Policy Number: III-7.00(A)
University of Maryland, College Park Degree Requirements
(APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT AMENDED AMENDED EFFECTIVE FALL 2012)
General requirements for undergraduate and graduate degree programs at UMCP are outlined below. Requirements for graduation at UMCP vary according to the character of work in the different colleges, schools, departments, and other academic units. It is the responsibility of the colleges, schools, departments, and other academic units to establish and publish clearly defined degree requirements. These requirements must be approved by the President. The responsibility for knowing and meeting all degree requirements for graduation in a particular curriculum rests with the student. Specific degree requirements are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog and University of Maryland at College Park Graduate School Catalog with the description of each program.
B. Undergraduate Degree Requirements
- Residency Requirement
- All candidates for undergraduate degrees from UMCP must take a minimum of 30 credits at UMCP. These must include a minimum of fifteen credits in courses numbered 300 or above, including at least twelve credits in the major field.
- Normally these 30 credits will be the final 30 credits counted toward the degree. However, credits from University-approved study abroad and internship programs, and a maximum of 6 credits that are not part of such programs, may be included in the final 30 if approved in advance by the dean of the academic unit from which the student expects to receive the degree.
- Enrollment in Majors A student must be enrolled in the major program from which he or she plans to graduate when registering for the final fifteen hours of the baccalaureate program. The requirement applies to the third year of the combined pre-professional degree programs.
- Credit Requirements No baccalaureate degree will be awarded in instances where fewer than 120 credits have been earned. Many undergraduate curricula at UMCP require more than 120 credits. It is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with the requirements of particular curricula. *To earn a baccalaureate degree at UMCP a minimum of thirty credits must be taken in residence.
- Grade Point Average A minimum 2.00 grade point average is required for graduation in all curricula. A higher average may be required by the individual department, college, school, or program. Beginning with students matriculating in Fall 2012, to be awarded a baccalaureate degree, students must have a minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major degree requirements, minor requirements, and undergraduate certificate requirements. Individual department, college, school, or program requirements may exceed this minimum.
C. Second Degrees and Second Majors
- Second Degree Taken Sequentially A student who has completed requirements for, and who has received one baccalaureate degree and who wishes to earn a second baccalaureate degree from UMCP must satisfactorily complete the requirements of the second degree and enough additional credits so that the total including all applicable credits earned at UMCP, or elsewhere is at least 150 credits. In no case will a second baccalaureate degree be awarded to a student who has not completed thirty credits in residence at UMCP. Approval of the second degree will not be granted when there is extensive overlap between the two programs.
- Second Degree Taken Simultaneously A student who wishes to receive simultaneously two baccalaureate degrees from UMCP must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 150 credits (180 credits if one of the degrees is in Special Education). The regularly prescribed requirements of both degree programs must be completed. As early as possible, and in any case, no later than one full semester before the expected date of graduation, the student must file with the departments or programs involved, as well as with the appropriate deans, formal programs showing the programs to be offered to meet the major, supporting area, college, and general education program requirements. If two colleges are involved in the double degree program, the student must designate which college is responsible for the maintenance of records. Approval of the second degree will not be granted when there is extensive overlap between two programs.
- Second Major A student who wishes to complete a second major concurrently with a primary major of record must obtain written permission in advance from the appropriate deans. As early as possible, but in no case later than one full semester before the expected date of graduation, the student must file with the department or programs involved and with the appropriate deans, formal programs showing the courses to be offered to meet requirements in each of the majors and supporting areas as well as the college and general education program requirements. Approval will not be granted if there is extensive overlap between the two programs. Courses taken for one major may be counted as part of the degree requirements of the other and toward general education requirements as appropriate. If two colleges are involved in the double major program, the student must designate which college is responsible for the maintenance of records.
D. Graduate School Degree Requirements
- Requirements Applicable to All Master's Degrees
- Programs The entire course of study undertaken for any master's degree must constitute a unified, coherent program which is approved by the student's advisor and graduate director, and which meets Graduate School requirements. A minimum of thirty semester hours in courses acceptable for credit towards a graduate degree is required (some degree programs require more than thirty credits); in certain cases, six of the thirty semester hours must be thesis research credits. The graduate program must include at least twelve hours of course work at the 600 level or higher. If the student is inadequately prepared for the required graduate courses, additional courses may be required, which may not be considered as part of the student's graduate program. With the exception of pre-approved Combined Bachelor's/Master's programs, credits to be applied to a student's graduate program for a master's degree cannot have been used to satisfy any other previously earned degree.
- Grade Point Average A student seeking a master's degree at UMCP must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 for courses taken for graduate credit.
- Time Limitation All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within a five year period. This time limit applies to any transfer work form other institutions to be included in the student's program.
- Additional Requirements In addition to the above requirements, special departmental or collegiate requirements may be imposed, especially for degrees which are offered only in one department, college, or division.
- Graduate School Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts and Master of Science
- Thesis Option Course Requirements - A minimum of thirty semester hours including six hours of thesis research credit is required. A minimum of twelve of the twenty four hours earned in graduate courses must be in the major subject; and a minimum of twelve credits must be selected from courses numbered 600 or above. Thesis Requirements - A thesis must be submitted for the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees except for those programs in which a nonthesis option has been approved by the dean in conformity with the policy of the Graduate Council. Oral Examination - A final oral examination on the thesis shall be held when the student has completed the thesis to the satisfaction of the student's advisor, provided all other requirements for the degree have been completed, and a 3.00 grade point average has been earned.
- Non-Thesis Option The quality of work expected is identical to the thesis program. The general requirements for those in a non-thesis program are a minimum of thirty semester credit hours in courses approved for graduate credit. In addition, there must be a minimum of eighteen credit hours in courses numbered 600 or above, the submission of one or more scholarly papers, the completion of a comprehensive final examination, a portion of which must be written, and an overall GPA of 3.0.
- Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education
- A minimum of thirty semester hours in coursework with an overall GPA of 3.0. Grades for courses not a part of the program but taken in graduate status will be computed in the GPA;
- A minimum of fifteen hours in courses numbered 600-800 with the remainder at least in the 400 series;
- A comprehensive written examination taken at the end of coursework or a professional portfolio (depending on the specialization); and
- One or two seminar papers, depending on the coursework taken.
- Graduate School Requirements Applicable to all Doctoral Degrees
- Credit Requirements The Graduate School requires that every student seeking the doctoral degree register for a minimum of twelve research credits, but the number of research and other credit hours required in the program varies with the degree and program in question.
- Admission to Candidacy Preliminary examinations, or such other substantial tests as the department may elect, are frequently prerequisite for admission to candidacy. A student must be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate within five years after admission to the doctoral program and at least one academic year before the date on which the degree will be confirmed.
- Time Limitation The student must complete the entire program for the degree, including the dissertation and final examination, during a four year period after admission to candidacy. Extensions of time are granted only under the most unusual circumstances. If students fail to complete all requirements within the time allotted, they must submit another application for admission to the Graduate School and, if readmitted, another application for Advancement to Candidacy, after satisfying the usual program prerequisites prior to Advancement to Candidacy.
- Dissertation A dissertation or its equivalent is required of all candidates for a doctoral degree. The topic of the dissertation must be approved by the department or program committee. During the preparation of the dissertation, all candidates for any doctoral degree must register for the prescribed number of semester hours of Doctoral Dissertation Research (899) at University of Maryland.
- Graduate School Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy The Doctor of Philosophy is granted only upon sufficient evidence of high attainment in scholarship and the ability to engage in independent research. It is not awarded for the completion of course and seminar requirements no matter how successfully completed. In addition, a number of departments have a foreign language requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree. There is no Graduate School requirement stipulating a specific number of course credits in either a major or minor subject. It is the policy of the Graduate School to encourage the development of individual programs for each student who seeks the Ph.D. Dissertation The ability to do independent research must be demonstrated by an original dissertation on a topic approved by the department or program.
- Graduate School Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education The requirements for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree are for the most part the same as those for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the College of Education. The Ed.D. requires a minimum of six semester hours of dissertation credit.