Graduate Program

The department offers two graduate programs:

The Master of Science degree requires 30 hours beyond the bachelor's degree, which usually is accomplished by taking seven graduate courses and preparing a written thesis.There is also a non-thesis master’s degree option in which the student completes 9 courses (27 of the 30 hours) and completes a smaller-scope research report, which is presented publicly. Although students conducting research leading to a thesis receive preferential consideration for Departmental financial support, those interested in the non-thesis option may also be supported if funds are available.

The Doctoral degree requires 72 hours beyond a bachelor's degree, including 24 hours credit for a master's degree. Doctoral candidates must pass a qualifying exam during their first year in residence to assess their general background so that a meaningful program can be constructed. A typical doctoral program involves courses within and outside the department, and researching the dissertation topic prior to taking the comprehensive examination by the end of the second year. The results of the dissertation research are presented to the faculty and graduate students when the student has completed the project.