There is no Graduate School-wide sustained residence requirement for master's degrees at the University of Kentucky. However, students are advised to review the requirements for the programs in which they are interested and consider carefully the spirit of resident graduate work as discussed in the section on doctoral residency. Students who contemplate continuing in a doctoral program should take into account at the outset the residence requirements for the doctoral degree.
Many programs require a reading knowledge of a foreign language for the master's degree. Accepted languages for fulfillment of this requirement are those currently taught at the University of Kentucky, subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. Other languages may be recommended by the major advisor and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School on the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director sends this recommendation to the Dean. The language requirement may be satisfied by:
With the approval of their program, students who are non-native speakers of English may satisfy the foreign language requirement by presenting a TOEFL score of 550 or above (the equivalent score on the computer version of the TOEFL is 213).
Graduate students are eligible to take regular courses which meet as organized classes and independent-study or research courses in which each student carries on investigations independent of class meetings. Independent study or research courses must not duplicate thesis work; thesis work must be done in addition to the minimum course requirements. At least two-thirds of the minimum requirements for the master's or specialist degree must be in regular courses, and at least half of the minimum course requirements (excluding thesis, practicum, or internship credit) must be in 600- or 700-level courses. Exceptions to this rule may be made only with the approval of the Graduate Council.
Candidates for the master's degree must have a major area (defined usually as an academic department) and must take at least two-thirds of the course work in this area. The other one-third may be taken in this area or in related graduate areas. In Agriculture and Education, only one-half of the work must be in the major area. When the establishment of major topics seems to require it, the Graduate Council may, on recommendation of the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies, authorize courses taught outside the major to count toward the major requirement.
In addition, the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) requires that at least one-half of the minimum course requirements (excluding thesis, practicum, or internship credit) be in the major or core area, with three-fourths of these at the 600- to 700-level. This is in addition to the requirements stated above.
Subsequent to the receipt of a doctoral degree, a student is not eligible to receive a master’s degree based on the work which led to the doctorate.
The Graduate Faculty authorizes all graduate programs to satisfy the master's requirements by either of two options, thesis (Plan A) or non-thesis, (Plan B). The thesis option (Plan A) requires a thesis to be developed under the direction of a member or associate member of the Graduate Faculty. Collaborative effort by two or more graduate students is not forbidden. However, there must be enough independent effort to enable each student to make a separate contribution and to prepare an individual thesis. Before the final examination, the thesis director and the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies must indicate to the Graduate School that the student's thesis satisfies all requirements of the Graduate School and is complete in content and format with the exception of pagination, and that the student is ready to be examined. Any modification in the thesis which the final examination committee specifies must be made before the degree is conferred.
Master's candidates working on their theses may register for up to 12 credits of course number 768 in the appropriate department. Plan A master's degree candidates who are in residence and receiving financial support from the University and/or utilizing University resources while working on the thesis must be enrolled in the Graduate School . Candidates not enrolled in course work to meet degree requirements must be enrolled in their department's course number 748 or 768 each semester.
The non-thesis option (Plan B) requires that six or more graduate credit hours of course work be submitted in lieu of a thesis. A student may follow this option with approval of the program concerned. Students should consult their advisor for any additional requirements established for Plan B in their area of study.
A Final Examination (oral and/or written) is given to all candidates for master's degrees not later than eight days before the last day of classes of the semester in which the degree is to be awarded. The examination is scheduled by the Dean of the Graduate School and the report is returned to the Dean upon completion of the examination, which in no case may be later than two weeks after the start of the examination. The examining committee consists of at least three qualified faculty recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School . At least two committee members (including the chair or co-chair) must be members of the Graduate Faculty, and at least one of the two must be a Full member of the Graduate Faculty.
The recommendation for a final examination must be filed with the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the date of the examination. Students on scholastic probation are not eligible to sit for the final examination.
If the candidate fails the final examination, the committee may recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School the conditions under which a second examination may be administered. Insofar as it is practicable, the same examining committee gives this examination. In all decisions the majority opinion of the committee prevails. If the committee is evenly divided, the candidate fails. A third examination is not allowed.
Theses must be prepared in conformity with the instructions published by the Graduate School . Specific formatting instructions can be found at <www.research.uky.edu/gs/thesdissprep.shtml>. Note that the Graduate School , in conjunction with the University Libraries, offers students the option of submitting their master's thesis (and doctoral dissertation) in wholly electronic format (an E lectronic T hesis or D issertation). These scholarly works are then displayed on the Web for the international community of scholars to view. ETDs have many advantages; they provide for a much broader and faster showcase for the research and creative accomplishments of graduate students and their programs; a properly constructed ETD has enhanced full-text searchability; their electronic nature can provide much richer content since multi-media components such as high-resolution color images, video and audio clips, as well as some databases and programs can be embedded in an ETD. For more information and to view the current collection of ETD's, go to <www.uky.edu/ETD/>.
The thesis in its final form must be received in the Graduate School within 60 days of the Final Examination. Theses must be presented to and accepted in the Graduate School by the last day of the semester if a student plans to graduate that semester. Theses submitted by candidates become the physical property of the University of Kentucky . The University protects the authors' rights by placing certain restrictions upon the use of theses.
Students enrolled in master's/specialist programs prior to the start of the fall 2005 semester have 8 years to complete all requirements for the degree, but extensions up to an additional 4 years may be requested for a total of 12 years. Extensions up to 2 years may be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School . Requests for extensions longer than 2 years must be considered by Graduate Council. All requests should be initiated by the Director of Graduate Studies.
Students first enrolled in a master's/specialist program in the fall 2005 semester and beyond will have 6 years to complete all requirements for the degree, but will still have the opportunity to request extensions up to an additional 4 years for a total of 10 years.
Programs may opt to shorten or extend the required time to complete the master's/specialist program. Petitions must be submitted to Graduate Council for approval. The program should be able to demonstrate that the 6 year time limit would be detrimental to the progress of their students or to the program itself. If the request is to extend the time limit, the program must demonstrate how students will remain current in the field over this extended time period. Any approved change in the time limit would apply to all students in the program.
No activity completed more than 12 - or for new students 10 - calendar years preceding the proposed graduation date as appropriate will be considered for graduation.
The Ph.D. degree is intended to represent the demonstration of independent and comprehensive scholarship in a specific field. Such scholarship must be manifested by both the student's mastery of subject matter and capacity to do research. Every applicant for the Ph.D. degree must select a major area of study. The major area is one in which the student's efforts are concentrated. Some programs also require one or more minor areas. Minor(s) must be approved by the student's advisory committee. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred upon a candidate who, after completing graduate work devoted to study of a special field of knowledge, 1) passes comprehensive examinations in the chosen field and the dissertation subject, 2) presents a satisfactory dissertation, and 3) shows evidence of scholarly attainment.
Students should note that some doctoral programs have degree requirements that may exceed the minimum requirements of the Graduate Faculty.
The Director of Graduate Studies, or designee, serves as advisor to beginning graduate students until the advisory committee is appointed, normally not later than upon completion of 18 credit hours of graduate work. The advisory committee must be appointed at least one year prior to the qualifying examinations. The major professor and advisory committee are appointed by the Graduate Dean after consultation with the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies. The dissertation director, when selected, serves as the major professor. The advisory committee also provides advice to the student and specifically sets requirements (within applicable program, Graduate School , and University regulations) which the student must meet in pursuit of the doctorate. In addition to advising and program planning, the advisory committee is also involved in the administration of the qualifying examination, the supervision of the preparation of the dissertation, and the administration of the final examination.
The advisory committee has a core of four members. This core consists of the major professor as chair, two other members from the major area, and at least one representative from any minor area(s). At least one representative must be from outside the academic program (department). All members of the core must be members of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Kentucky and three (including the major professor) must possess full Graduate Faculty status. Additional faculty members may serve as members of the advisory committee. The core of the advisory committee must be kept at its full complement throughout the graduate career of the individual student. Thus, in the event of a vacancy on the committee (occasioned by resignation, faculty leave, or inability to serve), an appropriate replacement must be made prior to any subsequent committee decisions.
All decisions of the advisory committee are by majority vote of its Graduate Faculty members. Advisory committee decisions must be reported promptly to the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies who will be responsible for transmitting them to the Dean of the Graduate School .
The purpose of a residency requirement is to encourage doctoral students to experience contact with the academic community: colleagues, libraries, laboratories, on-going programs of research and inquiry, and the intellectual environment that characterizes a university. Such experience is generally as important as formal class work in the process of intellectual development. While the residency requirement is, by necessity, given in terms of full or part-time enrollment, the intent of the requirement is to ensure that the student becomes fully involved in an essential part of scholarly life.
Students must complete the equivalent of two years of residency prior to the qualifying examination and one year of post-qualifying residency. Exceptions to this normal pattern may be made with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School upon the written recommendations of the student's advisory committee and the Director of Graduate Studies, which clearly demonstrate that the principle of residence is preserved. The ultimate goal of these requirements is to lead students to scholarly accomplishment, not solely to amass semester hours or time spent.
Subject to approval by the individual doctoral program (see the chart of Degree Requirements), students may fulfill the two year pre-qualifying residency requirement utilizing one of the three models listed below.
For students that passed the qualifying examination prior to the end of the second summer session 2005, the one year post-qualifying residency requirement may be satisfied by
With the written recommendation of a candidate's advisory committee and with the approval of the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Dean, specified graduate course work may be taken in lieu of all or part of the residence credit (course 769) requirement. The student need not be physically present on campus while enrolled for credit after the qualifying examination.
Candidates who have fulfilled the above requirements, but who have not yet defended the dissertation, are required to remain continuously enrolled in course 769 or 749 (0 credit hours) each semester until the dissertation is completed and defended. Some programs have additional residence requirements which must also be met.
Students first enrolled in a doctoral program in the fall 2005 semester and beyond will be required to enroll in a new 2 credit hour course after successfully completing the qualifying examination, 767; Dissertation Residency Credit. They will be charged at the in-state tuition rate plus mandatory fees. Students will remain continuously enrolled in this course every fall and spring semester until they have completed and defended the dissertation. This will constitute full-time enrollment, as registered in SIS or later student information systems. As with 769, students will be required to complete two semesters of 767 before they can graduate.
For students whose programs of study or certification standards require an extended practicum or field experience, enrollment in 767 can be postponed for up to one year by the Dean of the Graduate School , on the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies. In such cases, the student will be enrolled by the Director of Graduate Studies in 749 (0 hr). Students needing continuing enrollment beyond the semester of the final examination will enroll in 749 for 0 credit hr.
According to University rules, any student who was first enrolled in a doctoral program before the beginning of the fall 2005 semester, but who has not yet taken the qualifying examination, may opt to follow either the old or new post-qualifying residency rules. Doctoral students who opt for the old 769 rule must have maintained continuous enrollment in their program. Students who are readmitted to a program after stopping out will be subject to the new rules, if they have not yet taken the qualifying examination.
Some doctoral degree programs require a reading knowledge of one or more modern foreign languages for the doctorate. Accepted languages for fulfillment of this requirement are those currently taught at the University of Kentucky , subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. Other languages may be recommended by the major advisor and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School on the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director sends this recommendation to the Dean. For more information, see the Master's Degree Foreign Language Requirement. Any language requirement(s) must be satisfied before the applicant may sit for the qualifying examination.
A qualifying examination consisting of both written and oral components is required of all doctoral students. Its purpose is to verify that students have sufficient understanding of, and competence in their fields to become candidates for the degree. In most programs, the advisory committee prepares and administers an individual qualifying examination; typically, that committee also judges the results of the examination. A majority vote of the core of the advisory committee is required for successful completion of the qualifying examination. Programs that give uniform, written qualifying examinations to all of their candidates shall have rules (filed with the Dean of the Graduate School ) governing the role of the advisory committee in the preparation, administration, and evaluation of the qualifying examination. The examination is usually given after four semesters of graduate work or the equivalent, and after fulfillment of pre-qualifying residency.
The qualifying examination must be scheduled through the Director of Graduate Studies and approved a minimum of two weeks in advance by the Graduate School . Students should check with the Director of Graduate Studies to make sure that the qualifying examination has been properly scheduled. The results of the examination must be reported by the Director of Graduate Studies to the Graduate School within 10 days of its conclusion. If the result is failure, the advisory committee determines the conditions to be met before another examination may be given. The minimum time between examinations is four months. A second examination must be taken within one year after the first examination. A third examination is not permitted.
To date, the semester during which the student takes the qualifying examination may be counted for 769 residence credit only if the date of successful passage is within six weeks (three weeks for the second summer session) of the first day of classes. If registered for 767, residency credit will be applied for a qualifying examination taken at any time during the first semester of enrollment in this course. However, the request to schedule the qualifying examination must be submitted and approved within the first 6 weeks of the semester.
For students initially enrolled in a doctoral program prior to the fall 2005 semester, there is no requirement for taking the qualifying examination within a specified period of time after initial enrollment in a doctoral program. Students first enrolled in a doctoral program in the fall 2005 semester and beyond will be required to take the qualifying examination within five years of entry into the program. Extensions up to an additional three years may be requested. Extensions up to twelve months may be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School upon receipt of a request from the Director of Graduate Studies. Requests for extensions longer than twelve months must be considered by Graduate Council and will require the positive recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies, the chair of the student's doctoral advisory committee, and a majority vote of Graduate Faculty in the program. If the qualifying examination has not been passed at the end of five years, or at the end of all approved time extensions the student will be dismissed from the program.
This new time limit applies to all programs, but the graduate faculty of a doctoral program (or group of programs) has the option to petition Graduate Council for a shorter or longer time limit. If approved, this modification will then apply to all doctoral students in that program.
The Final Examination includes a defense of the dissertation and may be as comprehensive in the major and minor areas as the advisory committee chooses to make it. It is conducted by an expanded advisory committee chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies or someone designated by the Director. The Dean of the Graduate School and the President of the University are ex officio members of all final examination committees. The examination is a public event and its scheduling is published and announced beforehand. Any member of the University community may attend.
At least 8 weeks prior to the final examination, the Director of Graduate Studies will advise the Graduate School of the intent to examine. At this time the Graduate Dean appoints an Outside Examiner as a core member of the advisory committee. The specific time and date of the examination must be designated by the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the actual examination. All members of the committee except the outside examiner must have an opportunity to suggest revisions prior to signing the Dissertation Approval Form which must be presented to the Graduate School at the time the Final Examination is scheduled. Thus, most revisions should have been completed at an earlier time. The final examination must take place no later than eight days prior to the last day of classes of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. Final examinations are public events and must take place while the University is officially in session. They may not be scheduled during the periods between semesters or between the end of the second summer session and the beginning of the fall semester.
In all decisions, the majority opinion of the Graduate Faculty members of the advisory committee prevails. If the advisory committee is evenly divided, the candidate fails. In the event of failure, the advisory committee recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School conditions under which the candidate may be re-examined, if re-examination is deemed appropriate. When conditions set by the Dean of the Graduate School have been met, the candidate may be re-examined. Should any vacancies on the Committee occur between the two examinations, the Dean of the Graduate School shall appoint replacements. A third examination is not permitted.
Each student must present a dissertation which represents the culmination of a major research project. The dissertation must be a well-reasoned, original contribution to knowledge in the field of study and should provide evidence of high scholarly achievement. Dissertations must be prepared in conformity with the instructions published by the Graduate School . Specific formatting instructions can be found at <www.research.uky.edu/gs/thesdissprep.html>. Note that as for Master's theses, the Graduate School , in conjunction with the University Libraries, offers students the option of submitting their doctoral dissertation in wholly electronic format.
The dissertation in its final form must be received in the Graduate School within 60 days of the final examination. If this deadline is not met, the candidate must undergo a second examination.
All degree requirements for the doctorate must be completed within five years following the semester or summer session in which the candidate successfully completes the qualifying examination, but extensions up to an additional 5 years may be requested for a total of 10 years. Extensions up to 1 year may be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School . Requests for extensions longer than 1 year must be considered by Graduate Council. All requests should be initiated by the Director of Graduate Studies. If approved, extensions longer than one year will require a retake of the qualifying examination. Failure to pass the re-examination will result in the termination of degree candidacy; a second re-examination is not permitted.
Cooperative doctoral programs in education are offered between the University of Kentucky and other state universities: Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), Morehead State University (MoSU), Murray State University(MuSU), the University of Louisville (UofL), and Western Kentucky University (WKU). These programs permit qualified candidates to complete up to one year of graduate work above the master's degree at the cooperating university. A minimum of 18 credit hours of course work, the qualifying examination, and the dissertation must be completed at the University of Kentucky , and a minimum of one academic year must be spent in full-time residence on the Lexington campus. The work of each candidate is directed by an advisory committee composed of faculty from both institutions.
Persons interested in these programs should confer with the Dean of the Graduate School at the cooperating university, or with the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky . Admission will depend upon academic standing, scores on standardized examinations, personal references, and other relevant factors.
There are additional cooperative doctoral programs in the following areas:
Higher Education UK/UofL
Rehabilitation Sciences UK/EKU/MuSU/WKU
There is a Joint doctoral program in Social Work between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies, University of Kentucky .
Graduate Work in the College of Education
The College of Education offers the following degrees: Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science (in the Kinesiology and Health Promotion graduate program), Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy and Specialist in Education. Graduate work is also provided for persons seeking Rank I or II classification.
Master of Arts in Education - Advanced Certification Option
The Master of Arts in Education is the program selected by candidates seeking advanced certification for work in school settings. A Master of Arts in Education degree will usually lead to Rank II for pay purposes. The plan which leads to the degree of Master of Arts in Education for persons holding an initial certificate is outlined below:
Master of Arts in Education - Initial Certification Option
The College of Education also offers a Masters of Arts in Education for individuals seeking initial secondary education certification in the following subject areas: business/marketing, English, foreign languages, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Master of Science in Education
The Master of Science in Education degree is designed for both non-certification and certification students. However, if a student already holds a valid teaching certificate, the Master of Science in Education degree may give Rank II for pay purposes and may, under some circumstances, renew the certificate. The plan that leads to the degree of Master of Science in Education is outlined below:
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Administration is the degree program selected by those seeking preparation for certification as a school principal in Kentucky public schools. The preparation curriculum includes 36 hours of course work and leads to a letter of eligibility for the Instructional Leader School Principalship, All Grades professional certificate. If this is a student's initial master's degree, a 30-hour Rank I program can be included within the curriculum.
The curriculum that leads to eligibility for certification as a principal contains two levels. For those students pursuing the M.Ed. as their initial master's degree, both levels of the preparation program must be completed before one is eligible for participation in the Kentucky Principal Internship Program (KPIP).
The requirements for the Ed.D. degree correspond to those of the Ph.D. with the following differences:
- Disciplinary support work from outside the Area of Concentration. Some or all of this work will be done outside the College of Education .
- Course work relevant to the development of competencies in the foundational studies in Education. Such course work is to be taken in departments of the College of Education other than the Area of Concentration.
Cooperative Doctoral Programs in Education
Cooperative doctoral (Ed.D.) programs in education are offered between the University of Kentucky and the following state universities: Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University , Murray State University , and Western Kentucky University (see Doctoral Programs with Other Universities). Students are encouraged to apply to a Cooperative Doctoral Program early in their master's degree program to facilitate transition into the doctoral program.
Persons interested in a Cooperative doctoral program should confer with the Dean of the Graduate School at the cooperating university, or with the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies in Education at the University of Kentucky . Currently, the participating University of Kentucky academic departments are those of Administration & Supervision, Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation, Kinesiology & Health Promotion, and Special Education.
Doctor of Philosophy (Education)
The Doctor of Philosophy degree in the field of Education is offered in Educational and Counseling Psychology and in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation (Higher Education) (see General Requirements for All Doctoral Degrees).
Specialist in Education
The Specialist in Education degree is offered in Administration and Supervision, Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education. It is conferred upon a candidate who satisfactorily completes a post-master's program in education under the general requirements of the Graduate School and the following special requirements:
Rank I and II Classification
Rank II classification may be achieved by the completion of a master's degree or the "Planned Fifth Year Program." The "Fifth Year" is a non-degree program of 32 semester hours for persons who hold bachelor's degrees and teaching certificates. A minimum of 18 hours must be completed at the University of Kentucky . Of the 32 hours, at least 12 must be in professional education, and at least 12 must be in fields outside education. Specific requirements depend upon the type of certificate desired. Information about specific certification requirements can be obtained from the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies.
Rank I classification requires the completion of 1) 30 hours of approved graduate-level credit in addition to the requirements for a Rank II classification, or 2) 60 hours of approved graduate-level credit including the master's degree.
Each student's graduate curriculum must be a well-rounded program of courses related to the student's major interest and approved by the advisor. In cases of deficient preparation, the advisor, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in the respective department, determines prerequisite undergraduate courses to be taken. Specific questions regarding programs should be referred to the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies.
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