Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The Graduate Catalog contains detailed information online about degree programs, course offerings, requirements, and policies. A summary of degree requirements is shown below, but please see the Graduate Catalog for the most specific and up-to-date information. Please use the online application for admission to expedite your application.

  • Requirements
  • M.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Grad Certificates
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ACADEMIC DEGREE REQUIREMENTS MASTER’S DEGREE

Course Requirements

Programs leading to a master’s degree will normally require at least 30 credit hours of non-thesis course work. Master’s programs normally include courses at the 5000 and 6000 levels. A maximum of 6 credits of advanced undergraduate courses (4000 level) may be included in a master’s degree program if they are needed in order to fulfill program requirements. No course counted toward a student's undergraduate degree may be included in that student's masters degree program except in approved 4+1 bachelor’s-master’s degree programs.

Thesis Requirements

Thesis committees must have a minimum of three members, at least two of whom are from the unit offering the degree. All FIU faculty who are members of the thesis committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty. All committee appointments must be approved by the Dean of the University Graduate School. A thesis proposal must be approved by the University Graduate School at least one semester prior to the date of graduation. Once enrollment in thesis credits is initiated, continuous registration for at least 1 credit hour each semester (including the summer term) is required until the thesis requirement is fulfilled. During the academic year, international students must maintain full-time enrollment.

Time Limits

For the Master of Fine Arts degree, all requirements, including the successful defense of a thesis where required, must be completed within eight years of first enrollment in the master's program. For all other master’s degree programs all requirements, including the successful defense of a thesis where required, must be completed within six years of first enrollment in the masters program.

Graduation Requirements

The University will confer the master’s degree when the student has met the following conditions:

  1. Earned an overall average GPA of 3.0 in all courses in the graduate degree program.
  2. Recommended by the faculty of the College or the School.
  3. Certified by the Dean of the University Graduate School that all requirements for the degree being sought have been completed.

Master’s students who have been recommended for the degree by the faculty of the School or College may participate in the commencement ceremonies.

DOCTORAL DEGREE

Course Requirements

Programs leading to a doctoral degree require at least 75 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. These shall include a minimum of:

  1. 30 credit hours earned in academic courses which are part of the doctoral program. Doctoral programs normally include courses at the 6000 level and above. Courses at the 5000 level may be included in a doctoral degree program in appropriate cases
  1. A student may enroll for dissertation credits after completing all coursework, passing the candidacy examination and being advanced to candidacy. Dissertation credits may not be taken before advancement to candidacy.

DISSERTATION REQUIREMENTS CANDIDACY

A student is admitted to candidacy upon successfully completing all required coursework, language requirements, qualifying examinations and passing the candidacy examination. The student's written request for candidacy must be approved by his or her major professor and forwarded to the program director, the unit dean, and then to the Dean of the University Graduate School.

Each candidacy examination must be prepared and graded by a committee consisting of a minimum of three faculty of the academic unit offering the degree. Admission to candidacy requires that a majority of the committee members agree that the student passed the examination. A candidacy examination may not be passed conditionally. A "Pass" on the examination cannot be made contingent upon other factors such as the completion of additional coursework or the preparation of extra research projects.

Students must be informed in writing of the results of their performance on the examinations within 30 days of the examination date. If the student fails the candidacy examination the committee, at its discretion, may provide for reexamination at a mutually satisfactory time but no more than one year from the original date of the examination. Passing the candidacy examination is requisite to continuing in the graduate program. Students who fail the candidacy examination twice will be dismissed from the doctoral program.

After a doctoral student is admitted to candidacy, continuous registration for at least 3 credit hours each semester (including the summer term) is required until the dissertation requirement is fulfilled. During the academic year, international students must maintain full-time enrollment.

DISSERTATION COMMITTEE

Dissertation committees must have a minimum of four members: at least three of whom are from the unit offering the degree and one of whom is from another academic unit at FIU. All FIU faculty who are members of the dissertation committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty and the chair of the dissertation committee must hold Dissertation Advisor Status. All committee appointments are made by the Dean of the University Graduate School.

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

A dissertation proposal must be approved by the University Graduate School at least three semesters prior to the date of graduation.

Time Limits

All requirements, including the successful defense of a dissertation, must be completed within nine years of first enrollment in the doctoral program.

Graduation Requirements

The University will confer the doctoral degree when the student has met the following conditions:

  1. Earned an overall average GPA of 3.0 in all courses in the graduate degree program.
  2. Completed and defended satisfactorily a doctoral dissertation.
  3. Recommended by the faculty of the College or the School.
  4. Submitted to the University Graduate School three final, approved copies of the dissertation and paid required microfilming costs.
  5. Certified by the Dean of the University Graduate School that all requirements of the degree being sought have been completed.

Doctoral students must have completed all requirements for the degree in order to participate in the commencement ceremonies.

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

Graduate Certificates require 15 to 18 hours of graduate credit. At least six of the hours must be in core courses taken by all individuals obtaining a given Graduate Certificate.

All the credits earned in a Graduate Certificate Program may be used in a master's degree program provided the student is admitted to the master's degree program prior to the completion of no more than 12 Graduate Certificate credits.

At the discretion of the departmental graduate committee, or equivalent, students holding a bachelor's degree who have completed 12 Graduate Certificate credits with a 3.25 or better GPA may be admitted to a master's degree program without taking the GRE or GMAT examination even if the student has an undergraduate GPA between 2.75 and 3.0.

In all cases the Graduate Program Director will evaluate whether or not the Graduate Certificate credits are acceptable in that particular graduate program.

CHANGE OF GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

Only fully admitted and enrolled students may apply to change a graduate degree program without paying an additional application fee. All other students must submit a request through the Graduate Admissions process. Change of Graduate Degree Program forms are evaluated as new applications by the department into which the student wishes to transfer. A “Request for Graduate Degree Program Change” form and instructions are available on the University Graduate School website at: http://gradschool.fiu.edu.

REGISTRATION

All degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students registering for more than 15 credits in any given semester must obtain the approval of the Dean of the University Graduate School. Registration for courses is as follows:

Official Registration is held during the preceding semester (check the Academic Calendar for the dates). Degree-seeking students are given an appointment day and time based on their classification, GPA, and credit h ours completed. Students may also add/drop at this time.

Open Registration is held following Official Registration. There is no appointment day and time and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis; for degree-seeking students. Students who have not yet registered are encouraged to do so at this time. Students who have already registered may also add or drop courses during this period.

Registration Access

All students are able to retrieve their grades, registration appointment time and day; classroom assignments; registration holds (if any) and to register/drop/add courses using the PantherSoft web-based system (MY.FIU.edu). Students must use their PantherSoft ID and password in order to utilize the system.