Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Graduation Requirements

Requirements for Graduation

Students must complete all requirements for the respective degree as outlined by the academic department and the Graduate School before graduation. An application for graduation must be submitted before the University deadline. Students should consult the University calendar for the deadline dates for each semester.

Advisors and Degree Plan

At the time of matriculation, the student will be assigned to a program advisor, who will have general supervision of the student’s graduate work. The advisor will assist the student in filling out the Degree Plan, an approved copy of which must be filed in the Graduate Office by the end of the student’s first semester of matriculation at Texas Southern University. When a student enrolls for courses, his or her program must have the written approval of the advisor. The chairman of the department serves as the general advisor for students in the department and should be consulted prior to the submission of the degree plan to the Graduate School.

Students who take courses without the approval of their advisors do so at their own risk and may not be permitted to include them in their degree or professional certificate plans.

Residency Requirement

A residence of at least one academic year or its equivalent is required.

Admission to Degree Candidacy

Admission to study in the Graduate School does not imply acceptance as a candidate for a degree. To become a candidate for the graduate degree or for a professional certificate, the student must have satisfactorily completed all admission requirements and have an approved degree plan. He or she must also have satisfied the English Proficiency requirement; demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language, if required; passed the qualifying examination, if required; competed at least twelve (12) semester hours of graduate work, and be recommended to candidacy by the advisor and head of the department.

Transfer of Credit

A student wishing to secure credit toward a master’s degree or professional certificate at Texas Southern University for courses taken at another institution must make application to the Dean of the Graduate School. Approved courses are entered on the student’s record in the Registrar’s Office. Credits transferred from approved extension schools and/or from another institution may not exceed six semester hours and must be graduate credits and have a grade of “B” (3.00) or better. Approved courses must not exceed the six-(6) year time limit when the student applies for graduation.

Transfer work from other institutions will not be used in computing the quality point average for graduation or certification.

No course counted toward another degree may be counted toward a master's degree, either directly or by substitution.

Work done for the master's degree may be included in the work for the doctoral degree, provided it is acceptable to the Department, the supervising committee, and the Graduate School and providing it has not already been used towards another doctoral degree. Up to 24 hours of work towards a master’s degree can be used to satisfy requirements towards a doctoral degree. Programs will submit a degree plan for each doctoral student indicating which specific courses on the student’s transcript will replace which specific courses in the program’s curriculum. Generally, master’s thesis courses, internship courses, and practicum courses may not be counted as fulfilling doctoral requirements.

Workshop Credit

No more than six semester hours of approved graduate workshop credit may count toward the semester hours required for a degree or professional certificate.

Examinations for Master's Degree Students

The English Proficiency Examination

Each student who is admitted to a graduate degree or certificate program must satisfy the English proficiency requirement of the Graduate School as determined by the student’s department.

The Comprehensive Examination

For degree or certificate programs requiring comprehensive examinations each degree or certificate applicant is required to pass the requisite comprehensive examination, either oral or written (or both). Programs may specifically limit the number of attempts that a student can make to pass the comprehensive examination. If the program does not specify a limit graduate students will be allowed a maximum of three attempts to pass any requisite comprehensive exam.

The Foreign Language Examination

The passing of a reading examination in one foreign language is required of degree applicants in those departments requiring a language. English is considered as a foreign language for foreign students who have received their precollege and college education in a non-English language.

Time Limit for the Master's Degree

Credits earned more than six years prior to the date of completion of master’s degree requirements at Texas Southern University cannot be accepted toward the satisfaction of master’s degree requirements. All courses which are submitted to satisfy the semester- hour requirement for the master’s degree or the professional certificate in a program requiring thirty (30) to thirty-six (36) credit hours.

Thirty-six (36) semester hours must have been taken within a six-year period from the date of initial admission to the Graduate School. All programs in excess of 36 semester hours must have been taken within a seven-year period from the date of initial admission to the Graduate School. This requirement applies to residence, extension, and transfer work, including work in the major and minor areas. Courses that fall beyond the time limit must be repeated

Online Submission of Electronic Copy of Thesis/Dissertation

Graduate students submitting a thesis or dissertation in fulfillment of their degree requirements must submit electronic copies of their thesis/dissertation via the Texas Southern University Graduate School electronic submission portal. Electronic submission of thesis or dissertation via the designated ETD (Electronic Thesis Dissertation) portal is a mandatory requirement for graduation. Students will not be cleared for graduation pending submission of acceptable electronic copies of their thesis or dissertation draft(s) and final copy as required by the Graduate School.

Examinations for Doctoral Degree Students

Comprehensive Examination

Toward the end of the course work for the program, the candidate takes a comprehensive examination. The test must be judged a “pass” by the examination committee in order that the candidate may be recommended to candidacy for the degree.

Each part of the examination will be graded by at least two readers. Both readers must agree on at least a “pass” rating for a “pass” evaluation. For an “honors” rating, both readers must agree on an “honors” score. If one reader gives a “fail” rating and the other gives a “pass” rating, then a third reader will be appointed. The student must take all sections of the examination when taken for the first time. During each subsequent examination, if needed, a student must take a test in all sections of the examination he/she failed to pass in the preceding attempt.

A doctoral student who fails the comprehensive examination the second time may petition for a third examination, and the petition must show a plan of action wherein the petitioner will endeavor to improve his/her chances for satisfactorily completing the examination failed. The chairperson of the student’s doctoral committee, the department head, the Dean of the relevant college or school, and the Dean of the Graduate School must approve the petition. A student who fails to pass the doctoral comprehensive examination or any part of it after the third attempt will be automatically discontinued as a student in the relevant doctoral program.

Dissertation Examination

The Dean of the Graduate School will appoint the student’s dissertation committee upon the recommendation of the department and will include an external graduate representative. There will be at least three members on the final oral examination committee. Certification of successful completion of the final oral examination of the dissertation requires the signature of all members of the dissertation committee. The examination is conducted by the department, and if it is failed, the candidate must petition the Dean of the Graduate School through his/her department for permission to take the examination a second time. A second examination will not be permitted within a period of one semester after a failure on the first attempt is recorded. All changes in the dissertation suggested by the committee after the oral examination must be made before the dissertation can receive the final approval of the Graduate School. This paper must accompany the dissertation when it is presented to the members of the committee. In addition, an abstract not exceeding 350 words must be prepared for submission to the relevant cataloguing organization.

Transfer of Credit

The following regulation governs acceptance of transfer credits:

To transfer doctoral credits from another university to Texas Southern University, an official transcript must be submitted to the Texas Southern University Graduate School office by the graduate dean, registrar or department head at the institution from which the credits are being transferred together with a statement, indicating that the credits were earned in a doctoral program of study at that institution. No more than 15 semester hours of “B” (3.0) grade or better may be transferred.

Time Limit for the Doctor of Education Degree

After being admitted to a program leading to the Doctor of Education degree, a student will be allowed seven calendar years wherein to complete all of the requirements for the degree, including transferred credit and prior credit at Texas Southern University.

Continuation in the doctoral degree program beyond the seven-year limit must be approved by the student’s doctoral degree advisory committee and the Dean of the Graduate School. The maximum time allowed to complete the doctoral program, including an approved extension, is eight calendar years. This time limit does not include work performed as part of the requirements for a master’s degree. Credits earned more than seven years prior to the date of completion of doctoral degree requirements at Texas Southern University cannot count toward the satisfaction of doctoral degree requirements.

Time Limit for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

After being admitted to a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree, a student will be allowed seven calendar years to complete all of the requirements for the degree, this time limit includes transferred credit and prior credit earned at Texas Southern University.

A student’s doctoral degree advisory committee and the Dean of the Graduate School must approve continuation in the doctoral degree program beyond the seven-year limit. The maximum time allowed to complete the doctoral program including an approved extension is nine calendar years. This time limit does not include work performed as part of the requirements for a master’s degree.

Online Submission of Electronic Copy of Thesis/Dissertation

Graduate students submitting a thesis or dissertation in fulfillment of their degree requirements must submit electronic copies of their thesis/dissertation via the Texas Southern University Graduate School electronic submission portal. Electronic submission of thesis or dissertation via the designated ETD (Electronic Thesis Dissertation) portal is a mandatory requirement for graduation. Students will not be cleared for graduation pending submission of acceptable electronic copies of their thesis or dissertation draft(s) and final copy as required by the Graduate School.