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South Dakota State University    
 
    
 
  Sep 21, 2017
 
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Masters Degree Requirements


 Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

 

Admission Requirements

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The application file must be complete with the application form, application fee, all post-secondary transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other materials as required by Graduate School before processing the application will begin. Applicants for the Master’s degrees must have an approved Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (except in approved/accelerated programs). Online application for domestic, international or non-degree seeking students is found at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=sdstate-g or http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/FormsandDocuments/

Advisory Committee

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After consultation with the student, the head of the major department will designate a major advisor. As soon as possible, but no later than the completion of 50 percent of the credits toward graduation, the major advisor will recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School members of an Advisory Committee as follows:

  1. Major Advisor- acts as chairperson of the committee, must have Graduate Faculty status.
  2. Major Department Representative- an additional member of the major department.
  3. An additional member of the major department or a related department, or a professional with an outstanding academic record and/or knowledge in the field from outside the University.
  4. Graduate Faculty Representative- selected by the Graduate Dean, from a department not closely related to the major/minor/supporting areas. This member ensures that rules and regulations are followed and acts as the student’s advocate, if necessary.
  5. Thesis Advisor- if different from major advisor.

The above four or five members shall be members of the Graduate Faculty except when an outside representative is used in “C” above. Additional members of the committee may be requested by the student or the major advisor and assigned to the committee by the Dean of the Graduate School.

The Advisory Committee is responsible for assisting the student in developing a suitable Graduate Program, providing continuing guidance and counsel, and certifying the completion of the degree requirements to the Dean/Associate Dean of the Graduate School. The Major Advisor approves the plan of study and any revisions of it, approves the thesis proposal (if applicable), conducts the examinations appropriate to each option, supervises the validation of courses, and ensures that professional standards have been met in completing the degree requirements.

Plan of Study Information

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Guidelines - During the first semester of graduate work and no later than the end of the first year or completion of 50 percent of the credits needed for graduation, the plan of study should be prepared on the appropriate form and approved by the major advisor. The plan of study will then be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval. Courses for the major must be taken in the major department or in related fields. At least 50 percent of the credits on a plan of study must be in courses open only to graduate students (600-series or above). Failure to submit a plan of study may result in disapproval of courses taken prior to approval and/or registration restrictions. After approval, changes in the plan of study must be requested on a form furnished by the Graduate School and approved by the major advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School. The “Plan of Study” form is available at http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/FormsandDocuments/ While devising a plan of study, refer to the “Academic Information” section in this catalog in addition to the following information.

 

 

 

Options:

A     Thesis

B     Research Paper/Design Paper

C     Coursework

Minimum Credit Hours*

30

32

35

*Requirements may vary by Graduate Program

Minor/Supporting Area Requirement - Most Masters’ programs do not require a minor or supporting area of coursework. If required, it is indicated in the listing of degrees and in the department/program section of this catalog. Whether required or not, consideration should be given to both depth and breadth of courses on the plan of study.

Language Requirement - There is no general language requirement for the Master’s degree. However, individual departments may require a speaking or reading knowledge of a modern language other than English.

Examinations

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Comprehensive - In those majors and specializations requiring a comprehensive written examination, the examination will be given by the Advisory Committee at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination, filed in the major department for review, and be available at the final oral examination. A comprehensive written examination is required of all students on non-thesis, Option C, programs. This comprehensive written examination may take different formats according to program requirements.

Final - An oral examination will be administered by the Advisory Committee covering the student’s plan of study and research if appropriate. This examination must be comprehensive, testing the student’s ability to analyze, integrate, and apply knowledge from the discipline. The “Final Oral Exam” form must be submitted to the Graduate School ten working days before the exam. This examination must occur at least ten working days before Commencement. The Graduate Faculty Representative and all but one of the graduate committee must pass the student.

Research Paper or Design Paper

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Students following Option B must complete at least two credits for a Research Problem (or Design Paper in Engineering) in the major field and present a written report. The content, style, and format of the report must meet the requirements of the major department. The Research Report or Design Paper must be approved by the Advisory Committee and filed in the major department. A copy of the written report should be provided to each committee member, including the Graduate Faculty Representative, and be available at the final oral examination.

Grading - For more information regarding grading policies for Research Paper and Design Paper, go to http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/StudentFAQs/GradingPolicies/.

Thesis

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A thesis must meet the requirements of the major department and the Graduate School and must be submitted by each student completing a Master’s degree in Option A. The thesis must represent a scholarly contribution to research knowledge in the major field.

Credits - A research area for the thesis topic should be chosen after consultation with the major advisor as early in the student’s program as possible. The thesis accounts for 5 to 10 semester hours in the major.

Guidelines - The thesis may be prepared with a view to publication and conform to the style of one of the journals in the major field as required by the major department. It must be prepared in the format required by the Graduate School as shown in “Instructions for Thesis” available from the Graduate School. The thesis should be a single document rather than a compilation of individual manuscripts. For more information, go to http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/ThesisDissertationSubmittal/.

Use of Human Subjects or Vertebrate Animals in Research, if applicable - After receiving approval to proceed with a thesis, students must also seek approval for the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals in research from the appropriate committee. These approvals must be secured before beginning the study. For more information, visit the Research Compliance website at http://www3.sdstate.edu/UniversityResearch/ResearchCompliance/ or contact the SDSU Research Compliance Coordinator in the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, SAD 124, 605/688-6975.

Review - A copy of the thesis must be filed with the Graduate School for review at least ten working days before the oral examination. Failure to do so may cause a delay in completing the degree. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule the oral examination and distribute a copy of the thesis to each member of the graduate committee including the graduate representative ten working days in advance of the oral examination.

Binding - At least five working days prior to Commencement, two copies, one on at least 50 percent rag content paper (cotton bond), corrected in accordance with suggestions by the Advisory Committee and the Graduate School, must be returned to the Graduate School with a receipt from the Library showing the fee paid for the binding of four copies.

Electronic Thesis Submission - All Masters candidates are required to submit their thesis in the appropriate format for electronic publication. Students should contact the Graduate School for appropriate guidelines or go to http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/StudentFAQs/ThesisDissertationInformation/.

Multiple Master’s Degrees or Majors

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Graduate students may pursue a second or additional Master’s degree in areas other than their first Master’s degree, providing the degree designation is different.

Time Limitation

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Obsolete Program - If the requirements for the Master’s degree are not completed within six years from the time of admission to work toward the degree, a reconsideration of the student’s program will be required and the rules of the Graduate School in effect at the beginning of the seventh year will apply.

Obsolete Coursework - Courses completed more than six years prior to completion of the requirements of the Master’s degree are regarded as obsolete coursework. Such courses may be used in the Master’s degree program if validated. Validation is allowed at the discretion of the department with approval of the Graduate School. Validation of obsolete coursework cannot exceed 50 percent of the total coursework listed on the plan of study and must be certified by the department on a form prescribed by the Graduate School.

Master’s Degrees and Options

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Major

Degree

Options

Animal Science 1

MS

A

   

Biological Sciences

MS

A

B2

Chemistry

MS

A

   

Communication Studies and Journalism

MS

A

   

Counseling and Human Resource Development

MS

A

B

C

Curriculum and Instruction

MEd

 

B

C

Economics

MS

A

B

 

Educational Administration

MEd

 

B

C

Engineering

MS

A

B

C3

English

MA

A

 

C

Family and Consumer Sciences

MS

A

B

C

Geography

MS

A

B

 

Health, Physical Education and Recreation

MS

A

B

 

Industrial Management

MS

A

B

C

Mathematics

MS

A

B

C

Nursing

MS

A

B

C

Plant Science

MS

A

B

 

Rural Sociology

MS

A

B

C

Statistics MS A B  

Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

MS

A

   

 

1 Department requires a minor/supporting area.  2 Biology Specialization only
  3 Dependent on Emphases

Master’s Degree Checklist

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Requirements

 

When Due

1.

Application for Admission* to Graduate School approved

 

One month before initial registration

2.

Designation of Major Advisor

 

Upon acceptance into Graduate School and degree program

3.

Designation of Advisory Committee*

 

During first semester or as soon as practical after beginning program

4.

Approval of Plan of Study* by Major Advisor submitted to Graduate School

 

During first semester or upon completion of 50% of credits toward graduation

5.

Comprehensive Written Examination (if required by program)

 

During the last semester of course work, at least two weeks before final oral examination

6.

Filing of Graduation Application*

 

By date set by Graduate School

7.

Thesis/Research or Design Paper submitted to Advisory Committee

 

During last semester of course work, at least two weeks before final oral examination

8.

Thesis submitted to Graduate School

 

During last semester of course work, at least two weeks before final oral examination

9.

Request for Scheduling Oral Examination*

 

At least ten working days before final oral examination

10.

Final Oral Examination

 

By date set by Graduate School

11.

Corrected copies of Thesis submitted to Graduate School, both paper copy and electronic copy, and Library

 

By date set by Graduate School

12 Research or Design Paper filed in major department   By the end of final’s week
13 Research or Design Paper grade submitted (S, U)   By deadline for final grades at the end of the semester

 

Minimum Credit Hour Requirements for Master’s Degrees, per Option

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Options        
  A B C
Minimum Total 30 32 35
       
Minimum Major 19 19 19
including thesis or
     
research problem      
(if minor or      
supporting area      
required)*      
       
Thesis 5-10 0 0
       
Research Problem 0 2-3 0
       
Minimum minor or 8 8 8
supporting courses      
(from two or more      
disciplines, if minor      
or supporting area      
required)**      
       
*Consult major department      
for requirements.      
       
**Courses in the major      
department may be used      
as supporting courses,      
providing they are      
considered sufficiently      
diverse by the major      
department.      
       
Note:      
Some degree programs      
require additional credits;      
       
Options:      
A   Thesis      
B   Research Paper/Design Paper      
C   Coursework      

 

*Graduate School forms are available at the Graduate School (SAD 130) or on-line. Go to http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/FormsandDocuments/.