Academic Process for Master's Students
Step 1: Choose an adviser
The student selects a consenting adviser from faculty members of the academic program in which the major work is planned. Before registering for each semester or session, the student consults the adviser concerning a program of courses. More »
Step 2: Submit a plan of study
After performing satisfactorily for a minimum of one semester, the student completes the Plan of Study for the Master’s Degree form (M1) with the adviser’s assistance. This form outlines the plan of study for the student's graduate program. More »
Step 3: Form a thesis committee
A thesis committee is composed of three members of the MU faculty: a major adviser from the academic program; a second reader from the academic program; and an outside reader who is a member of the graduate faculty from a different MU graduate program. More »
Step 4: Pass graduate examination
Each candidate must pass a final examination to demonstrate mastery of the fundamental principles of the work included in the course of study offered for the degree.
If the program includes a minor, the minor adviser will be a member of the final examination committee and will examine the candidate over course work taken in the minor.
Where a thesis is presented in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements, students must form a thesis committee (see step 3 above). After the successful defense of the thesis, the members of the student's committee must sign the Report of the Master's Examining Committee form (M3), which is then forwarded through the academic program's director of graduate studies to the Graduate School.
Where no thesis is presented by the candidate, a three-member final examination committee is designated by the academic program's director of graduate studies with the approval of the Graduate School. The Report of the Master’s Examining Committee form (M3) signed by the director of graduate studies, is forwarded to the Graduate School. All candidates for the MA or MS degrees must complete either a thesis or a substantial independent project that cannot be coauthored.
Students expecting to present a thesis, manuscript, project, portfolio, dissertation or take comps must be enrolled in the term when that activity occurs.
If masters and educational specialist students have completed all their course work and only need to take comps or defend a thesis or project, they can enroll in Graduate Examination.
Registration in 8999 Graduate Examination does not count toward enrollment certification. Students enrolled in the Graduate Examination would not be considered full time or part time.
If students need to use the library or computers on campus, they should enroll in at least one hour of regular credit instead of Graduate Examination.
Students who have a financial aid or visa situation should check with Financial Aid or the International Center respectively before registering for the Graduate Examination option. Failure to do so could cause serious consequences for the student’s financial aid or visa status.
Extra fees apply for access to the Student Health Center and the Student Recreation Center. Please consult the Cashier's Office for these optional fees.
Information for international student enrollment
View the enrollment guidelines on the International Center website.
For master's students
- Master's progress
- Thesis & dissertation
- Master's graduation requirements
- Graduation & commencement
- Resources: Graduate career exploration
- Plan of Study for the Master’s Degree form (M1)
- Request for Thesis Committee form (M2)
- Report of the Master's Examining Committee form (M3)
- Change of Committee form