Degree Requirements

Op3.19-1 Master's and Specialist Degree Requirements

To complete a master’s or specialist degree, a candidate must:

  1. Complete the minimum number of credit hours required for the graduate program. Keep in mind that courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be used for a master’s or specialist degree;
  2. Complete at least one-half of the minimum semester hours in courses numbered 700 or higher, which signifies that there are no undergraduate parallel courses associated with them. Graduate courses provide a graduate-level experience, and differ from undergraduate courses in the expectations/requirements;
  3. No more than 49% of the required semester hours may be fulfilled by combining senior permission (up to 12 hours), courses taken prior to admission to the program (up to 30%), transfer (up to 30%), and assessment of prior learning;
  4. Attain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on all graduate work utilized in the degree program that includes Missouri State University and transfer courses;
  5. Satisfy a research requirement;
  6. Pass a comprehensive examination. (Not all programs require a comprehensive examination so see specific program requirements);
  7. Meet all additional program-specific degree requirements; and
  8. Complete all requirements within an eight-year period (exclusive of time spent in the U.S. Armed Forces).

Op3.19-2 Doctoral Degree Requirements

The completion of a doctoral program indicates the attainment of the highest possible training and intellectual development in one’s discipline. As such, the rigor of a doctoral degree program is necessarily higher than that of a master's degree program, and is set above the level that an average student would generally be able to attain. Because the requirements for completion of a doctoral degree are discipline-specific, and often linked to national accreditation standards, some programs may have higher/additional requirements. Nonetheless, minimal university-wide standards include:

  1. All students much complete the stated courses and minimum number of required credit hours for the program. Keep in mind that courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be used for a doctoral degree.
  2. Complete at least one-half of the minimum semester hours in courses with no undergraduate parallel course.
  3. No more than 49% of the required semester hours may be fulfilled by combining senior permission (up to 12 hours), courses taken prior to admission to the program (up to 30%), transfer (up to 30%), and assessment of prior learning.
  4. Attain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on all graduate work utilized in the degree program that includes Missouri State University and transfer courses.
  5. All students must complete a doctoral research project, to be directed by a faculty member from their discipline with Graduate Faculty in Research status.
  6. In addition, each project will be supervised by a Doctoral Research Committee. Each will consist of at least two (2) additional faculty members with Graduate Faculty status (research, clinical/practitioner, or performance). For doctoral students who are completing a doctoral thesis, their committee will also have a fourth member from outside the department who has Graduate Faculty status in Research.
  7. Presentation of the research results (thesis or project) at a forum approved by the department (except in Doctor of Nursing Practice).
  8. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive exam, as specified by the department.
  9. Students must complete all degree requirements within an eight-year period (excluding time spent in the United States Armed Forces).
  10. Students must meet all program-specific degree requirements (including research, practicum, comprehensive examination, etc).