Thesis and Plan of Study

Admission to candidacy means that the applicant has been admitted to the University, the Graduate School, and his or her desired degree program, and that the proposed program has been approved by the head of the department in which the candidate is majoring and the dean of the Graduate School.

Creation of the "Plan of Study"

A plan of study must be prepared by the departmental graduate adviser and submitted to the dean of the Graduate School for approval as soon as possible following the candidate's admission to the Graduate School. The plan of study must be submitted before completion of the first semester of graduate course work. An administrative "hold" will be placed on the registration of candidates not meeting the deadline. The "hold" will prevent the candidate from taking any additional classes until a plan of study is approved. For purposes of determining degree requirements, the candidate's official University catalog shall be the catalog that is current during the semester the candidate's plan of study is approved.

Undergraduate Preparation

The undergraduate preparation of candidates for the master's degree will correspond to requirements for the same or a similar bachelor's degree at West Texas A&M University. Candidates lacking such preparation may be required to complete "leveling work". In addition, many programs have additional requirements. Candidates should review their programs' requirements as specified in the catalog.
Leveling Work

If a candidate's undergraduate preparation is inadequate, the advisor my require "leveling work". Leveling work is courses, experiences, programs required for the candidate to be adequately prepared for graduate work.

Program of Study

In consultation with the graduate advisor, candidates must list those courses required for completion of the degree. The graduate courses required to meet degree requirements must correspond to those requirements listed for the specified degree program. Candidates should review their programs' requirements as specified in the catalog. Specific rules to consider include the following:

  • Candidates for the master of arts degree must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work. A minimum of 18 hours must be in the candidate's major field at least nine hours of which must be in courses numbered 6000 or above. At least half of the total hours for this degree must be in courses numbered 6000 or above. The remaining work may be completed in courses numbered 5300 or 5400.
  • Candidates for the master of science must complete at least 18 hours in the major field (thesis plan) and additional hours in a related area(s). Candidates in the non-thesis plan may take all work in the major field, or at least 21 hours in the major field and additional hours in a related field or fields. At least half of the total hours for this degree will be in courses numbered in the 6000s.
  • Courses numbered 5300 or higher are for graduate credit.
  • Candidates having taken undergraduate "stacked" courses at WTAMU that have a graduate component cannot take the graduate course if they have already received credit for the corresponding undergraduate course.
  • Candidates may be required to complete additional work in specified courses in addition to the minimum courses and residence requirements.
  • It is the candidate's responsibility to make sure all degree requirements are met for graduation.

Thesis Option

  • A candidate electing to write a master's thesis must register for Thesis 6301 when beginning thesis research. The candidate must then register for Thesis 6302 every consecutive 16-week semester until the thesis is completed and accepted by the University, including the semester in which the degree is conferred.
  • If the candidate fails to enroll, a reinstatement fee will be assessed.
  • If a degree is to be awarded at the end of the summer sessions, the candidate must enroll in a thesis course in one summer session.
  • Candidates receive a grade of "IP" (thesis in progress) for each enrollment in Thesis 6301 and 6302.
  • When the thesis has been accepted, the candidate receives six hours (Thesis 6301 and 6302) toward the master's degree and a final letter grade for both thesis courses.
  • The candidate may not enroll in Thesis 6301 and 6302 in the same semester
  • A thesis guide is available online from this web site under Thesis Guide. Theses will be made available to the public.

Non-Thesis Option

  • Candidates selecting the non-thesis option must complete at least one course in research and reporting as suggested by the departmental adviser.

Transfer, Extension and Correspondence Work

  • Approved transfer and extension work is counted as graduate credit but may not be used to fulfill the 6300-level requirement. Only courses in which the candidate earned an "A" or "B" may be transferred to WTAMU.
  • Upon approval of the dean of the Graduate School, up to one-third of formal course work toward the graduate degree may be transfer work, exclusive of thesis and independent study courses. Permission to utilize transfer and extension courses on a Plan of Study must be approved in advance by the department head, college dean and graduate dean.
  • Correspondence work will not be accepted toward a master's degree.
  • Course substitutions to the plan of study require a statement of justification and must be approved by the graduate adviser, academic dean and dean of the Graduate School.