Your Program of Study

Students in MLK Plaza

All necessary forms and information for creating your program of study and passing your comprehensive exams as you journey along the path to a graduate degree.

The Basics of the Program of Study

A program of study is used to plan, in consultation with the advisor and/or advisory committee, an outline of courses to be passed and research to be undertaken toward the student’s degree. Once the program of study has been approved and has been filed in the Graduate School, it becomes the student’s required curriculum.

Courses Listed

The following courses should be listed on a program of study.

  • Prerequisite courses*
  • Required courses for the degree
  • Elective courses allowed by the academic unit
  • Responsible Conduct of Research course*
  • Transfer courses*

*These types of courses may not be applicable for all students.

Course Level Restrictions

A graduate student working toward a master’s, C.A.S., or Ed.S. degree will be required to present a minimum of twelve (12) hours (exclusive of thesis) of 500 and/or 600 level course work in partial satisfaction of requirements for the degree.

When do I submit my Program of Study form?

Doctoral Candidates

  • If you hold a master’s degree, then submit before the end of the first year of study.
  • If you hold only a baccalaureate degree, then submit by the completion of 12 credit hours or by the third registration, whichever comes first.

Master’s, C.A.S., and Ed.S. Candidates

  • Submit before the completion of twelve credit hours or by the third registration, whichever comes first.

Graduate Certificate Candidates

  • Submit before the completion of twelve credit hours or by the third registration, whichever comes first.

Which form do I use for my degree?
Doctoral Candidates Program of Study
Master’s and C.A.S. or Ed.S. Candidates      Program of Study
Graduate Certificate Program of Study

How do I change to my program of study form?

Changes to Your Program of Study

Change to Course Delivery

This form is to be used to change the method of course delivery for programs with an online option only (e.g. changing from an online to an on-campus student).

Declare a Concentration or Specialization

For those who have already submitted a program of study, the Concentration/Specialization Declaration form can be used to add a concentration or specialization to your academic record. Only approved concentrations will be added.

Questions? Contact

The Basics of the Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination, which may be written, oral, or both, will be administered by the academic unit of the doctoral candidate’s major subject and passed to the satisfaction of advisory committee.

Examinations may not be taken until the doctoral candidate has completed at least one and one-half (1½) years, or the equivalent, of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. These examinations are given to determine whether the student has made satisfactory progress in their study, and is qualified to pursue thesis research profitably and to meet training requirements for the degree.

Doctoral candidates must submit the Notice of Comprehensive Examination form within one week of examination in order to be admitted into candidacy.

Questions about being admitted into candidacy can be directed to Debbi Clements (207.581.3221 or