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South Dakota State University    
 
    
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
2011-2012 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, degree certificate, letters of recommendation, and other materials as required by Graduate School before processing of the application will begin.  Application materials are due to the Graduate School by April 15 to be considered for fall enrollment and by August 15 (for international applicants) or October 15 (for domestic applicants) to be considered for spring enrollment.  Applicants for the Master’s degrees must have an approved Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (except in approved/accelerated programs). Application may be made on-line at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=sdstate-g.

Advisory Committee

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After consultation with the student, the head of the major department will designate a major advisor. The major advisor will recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School members of an Advisory Committee by submission of the Committee Approval Request Form:

  1. Major Advisor - acts as chairperson of the committee, must have Graduate Faculty status at SDSU.
  2. Program Representative - an additional member of the major department/program or a related 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 School, from a discipline 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.

The above three (3) or four (4) 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 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 fifty (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. At least fifty (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 available on the Graduate School page on InsideState (faculty) and MyState Online (students) and approved by the major advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School.  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 only

Minimum Credit Hours*

30

32

35

*Requirements may vary by Graduate Program

Minor/Supporting Area Requirement - Most Master’s 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.

Registration and Status

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To maintain active status, students must be registered for each semester of the academic year (excluding summer).  All graduate assistants must register for a minimum of one (1) credit (including summer) in order to receive an assistantship.

Students who are not registered will be moved to inactive status.  Inactive students must apply and be accepted for readmission before continuing graduate study.

Examinations

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Comprehensive - In those programs requiring a comprehensive written examination, the examination will be given: by the Advisory Committee at least two (2) 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.  The comprehensive written exam must be passed at least ten (10) working days prior to scheduling the comprehensive oral exam.

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(10) working days before the exam. This examination must occur at least ten (10) working days before Commencement. The Graduate Faculty Representative and all but one (1) 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 (2) 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 program. 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 ten (10) working days before the oral exam, and be available at the final oral examination.

Grading - For more information regarding grading policies for Research Paper and Design Paper, please contact the Graduate School.

A thesis must meet the requirements of the program 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 five (5) to ten (10) semester hours in the major.

Guidelines - The thesis must be prepared in the format required by the Graduate School as shown in “Instructions for Thesis” available from InsideState (faculty) and MyState Online (students).  The thesis may be prepared with a view to publication but must conform to the style of the Graduate School guidelines for including manuscripts in theses.

Use of Human Subjects or Vertebrate Animals in Research, if applicable - After the research proposal is approved, students must also seek approval for the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals in research (from the appropriate committee, if applicable). These approvals must be secured before beginning the study. For more information, visit the Research Compliance website 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 (10) 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 (10) working days in advance of the oral examination.

Binding - At least five (5) working days prior to Commencement, two (2) copies, one on at least fifty (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 (4) copies.

Electronic Thesis Submission - All Masters candidates may submit their thesis in the appropriate format for electronic publication. Students should contact the Graduate School for appropriate guidelines and paperwork for electronic publication.

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. Up to ten (10) credits may be transferred to a second degree program.

Time Limitation

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Obsolete Program - If the requirements for the Master’s degree are not completed within six (6) 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 (7th) year will apply.

Obsolete Coursework - Courses completed more than six (6) 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 major advisor with approval of the Graduate School. Validation of obsolete coursework cannot exceed fifty (50) percent of the total coursework listed on the plan of study and must be certified by the major advisor on a form prescribed by the Graduate School.

Master’s Degrees and Options (included in the program descriptions)

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Program

Degree

Options1

     Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

MS A B  

     Animal Science 2

MS

A

   

     Athletic Training

MS A B

     Biological Sciences

MS

A

B3

     Chemistry

MS

A

   

     Civil Engineering

MS A B C

     Communication Studies and Journalism

MS

A

   

     Counseling and Human Resource Development

MEd A B C

     Counseling and Human Resource Development

MS

A

B

C

     Curriculum and Instruction

MEd

 

B

C

     Dietetics

MS A B C

     Economics

MS

A

B

 

     Educational Administration

MEd

 

B

C

     Electrical Engineering

MS A B  

     Engineering

MS

A

B

C

     English

MA

A

 

C

     Geography

MS

A

B

 
     Human Sciences MS A B C

     Industrial Management

MS

A

B

C

     Mathematics

MS

A

B

C

     Mechanical Engineering

MS A B C

     Nursing

MS

A

B

C

     Nutritional, Exercise, and Food Sciences

MS A B  

     Plant Science

MS

A

B

 

     Sociology and Rural Studies

MS

A

B

C

     Sport and Recreation Studies MS A B C

     Statistics

MS

A

B

 

     Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

MS

A


 

Minimum Credit Hour Requirement

  30
32 35
   1 Options: A. Thesis
                  B.  Research Paper/Design Paper
                  C. Coursework only
   2 Department requires a minor/supporting area

   3 Biology Specialization only

 
 

 

Master’s Degree Checklist

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     Requirements When Due
 Application for Admission to Graduate School approved Fall admission - April 15
  Spring admission - August 15 (international)
                                October 15 (domestic)
   
Designation of Major Advisor Upon acceptance into Graduate School and degree program
   
Designation of Advisory Committee* During first semester or as soon as practical after beginning program
   
Approval of Plan of Study* by Major Advisor submitted to Graduate School During first semester or upon completion of 50% of credits toward graduation
   
Comprehensive Written Examination (if required by program) At least two (2) weeks before final oral exam
   
Filing of Graduation Application* By date set by Graduate School
   
Thesis/Dissertation Format Check By date set by Graduate School
   
Thesis/Research or Design Paper submitted to Advisory Committee At least two (2) weeks before final oral examination
   
Thesis submitted to Graduate School At least two (2) weeks before final oral examination
   
Request for Scheduling Final Oral Examination* Ten (10) full working days before final oral examination
   
Final Oral Examination By date set by Graduate School
   
Corrected copies of Thesis submitted to Graduate School and Library, both paper copy and electronic copy. By date set by Graduate School
   
Research or Design Paper filed in major department By the end of final’s week
   
Research or Design Paper grade submitted (S, U) By deadline for final grades at the end of the semester

 *Graduate School forms are available at the Graduate School page on InsideState (faculty) and MyState Online (students).