Requirements for Graduate Degrees
The doctor of philosophy degree is granted in recognition of scholarly attainment and proven ability. UAF tenured faculty, tenure track faculty and research faculty are not eligible to become candidates for a graduate degree within the discipline in which they teach at UAF.
Steps Required for all Doctoral Degrees
- The Ph.D. degree requires at least three full years of study beyond the baccalaureate degree. (See transfer credit.)
- A minimum of 18 graduate UAF credits must be earned.
- In addition to satisfactory completion of a plan of study developed in accordance with requirements listed above, the Ph.D. candidate must:
- Submit a Graduate Study Plan (GSP), Appointment of Committee form and annual Report of Committee form to the Graduate School. The GSP and Appointment of Committee forms should be submitted by the end of the first year of study.
- Maintain active status. (See registration requirement.)
- Pass a written comprehensive examination.
- Complete a minimum of 18 UAF thesis credits and satisfactorily complete a thesis that is a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge in the area.
- Pass an oral defense of thesis examination.
- Apply for graduation and be registered for at least 3 graduate credits in the semester in which the degree is awarded.
- Complete all degree requirements within the 10-year time limit.
UAF offers research-oriented (thesis or project) and practice-oriented (non-thesis) master’s degrees. Research-oriented programs are designed to direct graduate students toward scholarly activity that leads to the acquisition of new knowledge. Practice-oriented programs prepare graduate students for professional practice and direct them toward application or transmission of existing knowledge. All degree requirements must be completed within a seven-year period. UAF tenured faculty, tenure track faculty and research faculty are not eligible to become candidates for a graduate degree within the discipline in which they teach.
The minimum requirements for a master’s degree at UAF are as follows (individual departments may have additional requirements):
Steps Required for All Master’s Degrees
- Formulate a unified degree program, in cooperation with your graduate advisory committee. Degree programs must be composed of courses in the discipline or clearly related to and/or supportive of that discipline. All courses to be applied toward the degree must be approved by the advisory committee and follow the requirements set forth by the department that sponsors the degree.
- Specifically, master’s degree students must:
- Submit a Graduate Study Plan (GSP) and an Appointment of Committee form. The GSP and Appointment of Committee forms should be submitted by the end of the first year of study.
- Submit a Report of Advisory Committee form to the Graduate School annually.
- Be registered for at least 6 graduate or 400-level credits per year (fall, spring and summer combined) or have an approved leave of absence form on file.
- Pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination which may be combined with a project or thesis defense. Some programs (e.g., the M.B.A. degree program) may substitute a capstone course or synthesizing paper for the comprehensive examination. This includes demonstration of the ability to synthesize information in the field at a level appropriate for a master’s degree.
- Submit an Advancement to Candidacy form to the Graduate School. Once submitted, this form supplants the GSP and formally establishes specific degree requirements.
- Pass an oral defense of the thesis or project if a thesis or project is required.
- Submit an application for graduation and be registered for at least 3 graduate credits in the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.
- Complete all degree requirements within the seven-year time limit.
- Successfully complete a minimum of 30 semester credits.
- Successfully complete at least 21 semester credits, including those earned for thesis and research/project, at the 600-level. Remaining credits may be applied from courses at the 400-level.
- No 100-, 200-, 300-, or 500-level credits may be applied toward master’s degree requirements.
- A maximum of 12 semester credits of thesis (699) and/or research (698) may be applied toward degree requirements. You may enroll in more than 12 thesis and/or research credits, but only 12 credits may be applied toward your degree. When a thesis is required, it must carry 6 or more credits. In non-thesis programs, a maximum of 6 credits may be devoted to research.
Second Master’s Degree Programs
At the discretion of your advisory committee, admitting department and dean, you may transfer up to 20 percent of the minimum number of credits required for a UAF master’s degree from a previously earned master’s degree. Transferred credit may not be research, project or thesis credit. The transferred credit must be for completed graduate-level courses and not portions of a course. For a 30-credit master’s degree, for example, up to 6 graduate credits may be transferred; for a 45-credit master’s degree, up to 9 graduate credits may be transferred. The following requirements apply to students who wish to pursue a second master’s degree:
- Submit a new application, including application processing fee, updated transcripts and three new reference letters.
- Acceptable GRE scores submitted previously may be applied to a second master’s degree.
- Fulfill all general university requirements for the second master’s degree, including taking a comprehensive exam (if required), completing a minimum of 30 semester credits (including thesis, research and transfer credits), and passing a defense of thesis or project.
- All work used to fulfill degree requirements for a second master’s degree must be completed within seven years.
Deviations from academic requirements and regulations for graduate students must be approved by academic petition using the form available on the Graduate School website. Petitions must be approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee, the department chair of the student’s program, the dean of the school or college and the dean of the Graduate School.