Authority: Dean of the Graduate School
History: First Issued: June 1, 2002. Last Revised: November 29, 2011.
NCSU REG02.15.01 – Admission to Graduate School (Section 3)
Contact Info: Dean of the Graduate School (919-515-7956)
1. MASTER OF ARTS AND MASTER OF SCIENCE
1.1 Students in the Master of Arts and Master of Science programs follow the individual program and Graduate School requirements that were in effect when they entered the program.
1.2 The following are minimum requirements for a degree in Master of Science and Master of Arts degree programs:
1.2.1 A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work in the degree program, unless the specific program requires more hours;
1.2.2 A reading knowledge of a foreign language (in a few programs);
1.2.3 A comprehensive written examination (in some programs);
1.2.4 A thesis (in most programs);
1.2.5 A comprehensive oral examination (except Option B Master’s degree programs).
2. MASTER’S DEGREE IN A DESIGNATED FIELD
2.1 A number of departments and programs offer Master’s degrees in designated fields. These are professional degrees and do not require a thesis.
2.2 Requirements include the following:
2.2.1 A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work in the degree program (unless the specific program requires more hours);
2.2.2 A comprehensive written examination (in some programs);
2.2.3 A comprehensive oral examination (except Option B programs).
3. OPTION B MASTER’S DEGREE
3.1 The Option B Master’s degree requires that students adhere to the general guidelines for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree with the following exceptions:
3.1.1 A comprehensive oral exam is not required;
3.1.2 A thesis is not required;
3.1.3 Departmental research credit hours (XXX 695), where XXX represents the course prefix of a specific department or program, will not be included as part of the course work;
3.1.4 No more than six hours of independent study credits can be included in the 30-hour minimum;
3.1.5 Individual departments define other requirements for their Option B program, such as additional course work or final projects;
3.1.6 Option B Master’s degree programs cannot carry an officially designated minor;
3.1.7 Students have a single assigned advisor rather than an advisory committee.
4. CREDIT HOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR MASTER’S DEGREES
4.1 A minimum of 30 semester credit hours is required for all Master’s degrees. Students may take more than the minimum hours required by their program. The Graduate School does not give credit for non-credit course work (i.e. non-departmental seminars, workshops, short courses, conferences and other “life experience” offerings). Furthermore, the Graduate School does not allow credit by examination.
4.2 The following are specific credit hour limitations:
4.2.1 At least 18 credit hours must be graduate credits earned while the student is enrolled in the graduate program;
4.2.2 The remaining 12 credit hours or more, depending on the requirements of the specific program, may be transferred from any of the sources or any combination thereof set forth below as transfer credit;
4.2.3 At least 18 credit hours of letter-graded courses (“A,” “B,” “C”, etc.) must be included in the program. These must be NC State or inter-institutional courses;
4.2.4 No more than six credit hours of 400-level courses may be counted toward the degree, and they may not come from the major field;
4.2.5 Credit hours for the following courses may NOT be used to satisfy the 30-credit hour requirement: Master’s Thesis Preparation (XXX 699), Non-Thesis Master’s Examination (XXX 690), Summer Thesis Research (XXX 696), Non-Thesis Master’s Continuous Registration (XXX 688 and XXX 689);
4.2.6 No more than 12 credit hours may be used to satisfy degree requirements for another master’s degree program at NC State, unless the student did not complete the other program;
4.2.7 Courses at the 900 level may not be counted toward a master’s degree.
4.3 Transfer of credits
4.3.1 Transfer of graduate credits earned at other universities
4.3.2 A course that was completed at another college or university may be considered for transfer to a Master’s program provided that:
18.104.22.168 The course was a graduate course;
22.214.171.124 It was completed while the student was in a graduate or post-baccalaureate classification;
126.96.36.199 Was not taken as a part of a previous Master’s degree program at another institution;
188.8.131.52 The grade in the course was “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better;
184.108.40.206 The college or university is accredited by one of the following six U.S. regional accrediting agencies: the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Colleges and Schools, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools, or the Western Association of Colleges and Schools;
220.127.116.11 Exceptions are allowed for transfer from international institutions if the department or program provides the Graduate School with adequate documentation that the course is relevant to the graduate degree, comparable to the equivalent course at NC State, and taught by faculty who are qualified to teach at the Master’s degree level. Where the grading system and grading culture in such institutions differ from that at NC State, students may (with the help of the Study Abroad Office) provide a letter to the Graduate School establishing the minimum average grade required for a graduate degree from that institution. That grade will be taken as the minimum grade for transfer in lieu of the “B” normally required;
18.104.22.168 In such cases, the student’s degree clock for time to completion starts with the first of these courses approved for inclusion in the plan of work (POW).
4.3.3 Transfer of graduate credits earned while enrolled in an undergraduate program at NC State University.
22.214.171.124 A course that was completed while the student was enrolled as an undergraduate at NC State University may be considered for transfer to a Master’s program, provided that it is at the 400-level or higher, that the earned grade was “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better, that it was not counted to fulfill undergraduate requirements, and that it is verified by the undergraduate coordinator and recommended by the Director of Graduate Programs at the time of the student’s enrollment in the Graduate School. No graduate credit will be allowed for a course completed in an undergraduate classification at another institution. (NOTE: Students admitted to the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program may use up to 12 hours of graduate credit to satisfy requirements for both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degrees.)
4.3.4 Transfer of graduate credits earned while enrolled in a previous graduate degree program at NC State University.
126.96.36.199 A graduate course that was completed while the student was enrolled in a previous graduate program at NC State University may be considered for transfer to a Master’s program, provided that:
188.8.131.52a It is at the 500-level or higher and that the grade was “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better;
184.108.40.206b Students cannot transfer courses into a Master’s program that were completed as part of a previous Master’s degree at another institution;
4.3.5 Transfer of Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) graduate credits earned at NC State University.
220.127.116.11 A graduate course that was completed while the student was enrolled in PBS status at NC State University may be considered for transfer to a Master’s program provided that it is at the 500-level or higher and that the grade was “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better. All PBS credits that are used to satisfy requirements of a specific Master’s degree must be earned before the student is admitted to that degree program. A maximum of 12 credit hours taken while in PBS status may be transferred into a Master’s degree program. PBS credits cannot be transferred into a doctoral program.
4.4 Submitting Transfer Credit for Graduate School Approval
4.4.1 Prior to the time that the graduate program submits the Request for the Permit to Schedule the Master’s Oral Examination or the Request for Option B Graduation Checkout (or early on in the program, if the program chooses to submit an optional Plan of Graduate Work), the Director of Graduate Programs submits a letter requesting that any transfer credit be accepted as part of the student’s Master’s program. An official transcript indicating the work to be transferred must accompany the letter.
5. DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND DOCTOR OF EDUCATION
5.1 Doctoral students must demonstrate their ability to undertake scholarly work by writing a dissertation reporting the results of an original investigation, by passing a series of written and oral preliminary examinations in the field of specialization and related areas of knowledge, and by successfully defending the dissertation.
5.2 The following are requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education degree programs:
5.2.1 At least two (2) doctoral residence credit points must be secured in continuous semesters’ residence as a graduate student at the University;
5.2.2 Doctoral degrees at North Carolina State University require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the Bachelor’s degree;
5.2.3 Students cannot take 400-level courses or lower as part of the credit-hour requirement;
5.2.4 Students cannot use 900-level courses to satisfy the credit-hour requirement;
5.2.5 For a student who has a Master’s degree from a university other than NC State, a maximum of 18 hours of relevant graduate credit from the Master’s degree may be applied toward this minimum, upon the recommendation of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. That allowance may include those 400-level courses taken as an approved part of the master’s degree. Therefore, the minimum credit hour requirement in this case is 54 credit hours;
5.2.6 If a student completes a Master’s degree at NC State and continues for a doctoral degree without a break in time, up to 36 credit hours taken while in Master’s status may be used to meet minimum requirements for the doctoral degree. That allowance may include those 400-level courses taken as an approved part of the master’s degree;
5.2.7 A graduate course that was completed while the student was enrolled in PBS status at NC State University may be considered for transfer to a doctoral program provided that it is a 500- or 700-level course and that the grade is “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better;
5.2.8 Students who hold a Ph.D. are generally not admissible for a second Ph.D. unless a “special exception” is requested and is granted. (See NCSU REG02.15.01 – Admission to Graduate School, Section 3.);
5.2.9 A successful preliminary comprehensive examination (written and oral components);
5.2.10 A dissertation;
5.2.11 A final comprehensive oral examination (dissertation defense).
NOTE: Doctoral students must attain candidacy for the degree within six (6) calendar years.