Sep 29, 2020  
2011-2012 University Catalog 
    
2011-2012 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Graduate Studies


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Graduate Studies

Advanced Programs of Study

One of the main goals of University of the Sciences is to provide high-quality education to graduate students in the sciences and health-related fields. Accordingly, the University currently offers 12 graduate programs through the College of Graduate Studies: 

  • Biochemistry [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Bioinformatics [MS (non-thesis)]
  • Biomedical Writing [MS (non-thesis)]
  • Cell Biology and Biotechnology [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis)]
  • Cell and Molecular Biology [PhD]
  • Chemistry [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Health Policy [MS (non-thesis), PhD]
  • Health Psychology [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis)]
  • Pharmaceutics [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Pharmacognosy [MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Pharmacology/Toxicology [MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Pharmacy Administration [MS (non-thesis)]

The philosophy of the College of Graduate Studies is to provide high-quality graduate-level courses in a flexible, convenient manner, characterized by close personal interactions between the students and the faculty. Most of our graduate-level courses are offered in the early evenings for the convenience of nontraditional students who either wish to obtain advanced training and/or certificates of training without formally entering a graduate program and/or wish to earn a graduate degree. These courses are delivered at both traditional on-campus and satellite locations and in a variety of nontraditional ways, such as by web-based courses. Graduate-level courses are taught by USciences faculty and other highly qualified experts. These courses are constantly monitored and updated to ensure that their content is current and meaningful in the real world.

USciences enjoys an excellent international reputation that allows us to attract graduate students from all over the world as well as from the United States. The interaction of such a diverse body of students and faculty adds strength and depth to our programs. Our graduate students are not only trained in the content of their profession but are also trained to be critical thinkers, to work in group settings, and to be effective communicators.

We train our graduate students to be leaders in academic, industrial, and governmental settings. Graduates from the University‘s graduate programs have gone on to postdoctoral positions at academic institutions such as Harvard University, University of North Carolina, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Florida, and Drexel University College of Medicine. They have gone on to be leaders in pharmaceutical companies such as Merck, AstraZeneca, FMC Corporation, Cephalon, Pharmavene (now Shire), Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi-aventis), DuPont, and GlaxoSmithKline. Several of our graduate students have gone on to successful careers in governmental agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration.

Admission into Graduate Courses

While many of our graduate students enter our graduate programs after completing their undergraduate degree, we also have many nontraditional students who usually hold one or more college degrees and are currently employed but wish to obtain advanced training to enhance their careers. Many of these students wish to take one or two courses to “test the waters” before matriculating into a graduate program; others are looking to receive training in specific areas without pursuing a degree. USciences offers the option for qualified students to take graduate-level courses without formally entering a graduate program if they have the appropriate prerequisite background; we will even guide and assist them in obtaining any background that they might be missing. Such students should contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 215.596.8556 or through our website at www.usciences.edu/graduate to obtain information about courses and their prerequisites. In order to register for courses without formally enrolling in a graduate program, the student must provide proof via a copy of a transcript that shows that he/she meets all prerequisites for the course. Approval for enrolling in a course is granted by the graduate program director or course instructor responsible for the course with the approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Such students should complete the application for enrollment and provide a copy of the pertinent transcript showing that they meet the prerequisite requirements prior to the start of the course.

Most of the students who initially enroll in courses without formally entering a graduate program eventually do so. Besides allowing up to 12 credits of coursework from prior learning assessment, transfer credit from appropriate courses taken at other accredited institutions, and credit earned by examination, the College of Graduate Studies allows a maximum of 12 additional credits of coursework taken at USciences prior to formal enrollment in a USciences graduate program to count toward the minimum degree requirements of the graduate program.

How and When to Apply

The College of Graduate Studies welcomes applications for admission into our graduate programs from highly qualified, motivated students. To be eligible for admission into a program leading to a graduate degree, the College of Graduate Studies requires that an applicant be a graduate of an accredited college or university with at least an earned bachelor’s degree or be enrolled in an undergraduate/first professional degree program at USciences and meet the eligibility requirements of that graduate program.

Admission for Students with an Undergraduate Degree

The College of Graduate Studies requires:

  • A completed application form (available on our website at www.usciences.edu/graduate, from the Graduate Admission Office in the Griffith Hall, Room 100, or by phone at 215.596.8556).
  • A $50 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all college coursework.
  • Three letters of reference from individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s academic and research potential.
  • A personal statement concerning the applicant’s interest in the proposed field of study.
  • A completed Certificate of Finance form if an applicant is not a U.S. citizen.
  • Original TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Test of Written English) scores if the applicant’s primary language is not English and the applicant has not previously earned a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States or in a country whose primary language is English or a certificate of completion of English proficiency from ELS.
  • Any additional requirements established by the specific graduate program to which application is being made.

Program-specific admission requirements, such as those of standardized examinations (e.g., GRE, GMAT), can be obtained by either contacting the College of Graduate Studies by phone at 215.596.8556 or from each program’s web page found at the college’s website at www.usciences.edu/graduate. Applications are available either from the Graduate Office on request or may be obtained directly from our website. Graduate program directors are available to answer any questions concerning their graduate programs.

For nonforeign students, all requirements for application for graduate study must be submitted by August 1, December 1, and April 1 for admission in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, respectively. Applications that are completed after these dates will be considered for the next semester if allowed by the specific program.

Foreign students must have their complete application, including Certificate of finance, submitted by April 15 for enrollment in the fall semester, October 1 for enrollment in the spring semester, and March 1 for enrollment in the summer semester.

Upon application, depending on the graduate program, potential graduate students may apply for entrance into an MS degree track (thesis or non-thesis options) or a PhD degree track.

Standards for admission to the PhD degree tracks are somewhat more rigorous than those for the master-level degree tracks. In some cases, an applicant requesting entrance into a PhD degree track may be required to be placed initially in the MS degree track to demonstrate, by the quality of his/her work during the first year or two of graduate study, that he/she has the ability and capacity for independent, original study and research required of doctoral candidates before being allowed to enter the PhD track.

Completed applications are reviewed by the graduate faculty and/or the program director of the department in which application is made and makes a recommendation to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies notifies the applicant of the acceptance decision as promptly as possible. Notification of any financial aid in the form of Graduate Student Instructorship usually accompanies the notification of the applicant’s acceptance but may follow at a later date. Every student must return the signed letter of acceptance within the time period specified in the letter to ensure a position is held in the entering class. Unless a student has taken a course at USciences within the past year, the letter of acceptance must be accompanied by a nonrefundable deposit of $150; this deposit will be credited to the student’s first semester’s tuition.

For foreign students, upon receiving the deposit and the signed letter of acceptance, at their request, the college will send the applicant’s Certificate of Eligibility form I-20A, which is required for a student visa.

All foreign and full-time students must have proof of completed immunization records and must have completed the University’s Student Health History and Physical form, which should be completed by the student’s physician prior to the student’s arrival on campus. Unless exempted, all foreign students must participate in the health insurance program sponsored by the University. Additionally, all students must show proof that they are covered by health insurance. Students may secure accident and sickness insurance covering medical and hospital expenses through a plan offered by the University. Details of this plan are available in the Office of the Dean of Students.   

Admission into Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Track Programs 

Several of our graduate programs offer integrated BS/first professional degree/MS/MPH or MBA programs, which allow qualified current USciences undergraduate students to simultaneously pursue a graduate degree while completing their undergraduate coursework. Acceptance into an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree track program:

  • Allows undergraduate students who have the necessary prerequisites to take graduate-level coursework.
  • Allows students to apply graduate coursework toward earning a graduate degree from USciences while concurrently earning an undergraduate/first professional degree provided the minimum academic standards criteria are maintained.

Students may apply for an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree track program either as entering freshmen, as entering transfer students, or as current USciences undergraduate students (prior to their fourth year if in a BS track, fifth year if in a professional master’s degree track, or sixth year if in the PharmD, DrOT, or DPT degree track). Admission is competitive and based on both the availability of positions and the academic record of the student. Normal standardized examinations, such as the GRE, LSAT, etc., and normal programmatic entrance (e.g., proficiency) examinations will not be required of the applicant. Language examinations such as the TOEFL and TWE may be required at the discretion of the graduate program director and/or dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Admission into these programs is granted only by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program director.

To be considered for this program, incoming freshmen must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum high school GPA of 3.40/4.00. 
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 total with a minimum individual verbal and math score of 550.
  • Three letters of recommendation from high school faculty.
  • Signature of the student’s USciences undergraduate program director signifying that he/she has discussed the implications on how this program might impact the student’s undergraduate studies.

To be considered for this program, incoming transfer students and current (been in a USciences program for at least two semesters) matriculated USciences students must have met the following criteria:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00.
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 total with a minimum individual verbal and math score of 550 if not matriculated in an undergraduate or first professional degree program for at least one academic year (at least a fall and spring semester) at USciences; otherwise, there is no SAT requirement.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation from college faculty members.
  • Obtain the signature of the student’s current USciences undergraduate program director signifying that he/she has discussed the implications on how this program might impact the student’s undergraduate studies.

Students in the program will have separate undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Courses used to earn an undergraduate degree cannot also be used to earn a graduate degree. The student should work closely with her/his undergraduate/graduate advisors to ensure the appropriate courses get assigned to the proper transcript during registration.

Student Housing

The University can provide limited living accommodations for graduate students. In addition, information concerning local rental units listed with the University is available through the Student Affairs Office. 

Parking

The University provides a limited amount of off-street reserved parking. Graduate students may apply for a parking permit from the Security Office for an annual fee.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are established by the University in May of each year for the upcoming academic year. For 2011–2012, for most graduate students, the tuition costs are $1,339 a semester credit.

First-semester tuition and fees are payable on or before the day of registration. Upon registration for the next semester, tuition and fee reminders will be distributed and invoiced; these amounts must be paid by the due date indicated on the bill. Failure to pay these amounts by the date indicated will result in a late fee of $100 per month. Additionally, a student with a delinquent account will be placed on financial hold, which will not allow the student to register for or attend classes, obtain transcripts, or participate in USciences functions.

Remittances by mail can be made by check, payable to University of the Sciences. Students may make electronic payments to their tuition accounts at any time on WebAdvisor. These payments may be made by E-check (directly from checking account) or by American Express, Discover, or MasterCard. The Cashier’s Office also accepts in-person payments and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., except in the summer, when it is closed on Fridays. Anyone who makes a credit card payment will be charged a nonrefundable fee equal to 2.5% of the transaction. One hundred percent of this fee will b e retained by the processor and related banks that are providing the credit card service. The fee will apply to any credit card payment made on a student account, whether by mail, phone, Cashier’s Office, or WebAdvisor. E-check payments made on WebAdvisor will not be charged a convenience fee.

Each MS (thesis only) and PhD student is required to pay a thesis/dissertation fee of $150, which is intended to defray, in part, the cost of microfilming, copyright, publication, and reprinting of the thesis or dissertation. This fee must be paid on submission of the thesis or dissertation and is not refundable.

Students who anticipate the completion of all degree requirements must complete a Petition to Graduate form available from the Graduate Office. This form must be completed by deadlines published by the College of Graduate Studies and the Registrar or graduation will be delayed.

Financial Assistance

Besides loan programs available from the state or federal government (see the Financial Aid section in this catalog), there are a number of other programs available to graduate students.

External Funding Sources

Fellowships and traineeships awarded by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education may be available to graduate students. Students interested in such programs should apply to these agencies after consulting with their research advisor, program director, and the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research.

Graduate Student Instructors

The University hires highly qualified, matriculated graduate students to primarily assist in teaching, grading, and proctoring courses; in order to qualify, graduate students whose primary language is not English are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or provide a certificate of completion of English proficiency from ELS. Recommendations to hire graduate student instructors are made to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies by the graduate program directors. Graduate students interested in this type of financial aid must apply through their program directors. Graduate student instructors are assigned to various departments across campus by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. These graduate students are required to participate in all teaching assistant training sessions sponsored by the departments, the Department of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety, and the Teaching and Learning Center.

Graduate student instructors in the PhD track who are receiving financial aid are required to maintain good academic standing and are awarded a stipend and a tuition scholarship on a semester-to-semester basis with the usual contract ending at the end of the spring semester. Most graduate student instructors initially begin their studies during the fall semester and would usually receive an initial contract for the fall and spring semesters. New contracts are usually awarded during the new fiscal year, which would start with the summer session beginning in May. The amount of the stipend is based on experience and is considered to be taxable as it is a fee for service. The tuition scholarship will cover tuition costs for up to 9 credits per semester and the associated comprehensive fees during the time frame outlined in the contract; the graduate student instructor is responsible for all tuition and associated fees beyond the number stipulated in the contract. This scholarship does not cover audited courses. The tuition scholarship is considered not to be taxable. The contract will also specify the number of hours of service per week required of the graduate student instructor. Graduate students may receive this type of financial aid for a maximum period of four years for a student in a PhD track from the date the student formally enrolls in a graduate program.

Graduate Research Associates

Graduate students may obtain extramural support to perform research. Usually, the support is in the form of a research stipend. This stipend is considered to be taxable. Students who receive a research stipend may be eligible to receive a tuition scholarship depending on the size of the stipend received relative to the current amount of a teaching stipend. If a student receives less than one-third of the amount of a normal teaching stipend during a semester, then the student is not eligible to receive a tuition scholarship. If a student receives at least one-third but less than two-thirds of the amount of the normal teaching stipend during a semester, then the student is eligible to receive one-half of a tuition scholarship. If a student receives two-thirds or more of the amount of the normal teaching stipend during a semester, then the student is eligible for a full tuition scholarship. The tuition scholarship is considered not to be taxable.

Tuition Waivers

In certain cases, graduate students may be hired to perform specific services for the University for which they may receive tuition waivers. Recommendations for the granting of tuition waivers are made by graduate program directors to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. In such cases, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may give a tuition waiver at the rate of one semester hour of credit for three hours of service per week per semester. The maximum number of credits that can be waived is one-third the number of credits registered for that semester and up to 3 credits. Graduate students may receive this type of financial aid for a maximum of 2 years and 1 semester for MS students or 5 years of PhD students from the date of first enrollment. Tuition waivers are deemed to be taxable.

Other Fellowships

The College of Graduate Studies has two major endowed fellowships:

Abraham Glasser Fellowship
This fellowship provides financial support for one year to conduct original research on a full-time basis, unencumbered by assignments as a graduate student instructor. This fellowship is provided through the generous gift of Abraham Glasser, Class of 1943, and his wife Gloria. Full-time PhD students enrolled in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics, or pharmacology and toxicology who have passed their comprehensive examinations, have been admitted to candidacy, and have demonstrated a reasonable degree of progress in their research are eligible to apply for this fellowship.

French/Gano/Kilmer/Pollard Combined Fellowship
The following four endowed fellowships have been combined into a single fellowship. This fellowship is for full-time PhD students who have started but not completed the research phase of their doctoral studies.

  • Clayton French Fellowship
    Endowed by Mrs. Mary I. Banks, in honor of her father, Clayton French.
  • William H. Gano (Class of 1884) Memorial Scholarship
    Established by Mrs. William H. Gano in memory of her husband.
  • F. B. Kilmer Research Fellowship
    Endowed by the late Dr. Frederick B. Kilmer.
  • Augustus T. Pollard Fellowship
    Established by Dr. Augusta T. Pollard.

This fellowship is awarded on an annual basis beginning during the summer semester, if funds are available. Doctoral candidates may make formal application for these fellowships by January 15 prior to the summer in which the fellowships are awarded. Application packets are available from the Graduate Office. An ad hoc committee of graduate faculty, appointed by the chair of graduate subcouncil, will review the applications and may recommend candidates for these fellowships. Upon approval of the graduate subcouncil, candidates for these fellowships are recommended to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Scholarships

Jacob Gelb Scholarship
This scholarship was established by Jacob Gelb, Class of 1931, and his brother Samuel Gelb. These scholarships are awarded by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the graduate program director to graduate students who are newly enrolled in a graduate program. One graduate student from each program can be nominated to receive a one- or two-semester scholarship, the second semester being granted if the student maintains good academic standing in the graduate program. This scholarship is made above and beyond any other financial aid offerings by the College of Graduate Studies.

Final-Year Doctoral Fellowships

The following fellowships may be awarded to students in their final year of a doctoral program. They are designed to provide time for the student to complete the research and to prepare the doctoral dissertation. These may be awarded by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of graduate program director with consultation with the graduate faculty.

The Dunn Memorial Fellowship in Pharmacognosy
Named in honor of Dr. Marian S. Dunn, former professor of botany and pharmacognosy and director of the Department of Biology.

The Griffith Memorial Fellowship in Pharmaceutics
Honors Dr. Ivor Griffith, distinguished educator and administrator who served as president of the University for 20 years.

The Harrisson Memorial Fellowship in Pharmacology
Honors Dr. Joseph W. E. Harrisson, former professor of pharmacology and director of the Department of Pharmacology.

The G. Victor Rossi Research Fellowship in Pharmacology and Toxicology
Named in recognition of G. Victor Rossi, PhD, professor pharmacology and toxicology and, from 1984 to 1992, vice president for academic affairs.

The Sadtler Memorial Fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry
Named in honor of Dr. Samuel P. Sadtler, former professor of chemistry and chairman of the board of trustees.

Wyeth Endowed Scholarship
An endowed scholarship, established in memory of John Wyeth, to support an upperclass pharmacy student. 

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Overview

The following information provides a brief overview of some of the requirements for obtaining the doctor of philosophy degree. A complete, current description of these requirements is found in the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures manual available from the Graduate Office or on the College of Graduate Studies website.

Research Advisor

Each student selects a research advisor from the members of the graduate faculty within the graduate program with the approval of the committee of program directors. The research advisor will guide the student in selecting courses, direct the student’s research, and chair the student’s advisory committee.

Advisory Committee

Each doctoral student will select an advisory committee composed of their research advisor, one other member of the graduate faculty from the student’s graduate program, one member of the graduate faculty who is not from the student’s graduate program, and one other qualified individual from on or off campus; other qualified individuals may also serve on the advisory committee. Duties of the advisory committee are to:

  • Recommend didactic requirements.
  • Mentor the student.
  • Monitor the student’s academic and research progress.
  • Meet with the student at least once a year to review the student’s progress.
  • Determine when the quality and quantity of research are sufficient. 
  • Advise the student in the preparation of the research proposal and dissertation.
  • Participate in the final oral examination of the student.

Credit Requirements

To qualify for the doctor of philosophy degree, the College of Graduate Studies requires that each student must earn not less than 20 credit hours of graduate-level didactic work and not less than 20 credit hours of research. A program of study will be developed for each student in consultation with the student’s advisory committee and is subject to approval of the program director. This program must ensure that the student will attain a high degree of competence in a major area of study and provide a sound foundation in the underlying sciences. Graduate students are expected to participate in all departmental and college seminar programs. Graduate students must achieve a minimum grade of “B-” in each course for which graduate credit is granted and must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.

Each of the graduate programs has its own individual required courses and approved electives. Frequently, these programs may have course requirements that exceed the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies; the student must complete all of the specified programmatic requirements before the student earns the PhD degree in that program of study.

Students may request transfer of credits earned outside of USciences upon matriculating into a graduate program; a maximum of 12 credits may be awarded due to transfer, advanced placement, and/or experience. These credits must not have been used to fulfill the minimum degree requirements for an undergraduate/first professional degree. Transcript of transfer credits should be presented to the program director with a request for evaluation. If the courses are of suitable nature and grades equivalent to “B-” or better have been earned in them, the program director may recommend their acceptance for transfer by the dean.

Time Requirements

Students who are fully prepared for advanced study and who devote full-time to the academic program can usually earn the PhD degree in about four to six years. There is no residency requirement for the doctor of philosophy degree, though doctoral students should participate in all seminars and other programmatic activities whenever possible; this is especially important for the part-time doctoral candidate. Candidates for PhD degree must satisfy all degree requirements within eight years of entering a graduate program.

Proficiency Examinations

During the weeks preceding registration, students commencing graduate studies may be required to take one or more proficiency examinations designed to evaluate their degree of preparation for advanced study. The program director or designee will administer and grade these examinations. The results of these examinations will be used to establish an initial program of study and may allow the program director to award advanced placement credit.

The nature of these proficiency examinations is determined by the departmental graduate faculty. If these examinations are to be required, information will be sent to incoming students by the program director shortly after the receipt of the student’s acceptance of the offer of admission.

Comprehensive Examinations

Graduate coursework is designed to expose the student to the fundamental body of knowledge in a discipline. A doctoral student should also have the ability to analyze this body of knowledge, including the current literature, integrate it, and creatively apply it to problems in the discipline. A series of comprehensive examinations is used to test the student’s abilities in these areas. All doctoral students must successfully complete the comprehensive examination requirement.

The doctoral student will take written and oral examinations in specialty areas within the major field, as established by the department. The mechanism and the selection of authors of these examinations are determined by the graduate faculty in each program. Questions to be found on the written comprehensive examinations are of a nature such that students are expected to demonstrate a familiarity with the current literature in their major field and to answer questions with a breadth and depth of understanding beyond that considered satisfactory in normal course examinations. Information concerning the examinations may be obtained from the program director.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon the recommendation of the advisory committee and after the successful completion of all course requirements and comprehensive examinations and the submission of an approved research proposal, the program director will notify the student of his/her admittance to candidacy.

By granting such admission, the advisory committee indicates its approval of the candidate’s record to date and its confidence in the student’s ability to pursue to successful completion an appropriate research problem. Not less than two semesters must intervene between admission to the program and the awarding of the degree.

Doctoral Research

A major requirement for the doctoral degree is that the candidate demonstrates creativity and the ability to design and conduct research substantially on an independent basis, to critically analyze the results of laboratory experimentation, to translate the data obtained into sound and defensible conclusions, and to clearly articulate the results of the experimentation in the preparation of a research dissertation. The dissertation must represent a definitive contribution to scientific knowledge. A suitable research problem is selected by the candidate in consultation with the advisory committee. With the approval of the research advisor, the student may register for doctoral research in the appropriate department. The doctoral student must submit a research prospectus to the advisory committee for approval.

Each student engaged in doctoral research is required to present at least one oral progress report to the advisory committee per year. The progress report should indicate how well the objectives of the research prospectus have been met, any modifications that have been made in these objectives, and what studies remain to be performed in order to achieve them.

Dissertation and Abstract

Upon completion of the student’s research to the satisfaction of the advisory committee, each candidate must prepare a dissertation and an abstract based upon his/her investigations. Detailed instructions for the preparation of dissertation and abstracts have been developed by the graduate faculty and are included in the College of Graduate Studies publication Information for Graduate Students.

The doctoral candidate also must prepare and submit to a peer-reviewed professional journal at least one paper dealing with the subject of the student’s doctoral research. It is desirable that the doctoral student also presents at least one paper or poster on his/her doctoral research at a professional symposium or meeting.

Registration

Matriculated graduate students are required either to be registered for credit or to be designated as in absentia every semester until the completion of their degree. MS (thesis) and PhD graduate students must be registered for at least one credit during the semester in which the degree is to be completed.

Final Examination

Following the review of the dissertation by the members of the advisory committee and a reviewer selected by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the candidate must pass a final oral examination designed to establish the competency of the student in his/her major and related fields. The final examination of the student will be conducted by the advisory committee reviewers and chaired by the student’s research advisor. At least part of the examination is open to all students, faculty members of USciences, and other individuals who have received permission to attend from the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Publication and Microfilming

The graduate faculty considers publication of the essential components of the doctoral research, in a suitable scientific journal, to constitute an integral part of the dissertation requirements. In order to realize the full value of scholarly research, it must be made easily available to other scholars. Therefore, each doctoral dissertation is reproduced on microfilm, and a copy is kept on file in the University library and in the Library of Congress. An abstract is reproduced and published in Dissertation Abstracts. 

Master of Science Degree

Overview

The following information provides a brief overview of some of the requirements for obtaining the master of science degree. A complete, current description of these requirements is found in the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures manual available from the Graduate Office or on the College of Graduate Studies website.

Master of Science—Thesis Option

Research Advisor

Each student selects a research advisor from the members of the graduate faculty within the graduate program with the approval of the committee of program directors. The research advisor will guide the student in selecting courses, direct the student’s research, and chair the student’s advisory committee.

Advisory Committee

Each MS (thesis) student will select an advisory committee composed of their research advisor, at least one other member of the graduate faculty from the student’s program, and at least one other qualified individual who has the credentials and expertise to contribute to the guidance of the student’s research. Duties of the advisory committee are to:

  • Recommend didactic requirements.
  • Mentor the student.
  • Monitor the student’s academic and research progress.
  • Meet with the student at least once a year to review the student’s progress.
  • Advise the student in the preparation of the research proposal and thesis.
  • Participate in the final oral examination of the student.

Credit Requirements

To qualify for the master of science degree, the College of Graduate Studies requires that each student must earn not less than 20 credit hours of didactic work acceptable to earn the MS (thesis) degree and not less than 10 credit hours of research. Graduate students are expected to participate in all departmental and college seminar programs. Graduate students must achieve a minimum grade of “B-” in each course for which graduate credit is granted and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00.

Each of the graduate programs has its own individual required courses and approved electives. Frequently, these programs may have course requirements that exceed the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies; the student must complete all of the specified programmatic requirements before the student earns the MS (thesis) degree in that program of study.

Students may request transfer of credits earned outside of USciences upon matriculating into a graduate program; a maximum of 12 credits may be awarded due to transfer, advanced placement, and/or life experience. These credits must not have been used to fulfill the minimum degree requirements for an undergraduate/first professional degree. Transcript of transfer credits should be presented to the program director with a request for evaluation. If the courses are of suitable nature and grades equivalent to “B-” or better have been earned in them, the program director may recommend their acceptance for transfer to the dean.

Time Requirements

Students who are fully prepared for advanced study and who devote full-time to the academic program can usually earn the MS (thesis) degree in about one to two years. Candidates for the MS (thesis) degree must satisfy all degree requirements within five years of entering a graduate program.

Proficiency Examinations

During the weeks preceding registration, students commencing graduate studies may be required to take one or more proficiency examinations designed to evaluate their degree of preparation for advanced study. The program director or designee will administer and grade these examinations. The results of these examinations will be used to establish an initial program of study and may allow the program director to award advanced placement credit.

The nature of these proficiency examinations is determined by the departmental graduate faculty. If these examinations are to be required, information will be sent to incoming students by the program director shortly after the receipt of the student’s acceptance of the offer of admission.

Research

The successful completion of a research assignment for which a minimum of 10 credit hours is awarded is among the requirements for the MS (thesis) degree. The graduate faculty requires the submission of a formal thesis for this degree. An oral examination as a defense of this research is also required.

Registration

Matriculated graduate students are required either to be registered for credit or to be designated as in absentia every semester until the completion of their degree. MS (thesis) and PhD graduate students must be registered for at least one credit during the semester in which the degree is to be completed.

Master of ScienceNon-Thesis Option

The MS (non-thesis) degree is an option offered by some programs as a modification of the master of science degree requiring more didactic coursework, less research, and no formal thesis/defense. The degree is intended for students who, because of career or financial needs, choose to pursue graduate education on a part-time basis; who seek an advanced degree primarily to facilitate advancement or promotion; or who wish to attain the degree but are not likely to pursue further graduate education.

While many of the requirements for the MS (non-thesis) degree are the same as those for the MS (thesis) degree, some of the different requirements are listed below. A minimum of 30 credit hours of didactic work is required by the College of Graduate Studies for the MS (non-thesis) degree; individual programs may require more than this minimum. The program director will assign a member of the graduate faculty to serve as the student’s advisor. The MS (non-thesis) student will not have an advisory committee nor be required to write a thesis; however, most programs require a written project as part of a capstone course.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Graduate Studies