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Graduate College Bulletin

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Graduate College Bulletin

The Graduate College Bulletin is produced by the University of Oklahoma Graduate College, Norman campus, issued by the University of Oklahoma, and authorized by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. It is the responsibility of graduate students and graduate faculty to familiarize themselves with the general requirements of the Graduate College and with the specific requirements of their particular academic unit.

The Graduate College Bulletin is published for informational purposes and should not be construed as the basis of a contract between a student and the University of Oklahoma. Every effort is made to provide information that is accurate at the time the Bulletin is issued.

The University of Oklahoma reserves the right at all times to discontinue, modify or otherwise change its degree programs when it determines it is in the best interest of the university to do so.


General Information

1.1 General Information
1.2 Graduate College Administrative Officers
1.3 Authority and Responsibility of the Graduate College
1.4 Intellectual Property Policy
1.5 Embargo Policy for Theses and Dissertations
1.6 Errata Policy for Theses and Dissertations

Graduate Programs Offered

2.1 Graduate Programs Offered
2.2 Master's Degree Programs
2.3 Doctoral Degree Programs
2.4 Graduate Certificates

Admission Information

3.1 Admission Information
3.2 Admission Application
3.3 Admission Criteria
3.4 Types of Admission
3.5 Addition or Change of Program
3.6 Readmission to the Graduate College

Cost, Financial Support, and Graduate Assistantships

4.1 Cost, Financial Support, and Graduate Assistantships
4.2 Financial Aid
4.3 Graduate Assistantships
4.4 Other Funding Opportunities

Enrollment, Grades, and Graduation

5.1 Courses Approved for Graduate Credit
5.2 Enrollment
5.3 Grades in the Graduate College
5.4 Auditing Courses
5.5 Degree Completion

Graduate College Standards

6.1 Graduate College Standards
6.2 Retention
6.3 Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct
6.4 Academic Appeals
6.5 Graduate Assistant Appeals
6.6 Other Student Grievances

Information for Master's Degree Students

7.1 Requirements for the Master's Degree
7.2 Master's Degree with Thesis
7.3 Master's Degree, Non-Thesis
7.4 Master's Degree with Thesis and Non-Thesis Examination
7.5 Non-Thesis Master's Degree without Examination
7.6 Degree Completion and Graduation
7.7 Checklist for Thesis Master's Degree Students
7.8 Checklist for Non-Thesis Master's Degree Students

Information for Doctoral Degree Students

8.1 Information for Doctoral Students
8.2 Requirements for the Doctoral Degree
8.3 The Advisory Conference
8.4 The Doctoral Committee
8.5 The General Examination
8.6 The Dissertation
8.7 Dissertation Defense
8.8 Degree Completion and Graduation
8.9 Checklist for Doctoral Students

Equal Opportunity Statement

University's Statement of Commitment to Affirmative Action

Release of Student Information and Access to Student Records

1. General Information

1.1 General Information

The Graduate College is the center of advanced study, research, and creative activity at the university. Graduate instruction has been offered at the University of Oklahoma since 1899, seven years after the university opened its doors. The first master’s degree was conferred in 1900 to C. Ross Hume. The Graduate School was formally organized in 1909, and in 1929, the first doctoral degree was awarded to Dr. Mary Jane Brown. In 1942, the name was changed to the Graduate College.

The University of Oklahoma offers 181 majors at the master’s level, 87 doctoral–level majors, 37 doctoral professional majors, and 68 graduate certificates. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution.

 

1.2 Graduate College Administrative Officers

Randall S. Hewes, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate College (and Professor of Biology)

James J. Sluss, Jr., Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate College in Tulsa (and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs)

Sherri Irvin, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate College (and Presidential Research Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies)

Liz Karr, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Graduate College (and Associate Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology)

Jennifer Kisamore, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Graduate College in Tulsa (and Associate Professor of Psychology)

 

1.3 Authority and Responsibility of the Graduate College

The Graduate College guides, supports, and enhances the educational experience of every OU graduate student. The Graduate Council and the dean of the Graduate College supervise and evaluate the academic units of the university that offer master’s and doctoral degrees to ensure quality, observance of policy, and academic excellence in all areas of advanced study.

The Graduate College strives for each student to develop a firm grasp of a chosen field, the skills and methods of research, and the capacity for independent thought. The college carefully monitors the performance of all graduate students. The final determination of a student’s graduate status, from admission through graduation, rests with the dean of the Graduate College.

Faculty and students share an obligation to master the knowledge of their chosen fields and to add to that knowledge or apply it through professional contributions that benefit society. The Graduate Faculty has responsibility for instruction, for the guidance of graduate students in the development of their programs, and for pursuing investigations associated with a particular field or discipline. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate initiative and assume responsibility for the progress of their studies. Students must master a body of knowledge, and coursework merely provides the foundation for wider personal inquiry. A graduate degree is conferred for mastery of a field and thorough understanding of its related branches.

 

1.4 Intellectual Property Policy

The University of Oklahoma Intellectual Property Policy governs the ownership of certain inventions made by university students, staff, and/or faculty members. The policy states that all discoveries and/or inventions, patentable or not patentable, which are made or conceived of while the inventor is a student at the university with substantial use of university facilities not normally made available to students, or are made with funds provided by or through the university (including research funds), are the property of the university. The policy protects and offers substantial benefits to the inventor, while simultaneously protecting the university’s interests in the invention. Students and faculty members are expected to be familiar with their rights and obligations under the University Intellectual Property Policy and to promptly report any inventions as outlined in the policy. The policy may be viewed online in section 3.29 of the Faculty Handbook.

Be aware that the University Intellectual Property Policy is subject to revision at any time. Students who make an invention or discovery that is covered under the stated conditions should contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at (405) 325-3800 or via email at otc@ou.edu.

1.5 Embargo Policy for Theses and Dissertations

The Graduate College is committed to making research available to the broadest possible community. Open access to research supports the values of learning, teaching, and peer review that is essential to our academic standing and integrity. It allows scholars to disseminate their work to the widest audience; and it supports the discovery and advancement of knowledge for all. Therefore, University of Oklahoma theses and dissertations are presented at open oral defenses and made globally accessible in the SHAREOK Repository.

However, in some situations and some disciplines, it may be advisable to delay immediate access to a thesis or dissertation. Upon request, the Graduate College will approve embargo of a thesis or dissertation for a limited period, provided good cause is demonstrated. An embargo postpones the date on which a thesis or dissertation will become broadly accessible. An embargo does not waive the final submission requirement—a student who receives approval for an embargo still needs to submit the final thesis or dissertation in order to fulfill graduate degree requirements, in accordance with the policies in this bulletin. An embargo applies only to the work itself; the title, abstract, and subject categories provided by the student will be publicly available.

A student should discuss any potential need for an embargo with their committee as early as possible in the research process. Alternatives should be considered, such as embargoing only those portions of the work that may be published elsewhere. Theses and dissertations may not contain material that requires permanent restriction.

1.5.1 Embargo Rationales

  1. The student’s thesis or dissertation research contains information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or by contract, or contains intellectual property that may potentially be patentable. As soon as this is recognized, the student and committee chair should consult the “Disclosure of Patentable Inventions” and “Procedures for Research Holds and IP Holds” sections of the Graduate College Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. In either case, the student and committee should inform their Graduate College Degree Management Specialist of the potential need for an embargo. The Graduate College will seek the advice of other offices as necessary to inform the student of how to proceed.
  2. The student's thesis or dissertation research contains intellectual or creative property whose value will be diminished by immediate open access digital publication.
If it is determined that an embargo is necessary, the committee chair should prepare a request (see Requesting an Individual Embargo below).

1.5.2 Embargo Period

An initial request for embargo may be approved for any length of time up to three years. An approved embargo will begin on the date that the student first submits the final thesis or dissertation to SHAREOK.

1.5.3 Requesting a Departmental Embargo

Open access publication is not yet the norm in some disciplines. Many or most of the graduate students in these disciplines may require an embargo. Therefore, the chair or director of an academic unit may request that the Graduate College pre-approve a specified embargo period for theses or dissertations produced within that academic unit.

As of July 24, 2018, the following pre-approved departmental embargoes for digital theses and dissertations are in effect. Students who want to use the pre-approved departmental embargo will need to opt in by checking the appropriate box on the online Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form.

Pre-approved Master’s Thesis Embargoes
    Department of Anthropology: Two years
    Department of Biology: Two years
    School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering: Two years
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Two years
    School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science: Two years
    Department of English: Three years
    ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics: Three years
    Department of Health and Exercise Science: Three years
    Department of History: Three years
    Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication: 18 months
    Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology: Three years
    Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics: Three years
    Department of Philosophy: Three years

Pre-approved Doctoral Dissertation Embargoes
    Department of Anthropology: Three years
    Department of Biology: Three years
    Michael F. Price College of Business: Three years
    School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering: Two years
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Three years
    School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science: Two years
    Department of Communication: Three years
    Department of Economics: Three years
    Department of English: Three years
    ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics: Three years
    Department of Health and Exercise Science: Three years
    Department of History: Three years
    Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication: 18 months
    Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology: Three years
    Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics: Three years
    Department of Philosophy: Three years

1.5.4 Requesting an Individual Embargo

A written request for embargo should be endorsed by the student, committee chair, and graduate liaison, and submitted to the Graduate College via the online Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form. The request should specify the length of embargo being requested and the justification for the embargo. Relevant supporting documentation may be attached. The Graduate College will notify the student and academic unit via OU email once a decision has been made concerning the embargo request.

1.5.5 Extending an Embargo

Previously approved embargoes may be extended for good cause. An author who wishes to extend an approved embargo is responsible for contacting the graduate liaison of the academic unit through which their degree was conferred to initiate the request for extension. Approximately three months prior to the embargo expiration date, the author should request that the graduate liaison submit a written request to the Graduate College. The request should specify the length of extension being requested and the justification. Relevant supporting documentation may be attached. The Graduate College will notify the author and academic unit via email once a decision has been made concerning the extension request.

Because the landscape of open access publication is rapidly changing, the Graduate College will revisit its embargo policy periodically.

1.6 Errata Policy for Theses and Dissertations

Students and advisors should check thesis and dissertation content carefully before final submission to avoid errors. Errata may be included with the original record when significant errors in content are discovered after submission of the document to SHAREOK, or to excise proprietary or confidential information. Significant errors are defined as errors in information or attributions that change the meaning of the entire thesis or dissertation or of significant portions of the document (a chapter, figure, table, equation, model, etc.). They are not stylistic or editorial changes that would normally be made as revisions to the document prior to the thesis or dissertation defense and that do not fundamentally change the meaning of any of the content.

To initiate the review process, the student should submit:

  1. An errata sheet specifying the precise changes needed with page numbers and other location indicators (e.g., line or figure numbers) as appropriate and;
  2. A brief explanation for the request and;
  3. Their OU student ID number to the Graduate College. The review process will involve the student, the thesis or dissertation supervisor, the graduate committee, and other parties as appropriate, with final approval by the Graduate College Dean. In cases where proprietary information is involved, the Office of Technology Commercialization will be engaged on the matter.

If a modification is approved, then the original document will be maintained, and the updated document will also be posted along with an errata page outlining the changes to the document. If proprietary or confidential information is excised, public access to the original document will be removed.

This policy is not designed to address issues related to academic integrity or research misconduct. Issues related to academic integrity should be directed to the Academic Integrity Office (integrity@ou.edu), and issues related to research misconduct should be directed to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents 24 Hour Reporting Hotline, 844-428-6531 or OU Report It!.

March 2022

2. Graduate Programs Offered

2.1 Graduate Programs Offered

General requirements that apply to all programs appear later in this bulletin. Information about individual degrees is available from the individual academic unit.

2.2 Master's Degree Programs

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2.2.1 Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degrees

An accelerated degree program (ADP) enables qualified undergraduate students to earn a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame by sharing up to 15 percent of the total coursework required for the stand-alone bachelor’s and master’s degrees. An ADP consists of both an undergraduate portion (the bachelor’s degree) and a graduate portion (the master’s degree). The curriculum of an ADP is designed to fulfill all requirements of both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Accelerated students normally begin taking graduate-level courses in their fourth year. All students admitted to an ADP will be engaged, assessed, and graded as graduate students. Admission and retention requirements are more rigorous for accelerated students than for students in stand-alone degree programs.

Students may not pursue dual accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degrees.

2.2.1.1 ADP Models: Sequential or Simultaneous

Accelerated degree programs follow one of two models. Different procedures and restrictions apply to each model.

Sequential ADP Model

The undergraduate degree is conferred before the student’s admission to the graduate portion of the ADP.

  • While in the undergraduate portion of a sequential ADP, a student is considered an undergraduate student and may hold an undergraduate assistantship. However, the student may not hold a graduate assistantship or receive graduate-level tuition waivers or health subsidy benefits.
  • After the bachelor’s degree has been conferred and the student has been admitted to the graduate portion of the ADP, the student is considered a graduate student and may be eligible to hold a graduate assistantship and receive graduate-level tuition waivers and health subsidy benefits.
  • A student in a sequential ADP who has approval of their undergraduate advisor(s) to pursue a second bachelor’s degree must complete all requirements for both undergraduate degrees before entering the graduate portion of the ADP.
  • After a student has been admitted to the graduate portion of a sequential ADP, they must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in this bulletin.
    • Any questions regarding course enrollment should be directed to the academic unit offering the master’s degree.
  • A student in a sequential ADP who decides not to complete the accelerated master’s degree is responsible for notifying their undergraduate advisor and requesting to be changed to the stand-alone bachelor’s degree major code.
  • If a student in a sequential ADP does not meet the admission requirements for the graduate portion upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, the academic unit offering the graduate degree is responsible for notifying the undergraduate advisor and requesting that the student be changed to the stand-alone bachelor’s degree major code.

Simultaneous ADP Model

The undergraduate and graduate degrees are conferred at the same time.

  • A student in a simultaneous ADP is considered an undergraduate student for the duration of the program. They may hold an undergraduate assistantship but will not become eligible to hold a graduate assistantship or receive graduate-level tuition waivers or health subsidy benefits.
  • After admission to a simultaneous ADP, the student must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in this bulletin.
  • The Graduate College graduate degree management specialist and the undergraduate college advisor will work together to verify the student has fulfilled all requirements for both degrees before clearing them for either degree.
  • A student in a simultaneous ADP who does not complete the bachelor’s degree will not be awarded the accelerated graduate degree, regardless of the amount or quality of graduate work completed.
  • A student in a simultaneous ADP who decides not to complete the accelerated master’s degree is responsible for notifying their undergraduate and graduate advisors and requesting to be changed to the stand-alone bachelor’s degree major code.
    • Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, the student is eligible to apply to the stand-alone master’s program, but may not share any hours that were applied to the bachelor’s degree.

2.2.1.2 Admission to the Undergraduate Portion of an ADP

  • A student who is interested in an ADP should contact their academic unit and/or undergraduate college before or during their junior year. They will need to follow the application procedures and deadlines established by the academic unit and undergraduate college in order to be admitted to the ADP and changed to the undergraduate accelerated major code.
  • An undergraduate student must have a minimum 3.00 overall grade point average (GPA) in order to be admitted to an ADP.
    • No student whose overall GPA is lower than 3.00 may be admitted to an ADP; admission with conditions will not be permitted.
    • Academic units may require an overall GPA higher than 3.00 for undergraduate admission to a particular ADP.
    • Academic units that require a GPA higher than 3.00 for admission to the graduate portion of an ADP should communicate this requirement clearly to students upon admission to the ADP.
  • Once a student is admitted to an ADP, they should work with the undergraduate college advisor and graduate liaison to complete the Accelerated Degree Graduate Coursework Plan.
    • This form is used to plan the hours that will count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and to affirm the student’s understanding of the conditions and limitations of participating in the ADP.

2.2.1.3 Admission to the Graduate Portion of an ADP

  • The student must meet the Graduate College Admission Criteria (see Admission criteria, section 3.3 of the bulletin)  outlined in this bulletin to be eligible for admission to the graduate portion of the ADP. No exceptions will be made and admission with conditions will not be permitted.
  • To apply for admission to the graduate portion of the ADP, the student must complete the online Addition or Change of Program application.
    • A student in a sequential ADP must apply to the graduate portion during the final semester of the bachelor’s degree. The term of admission must be the semester after the completion of the bachelor’s degree. The student may not skip a fall or spring semester between the degrees. If the student does not complete the bachelor’s degree as intended, their admission to the graduate portion of the ADP will not be valid, they will remain in the undergraduate portion, and they will need to reapply for admission to the graduate portion.
    • A student in a simultaneous ADP must apply to the graduate portion before the final semester of the bachelor’s degree. The term of admission must be the same as the final semester of the bachelor’s degree. The academic unit offering the master’s degree should enter an admission decision promptly so the student will be able to apply for graduation with both degrees early in their last semester.

2.2.1.4 Retention and GPA

After admission to an accelerated degree program, a student is required to maintain a 3.00 grade point average in each term.

  • While a student is in an undergraduate or graduate accelerated degree code, the Graduate College will monitor the student’s GPA each term over all coursework completed in that term.
    • The undergraduate college may also monitor the student’s overall GPA to ensure undergraduate degree requirements are met.
  • A term GPA less than 3.00 will result in academic dismissal from the ADP, and the Graduate College graduate degree management specialist will work with the Office of the Registrar to change the student from the undergraduate ADP major code to the stand-alone bachelor’s degree major code.
  • A student dismissed from the ADP may apply to the stand-alone master’s program upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, but may not share any coursework applied to the bachelor’s degree. Readmission to the ADP will not be permitted.
    • Any accumulated graduate credit not applied to the bachelor’s degree must meet the Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken before Admission to a Master’s Degree Program (see section 7.1.2.2 under the Requirements for the Master's Degree in the bulletin) .
  • Sequential ADP students who have completed the bachelor’s degree will be subject to the retention policy applicable to graduate students (see Retention).

2.2.1.5 Degree Completion

  • Students must apply for graduation early in the semester they will complete degree requirements, according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar.
    • A student in a sequential ADP must apply for graduation twice—once early in the final semester of the bachelor’s degree, and again early in the final semester of the master’s degree.
    • A student in a simultaneous ADP must apply for graduation for both the bachelor’s and master’s degree at the same time in their final semester.
  • All ADP students must meet all requirements and deadlines for the master’s degree outlined in this bulletin.

2.2.1.6 Information for Academic Units Establishing an ADP

A request to establish an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program must first be approved and signed by the academic unit chair/director(s) and academic college dean(s) affiliated with each degree. The request should then be submitted to the Graduate Council for review. Academic units interested in establishing an ADP are encouraged to meet with the Graduate College to discuss questions and concerns in advance of submitting this paperwork.

  • Each ADP represents a combination of one existing stand-alone undergraduate major and one existing stand-alone graduate major.
    • An academic unit wishing to offer an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree to multiple undergraduate or graduate majors will need to request one ADP for each combination of majors.
    • The requirements for both undergraduate and graduate degrees comprising an ADP should be identical to the requirements for the stand-alone degrees. If either the undergraduate or graduate degree program is modified, the ADP should be modified at the same time.
  • A request for an ADP must clearly specify whether the program will follow the sequential model or the simultaneous model.
  • Up to 15 percent of the combined total semester hours required for the stand-alone bachelor’s and master’s degrees, rounded down, may be shared (applied to both degrees).
    • All shared hours must carry graduate credit and must be applicable to both the bachelor’s degree requirements and master’s degree requirements.
2.2.2 Dual Master's Degrees

Dual master’s degree programs allow students to pursue degrees simultaneously in two fields of study. To obtain a dual degree, the student must satisfy the admission, course, and examination requirements of both programs.

Requirements

  • If changing from a single graduate degree program to a dual degree program, hours taken prior to admission to the dual degree program may be applied to both of the degrees if approved by both academic units and the dean of the Graduate College. If changing from a non-degree-seeking status to a dual degree program, this coursework will be subject to the guidelines regarding coursework taken prior to admission to a graduate degree program.
  • All deficiencies must be completed and all degree requirements, including foreign languages, non-thesis examination, and thesis, must be met for both programs.
  • Up to 20 percent of the total graduate credit hours required for both degrees taken individually may be double-counted, e.g., counted as credit for both master’s programs.
  • The double-counted courses must be appropriate for each degree.
  • Credit transferred from other institutions may not be double-counted.
  • No more than one-half of the credits for coursework in each degree program, excluding research for the thesis (5980), may be S/U graded coursework.
  • No more than one-half of the overall coursework, excluding research for the thesis (5980), may be S/U graded coursework.
  • The student must graduate with both degrees in the same semester.

(Graduate Council, 12-6-17)

2.3 Doctoral Degree Programs

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2.3.1 Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program

Revised version approved May 2, 2018 by the OU Graduate Council.

2.3.1.1 Purpose of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program (IPP)

This program is designed to provide the opportunity for synergistic research beyond established doctoral programs and among the different disciplines currently represented at the University of Oklahoma. It is for admitted doctoral students with strong academic records who have demonstrated the ability to work independently and at a high scholarly level.

Prior to preparing an application, students will discuss the proposed research areas with relevant faculty members who hold the appropriate graduate faculty status. The student will prepare the application in close consultation with the prospective committee members.

Note: The transcript will list the degree title as follows: “Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies.” It will not indicate an area of specialization. The student should discuss with the doctoral committee chair the pros and cons of pursuing the interdisciplinary degree, in terms of career outcomes, vis-à-vis pursuing an existing (more recognizable to search committees) degree at the University of Oklahoma.

2.3.1.2 Admission Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 in graduate-level coursework at OU.
  • Currently admitted to an existing OU Norman or Tulsa doctoral program, which will be referred to as the home unit. The home unit will serve the same role for IPP students as for other graduate students in the unit.

2.3.1.3 Admission

  • Deadlines: October 15 for spring (decision anticipated by December 15) and March 15 (decision anticipated by May 15) for fall admission. (Decision timeline may be impacted by IPP subcommittee availability.) These deadlines are designed to allow time for a meeting with the IPP subcommittee and revisions of application materials if requested.
  • Students who hold a master’s degree will be eligible to apply for the IPP during the second semester and before the end of the third semester in the home unit.
  • Students who do not hold a master’s degree will be eligible to apply during the fourth semester and no later than the end of the fifth semester.
  • Deviations from the timeline above will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • After submission of the application, the student will meet with the IPP subcommittee of the Graduate Council, which is the body that evaluates the application. This meeting will allow the IPP subcommittee to learn more about the student’s research plans and provide the student with feedback. The chair and/or co-chair of the student’s proposed doctoral committee should attend the meeting. The subcommittee will have read the submitted materials, but the student is welcome to give a 5-10 minute presentation about their project if they wish.

Criteria the IPP subcommittee will use in evaluating the application:

  • The student’s past academic performance
  • The clarity, significance, and feasibility of the proposed research project
  • The essentially interdisciplinary nature of the project
  • The student’s demonstrated capacity to pursue the project
  • The suitability and commitment of committee members to support the student in completing the project

Items provided by faculty members for the application packet:

  • The IPP cover sheet signed by the graduate liaison and home unit chair/director, listing the proposed committee members (minimum four). The chair must be appointed with M3 graduate faculty status through the home unit and the Graduate College representative must not be appointed through the home unit. At least one member other than the Graduate College representative must be appointed through a unit other than the home unit.
  • Letters of support for the project from each committee member addressing the student’s suitability for the program, assessing the importance and interdisciplinary nature of the proposed project, and indicating the faculty member’s commitment and specific planned contribution to mentoring the student to successful completion of the project.
  • Letter from the home unit chair committing to financial and logistical support (stipend, assistantship, tuition waiver, office space, etc.), provided according to the same criteria that are applied to other doctoral students in the unit. IPP students are counted as actively enrolled students in and, later, graduates from the home unit. IPP students are subject to the home unit’s performance standards and other criteria for continued support.

Items provided by the student, in consultation with the committee, for the application packet:

  • A description, with appropriate citations, of the proposed research project. This description should include the research questions to be addressed, the methods for answering these questions, and the significance and originality of the project. It should acknowledge potential roadblocks and describe strategies for addressing them. It should explain why the project cannot be completed within a single academic unit, and outline the contribution of each discipline, including that of the home unit, to the project. Length: 1500-2500 words.
  • A research methods and ethics statement (maximum one single-spaced page) describing how the student will master responsible scholarship requirements.
  • A signed, completed Advisory Conference Report (ACR). The program will include a maximum of 90 credit hours, with at least 12 credit hours outside the home unit (excluding dissertation research). Directed readings and independent studies are limited to 6 credit hours in combination.
  • A one-page explanation of how the courses listed on the ACR will provide the student with the subject-area knowledge and research tools to complete the project successfully.
  • A one-page statement of career goals and degree completion timeline. The timeline should include academic and professional development deliverables supporting the student in achieving the career goals (see https://www.imaginephd.com/imaginephd_suggested_goals.pdf to get started).
  • Transcripts of all previous post-secondary education (via the Office of Graduate Admissions).

2.3.1.4 Home Unit

  • The doctoral committee chair must come from the home unit.
  • The graduate liaison for the home unit will be responsible for all record-keeping for the IPP.
  • Students will register for coursework under the IPP degree code, but will be counted as actively enrolled students in (and later, graduates from) the home unit.
  • Students will follow general exam, defense, and other doctoral milestone processes of the home unit.

2.3.1.5 Annual Progress Evaluation

The doctoral committee will carry out an evaluation of the student’s progress each spring, clearly indicating “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” progress. This evaluation will be submitted to both the graduate liaison and the IPP subcommittee of the Graduate Council for review.

2.3.1.6 The Graduate Council IPP Subcommitee

  • This subcommittee will be chaired by the Graduate College associate dean and consist of faculty members of the Graduate Council.
  • Responsibilities will include reviewing admission proposals and progress evaluations.
  • Any change to the Advisory Conference Report or request for exceptions to the policies of this bulletin must be approved by the IPP subcommittee, the student’s doctoral committee, and the graduate liaison of the home unit.
  • The IPP subcommittee is responsible for monitoring and revising IPP guidelines and structure, subject to normal approval processes of the Graduate Council and university as required.

2.3.1.7 Building Intellectual Life

  • IPP students are encouraged to take part in the intellectual life of the university by attending talks and giving papers in the home unit and in units relevant to the interdisciplinary project.
  • IPP students will elect a leader from among their peers to organize at least one informal symposium per year in which IPP students present their research. IPP students are strongly encouraged to present their research in this venue at least once prior to graduation.

2.3.1.8 Professional Development

(Graduate Council, 5-2-18)

2.4 Graduate Certificates

A graduate certificate represents completion of a set of courses that provides mastery of a specific area of knowledge and indicates an advanced, focused inquiry into a defined area of study. For a degree student, a graduate certificate may indicate an area of specialization; for a professional, a graduate certificate may provide evidence of special expertise.

A graduate certificate is not a graduate degree.

Visit the Programs Page

Both graduate certificates and graduate degrees earned at the University of Oklahoma reflect the pursuit of knowledge at an advanced level, and both reflect high standards of performance. However, a graduate degree represents a program of independent inquiry beyond the depth of coursework alone, while a graduate certificate represents a set of courses only.

A graduate certificate program requires at least 12 credit hours of credited coursework representing a coherent body of study, per OU Regents policy. At least 50 percent of the inclusive courses must be graduate-level courses appropriately coded at the 5000 level or higher. The Graduate Council will not approve a graduate certificate program requiring more than 18 credit hours.

2.4.1 Admission to Graduate Certificate Programs

All students who intend to pursue a graduate certificate must complete the online application for graduate admission. Students must be admitted to the Graduate College to qualify for a graduate certificate.

  • Students may apply to be admitted solely into a graduate certificate program, or they may apply to add a graduate certificate program while enrolled in a graduate degree program (see Applying Graduate Certificate Coursework to a Graduate Degree in section 2.4.4).
  • A student who is admitted to a graduate degree program is not automatically granted admission to associated graduate certificate programs. Students enrolled in a graduate degree program who intend to pursue a graduate certificate must apply to add the graduate certificate program by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application (see Addition or Change of Program).
  • Students who apply solely to a graduate certificate program:
    • must meet Graduate College admission requirements as well as any additional academic unit requirements
    • may not be admitted with conditions.
  • Students who are admitted solely to a graduate certificate program:
    • are not eligible for financial aid
    • are not candidates for a graduate degree
    • are not assured future admission to a graduate degree program
    • may take no more than the maximum number of hours required for the graduate certificate
    • are not eligible for grade forgiveness under the Graduate College Course Repeat Policy.
  • Students must enroll for the term of admission to retain active status as a graduate student.

2.4.2 Course Credit Requirements for Graduate Certificates

  • All courses must be taken at OU. No transfer credit will apply.
  • No course substitutions are permitted for graduate certificates.
  • Coursework applied to a graduate certificate cannot be more than five years old as of the semester the graduate certificate is awarded.
    • Validation of overage coursework will not be permitted for a graduate certificate program.
  • Students must earn a grade point average of 3.00 or higher on all coursework applied to the graduate certificate.

2.4.3 Completing a Graduate Certificate

  • In order to be awarded a graduate certificate, a student must file a Graduate Certificate Program Report (GCPR) in the Graduate College before or during the final semester of certificate coursework.
  • The GCPR is due no later than the first Monday in October (for fall certificate clearance), the first Monday in March (for spring certificate clearance), and the first Monday in July (for summer certificate clearance).
  • Graduate certificates will be awarded in the semester that all requirements, including submission of the GCPR, have been met. Graduate certificates will not be awarded retroactively.
  • At the end of the semester in which all requirements are met, the Office of Academic Records will issue the graduate certificate and record its completion on the student’s official transcript.
  • Students who receive only graduate certificates without completing degree programs do not participate in convocation, commencement, or any other graduation ceremonies.

2.4.4 Applying Graduate Certificate Coursework to a Graduate Degree

  • Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program while enrolled and active in a graduate degree program may apply eligible hours to both the graduate certificate and the degree.
  • Students who are solely pursuing a graduate certificate and later pursue a master’s degree should be aware of the Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken before Admission to a Master’s Degree Program.
  • Students who are solely pursuing a graduate certificate and later pursue a doctoral degree should be aware of the Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program.

3. Admission Information

3.1 Admission Information

The University of Oklahoma requires all prospective graduate students to apply using the online application for admission.

 

3.2 Admission Application

Applicants who apply for graduate study at the University of Oklahoma are applying for admission to the Graduate College and the specific academic program in their proposed area of study. Information about the graduate application process and requirements can be found at the Office of Graduate Admissions website.

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of Oklahoma
731 Elm Ave., 318 Robertson Hall
Norman, OK 73019-2115
gradadm@ou.edu
(405) 325-6765
http://ou.edu/gradcollege/apply

3.2.1 Deadlines

  • Many academic units have program-specific deadlines. A list is available at the Graduate Admissions website.
  • International applicants are subject to university-based application deadlines due to the additional time needed to process international applications and to obtain student visas. A listing of the international deadlines is available at the Graduate Admissions website

3.2.2 Admission of University of Oklahoma Graduating Seniors

A senior graduating from the University of Oklahoma who wishes to apply for admission to a graduate program should complete the online application for admission.

3.2.3 Health Questionnaire

Every student admitted to the University of Oklahoma will receive a health questionnaire. This questionnaire must be completed and returned to Goddard Health Center before the student can enroll.

3.3 Admission Criteria

The admission criteria are intended to allow academic units to assess the likelihood that an applicant will succeed in a particular academic program.  

3.3.1 Graduate College Admission Criteria

  • The dean of the Graduate College governs admission and enrollment in the Graduate College utilizing the recommendations of academic units. The Office of Graduate Admissions oversees all matters pertaining to general admission to the university.
  • To be considered for admission, the Graduate College requires that all applicants hold a baccalaureate degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university, or a school that is accredited by a national accreditation agency recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). 
  • Undergraduate applicants in their final two semesters at a college or university with the appropriate accreditation (see bullet above) may apply for admission to the Graduate College.
  • Admission to a graduate program at the University of Oklahoma is based on an evaluation of an applicant’s overall record, experience, personal qualifications, and proposed area of study.
  • The Graduate College does not set minimum GPA requirements and encourages academic units to evaluate applications holistically, but generally, successful graduate applicants possess a 3.00 cumulative GPA over their undergraduate and/or graduate work.
  • Academic programs may set more stringent admission requirements. Check with the program to which you are applying to determine any program-specific requirements.
  • The University of Oklahoma uses the following 4.0 scale to calculate grade point averages:

A     4.0 points per credit hour
B
     3.0 points per credit hour
C
     2.0 points per credit hour
D
    1.0 point per credit hour
    0.0 points per credit hour

  • If an applicant’s prior college or university uses a different scale, the grade point average is converted to a 4.0 scale or equivalent to determine whether the applicant meets University of Oklahoma grade point admission requirements.
  • The grade point average is based on the following:
    • If a bachelor’s degree has been earned at a regionally accredited college or university, the cumulative grade point average from the conferred degree is used. All letter-graded courses are subject to evaluation.
    • If graduate work has been completed at a regionally accredited college or university, but no master’s degree has been earned, the cumulative grade point average from the conferred bachelor’s degree is used. All letter-graded courses are subject to evaluation.
    • If a master’s degree has been earned at a regionally accredited college or university, the cumulative grade point average from the conferred degree is used. All letter-graded courses are subject to evaluation.
  • The University of Oklahoma generally discourages the admission of applicants who already hold a Ph.D. to our Ph.D. programs. Such admissions require the approval of the Dean of the Graduate College. The academic unit must recommend admission and explain (1) how the training the applicant would receive differs from the training they received in the prior Ph.D. program, (2) how the professional prospects of the applicant will be improved by seeking a second PhD, and (3) why the applicant cannot receive appropriate training and professional development through a different mechanism, such as a master’s program or postdoctoral appointment.
    (Graduate Council, 9-4-19)

3.3.2 Academic Unit Admission Criteria

  • Academic units may require transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • The Graduate College does not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other standardized tests. However, many academic units do require the GRE or other standardized tests.  For more information about required tests, applicants should contact the academic unit to which they are applying.
  • To determine additional academic unit requirements, applicants should consult with the graduate liaison of the academic unit to which they are applying.

3.3.3 International Admission

 

3.3.3.1 English Proficiency

Before being admitted to the University of Oklahoma, all applicants for whom English is a second language must present documentation of proficiency in the English language. English proficiency requirements are discussed in detail on the Graduate Admissions website.

3.3.3.2 Financial Support Documentation

International applicants must provide documentary evidence of immediately available funds to cover the estimated expenses for the first year of the degree program to which they are accepted.

3.3.3.3 Financial Assistance

An international student may apply for aid offered by Financial Aid Services only if considered an “eligible non-citizen” by the U.S. Department of Education. Most international students are not eligible for this type of government-supported financial aid. Contact the Student Financial Center for additional information.

International students may be eligible for university or academic unit scholarships, fellowships, grants, or assistantships. Contact your academic unit and/or program for more information about these forms of financial assistance.

3.4 Types of Admission

The University of Oklahoma recognizes the following types of admission:

3.4.1 Admission in Full Standing

An applicant can be admitted if they have met all University of Oklahoma admission requirements, are recommended for admission by the appropriate academic unit, and are accepted for admission by the dean of the Graduate College. The admission recommendation may be based on many factors, including the applicant’s grade point average.

3.4.2 Admission with Conditions

An applicant who shows the potential for academic success in graduate school, but does not meet all of the minimum admission criteria of the academic unit, may be admitted to a degree program with conditions.

  • Admission with conditions is contingent on the recommendation of the academic unit offering the degree program and approval of the dean of the Graduate College.
  • Admission with conditions will depend on other indicators of the student’s potential for academic success, such as strong performance on standardized tests, a high grade point average in the major, and/or experiences that clearly indicate strong academic ability.
  • The graduate liaison must provide the Graduate College with a recommendation for admission with conditions. The recommendation must indicate:
    • any grade requirements beyond the Graduate College-recommended 3.00 average
    • any course deficiencies to be satisfied.
  • The Graduate College must approve the recommendation for admission with conditions.
  • A student who fails to comply with the conditions specified may be subject to dismissal; the academic unit should notify their Graduate College graduate degree management specialist no later than the second week of classes.

3.4.3 Non-Degree Admission

Non-degree admission types include unclassified status, teaching certification status, and graduate visitor status. Students who are admitted solely to a graduate certificate program also are considered non-degree seeking (see Graduate Certificates).

Future admission to a graduate program is not guaranteed for students admitted to a non-degree status.  Students who complete graduate coursework in a non-degree status and later apply to an OU graduate degree program should review the sections of the bulletin regarding OU Coursework Taken before Admission to a Master’s Degree Program or OU Coursework Taken before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program.  Credit completed as a non-degree student is not guaranteed to be applicable to a graduate degree.

Students admitted to a graduate non-degree status are generally not eligible to receive financial aid.  Additional information is available from the Student Financial Center.  

3.4.3.1 Unclassified Non-Degree Status

This status may be appropriate for applicants who want to take graduate-level coursework, but either have not chosen a field of academic study or do not intend to pursue a graduate degree. In addition to meeting this description, applicants must meet the Graduate College Admission Criteria to qualify for unclassified admission. The deadline to apply for unclassified admission is 30 calendar days prior to the start of the semester in which the applicant plans to enroll.

The following restrictions apply to unclassified status students:

  • A 3.00 cumulative grade point average from the undergraduate and/or graduate work is required for admission. Admission with conditions is not available for unclassified status.
  • Enrollment as an unclassified student is limited to 12 total hours. The Graduate College will place an enrollment hold on an unclassified student who has reached this limit.
  • Enrollment will be stopped and further enrollment as an unclassified student will not be permitted if the student’s GPA for the term is less than 3.00, or the student earns any grade of DF, or U.
  • Students admitted to unclassified status for a given semester will not be eligible for admission to a graduate program for that same semester. However, unclassified students may apply to a graduate program for a future semester by submitting the online Addition or Change of Program application (see Addition or Change of Program).

3.4.3.2 Teaching Certification Status

A student wanting to fulfill requirements for a State Education Certificate (not a graduate certificate) may be admitted to teaching certification status. Applicants to teaching certification status should contact the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education for additional information.

3.4.3.3 Graduate Visitor Non-Degree Status

A graduate student who has earned a baccalaureate degree and is in good academic standing in a graduate program at another regionally accredited institution may apply to take courses at the University of Oklahoma as a visitor. For information about applying as a graduate visitor, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

3.5 Addition or Change of Program

A graduate student who is currently enrolled and wishes to add or change graduate programs must complete the online Addition or Change of Program application.

Students may not simultaneously pursue degrees in separate majors without prior approval of both the academic units involved and the dean of the Graduate College.

 

3.6 Readmission to the Graduate College

3.6.1 Readmission Process

  • A student who has been admitted and does not enroll for the term of admission must reapply for admission.
  • An admitted student must register for courses at the University of Oklahoma for the term of admission to retain active status as a graduate student.
  • The student is subject to the regulations applicable during the first term of enrollment so long as continuous enrollments are maintained.
  • A student whose initial enrollment as a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma is during the summer session will be subject to the university catalog or bulletin in effect for the academic year following that summer.

3.6.2 Lapsed Enrollment

  • A graduate student who has a lapse of enrollment for one year must reapply for admission.
  • A graduate student readmitted after a lapse of enrollment is subject to the current conditions and curriculum of their program of study at the time of readmission, not those in place at the time of the initial enrollment.
  • Readmitted students are subject to all course age limits as outlined in the master’s and doctoral degree sections of this bulletin.

3.6.3 Academic Leave of Absence Policy

  • A graduate student who finds it necessary to temporarily discontinue the program of study may request an academic leave of absence.
    • The request must detail the reasons for the academic leave of absence and specify the semester in which the academic leave of absence period will begin and the semester in which the student will resume study. Whenever possible, the request should be submitted while the student is still enrolled.
    • The request must be endorsed by the student’s committee chair and graduate liaison.
    • As a general rule, the academic leave of absence period will not exceed two years from the student’s last enrollment.
    • The period of the academic leave of absence will count toward the time limit for completing the degree.
    • Academic leaves of absence do not affect the policies governing lapses in enrollment. A student on an academic leave of absence of three or more consecutive terms (including summer) will need to reapply for admission and pay all associated application fees.
  • Exceptions to this policy may be made to accommodate academically reasonable requests related to pregnancy and parenting, disability, emergency medical condition, or similar extenuating circumstances. Individual accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • If approved by the Graduate College, an academic leave of absence allows the student to remain under the degree requirements in effect at the time of the student’s original admission to the program.
    • In addition, if the student has begun enrollment in 5880, 5980, 6880, or 6980, the continuous enrollment requirement is waived for the duration of the academic leave of absence.
  • A graduate student requesting an academic leave of absence may wish to contact the following offices for further advice:

4. Cost, Financial Support, & Graduate Assistantship

4.1 Cost and Financial Support

4.2 Financial Aid

        4.2.1 Financial Aid Services

4.3 Graduate Assistantships

        4.3.1 Definitions

                4.3.1.1 Graduate Teaching Assistants

                4.3.1.2 Graduate Research Assistants

        4.3.2 Qualifying Graduate Assistants

                4.3.2.1 FTE Requirements for Qualifying Graduate Assistants

                4.3.2.2 Enrollment Requirements for Qualifying Graduate Assistants

                4.3.2.3 Family and Medical Graduate Assistant Release

        4.3.3 Tuition Waivers

                4.3.3.1 Definitions

                4.3.3.2 Tuition Waiver Policy for Qualifying Graduate Assistants

        4.3.4 Appointments

                4.3.4.1 Eligibility for Appointments

                4.3.4.2 Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointments

                4.3.4.3 Graduate Research Assistant Appointments

                4.3.4.4 Limitations on FTE, Workload, and Appointments

                4.3.4.5 International GA Final Semester Appointment Dates

                4.3.4.6 Notification

                4.3.4.7 Compensation and Taxes

                4.3.4.8 Payment Options

                4.3.4.9 Health Insurance

                4.3.4.10 Fringe Benefits               

                4.3.4.11 Participation in Departmental Faculty Meetings and

                Committees

                4.3.4.12 Absence from Service

                4.3.4.13 Termination before End of Contract

        4.3.5 Graduate Assistant Integrity

        4.3.6 Graduate Teaching Assistant Performance and Expectations

                4.3.6.1 Supervision of Graduate Teaching Assistants

                4.3.6.2 Instructional Procedures

                4.3.6.3 Limitations on Teaching Assistant Responsibilities

                4.3.6.4 Materials and Work Space

                4.3.6.5 Course Requirements

                4.3.6.6 Office Hours

                4.3.6.7 Grading

                4.3.6.8 Makeup Examinations (Other than Final) Due to

                University- Sponsored Activities

                4.3.6.9 Academic Misconduct

        4.3.7 Graduate Research Assistant Performance and Expectations

        4.3.8 University Policies

        4.3.9 Student Appeals Concerning English Proficiency of Instructors

4.4 Other Funding Opportunities

        4.4.1 Community of Scholars

        4.4.2 Oak Ridge Associated Universities

        4.4.3 Additional Funding Sources

                4.4.3.1 Vocational Rehabilitation Services

                4.4.3.2 VA Educational Benefits

                4.4.3.3 Tribal Grants

4.1 Cost, Financial Support, and Graduate Assistantships

The cost of attending the University of Oklahoma includes tuition, fees, books, housing (including room and board), transportation, and miscellaneous living expenses. The actual cost of attending the university will vary depending on a student’s resident status, academic level, course load, housing arrangements, personal needs, and spending habits.

Contact Bursar Services in the Student Financial Center for specific information about tuition and fees.

1000 Asp Ave., Room 105
Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-9000 or sfc@ou.edu

Financial support is any financial resource that a student may receive to assist in meeting the cost of attending the university.

These resources include:

  • financial aid, such as federal and state grants, loans, and work-study programs
  • graduate assistantships
  • fellowships and scholarships
  • tuition waivers.
 

4.2 Financial Aid

4.2.1 Financial Aid Services

Financial Aid Services awards and monitors all federal and need-based awards. For additional information on financial aid programs and application information, contact:

Student Financial Center
1000 Asp Ave., Buchanan Hall, Room 105
Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-9000 or sfc@ou.edu                                

Students are encouraged to utilize the Financial Aid Services website for general financial aid and scholarship information, as well as to check the status of their financial aid application.

 

4.3 Graduate Assistantships

Many academic units and other administrative areas employ graduate students on a part-time basis as graduate assistants. Graduate assistantships are awarded and governed by the individual appointing units. Students should contact the appointing unit to obtain information about graduate assistantships.

4.3.1 Definitions

  • graduate student is a student who has been admitted to the Graduate College.
  • graduate assistant (GA) is a graduate student appointed to the title Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Research Assistant. These are defined according to the emphasis placed on the student employee’s teaching or research responsibilities.
  • Qualifying Graduate Assistant (QGA) is a GA who qualifies for a tuition waiver. Not all graduate assistants qualify for tuition waivers.

 

4.3.1.1 Graduate Teaching Assistants

  • A Graduate Teaching Assistant is a graduate student on stipend whose primary responsibilities support the instructional mission of the university.
  • Services provided by a teaching assistant may include classroom or laboratory teaching, counseling students, proctoring examinations, grading papers, or providing other general assistance in the instruction process.
  • Graduate teaching assistants may occasionally conduct research as part of their service requirement.

4.3.1.2 Graduate Research Assistants

  • A Graduate Research Assistant is a graduate student on stipend whose responsibilities are other than teaching. Graduate Research Assistants do not instruct students.
  • Services provided by a research assistant may include assisting faculty members in a research or creative activity, serving as an administrative assistant or intern, developing and evaluating instructional materials or curricula, or assuming responsibility for a designated research area.
  • Research assistants appointed in relation to research or creative activities with external funding may assist faculty members in the completion of contracted research and creative activities; they may be assigned responsibility for the independent completion of parts or all of specific contracts; they may be responsible for preparation of required reports and proposals; and/or they may be responsible for the supervision of other research personnel.

4.3.2 Qualifying Graduate Assistants

The QGA tuition waiver program is designed to provide tuition support to graduate students whose graduate assistantship is relevant to their study and an integral part of their graduate education experience.

 

4.3.2.1 FTE Requirements for Qualifying Graduate Assistants

  • In order to qualify for a tuition waiver in the fall or spring semester, a GA must hold at least a .50 FTE appointment as a Graduate Research Assistant or Graduate Teaching Assistant from the first day of classes to the last day of final examinations and be appointed in an academic unit or related research unit.
  • If a student has multiple appointments totaling .50 FTE, then each appointment also must meet all other eligibility criteria (i.e., appointment length and job title) in order for the student to qualify for this tuition waiver.

4.3.2.2 Enrollment Requirements for Qualifying Graduate Assistants

  • A student must be enrolled in a minimum of five hours to hold a Qualifying Graduate Assistant (QGA) position in the fall or spring.
    • Students in the final semester of their degree program may be eligible to enroll in fewer than five hours (see Final Semester Enrollment).
  • Enrollment requirements for summer GAs differ depending on the student’s circumstances. Not all summer GAs need to be enrolled.
  • A student is eligible to hold a GA position in the summer if:
    • The student is enrolled during the summer, or
    • The student was enrolled during the previous spring semester, or
    • The student is admitted for the coming fall semester.
  • Although not all summer GAs need to be enrolled during the summer, some summer GAs may need to meet enrollment minimums for other reasons. These include:
    • Students wishing to receive financial aid. Graduate assistantships do not affect enrollment for financial aid purposes.
    • International students first attending OU in the summer and appointed as a GA in the summer must enroll in three hours.
    • Students in degree programs that require summer hours.
  • GAs who may be included in one of these groups should check with their academic unit, Financial Aid Services, International Student Services, or the Graduate College for the minimum hour requirement.

4.3.2.3 Family and Medical Graduate Assistant Release

  • An enrolled student who is normally appointed to a GA position may receive a release from their GA duties due to a documented family care or medical event but continue to make academic progress (if feasible given their situation) and maintain their tuition waiver and health insurance.
  • Documented qualifying events may include a GA’s own medical event, birth or adoption of a child, or acute need to provide care to a family member experiencing a medical event.
  • When a graduate assistant experiences a qualifying event, academic units and supervisors are encouraged to assign modified GA duties to allow the student to continue their enrollment and GA work if possible. If the student is unable to continue GA duties but wishes to continue academic progress, the Graduate College (with the involvement of HR in the event of the student’s own medical or childbirth event) will review requests for release from GA duties.
  • During an approved GA release, the student will not receive a stipend but will continue to hold a tuition waiver and GA health insurance and will be considered full time by the Graduate College if enrolled in at least 5 credit hours for any fall or spring semester impacted by the release. Summer enrollment is not required.
  • The initial release term will be for a maximum of one semester. Requests to continue the release for up to one additional semester will be reviewed with appropriate documentation.
  • The academic unit or supervisor may use the unspent stipend funds to compensate someone else to perform the GA’s duties during the leave as appropriate.

4.3.3 Tuition Waivers

4.3.3.1 Definitions

  • Tuition is payment required of an individual for enrollment in courses. This term is not interchangeable with fees.
    • Resident tuition is the tuition rate paid by all University of Oklahoma students.
    • Non-resident tuition is the additional tuition paid by all students who are not residents of Oklahoma.
  • Fees are charges in addition to tuition which students are assessed as a condition of enrollment.

Tuition Waiver

  • Tuition waiver is a reduction in a student’s tuition bill.
  • Each waiver is for a specific amount, a specific term, and for resident and/or non-resident tuition.
  • Waivers are not transferable between semesters, nor between resident and non-resident tuition.
  • Tuition waivers are applied only to tuition costs. They may not be applied toward fees.
  • Financial Aid Services will not process a waiver for an amount greater than the student’s tuition bill.
  • The student is responsible for any tuition not covered by the waiver.
  • Graduate College tuition waivers are awarded to Norman campus graduate students taking Norman campus courses.
    • Under special circumstances, tuition waivers awarded by the Norman campus Graduate College can be applied toward courses taken on the Tulsa campus. A student should contact the OU campus where they are employed as a graduate assistant for additional information.
    • Under special circumstances, tuition waivers may be applied to courses offered through the OU Health Sciences Center. Waivers for HSC courses must be approved prior to enrollment. Contact the Graduate College at gradga@ou.edu for more information.

Costs Not Waived

  • Graduate College tuition waivers may not be applied toward fees. OSRHE policy prevents the Graduate College from waiving fees.
  • Graduate College tuition waivers may not be applied to courses offered through Extended Campus. This includes the College of Professional and Continuing Studies (formerly OU Outreach/College of Continuing Education) and OU North America and Europe (formerly Advanced Programs) courses.
  • Graduate College tuition waivers may not be applied to OU Online programs and courses.
  • Graduate College tuition waivers may not be applied to courses offered through the College of Law.
  • Students and courses in the following programs are not eligible for Graduate College tuition waivers:
    • All OU Online programs and courses
    • Master of Arts in TESOL
    • Professional Master of Arts in TESOL
    • Simultaneous accelerated programs
  • Graduate College tuition waivers may not be applied to professional degrees offered through the OU Health Sciences Center. These degrees include:
    • Master of Arts in Nutrition
    • Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology
    • Master of Health Administration
    • Master of Health Sciences
    • Master of Occupational Therapy
    • Master of Public Health
    • Master of Science in Nursing
    • Doctor of Audiology
    • Doctor of Dental Sciences
    • Doctor of Medicine
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Doctor of Pharmacy
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
    • Doctor of Public Health
    • Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences
  • A graduate student with a 1.0 FTE appointment is considered a university employee and is not eligible for a Graduate College tuition waiver. Students with 1.0 FTE appointments should contact the Student Financial Center regarding a reduced tuition rate.
  • Audited courses are not included in a student’s enrollment calculation. Therefore, Graduate College tuition waivers do not apply to audited courses.

Intersession Tuition Waivers

If a QGA has available tuition waiver following a given semester, the remaining amount may be applicable to certain courses in the Intersession immediately following the semester. Students should contact the Graduate College at gradga@ou.edu for complete information.

Residency and Tuition Waivers

Under certain conditions, students may establish state residency after one year on campus. Information on this policy is available from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

4.3.3.2 Tuition Waiver Policy for Qualifying Graduate Assistants

Qualifying Graduate Assistants are eligible for a waiver of up to the total number of hours required for the graduate program. Doctoral students also in a master’s program are eligible for the total number of hours required for the doctoral degree.

Eligibility

  • To be eligible for a waiver in a fall or spring semester, a QGA must enroll in a minimum of five credit hours and hold a graduate assistantship total FTE of at least .50 the entire semester (see also Final Semester Enrollment below).
  • Eligibility for waiver in the summer is based on whether the student held or will hold a qualifying appointment in the preceding spring or following fall semester.

Limitations

  • Only hours that are taken at OU after admission to the graduate program may be waived.
  • Maximum allowable tuition waiver may be increased to cover leveling course(s) and/or coursework deficiencies identified at the time of a student's admission. To be covered by a tuition waiver, this coursework must be specified in the student's admission letter at the time of admission to the graduate program.
  • Extenuating circumstances may require a student enroll in additional credit hours beyond the total number required for the degree. In such cases, the student may have either exhausted all allowable tuition waiver or need additional waiver to cover the total hours for a semester. Provided the student meets all other eligibility requirements for a tuition waiver, the Graduate College will provide additional waiver to cover one semester of enrollment. This option is available one time per graduate program.

Final Semester Enrollment

  • Students in their final semester may receive an additional waiver of up to the minimum enrollment requirement.
  • Graduate assistants, especially those who have a .50 or greater FTE assistantship, may be eligible to enroll in fewer than five hours of coursework during their final semester and still be considered full time for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for a tuition waiver and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax exemption (see Compensation and Taxes).
  • Graduate assistants who are eligible for reduced enrollment in their final semester may be considered eligible for a one-semester exception from the FICA tax if they declare their final semester with the Graduate College by completing the online Graduate Assistant Final Semester Declaration form.
    • This form may be completed one time only.
    • Should a student declare their final semester with the Graduate College but not graduate in that semester, the student will no longer be eligible to retain full-time student status with reduced enrollment.
  • The Graduate College will report to Financial Aid Services any students who have self-identified the current semester as their final semester. Students should contact Financial Aid Services for enrollment requirements with regard to financial aid eligibility and student loan deferment information.
  • International students will need to contact International Student Services regarding approval for a reduced courseload.

4.3.4 Appointments

Most teaching assistants are funded from the state-allocated education and general budget funds. Most research assistants are supported with funds generated by research or training programs and generally awarded to the University of Oklahoma by institutions or agencies outside the university community (for example, NSF, NIH, DOD, etc.). These distinct funding sources necessitate differences in policy, particularly with regard to eligibility, appointment, performance review, and reappointment.

4.3.4.1 Eligibility for Appointments

  • To be eligible for appointment as a graduate assistant in a fall or spring semester, a student must be enrolled in at least two credit hours for that semester.
  • It is the responsibility of the unit employing a graduate assistant to check with the student and with Payroll and Records to determine whether the student is eligible for employment at the university.

4.3.4.2 Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointments

Teaching appointments are ordinarily made for an academic year, one semester, or the summer term.

New Graduate Teaching Assistant Training

  • Newly appointed graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are required to complete the New Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation offered by the Graduate College before beginning their teaching responsibilities.
  • This orientation is offered twice per year, before the start of the fall semester and before the start of the spring semester.
  • For additional information or questions, contact the Graduate College at gradinfo@ou.edu.

English Language Certification

  • Before assuming duties that require any instruction of students, every graduate student for whom English is a second language must be certified as having the English language capacity appropriate for their teaching appointment.
  • English Communication Certification is obtained through English Training and Certification Services (ETCS), Robertson Hall 213, (405) 325-1838. More information about certification requirements and levels of certification for international teaching assistants can be found on the ETCS website.
  • International graduate students who wish to or need to improve their English communication skills may choose from the variety of ETCS training options.
  • Ongoing certification is contingent upon performance, and in some cases, further language support may be needed to avoid lowering the international teaching assistant’s certification level. Classroom observations and individual coaching are available for international teaching assistants, as needed or required by their performance.

Evaluation

  • Academic units must conduct a periodic review and evaluation of the services rendered by teaching assistants and communicate the substance of such reviews to the individuals concerned. These reviews and evaluations must be performed at least once per year.
  • The University Regents require each college to implement a procedure for student evaluation of teaching performance. For teaching assistants, student evaluation forms serve as one of several sources of information in the evaluation process and can provide constructive information for improving performance.
  • In addition to the required evaluations, graduate assistants are encouraged to develop their own evaluation instruments and administer them periodically.

Reappointment

  • Because graduate assistant appointments are term appointments, graduate assistants do not have a right or guarantee of reappointment. Graduate assistants should not assume that they will be reappointed merely because no notification of termination at the end of the contract has been received.
  • Reappointment is ordinarily based on satisfactory progress in the academic program of study, satisfactory performance as a graduate assistant, other relevant factors determined by the appointing authority, and the availability of continued funding.
  • By May 1, academic units should advise those graduate assistants who apply for reappointment for the next academic year as to the status of their application. In some circumstances, such as addition of course sections, later notice may be necessary.

4.3.4.3 Graduate Research Assistant Appointments

Each project director/principal investigator is responsible for establishing the minimum qualifications for the appointment of graduate research assistants and the criteria by which appointments, reappointments, advancement, and evaluation of performance will be made. In some academic units, these responsibilities may be exercised through a formal policy and procedure. In most instances, however, the decisions concerning graduate student employment are made directly by the project director.

The starting dates and duration of research appointments may vary according to the availability of funds.

Evaluation

Principal investigators are responsible for periodically reviewing and evaluating the services rendered by graduate research assistants and communicating the substance of these reviews to the individuals concerned.

Reappointment

  • Because graduate assistant appointments are term appointments, graduate assistants do not have a right or guarantee of reappointment. Graduate assistants should not assume that they will be reappointed merely because no notification of termination at the end of the contract has been received.
  • Reappointment is ordinarily based on satisfactory progress in the academic program of study, satisfactory performance as a graduate assistant, other relevant factors determined by the appointing authority, and the availability of continued funding.
  • Beyond that, it is necessary to recognize that the faculty project director frequently undertakes a major commitment for completion and submission of specific research or development results. In these instances, the evaluation of a graduate research assistant’s performance must be measured against the requirements and expectations of the supporting grant. The project director must consider the effectiveness of the graduate assistant’s contribution to the program objectives along with the student’s personal academic progress in determining whether to continue, reappoint, or terminate a graduate assistant.

4.3.4.4 Limitations on FTE, Workload, and Appointments

  • The primary purpose of a graduate assistant appointment is to aid the student in the successful completion of an academic program. For this reason, enrollments and appointments are subject to certain restrictions.
  • Employment is generally measured as a proportion of Full Time Equivalent or FTE status, with 1.0 FTE representing full-time employment or 40 hours per week.
  • Graduate assistantships are subject to FTE limitations and cannot resemble full-time work. The standard Qualifying Graduate Assistantship is .50 FTE, which is equivalent to 20 hours per week.  
  • In necessary circumstances, graduate assistantships totaling .51 to .70 FTE can be approved by submitting a written request to the associate dean of the Graduate College. Approval from the student’s advisor, graduate liaison, or chair of the student’s academic unit will be required. The Request to Appoint a Graduate Assistant Over .50 FTE form must state the nature of the increased FTE and the rationale for the appointment.
  • It is the responsibility of the graduate student to submit the request form to the Graduate College prior to the start of the semester during which the appointment(s) exceeding .50 FTE will be held.
  • Whenever a unit is aware that a graduate student's total appointment(s) will exceed .50 FTE, the unit should inform the student of their responsibility to complete and submit the request form.
  • Review and approval of the Request to Appoint a Graduate Assistant Over .50 FTE will be based upon the following criteria:
    • Graduate students may not be appointed over .70 FTE at any time.
    • Appointments totaling more than .50 FTE cannot be approved for the fall and spring semesters for any international student on a student visa. During summer and Intersession, international students on a student visa may not exceed .70 FTE.
    • Students must be in good academic standing.
    • The assistantship(s) must be relevant to the student’s program of study.
    • The assistantship(s) must not impede the student’s progress toward their degree.
    • Students are not approved to work over .50 FTE during the first semester of graduate-level coursework.
  • The Graduate College will review the request based upon the student's GPA, current academic standing, and progress toward the degree. The Graduate College may approve a student’s appointment(s) for the upcoming academic year or for a single semester only. The Graduate College also may deny the student’s request.
  • Such requests are not required for summer appointments which will exceed .50 FTE.
  • The student and unit(s) will be notified of the determination by the Graduate College via email.
  • If a graduate student's appointment(s) will continue to exceed .50 FTE after the term of approval has expired, the graduate student must submit a new form prior to the start of the subsequent semester.
  • Units may not effectively increase a graduate assistant’s FTE via supplemental pay. The Graduate College does not review supplemental pay requests. However, Human Resources will verify that a graduate assistant’s composite appointment (FTE and supplemental pay) does not exceed 28 hours per week.
  • The Graduate College may terminate any appointment(s) that exceeds .50 FTE and has not been approved by the Graduate College.
  • Academic units are encouraged to set limitations on the number of semesters a student may hold a graduate assistantship. These limitations should be made available in writing at the time of a student's application, appointment, or reappointment.
  • In general, the Graduate College expects that a graduate assistant will not be appointed for more than the number of semesters required to complete the degree program, assuming six semester hours of enrollment per semester.

4.3.4.5 International GA Final Semester Appointment Dates

International GAs who submit an application for optional practical training (OPT) to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after completion of their course requirements often report their program completion date as the last date of the semester. If their GA appointment has not already ended as of that date, this may create a conflict with USCIS policy.

Units appointing an international GA in the final semester of their program are advised to use the “Final Day to Complete Work Needed for Graduation,” as listed on the University Academic Calendar, as the appointment end date for that semester.

4.3.4.6 Notification

  • Notification of appointment should be in the form of an offer letter from the academic unit administrator. Templates are available from the Graduate College.
  • The notification should state the appointment is contingent upon approval by the appropriate budget dean and the provost.
  • In addition, the notification letter should contain information about:
    • the appointment period
    • compensation
    • expected duties
    • the person to whom the graduate assistant is responsible.
  • It also may be appropriate to include information about:
    • hours of work per week
    • enrollment requirements
    • tuition waivers
    • teaching and/or research load
    • specific duties
    • review procedures
    • summer employment (if the appointment is an academic year appointment)
    • the availability of other financial support.

4.3.4.7 Compensation and Taxes

  • Appointment and initial stipend are determined on the basis of academic background, prior experience, scholarship, service requirements, and general potential.
  • Graduate assistant stipends above the minimum set by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost are determined by the unique needs of the academic units, the particular responsibilities of the graduate assistants, the availability of funds, and the specific priorities of the academic units.
  • Graduate assistant stipends are generally treated as wages and are subject to federal and state income taxes.
  • In fall and spring, QGAs are exempt from paying FICA taxes. However, GAs must pay FICA taxes if they are enrolled in less than five credit hours during the fall or spring semester, or less than two credit hours during the summer semester.
    • If a GA’s enrollment falls below the minimum required in any month, Payroll Services will automatically change the student’s status and withhold FICA taxes. Students should contact Payroll Services for complete information.
    • Graduate assistants who are eligible for reduced enrollment in their final semester may be considered eligible for a one-semester exemption from the FICA tax if they declare their final semester with the Graduate College (see Final Semester Enrollment).
    • Courses through OU North America & Europe (formerly Advanced Programs) and/or the Center for Independent and Distance Learning (whether online or in-person) are not eligible credit hours for exemption from FICA.
  • Under certain conditions, students may establish state residency after one year on campus. Information on this policy is available from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

4.3.4.8 Payment Options

Graduate assistants whose duties conform to a fall/spring semester calendar generally may choose between two monthly distributions of their stipends. They may receive their stipend over nine months with their appointment starting Aug. 16, or they may choose to have their nine-month stipend spread over a 10-month period with their appointment starting on Aug. 1. The unit employing the graduate student should ascertain the student’s preference for a nine- or 10-month appointment. Graduate assistants should check with the appointing unit to determine their payment schedule.

Nine-Month Option

  • For the nine-month option, the fall semester appointment dates are Aug. 16 through Dec. 31. The spring semester appointment dates are Jan. 1 through May 15.
  • Academic year appointment salaries are paid as eight full months and two half months (August and May).
  • Semester salaries are paid as four full months and one half month (August or May).

10-Month Option

  • For the 10-month option, the fall semester appointment dates are Aug. 1 through Dec. 31. The spring appointment dates are Jan. 1 through May 31.
  • Graduate assistants appointed for the entire academic year are paid in 10 equal payments.
  • Graduate assistants appointed for either the fall or spring semester are paid in five equal payments.

12-Month Option

Graduate assistants whose duties do not necessarily conform to the normal academic semester/year calendars may be appointed on a 12-month basis with starting and termination dates defining the actual period of employment.

4.3.4.9 Health Insurance

  • Graduate assistants (GAs) who receive medical insurance as part of their GA appointment are enrolled in the University of Oklahoma Student Health Plan. The university pays for the Student Health Plan for qualifying Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants.
  • For information about eligibility, enrollment in the health plan, and details of the health plan, contact the Student Health Plan Office at (405) 325-9196.

4.3.4.10 Fringe Benefits

Student employees are considered temporary employees and are not eligible for paid vacation or other fringe benefits.

 

4.3.4.11 Participation in Departmental Faculty Meetings and Committees

  • Policies on graduate assistant participation in department meetings and committees are governed by the regulations of individual academic units.
  • Graduate assistants should be informed of the policies of the academic unit.

4.3.4.12 Absence from Service

  • The academic unit may honor, with pay, a reasonable absence for good cause from service responsibilities.
  • The graduate assistant will notify the academic unit in advance of the absence and, when possible, assist in obtaining a replacement or rearrangement of duties.
  • Excessive absence, regardless of reason, is cause for termination before the end of the contract.

4.3.4.13 Termination before End of Contract

  • If a graduate assistant’s performance is unsatisfactory, the employing unit will inform the graduate assistant.
  • Except in the case of gross misconduct or a violation of the Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment Policy, which warrants immediate suspension in the judgment of the appointing authority, an attempt should be made to help the graduate assistant improve their performance before the academic unit begins procedures for termination.
  • If a graduate assistant is to be terminated prior to the end of the contract period, the academic or research unit should advise the student in writing of the reasons for the action.
  • Copies of the notice also should be sent to the dean of the college of the academic unit, the dean of the Graduate College, and the provost.
  • The reasons for which the termination is requested will normally include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Academic misconduct (as established under the terms of the Academic Integrity Code (pdf))
    • Poor academic performance or excessive absences from class
    • Misconduct in instructional or research duties
    • Unsatisfactory performance in instructional or research duties
    • Incapacitation of the graduate assistant for an excessive period of time
    • Other personal misconduct
    • Budgetary constraints
  • If a graduate student believes that a termination is unwarranted, they may file a graduate assistant appeal (see Graduate Assistant Appeals). However, unless the student has a reasonable expectation of renewal (such as a letter from the appointing authority), non-renewal at the end of the specified term of appointment may not be appealed.
    • If a graduate assistant appeal is filed, the graduate assistant will continue in regular duties until the date of the hearing, unless gross misconduct exists, which in the judgment of the appointment authority warrants immediate suspension.
    • If a graduate assistant appeal is not filed within the specified period of time, the opportunity for a hearing will be waived and the termination will become effective immediately.
    • Any appeal of a termination based on a finding of impropriety by the Sexual Misconduct Office will be handled through the appellate process of the Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment Policy and the Sexual Misconduct Office, (405) 325-2215.

4.3.5 Graduate Assistant Integrity

Graduate assistants make a vital contribution to the university at every level. As teaching and research assistants, they carry on the highest levels of intellectual inquiry; as professionals in training, they connect the university to the community and the world. In these roles, graduate assistants represent not only the student body but the university as a whole. Therefore, the university expects graduate assistants to conduct themselves with the highest standards of judgment and behavior in every area.

As instructors, graduate assistants follow all university policies concerning instruction. They demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. They make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between instructor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. Graduate assistants will not receive payment from students for tutoring or help sessions in any course in which they are currently assigned as an instructor, and they will accept the judgment of their department as to other limitations on such activities.

As researchers, graduate assistants have a responsibility to ensure the integrity and ethical standards in any research activity in which they are engaged. Graduate assistants will not engage in research misconduct and will notify a responsible party if they become aware of research misconduct by others.

As professionals in training, graduate assistants have a professional obligation to their colleagues and to the university. They show due respect and civility to their associates. They understand that any other employment or enterprise in which they engage for income is secondary to their university duties, and they accept the judgment of their department regarding conflicts of interest, either real or apparent, that may be caused by such outside activities.

4.3.6 Graduate Teaching Assistant Performance and Expectations

4.3.6.1 Supervision of Graduate Teaching Assistants

Teaching loads and teaching/research responsibilities should be commensurate with the background and experience of the individual concerned. In addition, new graduate assistants may require a closely supervised apprenticeship program. Graduate assistant status calls for consultation and guidance from those with more teaching experience and academic preparation.

  • The chair or director of the academic unit should designate one or more persons to supervise all graduate assistants’ performances. Supervisory duties include periodic observation of the graduate assistant’s teaching and meeting to discuss those observations.
  • Consultation regarding grading, preparing examinations, and other aspects of teaching should occur when necessary. The supervisor also may be called upon to aid graduate assistants in resolving disputes concerning evaluation or misconduct of the graduate assistant’s students.
  • For some international teaching assistant appointments, close supervision is required, per their English communication certification level.

4.3.6.2 Instructional Procedures

Academic unit policies may differ in regard to the instructional autonomy of teaching assistants. They may range from requiring that teaching assistants follow an outline to allowing the assistants complete control of course content.

4.3.6.3 Limitations on Teaching Assistant Responsibilities

  • Graduate assistants cannot be given teaching responsibility for courses in which students are enrolled for graduate credit, including 3000- and 4000-level courses approved for graduate credit.
  • International teaching assistants cannot have teaching appointments that do not match their level of English communication certification. English Training and Certification Services offers training and support for individuals to improve their English competency.

4.3.6.4 Materials and Work Space

  • Each academic unit should make available to each graduate assistant suitable facilities and materials to enable the graduate assistant to carry out their teaching responsibilities.
  • Delegation of office space is generally made by the chair/director of the academic unit.

4.3.6.5 Course Requirements

It is expected, as a matter of good teaching practice, that the graduate assistant will provide a general orientation to their students. Such an orientation will, in most cases, include the course title and appropriate identifying numbers, information regarding prerequisites, texts, testing, grading, class assignments, academic integrity, disability accommodations, and other expectations for the course or laboratory section.

  • A syllabus containing such information should be published and distributed to students at the beginning of the term.
  • Graduate teaching assistants should follow the guidelines in the provost’s yearly memorandum, “Honoring Our Commitment to Our Students.”

4.3.6.6 Office Hours

  • Graduate assistants should announce and post a schedule of hours when they will be available for student conferences. The office of the academic unit should be notified of these hours.
  • When possible, special appointments should be available to meet the needs of students whose schedules conflict with posted office hours. Special appointments should be made at alternate locations, if necessary, to accommodate students with disabilities.

4.3.6.7 Grading

  • Responsibility for determining final grades in courses or laboratories taught by graduate assistants usually rests with the assistant. Exceptions to this policy may be necessary in unusual circumstances.
  • For graduate assistants who are appointed as an instructor of record, instructions for reporting course grades are disseminated by the University registrar at each grade reporting period.

4.3.6.8 Makeup Examinations (Other than Final) Due to University-Sponsored Activities

The following guidelines have been approved by the Faculty Senate and the SGA to aid the faculty in determining a policy for make-up examinations (other than final examinations) in cases of absences due to participation in educational extracurricular activities.

  • Faculty, if given notice two class periods before an examination or quiz (excluding pop quizzes), are encouraged to make every effort to find an accommodation by:
    • Giving a makeup examination, an early examination, or a quiz
    • Changing the examination schedule
    • Dropping the examination or quiz and increasing the weight of another examination or quiz or other agreed-upon approaches acceptable to the instructor and the student.

NOTICE: If the student and the faculty member cannot agree, normal appeal procedures (faculty to director/chair to college dean to provost) are available to the student and can be followed.

4.3.6.9 Academic Misconduct

  • A graduate teaching assistant (GTA) who discovers an incident of alleged academic misconduct in a particular course should notify the instructor of record and contact the Office of Academic Integrity Programs to report the incident.
  • Reports need to be made within 15 class days of discovery.
  • The Academic Integrity Code (pdf) contains a detailed description of the policies and procedures for dealing with academic misconduct. Further information about academic misconduct is contained in the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity.

4.3.7 Graduate Research Assistant Performance and Expectations

Graduate assistants who have research appointments should consult with the chair or director of the academic unit or the principal investigator of the research project to learn the specific duties and expectations associated with their appointment.

Graduate research assistants also should be familiar with the university policies on use of human subjects in research, use of vertebrate animals in research, and intellectual property.

4.3.8 University Policies

Graduate assistants should be familiar with the following:

4.3.9 Student Appeals Concerning English Proficiency of Instructors

The following policy in no way abridges the right of a student under Title 14 of the Student Code to appeal unresolved disputes to the appropriate academic appeals board. This policy also appears in the Faculty Handbook, section 4.17.

It is the policy of the University of Oklahoma that all who provide instruction at the university be proficient in English language communication, so that they may adequately instruct students. OU has established procedures to ensure that instructors have this proficiency through the English Training and Certification Services program.

In addition, a student who believes that an instructor is not sufficiently proficient in English communication may file a written formal complaint with the provost. The identity of the complainant(s) will remain confidential. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

The provost will notify the instructor, the chair or director of the academic unit in which the instructor is employed, and the dean of the Graduate College that a complaint has been received. If, after consulting with the college and department, the provost determines that a formal inquiry is necessary, he/she shall appoint an independent evaluator to evaluate the instructor in a fair manner, with due process. The evaluator may visit the class of the instructor named in the complaint, interview the instructor, interview students, or engage in such other activities as necessary to evaluate the English communication capacity of the instructor.

The evaluator will provide the provost with a written report of his/her findings as to the English proficiency of the instructor and make recommendations of actions that should be taken. The provost will notify the complainant(s), the instructor, the chair or director of the academic unit, and the dean of the findings as to the validity of the complaint. In the event that the instructor is found not to be sufficiently proficient in English, the provost will specify actions to be taken by the instructor and/or the academic unit. Such actions may include but are not limited to: (1) reassignment of the instructor to other duties; (2) re-evaluation of the instructor for purposes of hiring, tenure, promotion, salary, or other personnel decisions; (3) appropriate remedial measures to assist the instructor in improving his/her English capacity; and (4) appropriate remedies for the affected students.

4.4 Other Funding Opportunities

  • Students are encouraged to apply for funding based on academic ability or talent.
  • Students may conduct an online search for funding by visiting www.ou.edu/financialaid.
  • Funding recipients who also are recipients of other financial aid sources may expect their award letters to be revised.
  • The university strongly encourages graduate students to apply for funding from external agencies.  Students are encouraged to write directly to granting agencies.
  • There are a number of major funding opportunities available for students engaged in full-time study leading to the doctoral degree.
  • Graduate students may visit the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH) to apply for Financial Aid and Sooner Heritage scholarships, as well as certain departmental or college scholarships.
  • The Graduate College website provides additional information on funding opportunities.

4.4.1 Community of Scholars

In an effort to assist graduate students in locating funding opportunities, the Graduate College provides access to the Community of Scholars National Funding Opportunities database. This comprehensive web-based listing of funds from various government agencies, private foundations, industries, and academic institutions offers eligible students excellent opportunities for advanced study. Each entry contains a brief description of the program and an address to obtain further information and an application. This service is an invaluable tool for quickly identifying funding opportunities for graduate students and faculty. The OU Vice President for Research, Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment, and OU Libraries provide COS Pivot to assist faculty, staff, and students searching for funding opportunities in research development. COS Pivot is a comprehensive database that can be personalized for accurate and automated searches. 

4.4.2 Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Since 1949, students and faculty of the University of Oklahoma have benefited from the university’s membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the DOE facility that ORAU operates, undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, and faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines, including business, earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry, and mathematics. Appointment and program length range from one month to four years. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science and engineering-related disciplines. A comprehensive listing of these programs and other opportunities, their disciplines and details on locations and benefits, can be found in the online resource guide.

4.4.3 Additional Funding Sources

Additional information regarding grants, scholarships, or other funding should be directed to the following agencies. Recipients of funding from these programs who are recipients of other financial aid sources may expect their award letters to be revised.

4.4.3.1 Vocational Rehabilitation Services

  • Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services may assist students who have certain physical, mental, or emotional disabilities by providing funding or other support services.
  • Contact the Department of Human Services Rehabilitation Services Division in your community for information and applications.
  • The vocational objective must be approved by a representative of the division.

4.4.3.2 VA Educational Benefits

  • Educational benefits may be available to students who are active-duty, reserve personnel, or veterans.
  • Students should contact their area Veterans Affairs office for information regarding educational benefits.

4.4.3.3 Tribal Grants

  • Native American students are encouraged to contact their tribal agency for specific information and application materials for higher education grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
  • Students also may obtain information from American Indian Student Life, Center for Student Life, Oklahoma Memorial Union, third floor south.
  • Another valuable source of funding is through the American Indian Graduate Center at 3701 San Mateo NE #200, Albuquerque, NM 87110, or at 1-800-628-1920.

 

5. Enrollment, Grades, and Graduation

5.1 Courses Approved for Graduate Credit

Graduate-level courses carry the “GRAD” attribute in the Course Catalog and class schedule.

Undergraduate courses that are approved for graduate credit may carry the “GCUD” attribute (graduate credit upper-division), “GCOD” attribute (graduate credit outside the department), or “GCOC” attribute (graduate credit outside the college).

Undergraduate students will receive undergraduate credit for these courses, unless they receive approval to earn graduate credit (see Applying for Graduate Credit).

 

5.2 Enrollment

To be eligible for enrollment, the student must be admitted to the University of Oklahoma.

5.2.1 Enrollment Approval

  • All enrollments must be approved by the academic unit advisor or, in the case of unclassified students, by the dean of the Graduate College.
  • A student whose initial enrollment is during the summer session will be subject to the University of Oklahoma catalog and bulletin in effect for the academic year following that summer.

5.2.2 Sexual Misconduct Awareness Training Required Prior to Enrollment

Federal law and university policy require all students to successfully complete the Sexual Misconduct Awareness Training. If you have technical difficulties, contact (405) 325-HELP or visit http://itscnorman.ou.edu.

5.2.3 Assignment of an Advisor

Although the dean of the Graduate College is a general advisor for all graduate students, a student is under the immediate direction of a graduate advisor in the academic unit of the major field.

5.2.4 Maximum Enrollment

  • A student may not carry more than 16 hours per fall or spring semester nor more than nine hours per summer session without the permission of the dean of the Graduate College.
  • OU North America and Europe (formerly Advanced Programs) students may carry up to 16 hours in any term, including summer.

5.2.5 Enrollment of Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

With permission from the academic unit offering the course(s), qualified junior or senior undergraduates may enroll in 5000-level coursework. This coursework will carry undergraduate credit unless the student is approved to receive graduate credit (see Applying for Graduate Credit below).  Undergraduates may not enroll in 6000-level courses except by permission of the academic unit and the dean of the Graduate College.

5.2.5.1 Limitations

  • Each graduate degree has a prescribed set of courses required for that degree, and not all graduate-level courses can be applied to fulfill those requirements. Prior to enrolling in graduate-level coursework, the student should consult with the academic unit from which they intend to receive a graduate degree.
  • Graduate courses applied to a bachelor’s degree may not be applied to a graduate degree.
  • There are limitations on the amount of credit taken prior to admission to a graduate degree program which may be applied to the degree program (see OU Coursework Taken before Admission to a Master’s Degree Program and OU Coursework Taken before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program).

5.2.5.2 Applying for Graduate Credit

  • To apply for graduate credit, a student must submit an Application for Graduate Credit for Courses Taken during Junior and Senior Years by the end of the second week of the course(s).
  • Students must have a minimum overall and University of Oklahoma grade point average of 3.00 in order to be eligible to receive graduate credit.
  • To enroll in a course for graduate credit, the student must receive permission from:
    • the instructor
    • the undergraduate advisor
    • the person who serves as liaison between the Graduate College and the academic unit offering the course
    • the dean of the Graduate College.
  • The approval of the instructor signifies that the junior or senior will be evaluated at the same level as the graduate students in the class.
  • The Graduate College will verify that a grade of ABC, or S was earned in the course.
  • If all of the above stipulations are satisfied, the Office of Academic Records will note on the student’s transcript that graduate credit was earned in the course.

5.2.6 Enrollment in OU Health Sciences Center Courses

  • Graduate courses offered through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center may be appropriate for some degree programs. Students interested in OUHSC graduate courses should discuss their plans with their academic advisor.
  • The OUHSC Graduate College Bulletin provides information for Norman campus students enrolling in OUHSC Graduate College courses.
  • Tuition waivers awarded from the Norman campus Graduate College may apply to some courses taken at the OU Health Sciences Center. Consult the Graduate College for additional information.

5.2.6 Enrollment in OU Health Sciences Center Courses

  • Graduate courses offered through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center may be appropriate for some degree programs. Students interested in OUHSC graduate courses should discuss their plans with their academic advisor.
  • The OUHSC Graduate College Bulletin provides information for Norman campus students enrolling in OUHSC Graduate College courses.
  • Tuition waivers awarded from the Norman campus Graduate College may apply to some courses taken at the OU Health Sciences Center. Consult the Graduate College for additional information.

5.2.7 Enrollment in Law Courses

  • Graduate students at the University of Oklahoma may enroll in College of Law courses with the advance approval of their academic advisor, academic unit, and the instructor teaching the course.
  • Tuition waivers awarded from the Norman campus Graduate College do not apply to courses taken at the OU College of Law.

5.2.8 Enrollment in Coursework at Another University

  • A University of Oklahoma graduate student must be in good academic standing and obtain the approval of the dean of the Graduate College prior to enrolling concurrently in coursework at another university.
  • Failure to obtain this approval could lead to dismissal from the Graduate College.

5.3 Grades in the Graduate College

The grades awarded in the Graduate College are ABCDFSUIW, and X.  Students may not repeat a course in which they have earned a grade of A or B unless the course is one in which there is a change of content. A student may repeat courses and have only the second grade earned, even if it is lower than the first grade, count in the calculation of the GPA, up to maximum of four courses, but not to exceed 18 hours, in the courses in which the original grade earned was a Cor F (see Graduate College Course Repeat Policy). For all matters involving GPAs, the Graduate College calculates the GPA to the second decimal point.

The following explanations apply only to those courses that are approved for graduate credit.

5.3.1 AU

AU (Audit) Auditing is attending class without participating in classwork or receiving credit.  Enrollment as an auditor is indicated on the student’s permanent academic record and is subject to the same posting regulations governing credit enrollment.

5.3.2 AW

AW, meaning Administrative Withdrawal, is a neutral grade assigned when the student is involuntarily withdrawn by the institution during the designated semester for disciplinary or financial reasons or for inadequate attendance.

5.3.3 D

The letter grade of D is failing, insofar as credit toward a graduate degree is concerned, and cannot be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements and/or requirements for graduate degrees or graduate certificates.

5.3.4 I

I is a neutral mark and means incomplete. It is not an alternative to a grade of F, and no student may be failing a course at the time an I grade is awarded. To receive an I grade, the student should have satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the required course work for the semester. The instructor will indicate to the student and to the Office of Academic Records what must be done to complete the course and set a time limit appropriate to the circumstances. However, the time limit allowed may not exceed one calendar year. If by the end of the year no change in grade has been submitted, the grade of I will be changed to the pre-determined permanent grade. After a grade of I has been changed, a student may re-enroll in the course if appropriate or required.

All instructional faculty are required to use the university-wide Incomplete Contract Form when assigning a grade of Incomplete. This document protects both faculty and students by documenting circumstances that led to the assignment of an Incomplete grade.

5.3.5 N

N is a temporary grade used only to indicate that no final grade has been reported at the time of grade processing and is removed from the student’s record when the final grade is received. It is neutral in the computation of the student’s grade point average. Students with an N grade on their transcript may not take a non-thesis exam, general exam, or defend a thesis or dissertation.

5.3.6 P and NP

P and NP, meaning Pass and No Pass, are used as grades in a course in which a student has enrolled under the pass/no pass grade option. The grades of and NP are considered neutral in the computation of the student’s grade point average.

P indicates work equivalent to a grade of C work or better. NP indicates no credit for a pass/no pass option enrollment. Graduate students may use the pass/no pass option only with courses that will not apply to a graduate degree.

5.3.7 S and U

S and U are neutral grades meaning Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory.

The grade of S signifies work equivalent to a grade of or better. The grade of U indicates that no credit is received for the work undertaken.

The grade of S is used in the final semester to indicate that a thesis, dissertation, or equivalent work is complete and submitted. The grade of U is used for thesis or dissertation research (5980/6980) if the student does not make satisfactory progress on their thesis/dissertation during a particular semester.  

The S grade may not be used for lecture/recitation courses except with the approval of the dean of the Graduate College. For special problems, individual research, and directed readings courses, if the course is graded S/US is the only passing grade accepted.

S and U grades may be used for seminar courses provided that the seminars are taught on a noncompetitive basis and that all students in the course are graded on this basis.

5.3.8 W

W, meaning Withdrawal, is a neutral grade assigned when the student is passing at the time of withdrawal.

5.3.9 X

X is a neutral grade used only for the thesis and dissertation research courses numbered 5980 and 6980 and for thesis and dissertation equivalent courses numbered 5880 and 6880. It indicates that satisfactory progress is being made to the thesis, dissertation, or equivalent work. The grade of is used until the thesis or dissertation is complete. When the final thesis or dissertation is submitted, the grade for the final semester is S.

5.4 Auditing Courses

  • A student may repeat courses and have only the second grade earned, even if it is lower than the first grade, count in the calculation of the GPA, up to a maximum of four courses, but not to exceed 18 hours, in the courses in which the original grade earned was a C, D, or F.
    • Both attempts will be recorded on the transcript automatically with the earned grade for each listed in the semester earned. The Explanation of Grades section of the transcript will note that only the second grade earned is used in the calculation of the GPA.
    • If a student repeats an individual course more than once, all grades earned, with the exception of the first, are automatically used in the calculation of the GPA.
  • Students repeating courses above the first four courses or 18 credit hours of C, D, or F may do so; however, the initial grades and repeat grades will be used in the calculation of the GPA.
  • A student must be currently enrolled as a degree seeking graduate student at OU in order to receive grade forgiveness for a repeated course under this policy.
    • Students enrolled under a non-degree classification such as unclassified status, teaching certification status, graduate visitor status, and students who are admitted solely to a graduate certificate program are not eligible for grade forgiveness under this policy.
  • Courses with variable credit and/or content, even if letter-graded, are not eligible for grade forgiveness under this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, seminars, special topics, independent studies, directed readings, and thesis or dissertation research.
  • Maximum allowable tuition waiver will not be increased to cover repeated courses.
  • The repeat policy grade forgiveness does not negate the limit of C, D, and/or F grades permitted for doctoral students. Doctoral students who accumulate nine credit hours of C, D, and/or F grades in any combination will be dismissed from the doctoral program (see Academic Dismissal).
  • The repeat policy grade forgiveness does not apply to course substitutions approved for courses in which the student previously earned a grade of C, D, and/or F. The substitute course may take the place of the original course on the program of study but the substitute course grade will not replace the grade earned in the original course. Both courses will be used in the calculation of the GPA.
  • Coursework previously assigned a temporary course number might be eligible to be repeated under this policy; however, if there is any deviation in course number and/or course title, the student and academic unit will need to consult with the Graduate College before the course in question is repeated to verify eligibility under this policy.

5.5 Degree Completion

A graduate student may enroll as an auditor with the approval of the course instructor.

Junior and senior undergraduate students may audit 5000-level courses if they have received permission from the instructor and the academic unit.

Undergraduates may not audit 6000-level courses, except with the permission of the instructor, the academic unit, and the dean of the Graduate College.

5.6 Degree Completion

To qualify for a degree or graduate certificate, a student must have a minimum 3.00 GPA in the coursework applied to the program. In determining whether a student has met minimum requirements for a degree or graduate certificate, grades for courses applied to the program are averaged separately from courses not applied to the program. Courses applied to a program are identified on the Graduate Certificate Program Report, the master’s Program of Study, and the doctoral Advisory Conference Report.

5.6.1 Application for Graduation

Students must apply for graduation online at the beginning of the semester in which they plan to graduate, according to deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar.

 

5.6.2 Graduation

  • Degrees are conferred at the end of the fall and spring semesters and summer session.
  • Attendance at the commencement ceremony in May is requested of all degree candidates.
  • Appropriate academic attire must be worn.
  • The Graduate College will not approve any changes in the student’s permanent record once the graduate degree is awarded.
 

6. Graduate College Standards

6.1 Graduate College Standards

The Graduate College is responsible for periodic performance reviews of graduate students in accordance with the guidelines described in this bulletin. If these standards are not met, the Graduate College has the authority to deny further enrollment.

The Graduate Council and the dean of the Graduate College supervise and evaluate the academic units of the university that offer graduate programs to ensure observance of policy and academic excellence.

 

6.2 Retention

Revisions approved November 6, 2019 by the OU Graduate Council.

6.2.1 Satisfactory Progress

The Graduate College monitors each student’s academic progress by reviewing grades, progress toward degree requirements, and student evaluations conducted by academic units (see Evaluation of Students). Making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree includes, but is not limited to:

  • timely completion of the coursework required for the degree
  • submission of a program of study
  • progress made in completing research
  • timely completion of the non-thesis examination or general examination
  • timely completion of the thesis or dissertation defense or final submission

6.2.2 Grade and Progress Review

At the end of each fall, spring, and summer term, the Graduate College reviews the academic progress of any student enrolled in a graduate program who receives a grade of CDFUI, or N. One of the four following actions will be taken based on the student’s current and past academic performance. The student and their academic unit(s) will be contacted via OU email.

 

6.2.2.1 Academic Notice

The Graduate College will send an academic notice to a student who receives any grade of CDFUI, or N.

The academic unit is encouraged to review the student’s performance to determine if any intervention is needed and report the findings to the Graduate College.

 

6.2.2.2 Academic Warning

The Graduate College will send an academic warning to a student whose graduate GPA for the term is less than 3.00.

A student who has received an academic warning is not in good academic standing. The student may return to good academic standing by earning a graduate GPA equal to or greater than 3.00 in the next term of enrollment.

 

6.2.2.3 Academic Enrollment Stop

The Graduate College will stop a student’s enrollment (and cancel any future enrollments) if any of the following applies:

  • The student’s graduate GPA for the term is less than 3.00 and their record shows a graduate term GPA below 3.00 for one or more of the last two terms of enrollment.
  • The student receives a grade of U in two consecutive terms.
  • The student receives two unsatisfactory term or annual evaluations from the academic unit.

The program’s graduate liaison may recommend that the student be permitted to continue in the program. In order to recommend continuation, the graduate liaison must propose a plan to remedy the academic situation. The plan should:

  • Identify strategies to mitigate or resolve any factors that are negatively impacting the student’s academic progress, which may include mentorship and advising strategies to support the student’s successful completion.
  • Outline all criteria necessary for the student to be judged as making satisfactory progress toward the degree.
  • Outline specific expectations for enrollment, grades, progress, and research/degree milestones in current and/or future term(s).
  • Include input from the student’s major professor and thesis/doctoral committee, if applicable.

The dean of the Graduate College will approve or disapprove the recommendation or investigate further.

 

6.2.2.4 Academic Dismissal

The Graduate College will dismiss a student from their graduate program (and cancel any future enrollments) if any of the following applies:

  • The student's enrollment was previously stopped, and the graduate liaison does not recommend continuation.
  • The student's enrollment was previously stopped, and they have failed to fulfill the criteria outlined in the approved plan for continuation.
  • The student has failed the second attempt of the non-thesis examination or doctoral general examination.
  • The student has failed the thesis or dissertation defense.
  • The student has accumulated 9 or more credit hours of C, D, and/or F grades at any level in any combination as a doctoral student.

A student who has been dismissed from a graduate program may apply to another major field. Admission will be contingent on the recommendation of the academic unit and the approval of the dean of the Graduate College. 

A doctoral student dismissed after accumulating 9 credit hours of grades CD, and/or F in any combination is ineligible for admission to another doctoral program, but may be considered for admission to a master’s program in which the student does not already hold a master’s degree.

At the time of the new admission, the student must satisfy all applicable requirements under the rules and regulations of the University of Oklahoma, its colleges, and its academic units.

A student admitted to a master’s program after being dismissed from their previous graduate program should review the policy on Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Master’s Degree to Another Master’s Degree or Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Doctoral Degree to a Master’s Degree.

 A student admitted to a doctoral program after being dismissed from their previous graduate program should review the policy on Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Graduate Degree Program to Another Graduate Degree Program.

 

6.2.3 Academic Unit Standards

Academic units may have additional and more stringent criteria for evaluating a student’s performance and progress.

An academic unit may, under some circumstances, report an unsatisfactory performance or progress evaluation and recommend that the student's enrollment in the graduate program be stopped, even though grades have been satisfactory. In such cases, the academic unit must notify the student and the Graduate College in writing to explain the grounds for the unsatisfactory evaluation, the criteria the student must meet to improve their performance, and the time frame allowed for the student to meet these criteria. A student who fails to meet the criteria as outlined is subject to dismissal.

Grounds for dismissal include, but are not limited to:

  • failure to be accepted by an appropriate thesis or dissertation advisor within the stipulated time limitations
  • failure to make timely progress toward the degree
  • failure to perform in coursework, qualifying examinations, or research at an acceptable level in the respective academic unit.

6.2.4 Evaluation of Students

The graduate faculty of each academic unit must conduct an annual review and evaluation of their graduate students’ progress in meeting degree requirements. Any exceptions to this requirement must receive prior written approval of the dean of the Graduate College.

 

6.2.4.1 Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation may include, but is not limited to, such considerations as:

  • progress made in meeting conditions of admission
  • completion, within the prescribed period of time, of those courses in which the student has received an I
  • completion of core course requirements
  • progress made in completing research requirements
  • timely filing of the prospectus
  • the general quality of research
  • completion of the thesis or dissertation.

The evaluation also may encompass the student’s broader scholarly capabilities and professional development.

The evaluation should not include an assessment of the student’s performance as a graduate assistant.

 

6.2.4.2 Evaluation Notification Letter

The academic unit will notify each student and the Graduate College by letter of the student’s performance and progress toward satisfying degree requirements. This letter must clearly state whether the overall evaluation is satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

If the overall evaluation is unsatisfactory, the academic unit should specify clearly what the student should do to improve any deficient areas and receive a satisfactory evaluation.

If the student does not receive an evaluation from the academic unit by the end of the 14th week of the spring semester, it is the student’s responsibility to request in writing that the academic unit provide such an evaluation.

This request must be received by the academic unit prior to the beginning of the summer session.

Failure to receive or request the written evaluation does not change the student’s responsibility of maintaining satisfactory progress in meeting academic unit and Graduate College requirements.

 

6.2.4.3 Unsatisfactory Evaluations

The academic unit is responsible for monitoring the progress and performance of a student who receives an unsatisfactory evaluation.

The academic unit will conduct another evaluation at the end of the next semester or designated period and notify the student and the Graduate College by letter of the results of the second evaluation. This letter must clearly state whether the overall evaluation is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. 

Enrollment will be stopped for a student who receives multiple unsatisfactory evaluations.

6.2.5 Special Standards of Performance for Students Enrolled in Internships, Practicums, or Similar Professional Experiences

Some degree programs require that students successfully complete a professional experience such as an internship or practicum. Students who have advanced to this point in their academic programs must exhibit the highest level of professional standards and conduct. For this reason, a student who earns an unsatisfactory grade or engages in inappropriate conduct in a professional experience such as an internship or practicum may be dismissed from the academic program.

To recommend a student for dismissal under these provisions, the chair or director will:

  • meet with the student involved
  • conclude that the incident or incidents involve misconduct so egregious that the student must not be assigned a second professional experience
  • write a letter to the dean of the Graduate College with a copy to the student reporting on the incident, describing the professional standards that have been violated, the results of the investigation and the results of the meeting with the student, and recommending that the student be dismissed.

The dean of the Graduate College may then approve or disapprove the recommendation or may conduct a further investigation. If the recommendation is approved, the dean of the Graduate College will notify the student of dismissal from the academic program and advise the student of the right to file an academic appeal of the matter. The Academic Appeals Board for the Graduate College will hear appeals of dismissals made under the provisions of this policy.

 

6.3 Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct

Graduate students must uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the definitions, policies, and procedures concerning academic misconduct. These are explained in A Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at the University of Oklahoma.

The Academic Integrity Code (pdf) defines academic misconduct as any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement.

Examples are:

  • cheating and unauthorized material on examinations
  • improper collaboration
  • submitting the same assignments for different classes
  • fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc., in order to obtain academic advantage
  • assisting others in misconduct
  • attempting to commit misconduct
  • destruction of property, hacking, etc.
  • intimidation and interference with integrity process.

Academic misconduct reports fall into two categories, admonitions (warnings) and violations. A graduate student who has received a report of violation in a course may not drop the course in which the report has been made, unless the report is dismissed.

Complete information about academic integrity is available at the OU Academic Integrity website.

 

6.4 Academic Appeals

A Graduate College Academic Appeals Board will be appointed and given authority to hear all appeals involving qualifying examinations, non-thesis examinations, general examinations, theses and dissertations, and other appropriate matters as determined by the dean of the Graduate College.

The only issues to be resolved are those of prejudiced or capricious evaluation or alleged inability to speak the English language to the extent necessary to adequately instruct students.

Complete information about Graduate College academic appeals may be obtained from the Graduate College. (For information about grade appeals and academic appeals boards, visit the Academic Integrity website.)

6.4.1 The Academic Appeals Process

The student is responsible for notifying the instructor of any dispute that meets the above criteria. If the student’s attempts at resolution with the instructor fail, the student should notify the Graduate College of the potential academic appeal immediately to make an appointment to discuss the matter.

 

6.4.2 Time Limits

In cases of end-of-term evaluations, a student must notify an instructor of a dispute regarding an academic evaluation and must attempt to resolve differences no later than Feb. 15 for the previous fall semester or intersession, and no later than Sept. 15 in cases of end-of-term evaluations for the previous spring semester, spring intersession, or summer session.

In cases of an evaluation made known to a student during the term, the student must notify an instructor of a dispute regarding an academic evaluation and must attempt to resolve differences no later than 15 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and university holidays from classes) after the results of an evaluation are made known to the student.

If a student fails to notify an instructor or fails to attempt resolution within the appropriate time limit, the panel will deny any request for a hearing on the claim unless, in the view of the board, the student has been prevented from complying with the appropriate time limit (e.g., a student being called into military service).

When a potential academic appeal is brought to the attention of the Graduate College, the following steps will be taken:

  • An attempt will be made to resolve the problem with the academic unit.
  • If the matter is not resolved in conference, the student will be briefed on the procedures for filing an academic appeal.

Appeals must be filed in writing in the Graduate College office. The written appeal should state:

  • the action being appealed
  • the individual(s) responsible for the action under appeal
  • the basis for the appeal
  • the relief sought by the student.

A written appeal must be filed as soon as possible, but in no event later than 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and university holidays from classes) following the day when attempts at resolution are completed. The board will deny any request for hearing on a claim that does not meet this deadline unless, in the view of the board, exceptional circumstances exist whereby the student is prevented from filing a claim.

 

6.5 Graduate Assistant Appeals

A graduate assistant may appeal either an assistantship termination request made by an academic unit or other employment grievance. Before filing a written appeal, a student should arrange an appointment with the associate dean of the Graduate College to discuss the issue. Any appeal of a termination based on a finding of impropriety by the Sexual Misconduct Office will be handled through the appellate process of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, www.ou.edu/eoo and the Sexual Misconduct Office, (405) 325-2215.

To initiate the appeal process, the graduate assistant must submit a written statement of appeal to the dean of the Graduate College within 10 working days from the date of the incident causing the grievance. The written appeal should describe:

  • the action being appealed
  • the evidence supporting the appeal
  • the relief the student is seeking.

A Graduate Assistant Appeals Board will be appointed to hear appeals by graduate assistants regarding termination requests by academic units and/or employment grievances. Decisions made by the Graduate Assistant Appeals Board will be considered as recommendations to the provost, who has final responsibility for such employment concerns. The provost will notify the parties of the final resolution of the dispute. Any appeal of this decision should be made to the provost within 10 working days of the decision.

 

6.6 Other Student Grievances

The University has a policy of internal adjudication of student grievances. There are specific procedures for many grievances that are set forth on the Student Conduct website. In cases where university policy designates no specific procedure, grievances regarding academic matters, financial aid, educational records, or payment of tuition and fees should be addressed to the provost. Grievances regarding other aspects of student life should be addressed to the vice president for Student Affairs.

 

6.6.1 Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment

The University of Oklahoma is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all persons who participate in university programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation.

The university condemns discrimination based on sex or gender, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual orientation discrimination, discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and sexual misconduct, including but not limited to, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Because some members of the university community hold positions of authority that may involve the legitimate exercise of power over others, including graduate assistants, it is their responsibility to be sensitive to that power.

To report an instance of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, complete the online Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment Complaint Form.

The complete Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment Policy is available from the OU Institutional Equity Office . This policy includes a list of resources that accept confidential reports.

 

6.6.2 Student Discrimination

7. Information for Master's Students

7.1 Requirements for the Master's Degree

        7.1.1 Graduate College Requirements

                7.1.1.1 Course Credit Requirements

                7.1.1.2 Obtaining a Master's Degree While Working on a Doctoral Degree

        7.1.2 Transfer Credit Applied to the Master's Degree

                7.1.2.1 Graduate College Guidelines for Transfer Credit Applied to the Master's Degree

                7.1.2.2 Graduate College Limitations on Transfer Credit Applied to the Master's Degree

                7.1.2.3 Transfer Credit from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa Applied to an OU-Tulsa Master's Degree

                7.1.2.4 Transfer Credit from the OneNet Conferencing System

                7.1.2.5 Transfer Credit from a Professional Degree Applied to a Master's Degree

                7.1.2.6 Transfer Credit Completed in Absentia

                7.1.2.7 Transfer Credit from Advanced Standing Exams

                7.1.2.8 Transfer Credit and Grade Point Average Computation

        7.1.3 OU Coursework Taken before Admission to a Master's Degree Program

                7.1.3.1 Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken before Admission to a Master's Degree Program

        7.1.4 Course Credit Limitations

                7.1.4.1 3000/4000 Level Courses

                7.1.4.2 S/U Graded Coursework

                7.1.4.3 Research for Master's Thesis Credit

                7.1.4.4 Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Master's Degree to Another Master's Degree

                7.1.4.5 Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Doctoral Degree to a Master's Degree

                7.1.5 Time Limit for Completion of the Master's Degree

                        7.1.5.1 Extensions for Master's Degree Completion

                        7.1.5.2 Course Age Limits for the Master's Degree

                        7.1.5.3 Validating Overage Coursework to be Applied to a Master's Degree

        7.1.6 Admission to Candidacy

                7.1.6.1 Program of Study Form

                7.1.6.2 Changes to the Program of Study Form

7.2 Master's Degree with Thesis

        7.2.1 Master's Thesis Topic and Committee Membership Form

        7.2.2 Thesis Committee Selection

        7.2.3 Changes to the Thesis Committee

        7.2.4 The Thesis

                7.2.4.1 Enrollment Requirements for Thesis Research

        7.2.5 Thesis Defense

        7.2.5.1 Thesis Draft

                7.2.5.2 Scheduling the Thesis Defense

                7.2.5.3 Participation in the Thesis Defense

                7.2.5.4 Degree Check

                7.2.5.5 Authority for the Thesis Defense

                7.2.5.6 Result of the Thesis Defense

                7.2.5.7 Unsatisfactory Result and Dismissal

                7.2.5.8 Satisfactory Result and Thesis Submission

                7.2.5.9 Failure to Submit the Thesis

7.3 Master's Degree, Non-Thesis

        7.3.1 The Non-Thesis Examination

                7.3.1.1 Enrollment Requirements for the Non-Thesis Examination

                7.3.1.2 Enrollment Requirements for Project Research

                7.3.1.3 Non-Thesis Examination Committee Selection

                7.3.1.4 Participation in the Non-Thesis Examination

                7.3.1.5 Authority for the Non-Thesis Examination

                7.3.1.6 Result of the Non-Thesis Examination

                7.3.1.7 Unsatisfactory Result of the Non-Thesis Examination

7.4 Master's Degree with Thesis and Non-Thesis Examination

7.5 Non-Thesis Master's Degree without Examination

7.6 Degree Completion and Graduation

7.7 Checklist for Thesis Master's Degree Students

7.8 Checklist for Non-Thesis Master's Degree Students

7.1 Requirements for the Master's Degree

7.1.1 Graduate College Requirements

  • The master’s degree requires the equivalent of at least two semesters of satisfactory graduate work and additional work as may be prescribed for the degree.
  • All coursework applied to the master’s degree must carry graduate credit.
  • The minimum number of hours required for a master’s degree program is established by the academic unit offering the program and is subject to approval of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
    • Master’s degree programs which require a thesis consist of at least 30 credit hours. Whether a thesis is required is determined by the Graduate Council on request from the academic unit offering the degree.
    • All non-thesis master’s degree programs require at least 30 credit hours.
    • The minimum hour requirement for a specific master’s degree program cannot be waived.

 

7.1.1.1 Course Credit Requirements

  • All resident credit applied to a master’s degree must be taught by members of the graduate faculty of the University of Oklahoma.
  • Credit transferred from other institutions must meet specific criteria and is subject to certain limitations (see Transfer Credit Applied to the Master’s Degree).
  • Courses completed through correspondence study may not be applied to the master’s degree.

 

7.1.1.2 Obtaining a Master's Degree While Working on a Doctoral Degree

  • Students may not simultaneously pursue graduate degrees in separate majors without prior approval of both academic units involved and the dean of the Graduate College.
  • The Graduate College will not grant an additional master’s degree in the same field in which an individual has previously received a master’s degree.
  • Students working on a doctoral degree who have not previously received a master’s degree in the same field may be admitted to candidacy for the master’s degree provided they meet the following requirements:
    • Apply for admission to the master’s program by completing the online Addition or Change of Program application by the appropriate deadline:
      • no later than the semester before defending the thesis or attempting the non-thesis examination, for a master’s degree to be awarded on the basis of a thesis defense and/or non-thesis examination
      • the semester before taking the doctoral general examination, for a master’s degree to be awarded on the basis of the general examination.
    • Submit the Program of Study form to the Graduate College by the appropriate deadline (see Admission to Candidacy).
    • Meet all requirements of the academic unit offering the master’s degree.
    • Apply for graduation by the required deadline (see Application for Graduation).
  • If the master’s degree requires a thesis, the degree cannot be awarded on the basis of the doctoral general examination.

 

7.1.2 Transfer Credit Applied to the Master's Degree

Transfer credit applied to a master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma is subject to limitations and must meet criteria established by the Office of Graduate Admissions, the academic unit offering the degree, and the Graduate College. Academic units may set more stringent rules for transfer credit, which must be identified in the section of the University of Oklahoma General Catalog describing the academic unit’s graduate programs.

 

7.1.2.1 Graduate College Guidelines for Transfer Credit Applied to the Master's Degree

Transfer credit must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions for verification that the coursework transferred represents valid graduate credit earned in graduate-level courses from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • The credit was not previously applied to a completed bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.
  • The credit is not more than five years old at the time of admission or readmission to the University of Oklahoma graduate degree program.
  • The credit is applicable to the degree.
  • The credit carries a grade of AB, or S on a 4.0 scale. The S grade must be equivalent to a B or higher. For institutions with an expanded grading system (+/- system), the grade must be equivalent to 3.0 or higher. Transfer credit carrying a grade of B-minus, P, or CR cannot be applied to a graduate degree.
  • The credit is approved by the academic unit, which may have more stringent requirements than those of the Graduate College.
  • The credit is approved by the dean of the Graduate College.

7.1.2.2 Graduate College Limitations on Transfer Credit Applied to the Master's Degree

  • When combined, hours transferred from other institutions and residence credit taken before admission to a graduate degree program may not constitute more than 12 credit hours.
  • Credit transferred from other institutions may not be double-counted for a dual master’s degree.
  • The academic unit may have more stringent limitations than those of the Graduate College. These limitations must be identified in the General Catalog and will take precedence over those found elsewhere.

7.1.2.3 Transfer Credit from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa Applied to an OU-Tulsa Master's Degree

A list of master’s degree programs offered by OU in Tulsa is available on the OU-Tulsa website.

  • In no case may more than 15 hours from OSU-Tulsa be applied to a graduate degree earned at OU-Tulsa.
  • Coursework transferred from OSU-Tulsa must meet all other requirements for transfer credit set by the Graduate College and the academic unit.

7.1.2.4 Transfer Credit from the OneNet Conferencing System

  • An exception to the 12-hour limit on transfer credit applied to a master’s degree is made for courses taken through the OneNet two-way video conferencing system.
  • Up to 50 percent of the credit hour requirements for a master’s degree may be transferred from Oklahoma State University if the courses were taken via OneNet.
  • Residence credit is granted for graduate-level coursework taken via OneNet when taught by a member of the University of Oklahoma graduate faculty.

7.1.2.5 Transfer Credit from a Professional Degree Applied to a Master's Degree

Graduate-level coursework applied to a completed professional degree (e.g., D.D., M.D., J.D., D.V.M., D.D.S.) may be applied to a master’s degree, provided that the coursework carries graduate credit and meets all other requirements for transfer credit set by the Graduate College and the academic unit offering the master’s degree.

 

7.1.2.6 Transfer Credit Completed in Absentia

Courses and fieldwork completed in absentia may be transferred in rare cases upon recommendation of the academic unit and with approval of the dean of the Graduate College.

 

7.1.2.7 Transfer Credit from Advanced Standing Exams

No graduate credit may be earned by advanced standing examinations.

 

7.1.2.8 Transfer Credit and Grade Point Average Computation

Transfer credit is considered neutral in the computation of the University of Oklahoma grade point averages used to determine satisfactory academic progress.

 

7.1.3 OU Coursework Taken before Admission to a Master's Degree Program

7.1.3.1 Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken before Admission to a Master's Degree Program

  • Residence credit taken before admission to the OU master’s degree program must meet the guidelines for transfer credit (see Graduate College Guidelines for Transfer Credit Applied to the Master’s Degree). Note that residence credit approved to apply to a master’s degree is included in the calculation of grade point averages used to determine eligibility for graduation.
  • Residence credit taken before admission to an OU master’s degree program may include:
    • graduate coursework completed while in a non-degree-seeking status at OU
    • graduate coursework completed while pursuing a previous OU graduate degree (but which was not applied to that degree)
    • coursework completed during the junior/senior years of the OU undergraduate degree and approved to carry graduate credit
    • graduate coursework completed at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
  • Credit previously applied to an OU degree cannot be applied to a second OU degree, except in the case of an approved accelerated degree program (see Accelerated Bachelor’s/Masters Degrees).
  • When combined, hours transferred from other institutions and residence credit taken before admission to a graduate degree program may not constitute more than 12 credit hours. 

 

7.1.4 Course Credit Limitations

7.1.4.1 3000/4000 Level Courses

  • With approval of the academic unit offering the degree, a student may apply up to a total of 12 credit hours of 3000-level and/or 4000-level courses that carry graduate credit to a master’s degree requiring 36 or fewer hours.
  • For any master’s degree requiring more than 36 credit hours, a student may apply up to one-third of the total credit hours required for the degree, but no more than 15 credit hours of 3000-level and/or 4000-level courses to the degree.
  • No more than three-fourths of the credit hours of 4000-level courses permitted by the Graduate College may be from the academic unit offering the degree (e.g., nine hours on a master’s degree requiring 36 or fewer hours).
  • No 3000-level courses from the academic unit offering the degree may apply to any of its graduate degrees.

 

7.1.4.2 S/U Graded Coursework

For coursework applied to an OU master’s degree:

  • No more than one-half of the credits for OU coursework, excluding Research for Master’s Thesis (5980), may be S/U-graded coursework.
  • No more than one-half of the overall coursework (OU credit and transfer credit combined), excluding 5980, may be S/U graded-coursework.

 

7.1.4.3 Research for Master's Thesis Credit

  • Within the limit of six credit hours, each academic unit must set the number of credit hours of Research for Master’s Thesis (5980) that may be applied to the master’s degree.
  • Each academic unit must inform the Graduate College of its limits.
  • Research for Master’s Thesis (5980) may not be applied to a non-thesis master’s degree, nor may it be applied to the dissertation research requirement for a doctoral degree.

 

7.1.4.4 Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Master's Degree to Another Master's Degree

  • A student who has failed the non-thesis examination for the second time or failed the thesis defense may seek admission to another master’s degree program at the University of Oklahoma.
  • To apply courses taken during an unsuccessful master’s degree program to another master’s degree program:
    • The student must gain admission to the new program.
    • The student must have the permission of the academic unit offering the new program and the dean of the Graduate College.
    • The courses must be applicable to the new program.
  • No more than 12 hours of coursework taken before failing the non-thesis examination for the second time or failing the thesis defense may be applied to another master’s degree.

 

7.1.4.5 Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Doctoral Degree to a Master's Degree

  • Credit from an unsuccessful doctoral degree may be applied to a master’s degree with approval of the academic unit offering the master’s degree and the dean of the Graduate College, provided that the credit meets all other guidelines and limitations set by the Graduate College and the academic unit.
  • Courses taken before failing the doctoral general examination for the second time may constitute no more than one-half of the credit hours required for the master’s degree.

 

7.1.5 Time Limit for Completion of the Master's Degree

  • A master’s student must complete all of the degree requirements within five calendar years of the first enrollment in any graduate-level OU course to be applied to the master’s degree.
  • Academic units may set shorter time limits for degree completion, which must be identified in the section of the University of Oklahoma General Catalog describing their graduate programs. Students in these programs are subject to the shorter time limit.
  • No program may set a longer time limit for degree completion than that established by the Graduate College.

 

7.1.5.1 Extensions for Master's Degree Completion

  • If an academic unit determines that additional time is needed for a student to complete the degree, the student’s committee should request that the dean of the Graduate College approve an extension.
  • The written request for extension should explain why additional time is necessary and specify when the student is expected to complete all degree requirements. The request also must be endorsed by the graduate liaison and the student’s committee chair.
  • A student who is granted an extension remains subject to the guidelines indicated below in the section on Course Age Limits for the Master’s Degree.

 

7.1.5.2 Course Age Limits for the Master's Degree

  • Graduate credit applied to a master’s degree cannot be more than five years old at the time of admission or readmission to the Graduate College.
  • Credit that is older than five years at the time of graduation is considered to be overage credit. No more than 25 percent of the total credit hours required for the master’s degree can be more than five years old at the time of graduation. Overage transfer credit cannot be applied to the master’s degree.

 

7.1.5.3 Validating Overage Coursework to be Applied to a Master's Degree

  • When a student wishes to apply overage coursework beyond the allowed limit of 25 percent of the total credit hours required for the master’s degree, the excess overage coursework cannot be applied to the master’s degree unless it is validated. Potential validation of overage coursework is subject to the discretion of the academic unit and faculty involved; it may not be possible to validate a course which is no longer offered.
  • The following types of overage coursework cannot be validated:
    • transfer credit
    • individualized courses such as directed readings, special topics, or independent studies
    • coursework for which a grade lower than B was earned.
  • Validation of overage coursework requires the approval of the dean of the Graduate College. To request approval to proceed with validation of an overage course, the student’s academic unit should submit a request that outlines a detailed, concrete plan for evaluating the course content and the student’s knowledge.
    • Each course must be validated by a faculty member, usually the original course instructor or current course instructor.
    • If the content that was covered in the overage course is different from the content that is now covered in the course as it is currently offered, the plan must address how the student will demonstrate mastery of the knowledge covered in the current course.
  • If the request for validation is approved by the dean of the Graduate College, the academic unit may proceed with the validation process.
  • After an evaluation has been conducted for an overage course, the academic unit must submit a report of the results to the dean of the Graduate College.
  • Overage coursework is not fully validated until the academic unit’s report is received and approved by the dean of the Graduate College.

 

7.1.6 Admission to Candidacy

A student must be admitted to candidacy before scheduling the non-thesis examination and/or the thesis defense. Final authority for admission to candidacy rests with the dean of the Graduate College.

 

7.1.6.1 Program of Study Form

  • Program of Study form must be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the first Monday in April for fall graduates, the first Monday in October for spring graduates, or the first Monday in March for summer graduates.
    • Academic units may require earlier submission of this form.
    • Students eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits will need to submit this form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.
  • Only those graduate-level courses needed to complete the requirements of the degree should be listed on the Program of Study form.
    • If graduate-level courses are listed in excess of those required for the degree, they will be considered part of the degree program. This can create problems for students who plan to apply the excess courses to a second master’s degree.
    • Qualified graduate assistants who list coursework beyond the minimum number of hours required for the degree will incur tuition charges for the extra hours.
  • Students pursuing a dual degree must file the Program of Study form for each program in the Graduate College simultaneously. All forms must be approved by the Graduate College before the student will be authorized to begin the non-thesis examination or thesis defense for either program.
 

7.1.6.2 Changes to the Program of Study Form

  • Changes to the Program of Study form must be submitted in writing to the Graduate College and endorsed by the graduate liaison of the student’s academic unit.
  • The student should contact the graduate liaison to request approval for the changes before enrolling in coursework that is not listed on the program of study.
  • Failure to follow this procedure could delay a student’s thesis defense, non-thesis examination, and/or graduation.
 

7.2 Master's Degree with Thesis

A master’s thesis is the product of individual research. It should represent an original contribution to the academic field of knowledge, and it must represent original research by the student.

 

7.2.1 Master's Thesis Topic and Committee Membership Form

 

7.2.2 Thesis Committee Selection

  • The committee must consist of a committee chair and at least two other members of the graduate faculty.
  • The committee chair must hold an M1, M2, M3, RM3, or RM4 graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit. Special members of the graduate faculty may chair if they have been granted the privilege to chair master's thesis committees.
    • Only one individual may be formally designated as the committee chair on the Master’s Thesis Topic and Committee Membership form. This committee member will be responsible for all chair functions and will sign master’s degree paperwork as the committee chair. However, more than one committee chair may be identified as “Co-Chair” on the committee page of the final thesis.
    • The chair serves as the student’s primary advisor for all areas of the master’s program coursework and the thesis. The chair, along with the other committee members, is responsible for ensuring that the thesis meets the standards of the university, the student’s program, and the field of study.
  • A majority of the committee members must hold an M1, M2, M3, RM1, RM2, RM3, or RM4 graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit. In some cases, special members of the graduate faculty may be granted the privilege to count toward the majority.
  • The dean of the Graduate College must approve the committee membership. In rare circumstances, the dean may appoint additional members to a student’s committee.

7.2.3 Changes to the Thesis Committee

  • If a student wishes to make changes to the thesis committee membership, they must submit the online Request for Change in Committee form.
    • This form requires approval from all committee members, including those being removed, with the exception of anyone no longer associated with the University of Oklahoma.
    • If a faculty member on leave will not be available during their absence, the academic unit chair/director will have authority, with approval of the dean of the Graduate College, to act for them on these changes.
  • No change in committee membership is permitted 14 calendar days before the thesis defense.

 

7.2.4 The Thesis

Students whose thesis research may involve any of the following should promptly contact the appropriate office for advice:

  • Human subjects: Contact the Institutional Review Board. (See also Use of Human Subjects in Research.)
  • Vertebrate animals: Contact the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. (See also Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research.)

Students whose thesis research may involve any of the following should review the “Research Issues” section of the Graduate College Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet with their committee chair as early as possible in the research process, and inform their Graduate College counselor of the potential need for an embargo of their thesis.

  • Information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or by contract: Review the “Research Holds and IP Holds” section of the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. Theses may not contain material that requires permanent restriction from publication.
  • Intellectual property that may potentially be patentable: Review the “Disclosure of Patentable Inventions” section of the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet.

 

7.2.4.1 Enrollment Requirements for Thesis Research

  • A student who is working on the thesis during a regular semester or summer session must enroll in at least two hours of 5980, regardless of the total number of hours in which the student is enrolled.
  • The number of credit hours for each enrollment in 5980 will be determined by the student’s committee chair on the basis of the amount of faculty and university services required by the student during that enrollment.
  • Students are required to enroll in 5980 during the summer session if any of the following apply:
    • The student is actively working on the thesis during summer.
    • The student is seeking committee advice on the thesis during summer.
    • The student is otherwise using university facilities during summer and has previously enrolled in 5980.
    • The degree will be conferred in the summer session.
  • After the first enrollment in 5980, the student must maintain continuous enrollment in at least two hours of 5980 during each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed.
    • The continuous enrollment requirement will be waived only for a student who is not working on the thesis and who is enrolled in at least nine graduate credit hours during a regular semester.
    • If a student has not maintained continuous enrollment in master’s thesis hours, the student must retroactively enroll in the number of hours of 5980 for each semester that would have been completed with continuous enrollment.
    • The student must pay a late enrollment fee for each semester that would have been completed with continuous enrollment. Retroactive fees and tuition are assessed at the current semester rates. The collection of the appropriate fees is the responsibility of the Office of the Registrar and Bursar Services.

 

7.2.5 Thesis Defense

  • A student must be admitted to candidacy by the Graduate College before scheduling the thesis defense. The Program of Study form must be up to date. Any changes to this form must be approved by the Graduate College before the defense can be authorized. (See Changes to the Program of Study Form.)
  • A student should be in good academic standing during the semester the thesis defense is scheduled.
  • A student must submit the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College and receive authority before defending the thesis. The result of an unauthorized thesis defense will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • Only one attempt to defend the thesis is permitted. If the defense is unsatisfactory, it cannot be repeated.
  • A student must be enrolled in at least two credit hours of 5980 at the University of Oklahoma during the semester of the thesis defense.

 

7.2.5.1 Thesis Draft

  • Before scheduling the thesis defense, the student is responsible for providing every member of the thesis committee with a complete draft of the thesis. Formatting requirements are explained in the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet.
  • While the Graduate College recommends the thesis draft be submitted to the committee at least 30 days prior to the defense, the thesis committee will determine how far in advance the student should provide the draft to all committee members. This time limit should allow the committee sufficient time to review the thesis and approve any major revisions required before the deadline for submitting the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College.
    • Students must submit this form at least ten working days before the defense.
    • At least five working days before the defense, the committee members must sign to affirm they have reviewed the reading copy and support the student's request for authority to defend.

 

7.2.5.2 Scheduling the Thesis Defense

The date, time, and location of the thesis defense must be scheduled according to the following requirements:

  • The defense should be held before the deadline indicated on the Academic Calendar. The defense may not be held during the period of final course examinations, nor may it be held while the university is not in session.
  • The defense is open to the public, unless closed by prior approval of the Office of Technology Commercialization under the University Intellectual Property Policy.  

 

7.2.5.3 Participation in the Thesis Defense

Advances in electronic media have made it possible for meetings to be held without the presence of every member at the same location. Nevertheless, the integrity and significance of the oral examination process must be maintained. The following rules apply to oral examinations and thesis defenses in master’s programs:

  • All members of the committee must participate for the full duration of the event, whether in person or remotely.
  • If any member of the committee participating remotely is unable to connect or loses their connection, the event must pause until the connection is restored.
  • All committee members must have full access to materials relevant to the evaluation of the student’s performance. Audio of the student and other committee members, and visual materials including slides and handwritten information, must be clearly transmitted. If these requirements are not met, the event must pause until the issue is corrected.
  • Only members of the committee may be present for deliberations about the result.
  • For events involving remote participation, we recommend the following practices:
    • Ensure that all committee members can access the selected remote meeting platform. Test the remote participation set-up with the student and all members well in advance to ensure there are no predictable technical or connection problems.
    • Have the committee chair or another faculty or staff member who will be present serve as host of the meeting.
    • Ensure that there is not a time limit that will truncate the meeting.
    • Ensure that the remote meeting platform supports the feature that allows the host to remove participants.
    • Plan for transmission of visual materials including handouts, slides, and handwritten information. If the event will involve live handwriting by the student, use of a whiteboard application, document camera, or similar should be practiced by the student and tested in advance.
    • Plan for the committee’s confidential deliberations (e.g. through breakout room or waiting room functions within a remote meeting platform).
    • Minimize distractions by muting participants’ audio on entry and disabling audio notifications of participants’ arrival or departure.
    • Ensure that the student and each committee member are in appropriate private or professional environments with audible and visible distractions minimized.
    • Request that committee members keep their cameras on as much as possible during the event. The student should have their camera on for the duration of the event.
    • Make a backup connection plan in case there are difficulties with the remote meeting platform or individual connections.
    • Host blended events (combining in-person and remote participation) in a space that is designed and equipped for such events. If this is not possible, consider solutions such as an individual laptop for each in-person participant so that remote participants have a clear view.
    • Share remote meeting connection information with all faculty and graduate students in the academic unit so they can attend. Encourage the student to invite family and friends. If the event is publicized more broadly, invite interested audience members to email the academic unit for remote meeting connection information.

 

7.2.5.4 Degree Check

No later than the second week of the semester in which the student intends to defend the thesis, the student must complete the online Request for Degree Check form. The Graduate College will notify the student of the result of the degree check via OU email.

  • Failure to complete the degree check may result in postponement of the defense to a subsequent semester.

 

7.2.5.5 Authority for the Thesis Defense

  • The student must submit the online Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College at least 10 working days before the defense.
    • At least five working days before the defense, the committee members must sign to affirm they have reviewed the reading copy and support the student's request for authority to defend.
  • If the request for authority can be approved, the Graduate College will issue the Authority Report Form for the Thesis Defense to the student, the thesis committee, and the graduate liaison via OU email. The student may not defend until this form has been issued. The result of an unauthorized defense will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • The Authority Report Form is valid only for the period indicated on the form.
    • If the defense is not held during this period, the graduate liaison or committee chair must notify the Graduate College in writing as to why the defense was not held and the form must be returned marked “Not Taken.”
    • The thesis defense must then be rescheduled for a future term and the student must submit a new Request for Degree Check and Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form.

 

7.2.5.6 Result of the Thesis Defense

  • After the thesis defense, the committee will report its decision on the Authority Report Form for the Thesis Defense by indicating a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” result. This completed form must be received in the Graduate College within three working days of the thesis defense.
  • In the event that the committee does not reach a unanimous decision:
    • The committee member(s) who dissent from the majority opinion should not sign the Authority Report Form, but should instead attach a memo explaining the rationale for the dissent.
    • If the committee consists of three members and one committee member dissents, the dissent is recognized as a minority report.
    • If the committee consists of more than three members and two dissent, then the dean of the Graduate College will investigate and make a final decision.
    • If more than two committee members vote “unsatisfactory,” the thesis defense will be judged unsatisfactory. 

 

7.2.5.7 Unsatisfactory Result and Dismissal

  • In the event of an unsatisfactory result, the decision is final and the defense cannot be repeated. The student will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • A dismissed student who wishes to apply to a graduate program in another major field should refer to the Academic Dismissal and Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Master’s Degree to Another Master’s Degree sections of this bulletin. No credit from an unsuccessful master’s degree may be applied to a doctoral degree.

7.2.5.8 Satisfactory Result and Thesis Submission

  • After a satisfactory thesis defense, the student must complete any revisions required by the committee before submitting the final thesis to the SHAREOK repository. Submission instructions are provided by the Graduate College in the email authorizing the thesis defense.
  • The final thesis is due within 60 calendar days of the defense. A student planning to graduate in a given semester may need to submit the final document sooner in order to meet the graduation deadline for that semester indicated on the Academic Calendar.
  • A student who does not submit the final thesis during the semester of the defense must enroll in at least two hours of 5980 during the semester in which the thesis is submitted.
  • The semester in which the thesis is submitted will be the semester of graduation if all other outstanding requirements for the degree have been completed.
  • Before submitting the final thesis to SHAREOK, the student must submit the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form to the Graduate College.
    • The committee members must sign this form to indicate the date by which the student completed all required revisions and is eligible to submit the final document to SHAREOK.
    • SHAREOK submissions completed prior to full committee approval will be rejected.
  • If the thesis involves human subjects research, the student must also submit additional documentation from the IRB to the Graduate College before submitting the final thesis to SHAREOK.
  • It is the student's responsibility to ensure the final thesis submitted to SHAREOK meets all formatting requirements outlined in the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction PacketSubmissions that contain formatting errors will be rejected.

7.2.5.9 Failure to Submit the Thesis

  • A student may not graduate until all degree requirements, including the final thesis submission, have been completed.
  • If the thesis submission is not completed within 60 calendar days of the satisfactory defense, the result of the defense will be set aside and the student will need to repeat the defense.
  • A student required to repeat the thesis defense under these circumstances will need to repeat the processes described in the Thesis Defense section of this bulletin, including submission of a new Request for Degree Check and Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form.

 

7.3 Master's Degree, Non-Thesis

Students in non-thesis master’s degree programs are required to complete a non-thesis examination to demonstrate mastery of their academic field of study, except in programs where this requirement has specifically been waived by the Graduate Council. This examination is comprehensive in the sense that it should cover all work offered for the degree (with respect to areas of knowledge, not specific courses). The non-thesis examination may be oral, written, or both. For certain programs, the non-thesis examination involves a project to be completed during enrollment in Graduate Project (5880).

Work completed for the non-thesis examination should be the result of the student’s individual effort. Graduate students must uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the definitions, policies, and procedures concerning academic misconduct. These are explained in A Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at the University of Oklahoma.

 

7.3.1 The Non-Thesis Examination

  • The non-thesis examination is one of the requirements of a non-thesis program and cannot be waived.
  • A student must be admitted to candidacy by the Graduate College before scheduling the non-thesis examination. The Program of Study form must be up to date. Any changes to this form must be approved by the Graduate College before the exam can be authorized. (See Changes to the Program of Study Form.)
  • A student should be in good academic standing during the semester the non-thesis examination is scheduled.
  • Because the non-thesis examination is comprehensive, a student should complete all required or core courses and at least 75 percent of all coursework listed on the approved Program of Study form before taking the exam.
  • The graduate liaison must request authority from the Graduate College before the non-thesis examination is administered. The result of an unauthorized exam will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • The non-thesis examination should be held before the deadline indicated on the Academic Calendar. The exam may not be held during the period of final course examinations, nor may it be held while the university is not in session.
  • A student who does not pass the non-thesis examination on the first attempt may, at the discretion of the committee, attempt the exam a second time. The academic unit must administer a new exam for the student's second attempt. No more than two attempts to pass the non-thesis examination are permitted.
  • The satisfactory result of a non-thesis examination remains valid for two years from the end of the semester in which the exam was completed.

 

7.3.1.1 Enrollment Requirements for the Non-Thesis Examination

  • A student must enroll in at least two graduate credit hours at the University of Oklahoma in the semester in which the non-thesis examination is taken.
  • Failure to maintain enrollment for the entire semester will invalidate a satisfactory result of the examination.
  • With the approval of the academic unit and the dean of the Graduate College, a student may enroll in these two hours as an auditor. However, a student in a program that requires enrollment in Graduate Project (5880) must enroll for credit.   

 

7.3.1.2 Enrollment Requirements for Project Research

The following requirements apply to students in degree programs that require enrollment in Graduate Project (5880):

  • A student who is working on the non-thesis project during a regular semester or summer session must enroll in at least two hours of 5880, regardless of the total number of hours in which the student is enrolled.
  • The number of project credit hours for each enrollment in 5880 will be determined by the student’s committee chair on the basis of the amount of faculty and university services required by the student during that enrollment.
  • Students are required to enroll in 5880 during the summer session if any of the following apply:
    • The student is actively working on the project during summer.
    • The student is seeking committee advice on the project during summer.
    • The student is otherwise using university facilities during summer and has previously enrolled in 5880.
    • The degree is conferred in the summer session.
  • After the first enrollment in 5880, the student must maintain continuous enrollment in at least two hours of 5880 during each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed.
  • The continuous enrollment requirement will be waived only for a student who is not working on the project and who is enrolled in at least nine graduate credit hours during a regular semester.
  • If a student has not maintained continuous enrollment in project hours, the student must enroll in the number of hours of 5880 for each semester that would have been completed with the continuous enrollment.
    • The student must pay a late enrollment fee for each semester that would have been completed with continuous enrollment. Retroactive fees and tuition are assessed at the current semester rates. The collection of the appropriate fees is the responsibility of the Office of the Registrar and Bursar Services.

 

7.3.1.3 Non-Thesis Examination Committee Selection

  • The committee must consist of a committee chair and at least two other members of the graduate faculty.
  • The committee chair must hold an M1, M2, M3, RM2, RM3, or RM4 graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit. Special members of the graduate faculty may chair if they have been granted the privilege to chair master's non-thesis committees.
  • A majority of the committee members must hold an M1, M2, M3, RM1, RM2, RM3, or RM4 graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit. In some cases, special members of the graduate faculty may be granted the privilege to count toward the majority.
  • The dean of the Graduate College must approve the committee membership. In rare circumstances, the dean may appoint additional members to a student’s committee.

 

7.3.1.4 Participation in the Non-Thesis Examination

Advances in electronic media have made it possible for meetings to be held without the presence of every member at the same location. Nevertheless, the integrity and significance of the oral examination process must be maintained. The following rules apply to non-thesis examinations in master’s programs if oral presentation is involved:

  • All members of the committee must participate for the full duration of the event, whether in person or remotely.
  • If any member of the committee participating remotely is unable to connect or loses their connection, the event must pause until the connection is restored.
  • All committee members must have full access to materials relevant to the evaluation of the student’s performance. Audio of the student and other committee members, and visual materials including slides and handwritten information, must be clearly transmitted. If these requirements are not met, the event must pause until the issue is corrected.
  • Only members of the committee may be present for deliberations about the result.
  • For events involving remote participation, we recommend the following practices:
    • Ensure that all committee members can access the selected remote meeting platform. Test the remote participation set-up with the student and all members well in advance to ensure there are no predictable technical or connection problems.
    • Have the committee chair or another faculty or staff member who will be present serve as host of the meeting.
    • Ensure that there is not a time limit that will truncate the meeting.
    • Ensure that the remote meeting platform supports the feature that allows the host to remove participants.
    • Plan for transmission of visual materials including handouts, slides, and handwritten information. If the event will involve live handwriting by the student, use of a whiteboard application, document camera, or similar should be practiced by the student and tested in advance.
    • Plan for the committee’s confidential deliberations (e.g. through breakout room or waiting room functions within a remote meeting platform).
    • Minimize distractions by muting participants’ audio on entry and disabling audio notifications of participants’ arrival or departure.
    • Ensure that the student and each committee member are in appropriate private or professional environments with audible and visible distractions minimized.
    • Request that committee members keep their cameras on as much as possible during the event. The student should have their camera on for the duration of the event.
    • Make a backup connection plan in case there are difficulties with the remote meeting platform or individual connections.
    • Host blended events (combining in-person and remote participation) in a space that is designed and equipped for such events. If this is not possible, consider solutions such as an individual laptop for each in-person participant so that remote participants have a clear view.

 

7.3.1.5 Authority for the Non-Thesis Examination

  • The graduate liaison must request authority from the Graduate College before a non-thesis examination is administered.
    • The request must be made in writing at least five working days before the examination.
    • Requests for more than five students should be submitted at least 15 working days before the examination. Certain programs in which the non-thesis exam is completed in conjunction with a required course should contact the Graduate College within the first two weeks of the course to request authority for all students who are attempting the non-thesis exam.
    • The request should indicate the name and OU ID number of each student, the date and the time of the exam, and the names of the committee members. The committee chair should be clearly identified.
    • No changes to the committee membership will be approved after the Graduate College has authorized the exam.
  • A student who has not completed all required or core courses and at least 75 percent of all coursework listed on the approved Program of Study form is not normally granted authority to take the non-thesis examination.
  • If the request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will issue the Authority Report Form for the Non-Thesis Exam to the committee and the graduate liaison via OU email. A student should not take the exam until this form has been issued. The result of an unauthorized exam will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • The Authority Report Form is valid only for the period indicated on the form.
    • If the examination is not taken during this period, the graduate liaison or committee chair must notify the Graduate College in writing as to why the exam was not taken and the form must be returned marked “Not Taken.”
    • The exam must then be rescheduled for a future term and the graduate liaison must submit a new request for authority.

 

7.3.1.6 Result of the Non-Thesis Examination

  • The committee should grade the non-thesis examination and report the results to the Graduate College within four weeks after the student has completed the examination. The committee will report its decision on the Authority Report Form for the Non-Thesis Exam by indicating a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” result. This completed form must be received in the Graduate College within one week of the decision or by the end of the semester (whichever occurs first).
  • If the committee does not reach a unanimous decision:
    • The committee member(s) who dissent from the majority opinion should not sign the Authority Report Form, but should instead attach a memo explaining the rationale for the dissent.
    • If the committee consists of three members and one committee member dissents, the dissent is recognized as a minority report.
    • If the committee consists of more than three members and two dissent, then the dean of the Graduate College will investigate and make a final decision.
    • If more than two committee members vote “unsatisfactory,” the examination will be judged unsatisfactory.

 

7.3.1.7 Unsatisfactory Result of the Non-Thesis Examination

  • A student cannot appeal an unsatisfactory result of the non-thesis examination on the basis that they had not completed all required or core courses and at least 75 percent of all coursework listed on the approved Program of Study form before taking the exam.
  • A student who has failed the first attempt of the non-thesis examination may, at the discretion of the committee, attempt the exam a second time. The academic unit must administer a new exam for the student’s second attempt.
  • The non-thesis examination may not be attempted a third time.
  • A student who has failed the second attempt of the non-thesis examination will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • A dismissed student who wishes to apply to a graduate program in another major field should refer to the Academic Dismissal and Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Master’s Degree to Another Master’s Degree sections of this bulletin. No credit hours from an unsuccessful master’s degree program may be applied to a doctoral degree.
 

7.4 Master's Degree with Thesis and Non-Thesis Examination

Some master’s degree programs require both a thesis defense and a separate non-thesis examination. Students in these programs will follow Graduate College and university regulations regarding both the defense and the non-thesis examination.

  • The applicable Graduate College regulations are described in the preceding sections regarding the thesis defense and non-thesis examination (see Master’s Degree with Thesis and Master’s Degree, Non-Thesis).
 

7.5 Non-Thesis Master's Degree without Examination

With the approval of the Graduate Council, some non-thesis master’s degree programs may be coursework-only degrees, not requiring the non-thesis examination. Degree programs in this category will primarily be programs where the skills developed through successful completion of advanced coursework prepare master’s graduates for their profession, and distinguish them from those without advanced degrees. Typically, these programs will be in fields where there is a significant, demonstrated precedent of coursework-only master’s degrees, and will be structured such that there is a cumulative development of mastery that doesn’t require secondary validation. In some cases, programs will be designed to follow guidelines outlined by accrediting organizations or other professional bodies, or will be in fields that require additional external licensing to practice. With the exception of the non-thesis examination, all other Graduate College and university regulations regarding master’s degree programs will apply to these programs (see Requirements for the Master’s Degree above).

 

7.6 Degree Completion and Graduation

  • Students must apply for graduation online at the beginning of the semester in which they plan to graduate, according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar.
  • A student may not graduate until all degree requirements are completed, including the application for graduation.
  • A student will graduate during the semester in which all degree requirements are completed.
  • Students will become inactive after graduation and may not continue enrolling at the university unless they are admitted to a new program or non-degree seeking status.
  • Students who wish to participate in the annual university-wide Commencement ceremony or individual College Convocation ceremonies should see the OU Commencement website.
 

7.7 Checklist for Thesis Master's Degree Students

Planning Your Program of Study and Forming a Thesis Committee

  • File for candidacy by completing and submitting the Program of Study and the Master’s Thesis Topic and Committee Membership form to the Graduate College. These forms are due no later than the first Monday in April for fall graduation, the first Monday in October for spring graduation, or the first Monday in March for summer graduation.
    • You should consult your academic unit before completing these forms, since your program may set earlier deadlines.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the Program of Study form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.

Beginning Thesis Research

  • Once you begin enrolling in Research for Master’s Thesis (5980), you must enroll in a minimum of two credit hours of 5980 each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed. (Summer enrollment is also required if you are working on the thesis during summer; see Enrollment Requirements for Thesis Research).
  • Before you begin writing the thesis, review the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. This packet contains important information about research-related issues and copyright, and explains the Graduate College formatting requirements for master’s theses. If your thesis research may involve human subjects research, vertebrate animal research, information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or contract, or intellectual property that may potentially be patentable, you should discuss this with your committee chair as early as possible in the research process.

Preparing to Graduate

  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. See the OU Commencement website for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • No later than the end of the second week of the semester in which you plan to defend your thesis, submit the online Request for Degree Check to the Graduate College. Include any required attachments (if applicable) from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The Graduate College will notify you of the result of the degree check via OU email.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved Program of Study form, contact your academic unit promptly and submit a new form. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduation could be delayed if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your program of study.
  • Before scheduling your thesis defense, provide each member of your committee with a complete draft of your thesis (see Thesis Draft). Your committee will determine how far in advance you should provide the draft. The committee should have sufficient time to review the draft and approve any major revisions required before you submit the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College.
  • At least ten working days before your defense, submit the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend and any required attachments (if applicable) from the IRB or IACUC.
    • At least five working days before your defense, your committee members must sign to affirm they have reviewed your reading copy and support your request for authority to defend.
    • After your request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the Thesis Defense to you, your committee, and your graduate liaison. You are not authorized to defend your thesis until you receive the Authority Report Form.

After Your Defense

  • No later than three working days after the defense, submit the completed Authority Report Form to the Graduate College.
  • If your thesis involves human subjects research, contact the IRB office to obtain documentation confirming that your involvement as a graduate student in the research project is officially terminated. You will need to submit this additional documentation to the Graduate College before you submit the thesis to SHAREOK.
  • After your committee has approved your final thesis, submit the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form to the Graduate College.
    • Your committee members must sign this form to indicate the date by which you completed all required revisions and are eligible to submit your final document to SHAREOK.
    • SHAREOK submissions completed before the Graduate College has received the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form will be rejected.
  • Submit your thesis to the SHAREOK institutional repository, according to the instructions you received in the Graduate College email authorizing your defense. It is your responsibility to make sure your thesis meets the formatting requirements outlined in the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. The SHAREOK submission will be rejected if the document contains formatting errors. Your submission is due no later than 60 calendar days after your defense. If you plan to graduate in a particular semester, you must meet the semester submission deadline given on the Academic Calendar.

Congratulations!

 

7.8 Checklist for Non-Thesis Master's Degree Students

Planning Your Program of Study

  • File for candidacy by completing and submitting the Program of Study to the Graduate College. This form is due no later than the first Monday in April for fall graduation, the first Monday in October for spring graduation, or the first Monday in March for summer graduation.
    • You should consult your academic unit before completing this form, since your program may set earlier deadlines.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the Program of Study form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.

Preparing to Graduate

  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. See the OU Commencement website for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • If there are any changes to the coursework listed on your approved Program of Study form, contact your academic unit promptly and submit a new form. Changes must be endorsed by your graduate liaison and submitted in writing to the Graduate College. Your graduation could be delayed if the Graduate College is not notified of changes to your program of study.

Preparing for the Non-Thesis Examination*

  • Review the Non-Thesis Instruction Packet and contact your academic unit for information about what procedures you should follow to schedule your non-thesis (comprehensive) examination.
    • You should complete all required or core courses and at least 75 percent of all coursework on your approved program of study before taking the exam. A student cannot appeal an unsatisfactory result of the exam on the basis that they had not completed this coursework.
    • Work completed for the non-thesis examination should be the result of your individual effort. All graduate students should be familiar with A Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at the University of Oklahoma.
  • The graduate liaison of your academic unit must request and obtain the appropriate authority from the Graduate College before you may begin the non-thesis examination. After the request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the Non-Thesis Exam to the committee and graduate liaison.
  • The completed Authority Report Form is due in the Graduate College within one week of the committee’s decision.

Congratulations!

 

*If your degree program is coursework-only and does not require a non-thesis examination, these steps do not apply.

 

8. Information for Doctoral Students

8.1 Information for Doctoral Students

8.2 Requirements for the Doctoral Degree

        8.2.1 Graduate College Requirements

                8.2.1.1 Residence Requirement

                8.2.1.2 Responsibilities of the Academic Unit

                8.2.1.3 Course Credit Requirements

        8.2.2 Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree

                8.2.2.1 Graduate College Guidelines for Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree

                8.2.2.2 Graduate College Limitations on Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree

                8.2.2.3 Transfer Credit from a Master's Degree Applied to the Doctoral Degree

                8.2.2.4 Transfer Credit from a Professional Degree Applied to the Doctoral Degree

                8.2.2.5 Transfer Credit from Advanced Standing Exams

                8.2.2.6 Transfer Credit and Grade Point Average Computation

        8.2.3 OU Coursework Taken Before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program

                8.2.3.1 Credit from an OU Master's Degree Applied to the Doctoral Degree

                8.2.3.2 Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken Before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program

                8.2.3.3 Application of Residence Credit More Than Five Years Old

             8.2.4 Course Credit Limitations

8.2.4.1 3000/4000 Level Courses

8.2.4.2 S/U Graded Courses

8.2.4.3 Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Graduate Degree Program to Another Graduate Degree Program

8.2.5 Time Limit for Completion of the Doctoral Degree

8.2.5.1 Extensions for the Doctoral Degree

8.3 The Advisory Conference

        8.3.1 Advisory Conference Committee Membership

                8.3.1.1 The Committee Chair

                8.3.1.2 The Graduate College Representative

                8.3.1.3 Special Faculty Members

                8.3.1.4 Advisory Conference Report

                8.3.1.5 Changes to the Advisory Conference Report

8.4 The Doctoral Committee

        8.4.1 Changes to the Doctoral Committee

                8.4.1.1 Committee Members Who Leave the University

8.5 The General Examination

        8.5.1 Scheduling the General Examination

        8.5.2 Participation in the General Examination

        8.5.3 Authority for the General Examination

        8.5.4 Result of the General Examination

        8.5.5 Marginal Result of the General Examination

        8.5.6 Unsatisfactory Result of the General Examination

8.6 The Dissertation

        8.6.1 Enrollment Requirements for Dissertation Research

        8.6.2 Enrollment Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

8.7 Dissertation Defense

        8.7.1 Dissertation Draft

        8.7.2 Scheduling the Dissertation Defense

        8.7.3 Participation in the Dissertation Defense

        8.7.4 Degree Check

        8.7.5 Authority for the Dissertation Defense

        8.7.6 Result of the Dissertation Defense

        8.7.7 Unsatisfactory Result and Dismissal

        8.7.8 Satisfactory Result and Dissertation Submission

        8.7.9 Failure to Submit the Dissertation

8.8 Degree Completion and Graduation

8.9 Checklist for Doctoral Students

8.1 Information for Doctoral Students

The doctoral degree is awarded for excellence in research scholarship, not merely because a program of courses has been completed or a given amount of time spent in its pursuit. It signifies the attainment of independently acquired and comprehensive learning attesting to general professional competence.

 

8.2 Requirements for the Doctoral Degree

8.2.1 Graduate College Requirements

  • A student should normally expect to spend at least the equivalent of three full academic years beyond the bachelor’s degree to obtain the doctoral degree. During this period the student will take appropriate graduate coursework, successfully complete the general examination, and successfully defend and submit the final dissertation.
  • All coursework applied to the doctoral degree must carry graduate credit.
  • The minimum number of hours required for each doctoral degree program is established by the academic unit offering the program and is subject to approval of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
    • The doctoral degree requires at least 90 post-baccalaureate hours, including both formal coursework and hours of research.
    • The minimum hour requirement for a specific doctoral degree program cannot be waived.

 

8.2.1.1 Residence Requirement

The primary purpose of the residence requirement is to encourage the educational and professional development of individuals seeking advanced degrees. The opportunity for the student to interact with the faculty and other students in the university community, while freely using all the facilities thereof and being in a position to take advantage of a wide variety of cultural opportunities, justifies a relatively extended campus stay. In addition, the university should be in a position to oversee the development of the candidate, especially during the formal stages of the student’s final preparation for the general examination.

The student must be in residence at OU for at least two consecutive 16-week semesters during the pursuit of the doctoral degree while enrolled and engaged in coursework or research activities as prescribed by the major academic unit.

 

8.2.1.2 Responsibilities of the Academic Unit

  • Each academic unit offering the doctoral degree is responsible for determining how its graduate program will function within university and Graduate College guidelines.
  • Within these guidelines, academic units determine the overall structure of the program with respect to required coursework, elective coursework, and specific research skills, as well as the minimum number of credit hours required for the degree and the minimum and/or maximum number of dissertation hours that may be applied to the degree.

 

8.2.1.3 Course Credit Requirements

  • All resident credit applied to a doctoral degree must be taught by members of the graduate faculty of the University of Oklahoma.
  • Credit transferred from other institutions must meet specific criteria and is subject to certain limitations (see Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree).
  • Courses completed through correspondence study may not be applied to the doctoral degree.

 

8.2.2 Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree

Transfer credit applied to a doctoral degree at the University of Oklahoma is subject to limitations and must meet criteria established by the Office of Graduate Admissions, the academic unit offering the degree, and the Graduate College. Academic units may set more stringent rules for transfer credit, which must be identified in the section of the University of Oklahoma General Catalog describing the academic unit’s graduate programs.

 

8.2.2.1 Graduate College Guidelines for Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree

Transfer credit must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions for verification that the coursework transferred represents valid graduate credit earned in graduate-level courses from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • The credit was not previously applied to a completed bachelor’s or doctoral degree.
  • The credit is not more than five years old at the time of admission or readmission to the University of Oklahoma graduate degree program.
  • The credit is applicable to the degree.
  • The credit carries a grade of AB, or S on a 4.0 scale. The S grade must be equivalent to a B or higher. For institutions with an expanded grading system (+/- system), the course grade must be equivalent to 3.0 or higher. Transfer credit carrying a grade of P or CR cannot be applied to a graduate degree.
    • Grades of P or C may be applied if part of a conferred master’s or professional degree.
  • The credit is approved by the academic unit, which may have more stringent requirements than those of the Graduate College.
  • The credit is approved by the dean of the Graduate College.

 

8.2.2.2 Graduate College Limitations on Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree

When combined, hours transferred from other institutions and residence credit taken before admission to the doctoral program may not constitute more than 49 percent of the minimum number of credit hours required for the doctoral degree. The number of transfer hours accepted for each student is determined on an individual basis at the advisory conference.

 

8.2.2.3 Transfer Credit from a Master's Degree Applied to the Doctoral Degree

With approval of the advisory conference committee, the graduate liaison, and the dean of the Graduate College, credit that has been applied to a completed master’s degree (or the equivalent, as determined by the Office of Graduate Admissions) may be applied to a doctoral degree, regardless of the age of the hours at the time of admission or readmission to the University of Oklahoma graduate degree program. In every case:

  • When combined, hours transferred from other institutions and residence credit taken before admission to the doctoral program may not constitute more than 49 percent of the minimum number of credit hours required for the doctoral degree.
  • Transfer credit for thesis research from a completed master’s degree may be applied to a doctoral degree but is limited to the total thesis hours required for the equivalent master’s degree at OU.
  • If credit applied to a completed master’s degree has already been applied to one doctoral degree, it cannot be applied to a second doctoral degree.
  • The transfer credit must meet all other guidelines and limitations set by the Graduate College and the academic unit.

 

8.2.2.4 Transfer Credit from a Professional Degree Applied to the Doctoral Degree

Graduate-level coursework applied to a completed professional degree (e.g., D.D., M.D., J.D., D.V.M., D.D.S.) may be applied to the doctoral degree with approval of the advisory conference committee and the dean of the Graduate College, provided that the coursework carries graduate credit and meets all other requirements for transfer credit set by the Graduate College and the academic unit offering the degree.

 

 

8.2.2.5 Transfer Credit from Advanced Standing Exams

No graduate credit may be earned by advanced standing examinations.

 

8.2.2.6 Transfer Credit and Grade Point Average Computation

Transfer credit is considered neutral in the computation of the University of Oklahoma grade point averages used to determine satisfactory academic progress.

 

8.2.3 OU Coursework Taken Before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program

 

8.2.3.1 Credit from an OU Master's Degree Applied to the Doctoral Degree

With approval of the advisory conference committee, the graduate liaison, and the dean of the Graduate College, credit that has been applied to a completed OU master’s degree may be applied to a doctoral degree, regardless of the age of the hours at the time of admission or readmission to the doctoral program. In every case:

  • When combined, hours transferred from other institutions and residence credit taken before admission to the doctoral program may not constitute more than 49 percent of the minimum number of credit hours required for the doctoral degree.
  • Credit for thesis research from a completed OU master’s degree may be applied to a doctoral degree but is limited to the total thesis hours required for the master’s degree.
  • If credit applied to a completed OU master’s degree has already been applied to one doctoral degree, it cannot be applied to a second doctoral degree.
  • The credit must meet all other guidelines and limitations set by the Graduate College and the academic unit.

 

8.2.3.2 Graduate College Guidelines for Residence Credit Taken Before Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program

  • Residence credit taken before admission to an OU doctoral degree program must meet the guidelines for transfer credit (see Graduate College Guidelines for Transfer Credit Applied to the Doctoral Degree). Note that residence credit approved to apply to a doctoral degree is included in the calculation of grade point averages used to determine eligibility for graduation.
  • Residence credit includes:
    • graduate coursework completed while in a non-degree-seeking status at OU
    • graduate coursework completed while pursuing a previous OU graduate degree (but which was not applied to that degree)
    • coursework completed during the junior/senior years of the OU undergraduate degree and approved to carry graduate credit (but which was not applied to that degree)
    • graduate coursework completed at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
  • When combined, hours transferred from other institutions and residence credit taken before admission to a graduate degree program may not constitute more than 49 percent of the minimum hours required for the doctoral degree.

 

8.2.3.3 Application of Residence Credit More Than Five Years Old

Graduate courses taken at the University of Oklahoma more than five years before admission or readmission to a doctoral program cannot be applied to the doctoral degree unless the courses are part of a completed master’s degree.

 

8.2.4 Course Credit Limitations

8.2.4.1 3000/4000 Level Courses

  • With approval of the academic unit offering the degree, a student may apply up to 15 credit hours of 3000- and/or 4000-level courses that carry graduate credit to the doctoral degree.
  • A maximum of 12 credit hours of the 4000-level courses may be from the academic unit offering the degree.
  • No 3000-level courses from the academic unit offering the degree may apply to the degree.

 

8.2.4.2 S/U Graded Courses

For coursework applied to an OU doctoral degree:

  • No more than one-half of the credits for OU coursework, excluding Research for Doctoral Dissertation (6980), may be S/U-graded coursework.
  • No more than one-half of the overall coursework (OU credit and transfer credit combined), excluding 6980, may be S/U-graded coursework.

 

8.2.4.3 Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Graduate Degree Program to Another Graduate Degree Program

  • No credit hours from an unsuccessful master’s or doctoral program may be applied to a doctoral degree.
  • Credit hours from a completed master’s degree that were applied to an unsuccessful doctoral degree may be applied to another doctoral degree with approval of the academic unit offering the new doctoral degree and the dean of the Graduate College.

8.2.5 Time Limit for Completion of the Doctoral Degree

  • A student who enters the doctoral program with a bachelor’s degree is expected to pass the general examination within five calendar years of the student’s first enrollment in a graduate course applied to the doctoral degree.
  • A student who enters the doctoral program with a master’s degree is expected to pass the general examination within four calendar years of the student’s first enrollment in a graduate course applied to the doctoral degree which was not applied to the master’s degree.
  • A student becomes a doctoral candidate upon successful completion of the general examination.
  • A doctoral candidate is expected to complete all degree requirements, including the defense and final submission of the dissertation, within five calendar years after passing the general examination.
  • Academic units may set shorter time limits, which must be identified in the section of the University of Oklahoma General Catalog describing their graduate programs. Students in these programs are subject to the shorter time limit.
  • No program may set longer time limits for degree completion than those established by the Graduate College.

 

8.2.5.1 Extensions for the Doctoral Degree

  • If an academic unit determines that additional time is needed for a student to complete the doctoral general examination or all degree requirements, the student’s committee should request that the dean of the Graduate College approve an extension.
  • The written request for extension should explain why additional time is necessary and specify when the student is expected to complete the exam or the outstanding degree requirements. The request also must be endorsed by the graduate liaison and the student’s committee.
 

8.3 The Advisory Conference

  • The purpose of the advisory conference is to aid the student in developing an overall plan for attaining a doctoral degree.
  • The student and all committee members are expected to attend the advisory conference.
  • After the advisory conference, the student will submit the completed Advisory Conference Report form (ACR) to the Graduate College.

8.3.1 Advisory Conference Committee Membership

The student should select members of the advisory conference committee in consultation with the academic unit. The advisory conference committee will examine the student’s academic record to determine the coursework required to meet the student’s individual needs. In most cases, the advisory conference committee will become the student’s doctoral committee.

  • The committee must consist of a committee chair, a Graduate College representative, and at least two other members of the graduate faculty.
  • A majority of the committee members must hold an M2, M3, RM3, or RM4 graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit. In some cases, special members of the graduate faculty may be granted the privilege to count toward this majority.
  • The dean of the Graduate College must approve the committee membership.

 

8.3.1.1 The Committee Chair

  • Only one individual may be formally designated as the committee chair on the Advisory Conference Report and must hold an M3 or RM4 University of Oklahoma graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit. Special members of the graduate faculty may chair if they have been granted the privilege to chair doctoral committees. This committee member will be responsible for all chair functions and will sign doctoral paperwork as the committee chair. However, more than one committee member may be identified as “Co-Chair” on the committee page of the final dissertation.
  • The chair serves as the student’s primary advisor for all areas of the doctoral program coursework and the dissertation. The chair, along with the other committee members, is responsible for ensuring that the dissertation meets the standards of the university, the student’s program, and the field of study.

 

8.3.1.2 The Graduate College Representative

  • The designated Graduate College representative of an advisory conference committee or doctoral committee must hold an M2, M3, RM3, or RM4 University of Oklahoma graduate faculty appointment outside the student’s academic unit. An individual who holds a graduate faculty appointment through the student’s academic unit is not eligible to serve as the student’s Graduate College Representative.
  • In addition to the responsibilities shared by all committee members, the Graduate College representative is charged with ensuring that the rights and interests of the student and the policies and standards of the Graduate College are maintained. Therefore, the Graduate College representative shall be present at all committee meetings. The Graduate College representative has a responsibility to report violations of policy and procedure to the Graduate College.
  • The Graduate College representative must be familiar with the rules, regulations, policies, and quality standards of the Norman campus Graduate College. Therefore, the following categories of faculty are not, under any circumstances, eligible to serve as the designated Graduate College representative of a doctoral student’s committee:
    • College of Law faculty
    • Health Sciences Center faculty
    • faculty from other institutions or organizations
    • retired University of Oklahoma faculty.
  • The dean of the Graduate College may exercise the prerogative to appoint another Graduate College representative to serve as an evaluator for the Graduate College. The evaluator may be one of the required four graduate faculty members of the committee, or may serve only at the time of the examination.

 

8.3.1.3 Special Faculty Members

  • Special member (SM) graduate faculty status may be assigned to individuals within or outside the university whose participation on a student’s committee is recommended by an academic unit and approved by the dean of the Graduate College.
  • Under no circumstances may a special member serve as the Graduate College representative of an advisory conference committee or doctoral committee.
  • A special member of the graduate faculty must have the approval of the dean of the Graduate College to serve on a student’s committee. The student’s academic unit must provide justification for allowing the special member to serve on the committee.
  • Special members may not make up the majority of the committee membership.
  • The possible privileges included with SM appointments are:
    • teach graduate classes
    • serve on master's committees
    • serve on doctoral committees
    • chair master's committees*
    • chair doctoral committees*
    • count toward departmental majority on graduate committees*
    • other (e.g., appointment to a specific student's committee, to teach a specific course, etc.)
  • Most SM faculty appointments will have a maximum term of 2 years (terms can be renewed). SM appointments marked with an asterisk (*) will be limited to a maximum term of 5 years.
  • The following policies and procedures outline the specific considerations regarding privileges under SM status:
    • Under some circumstances, it may be appropriate to appoint individuals who are not regular OU faculty to SM appointments that include the privilege of chairing graduate committees and/or that count toward the required departmental majority on graduate committees, and with terms of appointment of up to 5 years.
    • At a minimum, there are three criteria that should be used to assess recommendations from departments for appointment of a Special Member of the graduate faculty to chair graduate committees and/or count toward the required departmental majority on graduate committees. These are:
      • Close association with the unit hosting the graduate program. The individual should be working on this campus and should be highly invested in the unit hosting the graduate program. It should also be clear that involvement of the individual in the graduate program is in the best interests of the unit, the Graduate College, and the University.
      • Permanence. There should be a clear expectation that the individual chairing a student’s committee will be here on the OU Norman campus for the duration of the student’s progress toward the degree.
    • Credentials. The individual should show the same level of expertise in the discipline and continuing scholarly activity that is expected of Regular Members chairing committees in the unit.Each unit must establish clear procedures for considering Special Membership of graduate faculty. These should be defined in the unit’s criteria for graduate faculty membership (see IV.1.a.1. of the Graduate Faculty Charter) and should state how voting on departmental nominations for SM appointments will be conducted (e.g., will this be a vote of the department’s entire graduate faculty or of the Graduate Faculty Committee). The criteria should also address the following:
      • Criteria for recommending the possible different privileges for SM graduate faculty, such as chairing master’s or doctoral committees.
      • A definition of the terminal degree in the discipline.
      • Criteria for determining the record of faculty research, scholarship or achievement appropriate for the graduate program.
      • Criteria for assessing evidence of continuing research, scholarship or achievement at a level appropriate for chairing master’s research and/or doctoral committees.
      • Criteria for determining the recommended length of appointment.
    • No criterion for determining qualifications of SM faculty to chair graduate committees or count toward the departmental majority can be less rigorous than for the equivalent Regular Member appointment in the unit.
    • After nomination by the unit, the appointment of a SM faculty member with the privilege of chairing graduate committees and/or counting toward the departmental majority will be reviewed by the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee of the Graduate Council. The Graduate Faculty Membership Committee’s recommendation will be advisory to the Graduate Dean, who will make the final decision on the SM appointment.

 

8.3.1.4 Advisory Conference Report

  • After the advisory conference, the student is responsible for completing the Advisory Conference Report (ACR) document and requesting approval via the online Doctoral Advisory Conference Report (ACR) Submission form. The ACR lists all coursework to be applied to the doctoral degree, identifies all members of the student’s advisory conference committee, and requires approval of all committee members and the graduate liaison of the student’s academic unit.
  • The ACR must be submitted to the Graduate College no later than one semester before the student plans to take the general examination.
    • Academic units may require earlier submission of this form.
    • Students eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits will need to submit this form before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.
  • Final approval of the ACR rests with the dean of the Graduate College.
 

8.3.1.5 Changes to the Advisory Conference Report

  • Any changes to the approved Advisory Conference Report (ACR) require the approval of the dean of the Graduate College.
  • To make changes after the ACR has been approved, the student must complete a new ACR document and request approval via the online Doctoral Advisory Conference Report (ACR) Submission form.
  • The Graduate College will notify the student, committee, and graduate liaison to confirm final approval or denial of the updated ACR.
  • For guidelines regarding changes to doctoral committee membership, see Changes to the Doctoral Committee.
 

8.4 The Doctoral Committee

Doctoral committee membership follows the same guidelines and regulations applicable to the advisory conference committee (see Advisory Conference Committee Membership). In most cases, the advisory conference committee will become the student’s doctoral committee.

  • The doctoral committee will be responsible for advising, directing, assisting, and encouraging the student throughout the doctoral program.
  • The student’s doctoral committee will:
    • prepare and conduct the general examination
    • supervise the preparation of the dissertation
    • conduct the final oral examination over the dissertation.

 

8.4.1 Changes to the Doctoral Committee

  • A doctoral student who decides it is necessary to change the composition of the doctoral committee should consult the graduate liaison and the doctoral committee chair for advice.
  • If it is determined that a committee change is appropriate, the student must submit the online Request for Change in Committee form. This form requires approval from all committee members, including those being removed, with the exception of anyone no longer associated with the University of Oklahoma.
    • If faculty members on leave will not be available during their absence, the academic unit chair/director will have authority, with approval of the dean of the Graduate College, to act for them on these changes.
  • The Graduate College will notify the student, committee, and graduate liaison to confirm final approval or denial of the changes requested.
  • No change in committee membership is permitted 30 calendar days before the general examination or the dissertation defense.

 

8.4.1.1 Committee Members Who Leave the University

  • A faculty member who retires from or is no longer employed by the university cannot continue to serve on a student’s committee without approval of the dean of the Graduate College.
  • A former faculty member who wishes to remain on a student’s committee should work with the student and the academic unit to submit a written request for appointment to the graduate faculty as a special member (see Special Faculty Members). This request must be made before the faculty member has left the university.
  • The dean of the Graduate College will review the request and make a decision as to whether it is appropriate for the former faculty member to remain on the student’s committee.
  • A faculty member who is leaving the university should not expect approval to remain on a student’s committee unless the following criteria can be met:
    • The faculty member is willing to consult regularly with the student, read the dissertation, and attend the final oral examination (dissertation defense). These all must be accomplished with no cost to the university.
    • The student has passed the general examination and will be in the final year of dissertation research when the faculty member leaves the university.

8.5 The General Examination

When the student is enrolled in or has completed the final semester of coursework, the student should prepare for the general examination. The general examination is intended to test the student’s mastery of a number of related fields as well as the student’s capacity for synthesis, sound generalization, and critical ability. The first part of the general examination consists of written examinations. A satisfactory written examination will be followed by an oral examination in the presence of the entire committee.

  • The student’s Advisory Conference Report (ACR) must be approved by the Graduate College before the student may apply to take the general examination. The ACR must be up to date. Any changes to the ACR must be approved by the Graduate College before the exam can be authorized (see Changes to the Advisory Conference Report).
  • The student must apply for the general examination and receive authority from the Graduate College before beginning work on the written portion of the exam. The result of an unauthorized exam will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • A student may not proceed to the oral portion until the written portion has been satisfactorily completed.
  • Both the written portion and the oral portion must be completed within the same semester.
  • A student should be in good academic standing during the semester the general examination is scheduled.
  • The student must be enrolled in at least two graduate credit hours at the University of Oklahoma during the semester the general examination is held.
  • A student who does not pass the general examination on the first attempt may, at the discretion of the committee, repeat the exam once in a future term. No more than two attempts to pass the general examination are permitted.

 

8.5.1 Scheduling the General Examination

  • Before applying to take the general examination, the student must work with the committee to determine the date they will begin work on the written portion of the exam, as well as the date, time, and location for the oral portion of the exam.
  • No changes in committee membership are permitted 30 calendar days before the general examination.
  • The general examination should be held before the deadline indicated on the Academic Calendar. The exam may not be held during the period of final course examinations, nor may it be held while the university is not in session.

 

8.5.2 Participation in the General Examination

Advances in electronic media have made it possible for meetings to be held without the presence of every member at the same location. Nevertheless, the integrity and significance of the oral examination process must be maintained. The following rules apply to the oral portion of the general examination:

  • All members of the committee must participate for the full duration of the event, whether in person or remotely.
  • If any member of the committee participating remotely is unable to connect or loses their connection, the event must pause until the connection is restored.
  • Prior approval may be sought from the dean of the Graduate College if the absence of one committee member (other than the committee chair or Graduate College representative) is unavoidable. An event cannot be held in the absence of more than one committee member.
  • All committee members must have full access to materials relevant to the evaluation of the student’s performance. Audio of the student and other committee members, and visual materials including slides and handwritten information, must be clearly transmitted. If these requirements are not met, the event must pause until the issue is corrected.
  • Only members of the committee may be present for deliberations about the result.
  • For events involving remote participation, we recommend the following practices:
    • Ensure that all committee members can access the selected remote meeting platform. Test the remote participation set-up with the student and all members well in advance to ensure there are no predictable technical or connection problems.
    • Have the committee chair or another faculty or staff member who will be present serve as host of the meeting.
    • Ensure that there is not a time limit that will truncate the meeting.
    • Ensure that the remote meeting platform supports the feature that allows the host to remove participants.
    • Plan for transmission of visual materials including handouts, slides, and handwritten information. If the event will involve live handwriting by the student, use of a whiteboard application, document camera, or similar should be practiced by the student and tested in advance.
    • Plan for the committee’s confidential deliberations (e.g. through breakout room or waiting room functions within a remote meeting platform).
    • Minimize distractions by muting participants’ audio on entry and disabling audio notifications of participants’ arrival or departure.
    • Ensure that the student and each committee member are in appropriate private or professional environments with audible and visible distractions minimized.
    • Request that committee members keep their cameras on as much as possible during the event. The student should have their camera on for the duration of the event.
    • Make a backup connection plan in case there are difficulties with the remote meeting platform or individual connections.
    • Host blended events (combining in-person and remote participation) in a space that is designed and equipped for such events. If this is not possible, consider solutions such as an individual laptop for each in-person participant so that remote participants have a clear view.

 

8.5.3 Authority for the General Examination

  • The student must submit the online General Exam Application for the Doctoral Degree form to the Graduate College no later than the end of the second week of the semester in which the exam will be taken.
  • If the application can be approved, the Graduate College will issue the Authority Report Form for the General Examination to the doctoral committee, the student, and the graduate liaison via OU email. The student may not begin work on the written portion of the exam until this form has been issued. The result of an unauthorized exam will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • The Authority Report Form is valid only for the period indicated on the form.
    • If no portion of the exam is held during this period, the graduate liaison or committee chair must notify the Graduate College in writing as to why the exam was not held and the form must be returned marked “Not Taken.”  
    • The exam must then be rescheduled for a future term and the student must submit a new General Exam Application for the Doctoral Degree.

 

8.5.4 Result of the General Examination

After the written portion has been completed, the doctoral committee should meet to determine the result of the written examination.

  • If the result of the written portion is satisfactory, the student may proceed to the oral portion as scheduled.
  • If the result of the written portion is marginal, but not unsatisfactory, the committee may choose either to proceed to the oral portion and make a determination about the result of the exam ​after the oral portion is complete or to submit a request to the Graduate College to hold the result of the exam in abeyance (see Marginal Result of the General Examination).
  • If the result of the written portion is unsatisfactory, the student has failed the general examination and may not proceed to the oral portion (see Unsatisfactory Result of the General Examination).
  • After the oral portion of the general examination, the committee will report its decision on the Authority Report Form for the General Examination by indicating a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” result for each portion. This completed form must be received in the Graduate College within three working days of the exam. If the committee judges that the result of the oral portion or of the exam as a whole is marginal, they may submit a request to the Graduate College to hold the result of the exam in abeyance (see Marginal Result of the General Examination).
  • In the event that the committee does not reach a unanimous decision:
    • The committee member(s) who dissent from the majority opinion should not sign the Authority Report Form, but should instead attach a memo explaining the rationale for the dissent.
    • The dean of the Graduate College will review the dissenting opinion and may choose to confer with the dissenting member(s), the committee chair or the entire committee.
    • The decision of the dean of the Graduate College is final.
  • If the result of the oral portion is satisfactory, the dean of the Graduate College will admit the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

 

8.5.5 Marginal Result of the General Examination

If the result of either portion of the general examination is marginal, but not unsatisfactory, and the committee wishes the student to do further reading, investigations, etc., the committee can request to hold the result of the exam in abeyance.

  • The committee and graduate liaison may submit a written request for abeyance to the dean of the Graduate College.
  • The request must identify the additional work required of the student and state a specific time period, usually limited to two months, during which the student must complete the extra work.
  • If the request for abeyance is approved by the dean of the Graduate College, the student may complete the additional work specified by the doctoral committee.
    • At the end of the time period approved for abeyance, the committee must report its decision to the Graduate College on the Authority Report Form for the General Examination by indicating a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” result for each portion.
  • If the request for abeyance is denied by the dean of the Graduate College, the committee must report the unsatisfactory result of the examination to the Graduate College on the Authority Report Form for the General Examination.
 

8.5.6 Unsatisfactory Result of the General Examination

  • If either the written or the oral portion of the general examination is failed, the signed, completed Authority Report Form for the General Examination must be submitted to the Graduate College within three working days.
  • A student who has failed the first attempt of the general examination may, at the discretion of the committee, attempt the exam a second time in a future term. If the committee and the graduate liaison approve the second attempt, the student must submit a new General Exam Application for the Doctoral Degree to the Graduate College. Both the written portion and the oral portion must be repeated. The committee must administer a new exam for the student’s second attempt.
  • A student who has failed the second attempt of the general examination will be dismissed from the doctoral program. (See Academic Dismissal and Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Doctoral Degree to a Master’s Degree.)
 

8.6 The Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is the final and most important component of the series of academic experiences that culminate in the awarding of the doctoral degree.

  • Three major functions are fulfilled by the dissertation experience:
    • It is a work of original research scholarship that makes a contribution to existing knowledge.
    • It demonstrates the student’s mastery of research methods of the special field.
    • It demonstrates the student’s ability to address a significant intellectual problem and arrive at a successful conclusion.
  • The student should select a dissertation topic in consultation with the committee chair.
  • A student whose dissertation research may involve any of the following should promptly contact the appropriate office for advice:
    • Human subjects: Contact the Institutional Review Board. (See also Use of Human Subjects in Research.)
    • Vertebrate animals: Contact the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. (See also Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research.)
  • Students whose dissertation research may involve any of the following should review the “Research Issues” section of the Graduate College Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet with their committee chair as early as possible in the research process, and inform their Graduate College counselor of the potential need for an embargo of their dissertation.
    • Information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or by contract: Review the “Research Holds and IP Holds” section of the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. Dissertations may not contain material that requires permanent restriction from publication.
    • Intellectual property that may potentially be patentable: Review the “Disclosure of Patentable Inventions” section of the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet.

 

8.6.1 Enrollment Requirements for Dissertation Research

  • A student who is working on the dissertation during a regular semester or summer session must enroll in at least two hours of 6980, regardless of the total number of hours in which the student is enrolled.
  • The number of credit hours for each enrollment in 6980 will be determined by the student’s committee chair on the basis of the amount of faculty and university services required by the student during that enrollment.
  • Students are required to enroll in 6980 during the summer session if any of the following apply:
    • The student is actively working on the dissertation during summer.
    • The student is seeking committee advice on the dissertation during summer.
    • The student is otherwise using university facilities during summer, and has previously enrolled in 6980.
    • The degree will be conferred in the summer session.
  • After the first enrollment in 6980, the student must maintain continuous enrollment in at least two hours of 6980 during each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed.
    • The continuous enrollment requirement will be waived only for a student who is not working on the dissertation and who is enrolled in at least nine graduate credit hours during a regular semester.
    • If a student has not maintained continuous enrollment in doctoral dissertation hours, the student must retroactively enroll in the number of hours of 6980 for each semester that would have been completed with continuous enrollment.
    • The student must pay a late enrollment fee for each semester that would have been completed with continuous enrollment. Retroactive fees and tuition are assessed at the current semester rates. The collection of the appropriate fees is the responsibility of the Office of the Registrar and Bursar Services.

 

8.6.2 Enrollment Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

Candidates for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree are required to complete a written document which differs from a dissertation in content and purpose, but nonetheless demonstrates a high standard of scholarship and contributes to existing knowledge. This document is completed during enrollment in Doctor of Musical Arts Project (MUS 6880).

  • All regulations that apply to enrollment in dissertation research hours (6980) also apply to enrollment in document hours (MUS 6880). See Enrollment Requirements for Dissertation Research above.
  • All regulations that apply to the dissertation defense also apply to the document defense. See Dissertation Defense below.
 

8.7 Dissertation Defense

  • A student must be admitted to candidacy by the Graduate College before scheduling the dissertation defense.
  • The student’s Advisory Conference Report (ACR) must be up to date. Any changes to the ACR must be approved by the Graduate College before the defense can be authorized. (See Changes to the Advisory Conference Report.)
  • A student should be in good academic standing during the semester the dissertation defense is scheduled.
  • No later than the end of the second week of the semester in which the student intends to defend, the student should complete the online Request for Degree Check form through the Graduate College website.
  • A student must submit the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College and receive authority before defending the dissertation. The result of an unauthorized dissertation defense will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • Only one attempt to defend the dissertation is permitted. If the defense is unsatisfactory, it cannot be repeated.
  • A student must be enrolled in at least two credit hours of 6980 at the University of Oklahoma during the semester of the dissertation defense.

 

8.7.1 Dissertation Draft

  • Before scheduling the dissertation defense, the candidate is responsible for providing every member of the doctoral committee with a complete draft of the dissertation. Formatting requirements are explained in the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet.
  • While the Graduate College recommends the dissertation draft be submitted to the committee at least 30 days prior to the defense, the doctoral committee will determine how far in advance the student should provide the draft to all committee members. This time limit should allow the committee sufficient time to review the dissertation and approve any major revisions required before the deadline for submitting the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College.
    • Students must submit this form at least ten working days before the defense.
    • At least five working days before the defense, the committee members must sign to affirm they have reviewed the reading copy and support the student's request for authority to defend.
  • The committee will read the dissertation and determine whether it demonstrates the student’s ability to conduct original research and makes a significant contribution to the student’s discipline.
    • If the committee rejects the dissertation, the student will have another opportunity to submit an acceptable dissertation to the committee.
    • If the committee accepts the dissertation, the student may be required to make further changes and corrections.

 

8.7.2 Scheduling the Dissertation Defense

The date, time, and location of the dissertation defense must be scheduled according to the following requirements:

  • No changes in committee membership are permitted 30 calendar days before the dissertation defense.
  • The defense should be held before the deadline indicated on the Academic Calendar. The defense may not be held during the period of final course examinations, nor may it be held while the university is not in session.
  • The defense is open to the public, unless closed by prior approval of the Office of Technology Commercialization under the University Intellectual Property Policy.

8.7.3 Participation in the Dissertation Defense

Advances in electronic media have made it possible for meetings to be held without the presence of every member at the same location. Nevertheless, the integrity and significance of the oral examination process must be maintained. The following rules apply to the dissertation defense:

  • All members of the committee must participate for the full duration of the event, whether in person or remotely.
  • If any member of the committee participating remotely is unable to connect or loses their connection, the event must pause until the connection is restored.
  • Prior approval may be sought from the dean of the Graduate College if the absence of one committee member (other than the committee chair or Graduate College representative) is unavoidable. An event cannot be held in the absence of more than one committee member.
  • All committee members must have full access to materials relevant to the evaluation of the student’s performance. Audio of the student and other committee members, and visual materials including slides and handwritten information, must be clearly transmitted. If these requirements are not met, the event must pause until the issue is corrected.
  • Only members of the committee may be present for deliberations about the result.
  • For events involving remote participation, we recommend the following practices:
    • Ensure that all committee members can access the selected remote meeting platform. Test the remote participation set-up with the student and all members well in advance to ensure there are no predictable technical or connection problems.
    • Have the committee chair or another faculty or staff member who will be present serve as host of the meeting.
    • Ensure that there is not a time limit that will truncate the meeting.
    • Ensure that the remote meeting platform supports the feature that allows the host to remove participants.
    • Plan for transmission of visual materials including handouts, slides, and handwritten information. If the event will involve live handwriting by the student, use of a whiteboard application, document camera, or similar should be practiced by the student and tested in advance.
    • Plan for the committee’s confidential deliberations (e.g. through breakout room or waiting room functions within a remote meeting platform).
    • Minimize distractions by muting participants’ audio on entry and disabling audio notifications of participants’ arrival or departure.
    • Ensure that the student and each committee member are in appropriate private or professional environments with audible and visible distractions minimized.
    • Request that committee members keep their cameras on as much as possible during the event. The student should have their camera on for the duration of the event.
    • Make a backup connection plan in case there are difficulties with the remote meeting platform or individual connections.
    • Host blended events (combining in-person and remote participation) in a space that is designed and equipped for such events. If this is not possible, consider solutions such as an individual laptop for each in-person participant so that remote participants have a clear view.
    • Share remote meeting connection information with all faculty and graduate students in the academic unit so they can attend. Encourage the student to invite family and friends. If the event is publicized more broadly, invite interested audience members to email the academic unit for remote meeting connection information.

 

8.7.4 Degree Check

No later than the second week of the semester in which the student intends to defend the dissertation, the student must complete the online Request for Degree Check form. The Graduate College will notify the student of the result of the degree check via OU email.

  • Failure to complete the degree check may result in postponement of the defense to a subsequent semester.

 

8.7.5 Authority for the Dissertation Defense

  • After requesting a degree check and scheduling the defense, the student must submit the online Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College at least 10 working days before the defense.
    • At least five working days before the defense, the committee members must sign to affirm they have reviewed the reading copy and support the student's request for authority to defend.
  • If the request for authority can be approved, the Graduate College will issue the Authority Report Form for the Dissertation Defense to the student, the doctoral committee, and the graduate liaison via OU email. The student may not defend until this form has been issued. The result of an unauthorized defense will not, under any circumstances, be considered valid.
  • The Authority Report Form is valid only for the period indicated on the form.
    • If the defense is not held during this period, the graduate liaison or committee chair must notify the Graduate College in writing as to why the defense was not held and the form must be returned marked “Not Taken.”
    • The dissertation defense must then be rescheduled for a future term and the student must submit a new Request for Degree Check and Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form.

 

8.7.6 Result of the Dissertation Defense

  • After the dissertation defense, the committee will report its decision on the Authority Report Form for the Dissertation Defense by indicating a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” result. This completed form must be received in the Graduate College within three working days of the dissertation defense.
  • In the event that the committee does not reach a unanimous decision:
    • The committee member(s) who dissent from the majority opinion should not sign the Authority Report Form, but should instead attach a memo explaining the rationale for the dissent.
    • If one committee member dissents, the dissent is recognized as a minority report.
    • If two members dissent, the dean of the Graduate College will investigate and make a final decision.
    • If more than two members dissent, the defense will be judged unsatisfactory.

 

8.7.7 Unsatisfactory Result and Dismissal

  • In the event of an unsatisfactory result, the decision is final and the defense cannot be repeated. The student will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • A dismissed student who wishes to apply to a graduate program in another major field should refer to the Academic Dismissal and Application of Credit from an Unsuccessful Doctoral Degree to a Master’s Degree sections of this bulletin.

 

8.7.8 Satisfactory Result and Dissertation Submission

  • After a satisfactory dissertation defense, the student must complete any revisions required by the committee before submitting the final dissertation to the SHAREOK repository. Submission instructions provided by the Graduate College in the email authorizing the dissertation defense.
  • The final dissertation is due within 60 calendar days of the defense. A student planning to graduate in a given semester may need to submit the final document sooner in order to meet the graduation deadline for that semester indicated on the Academic Calendar.
  • A student who does not submit the final dissertation during the semester of the defense must enroll in at least two hours of 6980 during the semester in which the dissertation is submitted.
  • The semester in which the dissertation is submitted will be the semester of graduation if all other outstanding requirements for the degree have been completed.
  • Before submitting the final dissertation to SHAREOK, the student must:
    • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
    • Submit the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form to the Graduate College.
      • The committee members must sign this form to indicate the date by which the student completed all required revisions and is eligible to submit the final document to SHAREOK.
      • SHAREOK submissions completed prior to full committee approval will be rejected.
  • If the thesis involves human subjects research, the student must also submit additional documentation from the IRB to the Graduate College before submitting the final thesis to SHAREOK.
  • It is the student's responsibility to ensure the final dissertation submitted to SHAREOK meets all formatting requirements outlined in the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction PacketSubmissions that contain formatting errors will be rejected.
 

8.7.9 Failure to Submit the Dissertation

  • A student may not graduate until all degree requirements, including submission of the final dissertation and associated items (Survey of Earned Doctorates, Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form, and IRB documentation if applicable) have been completed.
  • If the dissertation submission is not completed within 60 calendar days of the satisfactory defense, the result of the defense will be set aside and the student will need to repeat the defense.
  • A student required to repeat the dissertation defense under these circumstances will need to repeat the processes described in the Dissertation Defense section of this bulletin, including submission of a new Request for Degree Check form and Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form.

8.8 Degree Completion and Graduation

  • Students must apply for graduation online at the beginning of the semester in which they plan to graduate, according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar.
  • A student may not graduate until all degree requirements are completed, including the application for graduation.
  • A student will graduate during the semester in which all degree requirements are completed.
  • Students will become inactive after graduation and may not continue enrolling at the university unless they are admitted to a new program or non-degree seeking status.
  • Doctoral candidates are individually recognized and hooded on stage at the university-wide Commencement ceremony. Students who wish to participate in Commencement or in a College Convocation ceremony should see the OU Commencement website.
 

8.9 Checklist for Doctoral Students

Planning Your Program of Study

  • Work with your academic unit to form your committee and schedule the advisory conference. You will need to submit the Advisory Conference Report form (ACR) to the Graduate College no later than one semester before you plan to take the general examination.
    • You should consult your academic unit, since your program may have specific regulations or recommendations for scheduling the advisory conference.
    • If you are eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits, you will need to submit the ACR before coursework can be certified as eligible for coverage.

Before the General Examination

  • If there are any changes to your approved ACR or committee membership, you will need to make updates before you apply for the general examination.
    • For ACR changes, complete a new ACR document and request approval via the online Doctoral Advisory Conference Report (ACR) Submission form. Your ACR must be up to date before the Graduate College can authorize your general examination.
    • For committee changes, submit the online Request for Change in Committee form. Changes in committee membership are not permitted within the 30 calendar days before the general examination.

General Examination

  • When you are enrolled in or have completed the final semester of coursework, you should prepare for the general examination. No later than the second week of the semester in which you will take the exam, submit the General Exam Application for the Doctoral Degree to the Graduate College. After your application is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the General Examination to you, your committee, and your graduate liaison. You may not begin work for the exam until you receive the Authority Report Form.
  • No later than three working days after the exam, submit the completed Authority Report Form to the Graduate College. You will be admitted to doctoral candidacy after satisfactorily completing the general examination.

Beginning Dissertation Research

  • Once you begin enrolling in Research for Doctoral Dissertation (6980), you must enroll in a minimum of two credit hours of 6980 each fall and spring until all degree requirements are completed. (Summer enrollment also is required if you are working on the dissertation during summer; see Enrollment Requirements for Dissertation Research.)
  • Before you begin writing the dissertation, review the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. This packet contains important information about research-related issues and copyright, and explains the Graduate College formatting requirements for doctoral dissertations. If your dissertation research may involve human subjects research, vertebrate animal research, information that is protected from dissemination by applicable law or contract, or intellectual property that may potentially be patentable, you should discuss this with your committee chair as early as possible in the research process.

Preparing to Graduate

  • At the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation online according to the deadlines indicated on the Academic Calendar. See the OU Commencement website for information about attending college convocation ceremonies and May Commencement.
  • No later than the end of the second week of the semester in which you plan to defend your dissertation, submit the online Request for Degree Check to the Graduate College. Include any required attachments (if applicable) from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The Graduate College will notify you of the result of the degree check via OU email.
  • If there are any changes to your approved ACR or committee membership, you will need to make updates before you defend the dissertation.
    • For ACR changes, complete a new ACR document and request approval via the online Doctoral Advisory Conference Report (ACR) Submission form. Your ACR must be up to date before the Graduate College can authorize your defense.
    • For committee changes, submit the online Request for Change in Committee form. Changes in committee membership are not permitted within the 30 calendar days before the dissertation defense.
  • Before scheduling your dissertation defense, provide each member of your committee with a complete draft of your dissertation (see Dissertation Draft). Your committee will determine how far in advance you should provide the draft. The committee should have sufficient time to review the draft and approve any major revisions before you submit the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend form to the Graduate College. After your committee has approved the draft, arrange the date, time, and location for your defense.
  • At least 10 working days before your defense, submit the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend and any required attachments (if applicable) from the IRB or IACUC.
    • At least five working days before your defense, your committee members must sign the Report of Reading Copy Submission and Request for Authority to Defend to affirm they have received your reading copy and support your request for authority to defend.
    • After your request for authority is approved, the Graduate College will email the Authority Report Form for the Dissertation Defense to you, your committee, and your graduate liaison. You are not authorized to defend until you receive the Authority Report Form.

After Your Defense

  • No later than three working days after the defense, submit the completed Authority Report Form to the Graduate College.
  • If your dissertation involves human subjects research, contact the IRB office to obtain documentation confirming that your involvement as a graduate student in the research project is officially terminated. You will need to submit this additional documentation to the Graduate College before you submit the dissertation to SHAREOK.
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates. You are encouraged to complete this as soon as possible after your defense.
  • After your committee has approved your final dissertation, submit the online Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form to the Graduate College.
    • Your committee members must sign this form to indicate the date by which you completed all required revisions and are eligible to submit your final document to SHAREOK.
    • SHAREOK submissions completed before the Graduate College has received the Approval for Thesis/Dissertation Submission to SHAREOK form will be rejected.
  • Submit your dissertation to the SHAREOK institutional repository, according to the instructions you received in the Graduate College email authorizing your defense. It is your responsibility to make sure your dissertation meets the formatting requirements outlined in the Thesis/Dissertation Instruction Packet. The SHAREOK submission will be rejected if the document contains formatting errors. Your submission is due no later than 60 calendar days after your defense. If you plan to graduate in a particular semester, you must meet the semester submission deadline given on the Academic Calendar.

Congratulations!

 

9. Equal Opportunity Statement

The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to: admissions, employment, financial aid, housing, services in educational programs or activities, or health care services that the University operates or provides.

Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to the Equal Opportunity Office.

10. University's Statement of Commitment to Affirmative Action

The University of Oklahoma, recognizing its obligation to guarantee equal opportunity to all persons in all segments of University life, reaffirms its commitment to the continuation and expansion of positive programs which reinforce and strengthen its affirmative action policies. This commitment stems not only from compliance with federal and state equal opportunity laws but from a desire to ensure social justice and promote campus diversity. The University will continue its policy of fair and equal employment practices for all employees and job applicants without insidious discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, political beliefs, disability, or status as a veteran. The University will maintain a critical and continuing evaluation of its employment policies, programs, and practices. Each budget unit bears a responsibility for constructive implementation of this Plan, and whenever possible, to the overall progress toward employment opportunity and participation in all University programs and activities. Our commitment to the concept of affirmative action requires sincere and cooperative efforts throughout all levels of our employment structure. We will continue to strive to reach the goals of fair and equal employment opportunities for all.

11. Release of Student Information and Access to Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, affords students certain rights with respect to their education records, including the right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information other than “directory information” from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

“Directory information,” which may be disclosed without consent, includes: Student’s name, local and permanent addresses, email address, telephone number, college, major, classification, current enrollment status, participation in recognized student activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and date of receipt, posting of individual student grades and interim class evaluations provided the information is identified by code numbers and does not identify the student, and anticipated date of graduation based on completed hours. A student may elect to withhold directory information by filling out the Directory Information Hold Form (pdf) and submitting it to the Office of Academic Records, 1000 Asp Avenue, Buchanan Hall room 230. For complete information, please visit the Records & Transcripts website.