Wright State University
2004-2005 Graduate Catalog
Archived content: For current catalog information, please go to catalog.wright.edu
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Academic Policies and Graduate Degree Requirements

MasterÍs Degree

General Requirements

The School of Graduate Studies administers academic policies and procedures and enforces graduate degree requirements which are determined by the Graduate Council and are applicable to all graduate students. In addition, graduate degree programs may set additional policies and degree requirements. It is important for students to be familiar with both graduate school and degree program policies and requirements, since both must be adhered to for satisfactory academic performance and subsequent graduation. The following sections address graduate school policies and requirements and act as a general guide.

Program of Study

A student's program of study is administered by the department or college/school and is subject to the approval of the School of Graduate Studies. The program of study is a defined program that is negotiated between a student and an academic department offering a program. The institution specifically indicates that it will award the degree sought by the student if the work stipulated in the program of study is satisfactorily completed. Similarly, the student specifically agrees to the responsibility for completing the program as stipulated in the program of study. The program of study should be completed as early as possible after starting a program, preferably no later than the end of the second quarter.

The program of study will be used by the School of Graduate Studies to certify students for graduation, to assist in the evaluation of requests for transfer credit, and to verify graduate student petitions requesting waivers to academic policies. Consequently, degree certifications, transfer credit requests, and petitions will not be processed without a completed current and/or amended program of study on file in the student's academic folder in the School of Graduate Studies. The program of study must have all appropriate signatures, including the student's.

Credit Hour Requirement

All master's degree programs at the university require completion of 45 or more credit hours of graduate course work. A department may require completion of more than 45 credit hours. Please consult requirements for a specific degree and major area.

Residence Requirements

Students are considered to be in residence whenever they are registered on campus as graduate students. A minimum residence of three quarters at Wright State University, devoted wholly or partly to graduate work, is required. In addition, a minimum of 33 credit hours toward the master's degree must be completed at Wright State.

Retroactive Graduate Credit

Under the rules of the Graduate Council, students must be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies in order to receive graduate credit.

Wright State graduate students in licensure and nondegree statuses who later are admitted into a graduate degree program may apply, with program approval, a limited number of hours completed in these statuses toward degree requirements. A maximum of one-half (50 percent) of the graduate hours required for completion of degree requirements may consist of applicable graduate courses completed in nondegree and licensure statuses. Students earning workshop credits under special status who subsequently are admitted into a degree program may apply, with program approval, a maximum of 12 quarter hours of applicable graduate credit toward degree requirements. For example, if a program of study stipulates that 50 graduate hours are required for the award of a degree, then up to 25 hours of applicable graduate credit completed in licensure or nondegree status may be applied toward degree requirements (12 of the 25 hours may be workshop credit).

Colleges/programs may set lower nondegree credit hour limits for completion of a degree program. While the nondegree hours that can be applied toward degree requirements may be a mixture of courses completed in nondegree, certification/licensure, and special graduate status, workshop credit is still limited to a total of 12 hours.

Academic Standards

All students in graduate study programs are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0. The grade of C is the minimum passing grade for graduate credit. However, no more than nine credit hours of C may be applied toward a master's degree. The attainment of a large proportion of C grades, even when balanced by A's, can be considered by the faculty as unsatisfactory course work. A course taken for graduate credit in which a D is received may not be applied toward the requirements of a graduate degree.

An average of 3.0 for all graduate course work is required for graduation in any graduate degree program. It should be emphasized that the successful completion of a required number of courses is not sufficient, of itself, to earn a master's degree. Students must also receive the recommendation of the departmental faculty after an evaluation based on total performance.

Student Evaluation

At the end of the quarter in which a student has accumulated 12 credit hours of graduate work, his/her grade point average will be reviewed by the graduate school. Based on this review, a student who has a cumulative grade point average less than 3.0 may be placed on probation or dismissed from the School of Graduate Studies.

At the completion of one year of graduate work or 24 credit hours, whichever comes first, each student may be evaluated by the departmental faculty. This evaluation may be based on performance in courses, progress toward completing degree requirements, research, and seminars and will be forwarded to the graduate dean. On the basis of this evaluation, a student will be: (1) recommended for continuance in the graduate program, (2) placed on probationary status, or (3) recommended for dismissal from graduate study at this university.


A student placed on probation will be required to change this status by achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 the quarter the student completes the next 12 quarter hours of graduate credit. Failure to achieve the 3.0 grade point average will result in the student's dismissal from the School of Graduate Studies. If a portion of these credits is in research for the thesis requirement, the student's major department must certify the student's eligibility to continue studies at the university.


Certain programs specify the presentation of a thesis as a requirement for the master's degree. Students completing this requirement should secure a copy of the Graduate Thesis/Dissertation Handbook, published by the School of Graduate Studies and available in the graduate office. The requirements outlined in this manual are basic minimal criteria that have been approved by the Graduate Council for preparing the thesis. Students should seek the advice of their thesis supervisors and departments for further details. Students are encouraged, but not required, to obtain a format check prior to the final deposit of the thesis. This format check significantly reduces the likelihood of a last-minute rejection. The School of Graduate Studies requires two working days to perform a format check.

The topic of the thesis should come from the student's personal exploration in his or her major or minor field. The formal petition for approval of the thesis topic must clearly set forth the problem, the intended organization, and the methods of development of the thesis. The thesis topic must be approved by the student's advisor and committee. The thesis must be written in English.

Students should consult with the academic department as to the course or courses and number of credit hours for which they should register while working on an approved thesis.

One unbound copy of the thesis, in prescribed form, is to be taken to the graduate office no later than 30 days after the date the degree was granted. (The due dates are published by the graduate school and distributed to the departments and program offices.) The thesis copy submitted to the graduate school is sent to the library, where a microfilm copy of it is made. The microfilm copy is considered an archival copy and is deposited in the university's closed stacks in the library. The thesis copy is then bound and made available for circulation in the library. Since some departments require additional thesis copies, students should consult their advisors to determine the total number of copies needed.

Students have the option to submit a copy of their thesis, either on floppy disk or electronically, and in .pdf format, to the School of Graduate Studies for electronic transmission to OhioLINK in Columbus. OhioLINK is the repository for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) for the state universities system in Ohio. Students interested in ETD submission should contact the School of Graduate Studies.

Comprehensive Examinations

Some departments require a final comprehensive examination to test the candidate's mastery of the course of study pursued. It may be written or oral, or both, at the option of the examining committee.

Candidates for a degree requiring a thesis must satisfactorily complete written and/or oral examinations conducted by the major committee prior to the submission and approval of the thesis.

Arrangements for taking the examinations should be made with the candidate's advisor and the department at least three weeks in advance.

Time Limit

A student must complete all requirements for a master's degree within seven years, unless the student's specific program has a shorter time limit. The time limit is defined as being from the beginning date of the earliest course taken at Wright State University that is included in the program of study for the degree.

This time does not include a leave of absence granted in advance for adequate cause by petitioning the Graduate Petitions Committee.

Graduate students who fail to take courses or otherwise to pursue their graduate education for a period of one calendar year will automatically be retired from the active files of the School of Graduate Studies. Reapplication for admission will be required to reactivate the student's records. (No additional fee will be charged.)

Second MasterÍs Degree

A second master's degree may be earned by taking a minimum of 33 credit hours. Credits for the second master's degree must be taken after the award of the first master's degree. These hours must be taken at Wright State University. Departments or programs may specify additional requirements depending on the length of the program, prerequisites for the individual student, and/or the nature of the first degree. Admission policies and procedures are the same as those for any student applying to the program, except that an application fee is not required if the first degree was earned at Wright State.

Dual MasterÍs Degree Program

A dual master's degree program permits common course work to apply toward two graduate programs. Currently, six dual programs are approved: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Social and Applied Economics; M.B.A. and M.S. in Administration of Nursing and Health Care Systems; M.B.A. and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.); M.B.A. and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.); M.D. and M.P.H.; and M.D. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences. The requirements for these programs are contained in the Graduate Catalog and the School of Medicine Catalog.

Students in dual degree programs will have their grade point averages and quality points reset after completing both degree programs. However, in order to graduate, students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative graduate grade point average for the required courses in each of the programs. Students working on dual degree programs are subject to the policies and procedures of each degree program.

Working on Two MasterÍs Degrees

Graduate students desiring to work on two master's degrees at Wright State at the same time may do so provided:

  1. The student formally applies and is admitted into the second master's degree program before registering for any courses for that program.
  2. Within two quarters from the start of the programs, approved programs of study are on file in the School of Graduate Studies for both graduate programs.
  3. The first program must have a minimum of 45 graduate hours. The second program must have a minimum of 33 graduate hours (programs may require more hours than the minimum requirement).
  4. Courses required for one program cannot be applied toward the second program's requirements.
  5. Only 12 hours of transfer credit can be applied, with program and Graduate Studies approval, toward the requirements of the first master's degree. No transfer credit can be applied toward the 33 graduate hours required for the second master's degree.
  6. Students may graduate with the two degrees at the same commencement exercise.
  7. Students working on two degrees at the same time will have their grade point averages and quality points reset after completing both degree programs. However, in order to graduate, students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative graduate grade point average for the required courses in each of the programs. Students working on two degree programs are subject to the policies and procedures of each program.

Application for Degree

Degree candidates must submit a formal application for graduation. The university has established the following filing periods for submitting applications for degrees, based on anticipated date of completion (indicated in parentheses).

June 15 to September 15 (November)
September 15 to December 15 (March)
December 15 to March 15 (June)
March 15 to June 15 (August)

Applications for graduation may be obtained in the School of Graduate Studies, E344 Student Union, or at the School of Graduate Studies Web site, www.wright.edu/sogs/, under "Graduation Application." A fee of $35 must be paid to the bursar, then the completed application should be returned to the School of Graduate Studies, E344 Student Union.

If the degree requirements are not completed at the time specified, another application (no fee), which will replace any previously submitted, must be filed.

Commencement is held twice annually, in December and June. Students who complete their degree requirements in August and December may participate in the December ceremony. March and June graduates may participate in the June ceremony.

Summary of Requirements for the MasterÍs Degree

Listed below is a summary of the requirements graduate students must complete to earn a master's degree at Wright State University.

  1. Complete a Program of Study form to be filed in the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Complete the requirements for the graduate degree within seven calendar years.
  3. Achieve a cumulative grade point/hour ratio of at least a 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit (no more than nine hours of C are acceptable).
  4. Be registered during the quarter in which a thesis is defended.
  5. Successfully complete the final comprehensive examination (if required in program).
  6. Present one copy of an approved thesis (if required in program).
  7. Complete a minimum of 45 quarter hours of program required graduate credit. A minimum of 33 quarter hours of graduate credit must have been completed at Wright State.

Individual departments/colleges have requirements that must be met in addition to the general requirements set forth above. Please consult the appropriate section for specific requirements.

Fresh Start

Graduate students may request a "fresh start" when changing or returning to graduate programs within the School of Graduate Studies. A "fresh start" is defined as beginning a graduate program and having the graduate academic record recalculated to reflect no hours attempted and no graduate grade point average for the new program. A "new program," for fresh start purposes, is defined as a program into which a student transfers while in active status, or a program to which a student returns from inactive status. All courses previously taken (and grades earned) at Wright State University will remain on the student's academic record.

Course work completed in a previous Wright State program or other institutions' graduate programs will not be automatically transferred or applied to the requirements of the new program. The new graduate program may, however, recommend to the School of Graduate Studies which courses previously taken are acceptable for transfer into the new program. In no cases will the transfer credit exceed 12 quarter hours. All credit recommended for acceptance must meet the transfer credit policy contained in the Graduate Catalog. After the dean of the School of Graduate Studies approves the transfer credit, the program advisor should enter the courses on the student's program of study. Transfer credit will not be computed into the student's graduate grade point average for the new program.

A student granted a fresh start will be admitted into the new program as a conditional degree-seeking student.

Concentrations of graduate programs do not constitute a new program and, therefore, do not apply to the fresh start policy.

The new program must be completed with a minimum of 45 quarter hours of graduate credit.

The seven-year rule for completing the program requirements starts with the quarter in which the student first registers for courses required by the new program.

To be considered for a fresh start, the student must submit an application to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Application forms are available in the School of Graduate Studies office. The dean can approve the application or defer action on it to the Student Affairs Committee of the Graduate Council, which is the final appellate body for such decisions. The student and the academic program are advised by letter of the dean's or the Student Affairs Committee's decision. If a favorable decision is rendered, the registrar is sent a copy of the approved application and advised to make the appropriate adjustments to the student's academic record.

Only one fresh start will be granted to a graduate student at Wright State University.

Petitions to waiver any of the conditions of the fresh start policy will not be favorably considered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Fresh Start in Another Graduate Program

A graduate student may be granted a fresh start in another graduate program if:

  • the graduate student is currently in active status or is in inactive status for less than five years since withdrawal or dismissal from a graduate program at Wright State University.
  • the student has applied for admission and has been accepted by a graduate program different from the one that the student is currently pursuing or had pursued (an admissions petition may have to be submitted to permit acceptance into the graduate program).

Fresh Start in the Same Graduate Program

A fresh start in the same program may be granted to students who have withdrawn or were dismissed from a graduate program at Wright State University under the following conditions:

  • A period of time of no less than five years has expired since the student withdrew or was dismissed from a Wright State graduate program.
  • The student has been accepted into the same graduate program (an admissions petition may have to be submitted to permit acceptance into the graduate program).

Change of Program

Students who wish to change from one degree program to another must have the approval of the departments concerned as well as the graduate school.

Program changes within the College of Education and Human Services may be initiated by submitting a change of program form available in the student services office in the College of Education and Human Services or the graduate school office. Approval is granted by the College of Education and Human Services and the School of Graduate Studies.

Students admitted to the M.B.A. program in the Raj Soin College of Business who wish to change their programs must submit a new Stage II Program of Study form to the director of the M.B.A. program. Approval is granted by both the Raj Soin College of Business and the School of Graduate Studies.

All other requests for change of program must be processed by completing and submitting an application for admission (no fee required) to the School of Graduate Studies. (Note: New letters of recommendation may be required. If permission to use the previous letter or letters for the new program is granted in writing to the students by the original author or authors and the new program, new letters will not be required.) The application and supporting documents will be forwarded to and reviewed by the program concerned and subsequently by the director of graduate admissions and records. The School of Graduate Studies will notify students of the admission decision.

Petition Procedure

Students who desire to deviate from the normal graduate school regulations and procedures may submit a petition to the School of Graduate Studies.

Petition forms are available in the graduate school. These students should include all supporting documents and must have the recommendation of the advisor, the instructor (if applicable), and the appropriate department or college. The completed form should be returned to the School of Graduate Studies office.

An action taken on a petition will not be considered as a precedent for any future action.

School of Graduate Studies
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
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