailed to graduates by the Alumni Office prior to the event. Candidates for advanced degrees are requested and expected to attend the commencement at which the University confers upon them the honor of the degree earned.

Master’s Degree Requirements

In most master’s degree programs, the minimum requirement for the degree is thirty-two credits under either Plans A, B, or C as cited below. At least twenty-four credits must be taken in residence. At least six credits of coursework in the major field, in addition to the essay or thesis, must be in courses open only to graduate students (courses numbered 7000 and above).

Plan A requires at least twenty-four credits of course work plus a six to eight credit thesis.

Plan B requires at least twenty-seven credits of course work plus a three credit essay.

Plan C requires at least thirty credits of course work; an essay or thesis is not required. Most departments require a final comprehensive examination as part of Plan C

Students should consult a departmental advisor for details on the availability of Plan A, B or C in their major field.

Requirements vary by department; see listings under the individual departments for exact information. In accordance with the time limitation of the Graduate School, all requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within a six-year period.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Preliminary Qualifying Ph.D. Examination

Responsibility for preliminary qualifying examinations is vested in the graduate faculty of each department, specifically in its committee on doctoral study. Accordingly, committees may require this examination of all candidates or of any candidate prior to the final qualifying examination.

Final Qualifying Ph.D. Examination for Candidacy

The final qualifying examination is required of all applicants and will be a written examination. It may also contain an oral portion if the department requires one. Consult the specific department for requirements.

The written qualifying examination will cover the applicant’s major and minor areas and may include such other related matters as the doctoral examining committee may prescribe. If an oral qualifying examination is required, it will be conducted by the departmental qualifying examination committee within sixty days after the written qualifying examination has been passed. This examination will relate to the subject matter of the written examination, the applicant’s major and minor areas and other pertinent matters.

If an examining committee does NOT certify that the applicant has passed either the written or oral examinations, it must make specific recommendations with reference to admitting the applicant to a second examination and specify any additional work that should be completed prior to such an examination. If a second examination is held, it must be scheduled within one calendar year and shall be considered final.

Selection of the student’s doctoral committee, including one member from outside the student’s department, is a requirement for candidacy. Substitutions in the membership of this committee may be made prior to submission of the Outline and Record Form to the Graduate School. After this form is approved, any change in committee membership requires written approval from the Graduate School. This committee conducts the final dissertation defense.

Essays, Theses, and Dissertations

There is no prescribed format for the master’s essay. Essay guidelines, indicating standard style manuals for each department and title-page samples, are available in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office, 2155 Old Main.

Master’s degree candidates under the essay plan register for the course numbered 7999, Master’s Essay Direction, in the department of their major; a total of three credits must be elected.

The original copy of the essay should be submitted to the Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office after it is approved and signed by the advisor. This copy will be returned to the department.

The thesis or dissertation must be an original work, either in or definitely related to the student’s major area of specialization. If proper standards of quality, objectivity, originality, and independence are maintained, candidates may use data that they have derived from their University research. Neither the results of the research nor the publication of findings can be restricted by any non-University agency nor can they be published prior to acceptance of the dissertation by the Graduate School unless prior approval of such publication has been obtained from the advisor. Advisors have primary responsibility for approval of the essay or thesis, but every member of a doctoral committee must read, approve and sign the dissertation.

Students may not begin work on a manuscript until they have submitted an approved Plan of Work and outline form. They may then register for the thesis or dissertation credits and pay regular fees in the same manner as for all other course work.

Master’s candidates under the thesis plan register for the course numbered 8999 in the department of their major. This course is entitled Master’s Thesis Research and Direction and must be elected for a total of eight credits. Ph.D. candidates must enroll in thirty credits of doctoral dissertation direction. The thirty credit dissertation registration requirement is fulfilled by registering for the courses 9991, 9992, 9993, and 9994 (Doctoral Dissertation Research and Direction I, II, III, and IV, respectively) offered under various subject area codes, in consecutive academic year semesters.

Theses/Dissertation Outline and Record Form

Before students begin working on theses or dissertations, they must file outlines and record forms. Master’s candidates must prepare three copies which, after receiving departmental approval, will be forwarded to the Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office. Doctoral candidates must prepare four copies which, after receiving departmental approval, will be forwarded to the Graduate School.

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