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College of Education


Advanced Programs Policies and Procedures

The college is involved in periodic review of programs and graduation requirements that may be subject to change without prior notice.

 You can download a printable version [pdf] of the policies.

Table of Contents

I. Purpose
II. Changes
III. Definitions
IV. Forms and Publications
V. Admissions
VI. Advisement
            A. General
            B. Advisors for Certificate Programs
            C. Advisors for Master's Degrees
            D. Advisors for Educational Specialist Degrees
           E. Advisors and Committees for Doctoral Degrees

VII. Programs
            A. Certificate Programs
            B. Master's Degree Programs
                    1. Master of Arts
                    2. Master of Education
                    3. Master of Science in Physical Education
                    4. Interdisciplinary Master of Arts
            C. Educational Specialist Degree Programs
            D. Doctoral Degree Programs

VIII. Graduate Examinations
IX. Dissertation

I. PURPOSE
The purpose of this document is to define the basic graduate-level advanced program academic policies and procedures that the College of Education faculty agrees must be adhered to across programs and departments of the College. Departments and programs may adopt more stringent policies and procedures than those specified in this document but may not adopt any that are less stringent.

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II. CHANGES
College of Education policies and procedures must be at least as stringent as those of The Graduate School. Given that Graduate School polices and procedures change periodically, and to ensure that this document is kept as current as possible, the Advanced Programs Governance Committee (APGC) has the responsibility and authority to update College of Education policies and procedures as required. That is, whenever Graduate School policies are modified to exceed the current standards of this document, the APGC will modify College of Education policies and procedures so that they are in compliance with Graduate School policies and procedures. Faculty will be apprised of these updates as they occur. 

All other general changes to the College of Education policies and procedures will be proposed by the APGC and will be voted on by the faculty of the College of Education. That is, whenever a Graduate School change is made that allows greater flexibility than is currently in place or when other circumstances warrant changes to the College of Education policies and procedures, the APGC will develop a proposal for consideration by the faculty. A faculty vote on the APGC proposal will follow a period of at least 30 days from when the proposal was distributed to the faculty. 

Program exceptions to the College of Education policies and procedures that are approved by APGC will be recorded in the minutes and kept on file by the Advanced Programs Coordinator.

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III. DEFINITIONS

A. Advanced Programs. Advanced programs include all graduate programs in the College of Education other than programs designed to prepare students for initial teacher certification. Advanced programs include the Certificate of Graduate Study in Interdisciplinary Master of Arts (IMA), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (MEd), Master of Science (MS), Education Specialist (EdS), Doctor of Education (EdD), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degrees.

B. Graduate Faculty. The Graduate School's definition of Graduate Faculty is the primary criterion for membership in the College of Education's Graduate Faculty. Departments within the College may establish additional criteria. (See The Graduate School Policy Manual for Graduate Directors on-line at www.gradschool.sc.edu and/or the COE Supplemental Policies and Procedures Information Sheet for the current definition.)

C. Graduate Director*. The Graduate Director of the College or a department of the College is appointed by the Dean of the College of Education. The Graduate Director meets all obligations as defined by The Graduate School. (See The Graduate School Policy Manual for Graduate Directors on-line at www.gradschool.sc.edu.) S/he is assisted in these responsibilities by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and, in particular, the OSA Director and the Coordinator for Advanced Programs. (See the COE Supplemental Policies and Procedures Information Sheet for the names of the current Graduate Director(s), OSA Director, and Coordinator for Advanced Programs.) The Graduate Director authorizes admission action recommendations, programs of study (and adjustments to programs of study), graduation clearances, overloads, registration exceptions (e.g., adding courses late, withdrawals), and other actions as required and sanctioned by The Graduate School.

The Graduate Director makes recommendations to The Graduate School on all actions regarding College of Education graduate students' programs including any requested exceptions to policy. The Graduate Director's recommendations are based on the policies and procedures of the College and the recommendations of College faculty and administrators (deans and department chairs).

The Graduate Director is responsible for the maintenance of records and a database on graduate students.

*Because the IMA program is offered in cooperation with a number of schools and colleges, an IMA Director is appointed who works with the faculty of the COE and other colleges and schools in the administration of that program. The IMA Director fulfills all responsibilities of the Graduate Director for that program. Because the IMA is designed for certified teachers, the IMA Director is a member of the COE's Instruction and Teacher Education faculty. The IMA Director is appointed by the Dean of the College of Education and the Director of the Professional Education Unit. (See the COE Supplemental Policies and Procedures Information Sheet for the name of the current IMA Director.)

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IV. FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS
A. Specific program requirements and guidelines are available through individual program areas. IMA information is available through the Office of Student Affairs.

B. College of Education publications and forms are available through the College of Education Office of Student Affairs (Wardlaw 113). These forms include:

  • Supplemental application forms for specific program areas
  • COE graduate assistant applications
  • Program of study forms MEd, MA, and IMA

C. Graduate School forms are available through The Graduate School (Byrnes 304). Graduate School forms include the following:

  • Admissions application
  • Doctoral committee form
  • English as a foreign language for PhD Degree
  • Immigration documents
  • Immunization form
  • Independent study form
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Master's and doctoral program of study forms
  • Transcript transmittal

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V. ADMISSIONS

A. Requirements. Regulations and requirements for graduate study and graduate degree candidacy in the College of Education correspond to those of The Graduate School as a whole. Each program has authority to institute admission requirements for that program that are in addition to general admission requirements of the College of Education and The Graduate School. In accordance with the general regulations of The Graduate School, any applicant for graduate study is required to hold a baccalaureate degree and (except for the Certificate Program) must submit scores from an approved examination for entrance into a degree program (either the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test depending upon program requirements). 

Each program in the College of Education has established standards and procedures for admission. Standards incorporate multiple indicators of an applicant's potential academic success including test scores, GPA, letter of intent, and other relevant factors in consideration of the College's conceptual framework and as determined by program faculty. A copy of each program's standards is kept on file in the Office of Student Affairs and in program offices. Scores and other standards for entrance into doctoral degree programs exceed standards for entrance into Master's and Educational Specialist degree programs. 

If an applicant does not meet expected standards according to typical evidence (e.g., GRE scores), alternative, compelling evidence must be presented to support a recommendation for admission. For example, a combination of some of the following:

  • Evidence that the individual possesses appropriate literacy and/or quantitative skills (e.g., Praxis One scores at a high percentile; an on-site writing sample that is positively reviewed using a standardized assessment system)
  • Strength/rigor of undergraduate major with high GPA
  • Success in completing comparable graduate level study
  • For students whose native language is other than English, a high TOEFL score (See section on International Students).

B. Processes. Students submit application materials to The Graduate School which then makes them available to the College of Education through the Office of Student Affairs. The Office of Student Affairs forwards completed files to appropriate program faculty for review. Program faculty review files in accordance with established admission standards and application deadlines (if any). Program admission committees recommend admission status to the Graduate Director via the COE Admission Action Recommendation form (see Appendix A) which includes a summary of the evidence upon which their decision is based and recommends a student be fully admitted, admitted with conditions, or declined. Conditions must be completed within specified time parameters:

 

Condition

Time Parameter

Consequences

Receipt of official test score or official transcript (admission with this condition is only for special circumstances—official scores are typically required to complete files for review)

Submitted by the end of the first semester of course work.

If met . . . full admission is granted by The Graduate School.

If not met . . . eligibility to enroll is cancelled by The Graduate School.

 

Successful completion of specified course work

Must be completed within first 12 hours.

 

If met . . . full admission is recommended to The Graduate School by the Graduate Director.

If not met or unclear via transcript review. . . a hold is put on students' eligibility to register by the Graduate Director. Students are referred to advisors. Advisors recommend action to the Graduate Director who forwards a recommendation to The Graduate School.


Upon receiving the recommendation of the program faculty, the Graduate Director makes a recommendation to the Dean of The Graduate School using The Graduate School "action sheet" (See Appendix B). The program faculty and appropriate Department Chair are contacted if there is any case in which the Graduate Director disagrees with the faculty recommendation. 

The Graduate School notifies students of their admission status. Neither the College of Education, nor any program within the College, is to notify students of their admission status. Any problems with expeditious notification of admission status should be reported to the Graduate Director of the College. 

If a student is admitted with conditions by The Graduate School, a communication (e.g., e-mail or regular mail) will be sent to the student from the Graduate Director apprising the student of the conditions and steps that must be taken to obtain full admission.

C. Non-degree Enrollment. The Graduate School is authorized to grant enrollment privileges to persons not enrolled in degree programs. Those requesting authorization must submit an Application for Non-degree Enrollment (available on The Graduate School website), a fee as specified by The Graduate School, and proof of a baccalaureate degree (e.g., an official transcript, diploma, or teaching certificate). Non-degree enrollment privilege is limited to 12 hours with an option to renew those privileges. A program may prohibit enrollment by non-degree seeking students in its courses or require special permission before they are allowed to enroll. The number of credits taken in non-degree status that may be used in a degree program is strictly limited according to Graduate School policy and allowed only if approved as part of the program of study (See the COE Supplemental Policies and Procedures Information Sheet for the current credit limit and the Graduate Studies Bulletin for further information). 

D. International Students. In accordance with Graduate School Policy, an applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a minimum score of 230 (computer-based) or 570 (paper-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Course Type 2 examination. Specific programs may have higher test score requirements. 

Students who have graduated from an international university or college, must have their transcripts evaluated as equivalent to an American bachelor's degree in order for them to qualify for admission. The Graduate School reviews international degree programs for equivalence upon request of the College of Education. 

E. Continuing Enrollment. Students are expected to make continuous progress toward degree completion. According to Graduate School policy, students who fail to enroll in courses for one calendar year must file a Request for Change of Status to update an existing admission and reinstate registration eligibility. Graduate admission becomes invalid for students who fail to enroll for three calendar years (less in some programs) and students must reapply and be accepted under new program standards in order to continue graduate study. 

F. Doctoral Students. As stated in the Graduate Studies Bulletin, admission to a doctoral program "allows a student to work toward admission to candidacy for the degree. While program admission allows a student to be classified as a degree student, admission to candidacy is attained only after satisfactory completion of an admission-to-candidacy (sometimes called qualifying) examination". 

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VI. ADVISEMENT

A. General
Every graduate student admitted to a degree program is entitled to an advisor. Any graduate student who has not been assigned an advisor should consult a program representative for information on advisement procedures. 

Administrative measures will be taken within programs to orient new faculty members who are potential advisors concerning graduate programs and all major aspects of their rights and responsibilities. A meeting providing staff development on advisement issues will be scheduled once each year for faculty. A meeting on advisement issues will be scheduled at least once each academic year for graduate students.

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B. Advisors for Certificate Programs

  1. An advisor will be appointed by the program upon the student's full admission.
  2. Students may request a particular advisor. The student's choice is subject to consent of the advisor and program approval.

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C. Advisors for Master's Degrees 

  1. An advisor will be appointed by the program upon the student's full admission.
  2. Students may request a particular advisor. The student's choice is subject to consent of the advisor and program approval.
  3. For a student who writes a thesis, an advisor and one or more readers will be appointed by the program.

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D. Advisors for Educational Specialist Degrees

  1. An advisor will be appointed by the program upon the student's full admission.
  2. Students may request a particular advisor. The student's choice is subject to consent of the advisor and program approval. 

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E. Advisors and Committees for Doctoral Degrees

  1. A temporary advisor from the graduate faculty shall be appointed by the program immediately upon admission to study leading to the candidacy examination.
  2. The Program Advisory Committee may be selected upon admission to study leading to the candidacy examination but must be selected as soon as possible after successful completion of the candidacy examination. The chair of the committee will recommend the appointment of committee members to the Graduate Director of the College of Education using the Doctoral Committee Request Form (GS-48). The Graduate Director will review the recommendation for consistency with Graduate School policy and the inclusion of any required supporting documentation. The recommended chair of the committee will be notified of any inconsistencies. Cleared request forms and supporting materials will be forwarded to the Dean of The Graduate School for approval.
  3. The chair of any of the four doctoral committees will be a member of the graduate, tenure-track faculty of the College of Education, will hold an earned doctorate in an appropriate area of study, and will have served as a committee member of at least one doctoral committee before being eligible to serve as a chair.
  4. Doctoral Committees: The membership of each of the four doctoral committees is specified by the Graduate School as noted below. Doctoral committees may be reconstituted as students progress through the program. The following are minimum criteria, of course, so additional members may participate on any committees. One group of four faculty members could serve as all four committees provided the group includes one member of an outside college or department.

a. Program Advisory Committee
"...a committee of three or more members, one being from outside the candidate's major department..."

b. Oral Comprehensive Examination Committee
"...at least four members including one outside member..."

c. Dissertation Committee
"...three or more faculty from the major field..."

d. Dissertation Oral Examination Committee
"...at least four members, one of whom is from outside the major department..."

e. Eligibility of Committee Members:

i) All Graduate School Faculty are automatically eligible to serve on committees (See p. 3 for definition of Graduate Faculty).

ii) To include a member other than regular Graduate Faculty on a committee, the Doctoral Committee Request Form should be accompanied by a current curriculum vitae and a memo from the doctoral committee chair explaining why the nominee is uniquely qualified to serve on the committee. 

iii) The department can propose an individual other than regular Graduate Faculty be approved for "extended eligibility" by submitting a packet to The Graduate School including form GS 58, a curriculum vitae, a justification regarding the person's contribution to the unit's graduate program, and signatures of endorsement from the department chair and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. 

iv) Retired members of the faculty may continue to chair doctoral committees for a maximum period of two years following their retirement. In the case of special circumstances, appeals of this policy, which should include a rationale statement, may be made to APGC which may grant extensions of up to two years at one time.

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VII. PROGRAMS

A. Certificate Programs

1. Courses: The specific number of hours required to complete a certification program is determined by the program faculty in the area of specialization. All programs require 18 or more semester hours of work.

The amount of course work taken as a non-degree student that can apply to a program of study is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. Candidates for a certificate program shall complete at least half of their credit requirements in courses numbered 700 or above. Courses taken for undergraduate credit cannot be retaken for graduate credit. Nine hours of grades below "B" will disqualify a student for a graduate certificate.

A program of study must be planned and submitted for approval during the first semester of full admission to the program. Program requirements are found in The Graduate Studies Bulletin and in program documents. A student's program of study must be approved by the advisor, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Eligibility for graduation will be judged on the basis of this document. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form.

2. Six Year Limitation: All requirements for a certificate must be completed within six years of the date the certificate is awarded.

3. Non-resident or Transfer Credit: Graduate credits with a grade of B or better may be transferred into programs within the limitations on the number of transfer credits as delineated by The Graduate School policy. (See Graduate Studies Bulletin.) Transfer credits must be approved by the student's program, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School.

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B. Master's Degree Programs

1. Master of Arts

a. Courses: The specific number of hours required to complete the M.A. degree varies by program and is determined by the program faculty in the area of specialization. All programs require 30 or more semester hours of work of which six hours may be taken in EDUC 799 for thesis credit. At the discretion of the advisor, an approved research course may be substituted for three hours of EDUC 799. 

The amount of course work taken as a non-degree student that can apply to a program of study is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree shall complete at least half of their credit requirements in courses numbered 700 or above exclusive of thesis credit. Courses taken for undergraduate credit can not be retaken for graduate credit. Twelve hours of grades below "B" will disqualify a student for a graduate degree.

A program of study must be planned and submitted for approval during the first semester of full admission to the program. Program requirements are found in The Graduate Studies Bulletin and in program documents. A student's program of study must be approved by the advisor, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Eligibility for graduation will be judged on the basis of this document. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form. 

b. Thesis: A thesis is required of all students. The thesis shall be submitted for approval to the student's thesis advisor and the Dean of The Graduate School and then filed in The Graduate School office at least thirty days before the degree is to be conferred.

c. Language: Language requirements vary by program area with departmental approval.

d. Comprehensive Examination: All candidates for the Masters degree must successfully complete a comprehensive final exam.

e. Residence: Residence requirement for the M.A. is determined by programs with departmental approval. 

f. Six Year Limitation: All requirements for this degree must be completed within six years of the date the degree is awarded.

g. Non-resident or Transfer Credit: Graduate credits with a grade of B or better may be transferred into programs within the limitations on the number of transfer credits as delineated by Graduate School policy. (See the Graduate Studies Bulletin.) Not more than 9 hours may be used from a previous Master's Degree Program. Transfer credits must be approved by the student's program, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. 

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2. Master of Education

a. Courses: For the Master of Education degree, the course requirements vary by program. A thesis is not required for a Master of Education degree. Students who elect to write a master's thesis may complete six semester hours of thesis credit in EDUC 799, or at the discretion of their advisor, an approved research course may be substituted for three hours of EDUC 799. 

The amount of course work taken as a non-degree student that can apply to a program of study is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. Candidates for the M.Ed. shall complete at least half of their credit requirements in courses numbered 700 or above exclusive of thesis credit. Courses taken for undergraduate credit can not be retaken for graduate credit. Twelve hours of grades below "B" will disqualify a student for a graduate degree. 

A program of study must be planned and submitted for approval during the first semester of full admission to the program. Program requirements are found in The Graduate Studies Bulletin and in program documents. A student's program of study must be approved by the advisor, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form. 

b. Comprehensive Examination: All candidates for the Masters degree must successfully complete a comprehensive exam.

c. Residence: Residence is not required for the M. Ed.

d. Six Year Limitation: All requirements for this degree must be completed within six years of the date the degree is awarded.

e. Non-resident or Transfer Credit: Graduate credits with a grade of B or better may be transferred into programs within the limitations on the number of transfer credits as delineated by Graduate School policy. (See the Graduate Studies Bulletin.) Not more than 9 hours may be used from a previous Master's Degree Program. Transfer credits must be approved by the student's program, the Graduate Director of the College of Education and the Dean of The Graduate School.

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3. Master of Science in Physical Education

a. Courses: The Master of Science degree in Physical Education requires successful completion of an approved program of study with a minimum of 33 hours for those who complete a thesis and 36 hours for those who complete a project. Required courses include PEDU 770 and EDRM 710. Students must complete a minimum of 18 hours in physical education. Selection of courses is determined by the Program of Study Committee.

The amount of course work taken as a non-degree student that can apply to a program of study is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. Candidates must complete at least half of their credit requirements in courses numbered 700 or above exclusive of thesis credit. Courses taken for undergraduate credit can not be retaken for graduate credit. Twelve hours of grades below "B" will disqualify a student for a graduate degree.

A program of study must be planned and submitted for approval during the first semester of full admission to the program. A student's program of study must be approved by the advisor, the Program of Study Committee, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form.

b. Comprehensive Exam: All candidates must successfully complete a final comprehensive exam.

c. Residence: Residence is not required for the Master of Science in Physical Education.

d. Six Year Limitation: All requirements for this degree must be completed within six years of the date the degree is awarded.

e. Non-resident or Transfer Credit: Graduate credits with a grade of B or better may be transferred into programs within the limitations on the number of transfer credits as delineated by Graduate School policy. (See the Graduate Studies Bulletin.) Not more than 9 hours may be used from a previous Masters. Transfer credit must be approved by the student's program, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School.

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4. Interdisciplinary Master of Arts

a. Courses: Each I.M.A. degree has specific program requirements. Students may obtain specific requirements from their I.M.A. Program Area Representative. A minimum of 33 semester hours is required and must include at least 21-24 hours of course work in the teaching area, and 9-12 hours of professional education course work.

The amount of course work taken as a non-degree student that can apply to a program of study is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. Candidates for the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree shall complete at least half of their credit requirements in courses numbered 700 or above. Courses taken for undergraduate credit can not be retaken for graduate credit. Twelve hours of grades below "B" will disqualify a student for a degree.

A program of study must be planned and submitted for approval during the first semester of full admission to the program. Program requirements are found in The Graduate Studies Bulletin and in program documents. A student's program of study must be approved by the advisor, the IMA Director in the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Eligibility for graduation will be judged on the basis of this document. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form.

b. Comprehensive Exam: All candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examination.

c. Residence: Residence is not required for the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts.

d. Six Year Limitation: All requirements for this degree must be completed within six years of the date of the degree is awarded.

e. Non-resident or Transfer Credit: Graduate credits with a grade of "B" or better may be transferred into programs within the limitations on the number of transfer credits as delineated by Graduate School policy. (See Graduate Studies Bulletin.) Not more than 9 hours may be used from a previous Masters. Transfer credit must be approved by the student's Program Area Representative, College of Education advisor, the Graduate/IMA Director, and the Dean of The Graduate School.

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C. Educational Specialist Degree Programs

1. Courses: The number of hours required vary by program area. Candidates in the Educational Specialist program shall complete at least half of their credit requirements in courses numbered 700 and above. The amount of course work that can apply to a program of study taken as a non-degree student is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. Courses taken for undergraduate credit cannot be retaken for graduate credit. Twelve hours of grades below "B" will disqualify the student for a graduate degree. 

A program of study must be planned and submitted for approval during the first semester of full admission to the program. A student's program of study must be approved by the advisor, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Eligibility for graduation will be judged on the basis of completion of this document. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form. 

2. Comprehensive Examination: Examinations may be required according to policy established by the program.

3. Residence: Residence requirements vary by program area.

4. Six year limitation: The last 30 hours of this program must be completed within six years of the date the degree is awarded unless program policies are approved by graduate school to provide for alternatives.

5. Non-resident or Transfer Credit: Graduate credits with a grade of B or better may be transferred into programs within the limitations on the number of transfer credits as delineated by program policy and approved by The Graduate School policy. Transfer credit must be approved by the student's program, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School.

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D. Doctoral Degree Programs

1. Program: Requirements for doctoral programs are determined by graduate faculty at the program level after admission to candidacy. All program requirements must meet general Graduate School requirements. Each Ph.D. program must include at least 3 post-masters/700-800 level courses (not to include the cognate) within the College of Education, USC-Columbia, but outside the department of the degree program*. The amount of course work taken as a non-degree student that can apply to a program of study is limited as stipulated by Graduate School policy and individual program requirements. A student's program of study must be approved by the student's committee, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Eligibility for graduation will be judged on the basis of completion of this document. Changes in the program of study shall be submitted on the Adjustment in Graduate Program form. 

2. Language: Language requirements vary by program area with department approval. 

3. Comprehensive examination: In accordance with program schedules, the doctoral committee chair will schedule a comprehensive examination consisting of a written and an oral portion. (See Doctoral Examinations section A and B.)

4. Dissertation proposal will be submitted in accordance with program policies.

5. Dissertation: Each candidate must undertake original research and prepare a dissertation based on the research. All dissertations in the College of Education will carry single authorship. The research must be conducted under the supervision of the student's doctoral committee and the dissertation must be approved by both the committee and the Dean of The Graduate School. The dissertation must be completed and defended within five years after the candidate has successfully completed the comprehensive examination. Failure to complete all requirements for graduation, including the dissertation, within this period of time will necessitate retaking or revalidating successfully the comprehensive examination.

6. Defense of Dissertation: Each candidate must defend successfully the dissertation before an approved examining committee of no less than four persons at least thirty days prior to graduation.

7. Residence: Residence requirements will be determined by programs within Graduate School guidelines. 

8. Time Requirement: A minimum of 30 hours of course work above the master's applicable to the doctoral program must be completed within eight years of the date the degree is awarded.

Existing COE policy (see p. 20) requires that each Ph.D. program must include at least 3 post-masters/700- 800 level courses (not to include the cognate) within the College of Education, but outside the department of the degree program. APGC proposed and had accepted by the Faculty in the College a clarification of the policy as follows:

1. The intent of the "post-masters three course requirement within the College but outside a Ph.D. student's home department" is to broaden the student's knowledge, experience, and understanding of the field of education.

2. Programs or departments within the College may petition the APGC to approve programmatic/departmental exceptions to the policy and procedures for student appeals. The APGC will evaluate such proposals based on the original intent of the COE policy-providing Ph.D. students with a broader perspective on the field of education.

3. Courses taken in a second masters degree may be used to fulfill the three course requirement. This is subject to the discretion of the student's advisor and applicable rules related to transfers and age of the course. The courses used from a second masters either have to be in education but outside the student's department or an appeal process would have to be followed.

4. Courses used to meet the three course requirements must be the equivalent of 700 or higher level courses and be courses designed to fulfill graduate programs of study requirements.

5. The term "USC Columbia" referred to in the policy statement includes courses taught by departmentally approved faculty on the USC Columbia campus AND USC Columbia tenure-track faculty on other USC system sites.

Approved by COE faculty 4-25-97

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VIII. GRADUATE EXAMINATIONS

A. Master of Arts, Interdisciplinary Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Science, and Educational Specialist: Comprehensive Examinations

1. Responsibility for preparation: The examination is to be prepared by members of the program representing the student's area of specialization. 

2. Qualifications for taking the examination: The student must meet program requirements to be eligible to take comprehensive examinations. Eligibility is determined by program faculty. (The Office of Student Affairs will review applications for eligibility at the request of program faculty).

3. Grading scale: Faculty may award grades of fail, pass, or pass with honors. 

4. Retaking the examination: The student has a maximum of two opportunities to successfully complete the exam. Thus, a student may retake the exam one time.

5. Master's comprehensive examinations must be completed not more than two years prior to graduation.

B. Doctoral Examinations

1. Doctor of Philosophy

a. Candidacy/Qualifying Examination: A screening process, prepared by the program faculty, will be used to determine the applicant's potential for successful completion of the Ph.D. in that particular department or program. If an examination is used, students have two opportunities to successfully complete the exam.

b. Comprehensive Examination: At the time recommended by the doctoral committee chair in accordance with program guidelines, each student must complete satisfactorily a comprehensive examination with written and oral portions based upon study in education and the student's cognate field. Before taking this examination the candidate should have completed all or be enrolled in the last of the course work originally prescribed and have at least a "B" average on all course work completed on the doctoral level at the University of South Carolina. The written portion of the examination will be scheduled for 9-12 hours. The oral portion of the examination will last approximately two hours. The oral examination is to be administered within one month of the written examination. A doctoral comprehensive examination must be completed not less that 60 days nor more than 5 years from the date of graduation.

i. Scale: Pass with Honors, Pass or Fail for written portion of exam. Pass or Fail for oral portion of exam. Pass with Honors may be earned only on the first administration of the test.

ii. Scorers: The student's doctoral examination committee shall grade the examination. Additional members may be appointed when needed to assure expertise in the subject areas covered by the student's courses.

iii. Procedures for Evaluation of Student Performance: At the completion of the oral portion of the examination, each member of the student's doctoral committee votes on the grade as Pass, Pass with Honors, or Fail. A majority of the members' decisions must be Pass or Pass with Honors for the student to receive a grade of Pass or Pass with Honors on the examination.

iv. Retaking the Examination: A student who does not successfully complete the examination or designated portions on the first attempt may take the examination a second time. The chair of the doctoral committee, in accordance with program guidelines, will determine the appropriate time for retaking the exam. Students failing the exam a second time are disqualified from further graduate study toward a doctoral degree in the College of Education.

v. Final Recommendation for Student's Curriculum: If the student passes the examination, the examining committee shall determine the additional courses, if any, the student shall be required to take for the Ph.D. Additional courses can be added to the student's program if a majority of the examining committee members sees a need for additional course work to remedy weaknesses. This shall represent the final opportunity for the faculty to add to the student's course requirements.

2. Doctor of Education

a. Candidacy/Qualifying Examination: A candidacy examination is not required for the Ed.D. degree. With the assistance of a doctoral committee, the student will design a program of study. Each program has developed guidelines that all of its students must adhere to in preparing their program proposals. The final program of study must be approved by the student's committee, the Graduate Director of the College of Education, and the Dean of The Graduate School. Approval of the program is considered by The Graduate School as admission to candidacy for the Ed.D. degree. Eligibility for graduation will be judged on the basis of this document. The candidate is required to complete thirty semester hours at this University after the program is approved.

b. Comprehensive Examination: A comprehensive examination must be taken immediately prior to or during the semester in which the student is completing all course work required for the Ed.D. degree. Each student must complete satisfactorily both written and oral portions of the comprehensive examination. The oral examination is to be administered within one month of the written examination. The general form, scope, and criteria for this examination is determined by each program area. To attempt the exam, the student must have a "B" average or better on all course work completed on the doctoral level at the University of South Carolina. The written portion of the examination will be scheduled for 9-12 hours; the oral portion approximately two hours. The purpose is to determine how well the student has achieved the goals of the program of study and whether additional courses or experiences are to be prescribed.

i. Scale: Pass with Honors, Pass or Fail for written portion of the exam. Pass or Fail for oral portion of the exam. Pass with Honors may be earned only on the first administration of the test.

ii. Scorers: The student's doctoral examination committee shall grade the examination. Additional members may be appointed when needed to assure expertise in the subject areas covered by the student's courses.

iii. Procedures for Evaluation of Student Performance: At the completion of the oral portion of the examination, each member of the student's doctoral committee votes on the grade as Pass, Pass with Honors, or Fail. A majority of the members' decisions must be Pass or Pass with Honors for the student to receive a grade of Pass or Pass with Honors on the examination.

iv. Retaking the Examination: A student who does not successfully complete the examination or designated portions on the first attempt may take the examination a second time. The chair of the doctoral committee, in accordance with program guidelines, will determine the appropriate time for retaking the exam.

Students failing the exam a second time are disqualified from further graduate study toward a doctoral degree in the College of Education.

v. Final Recommendation for Student's Curriculum: If the student passes the examination, the examining committee shall determine the additional courses, if any, the student shall be required to take for the Ed.D degree. Additional courses can be added to the student's program if a majority of the examining committee members sees a need for additional course work to remedy weaknesses. This shall represent the final opportunity for the faculty to add to the student's course requirements.

C. General Information

1. Results of examinations shall be reported as follows:

a. Immediately following the oral comprehensive examination and the defense of the dissertation, faculty will report the results to the student.

b. Faculty will report the results of all examinations to the Coordinator of Advanced Programs in the Office of Student Affairs within two weeks after administration. The Office of Student Affairs will report the results to the students by mail only.

2. The Graduate Director of the College or department shall be responsible for ensuring:

a. A record is kept of program procedures for administering master's comprehensive and doctoral candidacy examinations;

b. Results of all examinations are reported to the examinees and to The Graduate School.

3. Criteria for scoring each of the graduate examinations shall be established by the program and communicated to the students as a part of the exam.

IX. DISSERTATION

A. Dissertation Proposal: Each candidate must defend successfully the dissertation proposal before the dissertation committee. When approved unanimously by the committee, the proposal is signed and a copy is placed in the records of the student's program area.

B. Dissertation Writing: Each candidate must undertake original research and prepare a dissertation based on it. The research is conducted under the supervision of the student's dissertation committee, and the dissertation must be approved by both the committee and the Dean of The Graduate School.

C. Dissertation Defense: Candidates may not defend a dissertation until the doctoral comprehensive examination has been successfully completed. Each candidate must defend successfully the dissertation before an approved examining committee at least thirty days prior to the date of graduation. The examination will be open to the faculty and guests. Invited guests shall not vote or comment on the student's performance. The examination is restricted to a defense of the written draft of the dissertation as accepted by the student's dissertation committee. A majority of the committee must vote a grade of PASS for successful completion of the examination. A second examination may be held for candidates who do not receive a majority grade of PASS. Students failing the second examination are disqualified from further study toward the doctoral degree in the College of Education.

D. Dissertation Credits: A minimum of twelve semester hours of dissertation preparation credit is required for the completion of a dissertation. A candidate must register for dissertation credit in the semester in which the degree is conferred.

E. Time Limitations: A minimum of 30 hours of course work applicable to the doctoral program must be completed within eight years of the date the degree is awarded. The dissertation must be completed and defended within five years after the candidate has passed successfully the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination.

F. Additional Requirements: Students should consult with the degree program representatives in their proposed area of study for specific courses or other requirements.

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