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    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
   
 
  Jul 27, 2017
 
 
    
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2012-2013 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Degree Progression Policies & Procedures


       

Students should be aware of the Graduate Study Timeline available on the Graduate College website: http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/current/guidance/

Degree requirements are usually completed under the policies and regulations listed in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of admission. However, and with departmental and Graduate College approval, the Graduate Catalog in effect during the semester in which degree requirements are completed may be used.

All students seeking an advanced degree must adhere to the regulations discussed in this section. With Graduate College approval, departments may have additional specific degree requirements that students must meet to receive an advanced degree.

 

Policies & Procedures

Advancement to Candidacy
Final Research/Creative Documents
Forms
Graduate Program Examinations
Graduation Procedures
The Advisor
The Advisory Committee
The Degree Program

     
     

Forms         

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All students are responsible for submitting the proper forms to the Graduate College as he or she progresses through their degree program. Failure to do so may cause a delay in the student’s graduation. 

     

The Advisor

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Students are assigned an advisor by their graduate program at the time of admission into the Graduate College. The advisor is typically selected by the department from among its Graduate Faculty; after which, if required by degree program, it is the responsibility of the student to personally select an advisor to serve as chair of his or her advisory committee. At any time after admission, a student may request a change of advisor and, upon departmental recommendation and Graduate College approval, the advisor will be changed.
       

The Advisory Committee

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The advisory committee is responsible for guiding the student through the graduate program, assisting with the thesis or dissertation (if required), and administering the final examination. Not all graduate degree programs require the appointment of an advisory committee. Students should consult with their advisor to determine whether or not an advisory committee is necessary. All departmental members of the committee should have expertise in the student’s area of concentration. Generally, four graduate faculty members comprise an advisory committee: three from the student’s department (the chair must have full graduate faculty status; the other two committee members may have either associate or full graduate faculty status in the student’s home department) and one professor with full graduate faculty status from another department to serve as the Graduate College representative. The graduate college representative is a neutral, outside faculty member with full graduate faculty status who participates on the committee to ensure that all graduate college policies are followed, to make sure that all milestones in the student’s progression are met appropriately, and to witness rigor, quality, and fairness throughout the student’s culminating experience and defense. Note that with appropriate approval it is permissible for (a)n additional graduate faculty member(s) to be placed on the committee. Master’s and doctoral students must submit the Appointment of Advisory Committee form to the Graduate College before establishing the degree program and before submitting their prospectus approval forms. The Graduate College must approve the Graduate College representative, and all advisory committee members on the Appointment of Advisory Committee form, before the student proceeds to work with their advisory committee, sit for exams, defend a prospectus or otherwise participate in any milestone event involving their advisory committee. If a student needs to make changes to their advisory committee after submission of the Appointment form, they may do so with the Change to Advisory Committee form.

       

The Degree Program

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Students, with their advisor and advisory committee, must prepare a proposed graduate degree program. This degree program, which outlines the courses the student will complete for the degree, should be thoughtfully prepared. The degree program of study must comply with the regulations of the graduate program or department, the Graduate College and the guidelines in the Graduate Catalog for the year in which the student was admitted.The degree program forms (Part A provided by the Graduate College, Part B is provided by the academic department) requires the approvals of the student, advisor, the graduate coordinator, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean, and both parts of the form must be submitted at the same time, prior to applying for graduation.

       

Final Research/Creative Documents

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The most important component of graduate education is the student’s culminating experience. All graduate programs require a culminating experience. This generally takes the form a thesis, a dissertation, a final scholarly research project, a professional paper, a course, an exam and sometimes an oral defense. The culminating experience demonstrates the student’s mastery of their research, scholarship, creative abilities, and/or written communication skills in the chosen discipline. The final document is intended to benefit the student, contribute to the academic discipline or profession, and often they are of significance to the broader society. Students required to complete and defend a final research or creative document must submit the Prospectus Approval Form to the Graduate College along with a brief written statement describing the content of the document prior to beginning work on their thesis or dissertation. Students may not enroll in dissertation credits until they have submitted their signed Prospectus Approval form and their Advancement to Candidacy form to the Graduate College.

Final documents, including theses, dissertations, professional or scholarly papers, and projects must meet acceptable standards of the given profession. Theses and dissertations must also meet Graduate College standards according to The Guide to Preparing & Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation. The Graduate College and advisory committees expect students to give careful attention to the style and format of the final scholarly or creative documents.

Students should contact the department to determine which document and which forms are required to complete their degree program. Students must maintain continuous enrollment (a minimum of 6 graduate level credits in any three consecutive semesters including summer) while working on their degree and final document, and students be enrolled in a minimum of 3 graduate level credits in the semester in which they graduate, even if they have already completed all the required degree credits.

Thesis and Dissertation

Some departments require a thesis, or offer the option of a thesis, for the master’s degree. All academic doctoral programs require a dissertation. Students must submit the Prospectus Approval form to the Graduate College at the same time the degree program is submitted for master’s students and to advance to candidacy for doctoral students. The thesis or dissertation should demonstrate the student’s ability to select a specific problem or topic, to assemble pertinent and necessary data, to do original research, to organize ideas and data acceptably, and to prepare a written report in clear and effective English. The Guide to Preparing & Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation is available on the Graduate College website. Students must follow the instructions in the guide. Matters of form with respect to capitalization, abbreviation, quotations, footnotes and bibliography should conform to the discipline’s standards. Departments will advise the student on which style manual is appropriate.

The minimum number of thesis credits required for a master’s degree program is six. For the doctoral degree program, the minimum number of dissertation credits required is twelve. A grade is not reported for thesis or dissertation credits. When the final copy of the thesis/dissertation are submitted electronically to the Graduate College and approved by the Graduate Dean, the title of the thesis/dissertation is posted on the student’s transcript with the number of credits given. Unless approved for a leave of absence, a student must register for a minimum of three thesis/dissertation or non-thesis/dissertation credits each semester (summer excluded) until the thesis or dissertation is completed, submitted to the Graduate College, and the student graduates. However, students intending to complete, defend, submit a thesis or dissertation to the Graduate College, and/or graduate during the summer term, must be registered for a minimum of three credits. It is strongly suggested that no later than eight weeks prior to the last day of instruction in the term the student will graduate, a draft of the work should be submitted to the advisory committee. The committee will review the thesis or dissertation for any corrections and changes, which must be incorporated before the final examination (oral defense) and final typing. The completed, unbound work must be resubmitted to the committee at least one week prior to the final examination. The Graduate College must approve all theses and dissertations for final electronic submission. It is recommended that an initial format check be performed by the Graduate College by the eighth week of the semester the student intends to graduate. Upon approval, the thesis or dissertation must be submitted electronically to the Graduate College not later than two weeks prior to the end of instruction of the term the student intends to graduate. All members of the advisory committee must approve the thesis or dissertation for submission to the Graduate College. The Graduate Dean only can give permission for an extension of this deadline.

In rare circumstances a student may be permitted to complete the thesis or dissertation away from campus. After considerable progress has been made in collecting data and outlining the work, the student may petition to complete the thesis or dissertation in absentia, waiving the registration requirement. If the petition is approved, the advisor and Graduate Dean along with the student will determine the requirements for completion of the work.

Professional or Scholarly Papers or Projects

Master’s students not pursuing a thesis option may be required to complete a professional/scholarly paper or project as part of the degree program. Students are encouraged to use The Guide to Preparing & Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation available in the Graduate College when preparing a professional paper. Professional/scholarly papers or projects are not, however, reviewed, retained, or approved by the Graduate College. Some graduate programs require students doing a professional paper to have a graduate committee and to defend their work; other departments incorporate final papers into culminating experience courses or have other requirements. Please check with your department for detailed guidelines.

       

Graduate Program Examinations

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There are three major examinations which students may be required to pass in order to complete a graduate program. The following descriptions are general and may be used interchangeably by departments or programs. For the application of these terms and their use by a particular department or graduate program, refer to the appropriate section of this catalog.

Qualifying Examinations

Some departments may require doctoral students to take a qualifying examination as part of the admission screening process or for diagnostic purposes shortly after admission. The examination may be written, oral, or both.

Comprehensive and Final Examinations

Most graduate degree programs require students to successfully complete one or more comprehensive or final examinations. For master’s students, the comprehensive, or final, examination is generally conducted during the last semester or term of enrollment in which a student intends to graduate. For doctoral students, the comprehensive, or preliminary, examinations are generally taken after all course work, other than dissertation credits, has been completed and before advancing to candidacy. The examination is intended to test the student’s knowledge of the area of specialization and may be written, oral, or both at the discretion of the department. If the examination is written, members of the advisory committee may submit questions, all must read the questions in advance, and all must read and evaluate the student’s answers. If oral, all members of the advisory committee must be present and may question the student.

The comprehensive, final, or preliminary examination must be administered at least three weeks before the last day of instruction of any given semester or term. Students must be enrolled for at least one graduate-level credit during the semester or term the comprehensive or preliminary examination is taken. For comprehensive and final examination requirements, contact the department or refer to the appropriate section of this catalog. In the examination, the student must be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a broad field of study and a detailed understanding of one or more specialized fields of expertise. The advisory committee must unanimously pass the student. If the committee votes unanimously to fail the student or the vote is not unanimous to pass, the student, in consultation with his/her advisor, may request the committee to administer a second examination. The student must wait at least three months before taking the second examination. The advisory committee must provide formal documentation to the student clearly indicating its decision.

Oral Defense

Graduate students completing a thesis or dissertation are required to demonstrate their ability to select a specific problem or topic, to assemble pertinent and necessary data, to do original research, to organize ideas and data acceptably, and to prepare a written report in clear and effective English. This demonstration takes the form of an oral defense of the finished document. For some master’s and specialist students, completing a professional/scholarly paper or project an oral defense may be required. All members of the advisory committee must be present and may question the student.

The oral defense must be held at least three weeks before the last day of instruction in the term in which the student plans to complete the degree requirements. It may be conducted before that term only with the Graduate Dean’s permission. Students must be enrolled during the term the oral defense is conducted.

Satisfactory performance on a final examination will consist of a presentation and defense of the student’s original thesis or dissertation research. At a minimum, the defense consists of an oral presentation to university graduate faculty and a closed deliberation and vote by the advisory committee. The oral presentation will be open to UNLV Graduate Faculty, graduate students, relevant administrators, and invited guests. The invited guests must be approved by the advisory committee chair prior to the defense.

The oral presentation may be followed by general questions of clarification from attendees [other than the advisory committee members]. The advisory committee and chair may choose to include a session of more in-depth questioning open only to the advisory committee and the UNLV Graduate Faculty. An additional phase of questioning with only the advisory committee and candidate may also be included. The final phase of closed deliberation, and the vote to pass or fail the student, will only be open to the student’s appointed advisory committee.

The Graduate College must be notified not less than two weeks in advance of the examination. A public announcement regarding an oral defense must be made to the appropriate department’s graduate faculty a minimum of seven (7) days prior to the oral defense.

During the oral defense, the student must be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a broad field of study and a detailed understanding of a more limited field. The advisory committee must unanimously pass the student. If the committee votes unanimously to fail the student or the vote is not unanimous to pass, the student, in consultation with his/ her advisor, may request the committee to administer a second examination. The student must wait at least three months before taking the second examination. The department may require additional course work, substantial reworking of the thesis, dissertation, or professional/scholarly paper or project or whatever is believed necessary to prepare the student for the second examination. The Graduate College will not approve third examination requests.

       

Advancement to Candidacy

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The Graduate College designates the advancement to candidacy status for doctoral students only. Doctoral students are advanced to candidacy upon successful completion of all course work, passing the comprehensive examination, and completing the dissertation prospectus. The date of advancement is recorded on the students’ official UNLV transcript.
       

Graduation Procedures

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Application for Graduation

Students are responsible for applying for graduation by the semester deadline. Doing so triggers your graduate evaluator to review your file and make sure that everything is in order for you to graduate. The graduation application is available for downloading on the Graduate College website. The application form must be signed and returned to the Graduate College by the deadline posted on the Graduate College website. Applications for graduation will not be processed unless all required forms and documents have been submitted to the Graduate College including degree program, and if required the prospectus approval, appointment of advisory committee, and for doctoral students the advancement to candidacy form.

If students do not complete the degree requirements in the term anticipated, it is expected that they will do so in the next regular term (summer excluded). A new application for graduation must be filed, and an additional diploma fee will be charged. In addition, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits during the term they apply for and expect to graduate.

Granting of Degrees

Degrees are awarded three times a year in May, December, and August. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits during the term they intend to graduate. When students apply for graduation, the Graduate College reviews the degree program. The Graduate Dean certifies that they have met degree requirements and a recommendation is forwarded to the Board of Regents. If any requirement has not been met, the degree will not be awarded. The degree will be revoked if it is awarded in error, or if it is later discovered that the degree requirements were not met, or if fraudulent claims are later discovered.

Commencement

Students may not participate in commencement prior to completion of all degree program requirements. Commencement is held twice a year in May and December. August graduates may participate in the December commencement following the completion of degree requirements.

 
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