Graduate School

http://gradschool.uoregon.edu

Andy Karduna, Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Studies
541-346-5129
Susan Campbell Hall, first floor
1219 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1219

Graduate Council

The Graduate Council advises and makes recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School on matters pertaining to graduate study at the University of Oregon, including changes or additions to policies and regulations governing graduate study. The council consists of a representative elected committee of 12 faculty members, two students, and the vice provost for graduate studies. The current Graduate Council membership is listed on the Graduate School website.

Advanced Degrees and Certificates

Through the Graduate School, the University of Oregon offers study leading to advanced degrees in the liberal arts and sciences and in the professional areas of business, conflict and dispute resolution, design, education, journalism and communication, and music. Program offerings are listed in the Graduate Majors and Specializations section of this catalog.

For information about law degrees, see the School of Law section of this catalog.

Specific program requirements for most of these degrees appear in the departmental sections of this catalog; general requirements of the Graduate School are stated in this section.

General Information

Students who want to earn a second bachelor’s degree should not apply to the Graduate School. They should submit an application for postbaccalaureate undergraduate student status to the Office of Admissions via their website or by telephone, 541-346-3201.

Students who want to earn a graduate degree or graduate certificate are admitted to the Graduate School in accordance with the procedures described in this section.

Graduate Admission

To be admitted to the Graduate School for the purpose of seeking a graduate degree or graduate certificate or for enrolling in a formal nondegree graduate program, students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign country and must be accepted by the major department in which they propose to study. International applicants must also submit proof of English language proficiency. Information about requirements may be found online.

Graduate Classification

Students seeking certificates or advanced degrees are classified as follows:

  • Graduate postbaccalaureate
  • Graduate premaster’s
  • Graduate conditional master’s
  • Graduate master’s
  • Graduate postmaster’s
  • Graduate conditional doctoral
  • Graduate doctoral
  • Graduate postdoctoral

The university’s schools and departments determine their own requirements for graduate admission. Students should become familiar with these requirements before applying and address inquiries about graduate admission to the department or school in which they plan to study, not to the Graduate School or to the Office of Admissions.

Initial student status may be either conditional or unconditional. If a student has not been granted unconditional student status after the completion of 36 credits of graduate course work, the Graduate School may inquire into their status and recommend that a decision on the student’s status be made as soon as possible.

A former University of Oregon student must be admitted formally to the Graduate School in the same way as a student from any other college or university.

A student who has been admitted to a graduate program and wants to change their major must apply for admission to the new major. 

Applicants must pay a nonrefundable $70 application fee for domestic applicants or a $90 application fee for international applicants. The Graduate School offers fee waivers and discounts for applicants who meet specific criteria. More information is available here

Application Procedure

Students seeking admission to the Graduate School must submit an online application. Links may be found on each department’s or school’s website, or by contacting the department directly. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities from which the student has received a bachelor’s or advanced degree must be sent to the University upon application. More information is available here

Departments determine additional transcript requirements. The applicant may also be asked to submit materials such as transcripts of test scores (e.g., Graduate Record Examinations, Miller Analogies Test) and letters of reference. The applicant should ascertain from the school or department what additional materials, if any, are expected and submit them in the manner described by the department. In some cases, these materials will be collected electronically as part of the online application.

International Applicants

A satisfactory proficiency in the English language is required for admission to the University of Oregon. International applicants must show proof of language proficiency through one of the options outlined here.

Admission for Graduate Postbaccalaureate Study

Applicants who wish to take graduate coursework but do not intend to pursue a specific graduate degree must apply online. Instructions are available on the Graduate School website.

Language Requirement for International Graduate Employees

Graduate students who are non-native speakers of English who have been hired in teaching positions are required to prove their spoken English proficiency by achieving a minimum score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE), the speaking component of either the Internet-based TOEFL, or the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. Graduate employees who do not meet the minimum score for these tests must take the UO Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) Test upon their arrival on campus. More information about the GE language requirement is available on the Graduate School website. 

International students who want instruction in English as a second language before beginning their studies at the University of Oregon or another university in the United States may enroll in the American English Institute. For more information, visit aei.uoregon.edu.

International students must carry health and accident insurance for themselves and their dependent family members living in the United States. Students’ insurance policies must meet the minimum University of Oregon health insurance requirements. These requirements may be met by purchasing the health insurance administered by the University Health Center. This plan may be purchased during the registration process. Questions about the minimum requirements should be directed to International Student and Scholar Services via their website or by telephone, 541-346-3206.

Course Numbering System

500–599

Courses that offer graduate-level work in classes that may also include undergraduate students.

600–699

Graduate courses for graduate students only.

700–799

Except in the School of Music and Dance, courses of a highly technical nature that count toward a professional degree only, not toward advanced academic degrees such as an MA, MS, or PhD. Both 600- and 700-level courses with the MUP subject code denote graduate courses that apply toward advanced academic degrees in the School of Music and Dance.

503, 507, 508, 510, 601–610, 704–710

Graduate and professional courses that may be repeated for credit under the same number.

General Requirements and Policies

Students are responsible for staying informed about, and complying with, departmental regulations as well as Graduate School regulations.

Course Registration Requirements and Limits

A graduate student may register for up to 16 credits of graduate or undergraduate course work. Registration in excess of this level, up to a maximum of 18 credits, requires payment of additional fees for each extra credit. During summer session, graduate students are limited to a maximum of 16 credits. Minimum registration is three graduate credits a term.

International students should request information from the International Student and Scholar Services in the Division of Global Engagement about Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations and minimum credit requirements.

Graduate students working toward an advanced degree must be enrolled continuously until all degree requirements are completed (see Continuous Enrollment). Furthermore, students who use faculty assistance, services, or facilities must register each term for at least 3 graduate credits to compensate for usage. This includes students who are taking only comprehensive or final examinations or presenting recitals or terminal projects.

In the term in which a degree is granted, the student must register for at least 3 graduate credits. If the student is completing a master’s degree thesis in this final term, registration must include at least 1 of the 3 credits in Thesis (503). If a doctoral dissertation is being completed, registration must include at least 3 credits in Dissertation (603). Exceptions may be made depending on the timing of the submission of the thesis or dissertation. See the Graduate School website for details.

Students living elsewhere while writing a thesis or dissertation and sending chapters to an advisor for feedback must register for a minimum of 3 graduate credits a term; they should register for thesis or dissertation credits.

Various on- and off-campus agencies and offices have their own course-load requirements. For example, some agencies that offer student loans set registration requirements. The Office of the Registrar can only certify the number of credits for which a student has officially registered. Because the minimum registration requirements for the Graduate School may not satisfy some agency requirements, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the required number of credits.

Course Enrollment for Faculty and Staff Members

Faculty and staff members who want to take graduate courses should refer to the Human Resources office for information about regulations and fees. 

Faculty members (including officers of administration) may not pursue an advanced degree in the department in which they hold an appointment. To pursue a degree in another department, they must submit a petition to the dean of the Graduate School for approval. More information about the petition process is available on the Graduate School website.

Joint-Campus Program

Graduate students at the university may, with advisor and departmental approval, take graduate courses at Portland State University or Oregon State University. A student registers for these courses with the University of Oregon registrar, who records each grade on the academic record under Joint Campus Experimental Course: [Topic] (JC 610). A maximum of 15 credits taken under the joint campus program may be applied toward a graduate degree program. Joint campus course work counts toward the 24 graded credits required for the master’s degree. Additional information about eligibility and restrictions are available on the Graduate School website. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.

WICHE Regional Graduate Programs

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) coordinates a graduate exchange program, the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), to enable students from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming to apply for admission to selected professional programs and, if admitted, to be treated as resident students for tuition purposes.

The University of Oregon currently has a WRGP program in historic preservation. For information, visit the website.

WGRP certification must be renewed each academic year. 

Grade Requirements

Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in graduate courses taken in the degree program. Grades of D+ or less for graduate courses are not accepted for graduate credit but are computed in the GPA. Similarly, the grade of N (no pass) is not accepted for graduate credit. A grade of pass (P) must represent work equal to or better than a B–.

A GPA below 3.00 at any time during a graduate student’s studies or the accumulation of more than 5 credits of N or F grades—regardless of the GPA—is considered unsatisfactory. Accumulation of more than 7 credits of Incomplete is also considered unsatisfactory. Additional satisfactory progress requirements and procedures may be found on the Graduate School website. 

Other Graduate Classifications

A student not seeking a graduate degree may be classified as a graduate student doing graduate-level work as follows:

  • postbaccalaureate graduate
  • premaster’s
  • postmaster’s
  • postdoctoral
  • nonadmitted Community Education Program participant

Credits earned in these classifications are recorded on the student’s transcript.

Up to 15 graduate credits earned under one or more of the above classifications may later be transferred in to a master’s degree program if endorsed by the school or department and approved by the Graduate School. Students must submit a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form, which is available on the Graduate School website. These credits fall within the 15-credit maximum of transfer credit allowed for a master’s degree program. Approved credits may be used to meet relevant university degree requirements.

Incompletes

For graduate students, there are two sets of policies regarding incompletes on the student record—the first is departmental, the second involves the Graduate School. Graduate students should become familiar with both sets of policies. 

Graduate School policy requires that graduate students must convert a graduate course grade of Incomplete ("I") into a passing grade within one calendar year of the term the course was taken. After one year, the student must petition the Graduate School for the removal of the incomplete. 

To be eligible for Graduate School approval on a Petition to Remove an Incomplete, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • The incomplete must be no more than seven years old
  • The student must have the approval of the instructor to complete the outstanding course requirements
  • The student must not have completed a terminal advanced degree since the term of enrollment in the course. Incompletes that remain on the academic record after a degree has been awarded may not be removed. All course work documented on the transcript at the time of the awarding of the degree stands as a permanent record and it is not permissible to revise the record

An incomplete "I" assigned to Research (601) or Terminal Project (609) does not require a petition. Research and terminal project credits require the instructor to submit a Supplementary Grade Report to the Office of the Registrar. 

Accumulation of more than 7 credits of Incomplete is considered unsatisfactory. More information about satisfactory academic progress requirements is available on the Graduate School website. 

This policy applies to the level of the course and not to the level of the student. An undergraduate student in a graduate-level course will be evaluated under Graduate School policy. A graduate student in an undergraduate level course will follow policies in effect for undergraduate students. 

Continuous Enrollment

Unless leave status has been approved, a student in an advanced degree or graduate certificate program must remain in continuous enrollment at the university, taking at least 3 graduate credits each term, until all the program’s requirements have been completed. Registration for summer session is not required unless the student is using university facilities or faculty or staff services. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment effectively withdraws the student from graduate status. See Reinstatement

On-Leave Status

A graduate student interrupting a study program for one or more terms, excluding summer session, must apply for on-leave status to ensure a place upon return. Only graduate students in good standing are eligible for on-leave status, except by petition and with the support of the student's academic department or program. 

The Graduate School must receive the application by the last day of finals week of the term the leave begins. Leave status is granted for a specified period excluding summer session. Students with approved leave status should not use university facilities or faculty or staff services during the on-leave term and therefore need not pay tuition or fees. 

On-leave status does not extend the seven-year deadline except when the leave is for the student’s serious health or medical condition or for parenting needs during the 12 months immediately following a child’s birth or placement in the home.

Master's Students

Master’s students, except summer-only students, may apply for a maximum of three academic terms of on-leave status during the course of study for the degree. A master's student who attends the university only during summer session must obtain on-leave status for each ensuing school year. These summer students also must complete all degree requirements within the seven-year time limit. 

Doctoral Students

Doctoral students may apply for a maximum of six academic terms of on-leave status during the course of study for the degree. See Continuous Enrollment under Doctoral Degrees.

Additional details about on-leave status and how to apply are available on the Graduate School website. 

Reinstatement

A graduate student who fails to maintain continuous enrollment or obtain on-leave status is required to file a Petition for Reinstatement form, available on the Graduate School website. The petition is reviewed by the student’s major department and the Graduate School. The student may, at the discretion of the department, be required to meet departmental admission policies and degree completion requirements that are in effect on the date of reenrollment. Doctoral students may, at the discretion of the department, be required to complete the doctoral residency requirement again. They may also be required to retake the comprehensive examinations if completed prior to stopping out, if the department feels that this is necessary in order to demonstrate currency of knowledge.

Review of the Petition for Reinstatement may result in a change of residency status from resident to nonresident if the student has not maintained residency in Oregon. More information is available from the residency officer in the Office of Admissions.

Graduate Residency

Each graduate degree at the University of Oregon has a residency requirement that dictates how much of the work required for that degree must be completed at the University of Oregon. Please refer to the Master's Degrees and Doctoral Degrees sections below for details about residency requirements for each type of degree.

Waiver of Regulations

Graduate students may file a petition requesting exemption from any academic requirement. The petition must first be submitted to the academic department for review and supporting statement. The Graduate School then reviews the educational purpose the regulation in question was designed to serve. Petitions are seldom granted if the only reason given is to save the student from inconvenience or expense.

Graduate School petition forms are available on the Graduate School website.

Graduate Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Graduate tuition varies by program. Please refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website for the current tuition and fees schedule: https://registrar.uoregon.edu/tuition-fees/graduate.  

Fellowships and Financial Aid

One purpose of scholarship and fellowship support provided by the UO Graduate School is to enhance the diversity of the graduate student population by seeking talented students from groups historically underrepresented in graduate education. Broadening the talent pool from which graduate students are chosen enriches the educational and scholarly activities of all students and faculty members and is good academic practice. By bringing diverse individuals together to engage in intellectual activities, graduate programs engender respect for intellect, regardless of source, and help to build a community whose members are judged by the quality of their ideas.

At the University of Oregon, financial aid is available through graduate employee (GE) opportunities and research fellowships, training grant stipends, scholarships, work-study, loans, and part-time jobs. GEs are available to qualified graduate students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program. Inquire at the department for specific application deadlines. All GEs—research, teaching, and administrative—are represented by the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF), American Federation of Teachers, Local 3544. Recruitment and selection follow established published procedures from departments and the provisions of the GTFF collective bargaining agreement. Details of appointment procedures are available from the departments. Reappointment is subject to departmental policy but is always contingent upon making satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Teaching Fellowships

Nearly all the schools and departments award graduate employee (GE) opportunities. Salaries vary by department, and also depend on the student's past degrees and status within their academic program. More information about salary is available on the Graduate School website. The minimum appointment is 0.20 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) and the maximum appointment is .49 FTE. Graduate employees (GEs) must be enrolled in an graduate degree program and must register for and complete a minimum of 9 graduate credits toward the degree each term. Audited courses do not count toward this requirement. Tuition for up to 16 credits a term, a health insurance premium subsidy, and mandatory fees subsidy are provided by the university. Failure to enroll for and complete the minimum of 9 credits a term may nullify an appointment.

Nonnative speakers of English who accept teaching-related GE positions must demonstrate appropriate English language proficiency. See "Language Requirement for International Graduate Employees" above. 

Research Fellowships

A number of departments and schools employ graduate students to work on research projects under the supervision of faculty members. Funds typically come from research grants and contracts. Salaries and tuition policy are the same as for graduate students with teaching fellowships. In addition, some departments have federally supported training grants and consider fellowship applicants for support through these resources.

Fellowships from Other Sources

Graduate students may be eligible for fellowship awards granted by federal agencies and private foundations. Information on internal and external funding opportunities is available on the website for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. 

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The University of Oregon participates in several postdoctoral fellowship programs and provides facilities for postdoctoral study under faculty supervision. More information is available from individual schools and departments. Additional resources for postdoctoral fellows can be found on the Graduate School website. 

Other Financial Assistance

Some forms of financial aid depend on financial need, defined as the difference between the cost of attending an institution and the amount the student and his or her family can contribute toward these expenses. See the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships section of this catalog for information about available aid and application procedures.

International Students

International students may work on campus during the school year but should not expect to work off campus. Those who hold student (F-1) visas are expected to have sufficient funds for the period of their studies. Their dependents are not usually allowed to work. However, if it is necessary for a dependent to work, students should contact International Student and Scholar Services in the Division of Global Engagement.

International students are eligible for institutionally supported teaching and research fellowships described above.

Master’s Degrees

Master’s degree candidates must fulfill the requirements of the Graduate School, which are listed below. Students must also complete the additional requirements set by the school or department in which the degree is to be awarded. These are described in the departmental sections of this catalog. 

Credit Requirements

To earn a master’s degree, students must complete a program of study totaling no fewer than 45 graduate credits. As noted above, some departments require more than 45 credits.

The credits must be taken after admission to the master’s degree program (conditional or unconditional) or approved for transfer (see Transferred Credit below). Of the total, 24 credits must be in graded courses taken at the UO and passed with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better. A minimum of 30 credits in the major are required for a master’s degree with a departmental major. In addition, at least 9 credits in courses numbered 600–699 must be taken in residence at the University of Oregon.

Students working toward a master’s degree with thesis must register for a minimum 9 credits of Thesis (503). Credit for thesis is given pass/no pass.

Second Master’s Degree

Students who earned the first master’s degree from the University of Oregon may earn a second master’s degree in another field by taking at least 30 graduate credits, of which 24 must be in courses taken for letter grades, after official admission as a master’s degree candidate in the new major at the university. This provision does not apply to a second master’s degree in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program (ISP). Although the second master’s degree may be permitted with reduced credits, complete records of the student’s graduate-level study must reflect the equivalent of all requirements for completion of the degree as described in the University of Oregon Catalog. Schools and departments may require more than this 30-credit minimum or deny the request. If the first master’s degree is from another institution, the second master’s degree program must comply with the standard university master’s degree requirements (a minimum of 45 credits). Students pursuing two graduate degrees at the same time must file a concurrent degree form, available on the Graduate School website.

Accelerated Master’s Programs (AMPs)

The Graduate School offers exceptional undergraduate students in selected majors the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in as few as 5 years. Accelerated Master's Programs (AMPs) are for high-achieving undergraduates in participating majors who plan to continue in a master’s program. To determine if this is an option in your major, see the list of currently approved AMPs on the Graduate School website. 

Each AMP sets its own admission criteria and internal admissions processes. Interested students should inquire with the program offering the AMP regarding admission. 

AMP Policies: 

  • Students must be classified as Juniors or Seniors in order to apply to an AMP. 
  • AMP students must be classified as Seniors in order to begin taking graduate-level courses.  
  • AMP students may take up to 16 credits of graduate coursework while classified as senior undergraduates, which will appear on the undergraduate transcript, but may also be used to meet requirements for the master's degree. Students will be charged at the undergraduate rate and retain eligibility for undergraduate scholarships during this transition year. 
  • Students will be considered undergraduates until the bachelor’s degree is conferred, at which point they will be officially admitted as master’s students, be charged at the graduate tuition rate, and be eligible for graduate assistantships. 
  • While classified as undergraduates, even if taking graduate classes, students will be subject to all undergraduate policies, including Academic Standing rules for undergraduate students. 
  • Students who have been accepted to an accelerated master’s program must complete all of their bachelor’s degree requirements and graduate within 12 months of the first day of the quarter in which they begin taking graduate courses as part of the accelerated program. Students who fail to do so will undergo a progress review and may be dismissed from the AMP. 
  • A student who is admitted to an AMP and subsequently decides not to continue into the master’s program may still count up to 16 graduate credits earned as an undergraduate toward the bachelor’s degree, but they may not use those graduate credits toward a UO graduate degree should they decide to return to the UO at a later date. 
  • 400-level courses will not be allowed to count toward minimum master’s degree requirements, even by petition and even if the associated 500-level course would have been accepted toward master’s degree requirements. In the case of a student who has already taken a 400-level course and the corresponding 500-level course is required for the master’s degree, the student may be required to take the 500-level course. Once accepted to an accelerated master’s program, the designated AMP coordinator for the program should work closely with students to ensure registration in the appropriate graduate-level courses. 

Time Limit

Students must complete all work for the master’s degree within seven years, including transferred credits, thesis, the language requirement for an MA, and all examinations. On-leave status does not extend the seven-year deadline except when the leave is for the student’s serious health or medical condition or for parenting needs during the 12 months immediately following a child’s birth or placement in the home. 

Residency and Enrollment Requirements

For a master’s degree, the Graduate School requires that a minimum of 30 credits (applicable to degree requirements) be taken at the University of Oregon during at least two terms of study. A second University of Oregon master’s degree also requires a minimum of 30 credits and at least two terms of study at the University of Oregon. Individual schools or departments may have additional residence requirements.

Students enrolled in a graduate degree program must attend the university continuously, except for summers, until all the program’s requirements have been completed, unless on-leave status has been approved. For more information, see Course Registration Requirements and LimitsContinuous EnrollmentGraduate Residency, and On-Leave Status under General Requirements and Policies.

Transferred Credit

Graduate Credit from Other Institutions

Graduate credit earned while enrolled as a graduate student at another accredited college or university may be counted toward the master’s degree under the following conditions:

  1. Total transferred credits may not exceed 15 credits
  2. Courses must be relevant to the degree program as a whole
  3. The student’s home department and the Graduate School must approve the transfer
  4. Grades earned must be A+, A, A–, B+, B, or P
  5. The courses may not have been used to satisfy the requirements for another degree
  6. Transfer courses are subject to the seven-year limit for degree completion

Transferred credit may not be used to meet the requirement of 24 credits in University of Oregon graded graduate courses, nor are they used in computing the UO cumulative GPA.

Reservation of Graduate Credit: Permission to Register for Graduate Credit

An undergraduate student must request permission to register for a graduate-level course. The student must file a Reservation of Graduate Credit form with the Graduate School by Wednesday of week 1 of the term in which they want to enroll in the graduate course. The form is available on the Graduate School website. Two options are available for disposition of course credits.

Note: These options do not apply to students participating in an Accelerated Master's Program (AMP). AMP students should refer to Accelerated Master's Program policies for information about taking graduate classes while classified as an undergraduate.  

Option 1

Include the graduate-level course in requirements for the bachelor's degree. To be eligible, the student must be admitted as an undergraduate and have earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 in each of the three terms prior to enrolling in the graduate course. Undergraduates receiving less than a grade of B in a graduate-level course will be ineligible for further enrollment in graduate-level course work. 

Option 2

Reserve the graduate-level course for consideration by a department after admission as a graduate student. This option is available to seniors only and is limited to a maximum of three graduate courses not exceeding a total of 12 credits. To be eligible, the student must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 in each of the three terms prior to enrolling in the graduate course. Undergraduates receiving less than a grade of B in a graduate-level course will not be allowed to use the course toward a master's degree, and will be ineligible for further reservations of graduate credit.  

Undergraduates do not qualify to receive credits for the following graduate classes: Research (601), Supervised College Teaching (602), Internship (604), Reading and Conference (605), Field Studies or Special Problems (606), Workshop (508 or 608), Special Topics or Colloquium (508 or 608), and Practicum, Terminal Project, or Supervised Tutoring (609).  

Transfer of Reserved Graduate Credit

Undergraduates who completed graduate-level courses at the University of Oregon under the Reservation of Graduate Credit petition process and who reserve the courses by choosing Option 2 on the petition form may apply up to 12 credits toward the master's degree. 

Course work taken for letter grades (B or better) and P/N courses, if accompanied by the instructor's statement that the passing grade was equal to a B or better, is eligible for consideration. If approved, these courses can be used to satisfy relevant university master's degree requirements. A Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form (available on the Graduate School's website) must be filed within two terms of acceptance into a master's degree program and within two years of earning the bachelor's degree. Any credits transferred under this option fall with the 15-credit transfer maximum. 

Other University of Oregon Transferred Credit

A maximum of 15 graduate credits earned at the University of Oregon while classified as a graduate postbaccalaureate student, a nonadmitted graduate student enrolled in the Community Education Program, or a student earning a graduate certificate may later be counted toward the master’s degree (see Other Graduate Classifications under General Requirements and Policies), pending school or department endorsement and Graduate School approval. This is within the overall 15-credit maximum for transfer. Grades earned must be A+, A, A–, B+, B, or P. A Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form (available on the Graduate School website) must be approved for credits completed under these classifications to be applied to degree requirements. 

Transfer of Credit for Doctoral Students

There is no formal university transfer credit process for doctoral students. Each program sets its own policy regarding acceptance of transfer credits, and is responsible for tracking how transfer credits fit into departmental degree requirements. Transfer credits can only be used to meet departmental degree requirements; they cannot be used to waive or substitute for minimum Graduate School doctoral degree requirements. 

Distinction between MA and MS Degrees

Students pursuing a master of arts (MA) degree must demonstrate competence in a second language. Details of the MA language requirement are available on the Graduate School website. There is no language requirement for the master of science (MS) and professional master's degrees unless the department so specifies.

Examinations and Thesis

The student’s major school or department may require qualifying, comprehensive, or final examinations or any combination of these. The content and methods of conducting such examinations are the responsibility of the school or department.

In some fields, master’s degree candidates must submit a thesis; in others the thesis is optional. A student who writes a thesis must complete the following procedures:

  1. Request information from the major school or department about the various steps involved and the standards expected
  2. Consult the Thesis and Dissertation Style and Policy Manual, available on the Graduate School website. Only theses that meet the standards of style and form discussed in that manual are accepted

The advisory committee, appointed by the department, determines the work to be completed in light of the student’s academic background and objectives. The number of committee members is determined by the department. The advisor is expected to be a member of the regular faculty, tenured or tenure-track.

Research Compliance

See Research Compliance in the Doctoral Degrees section of this catalog.

Summary of Graduate School Requirements

The following outline lists minimum Graduate School requirements for master’s degrees. Specific departmental requirements must also be met before the student is awarded an advanced degree. Credit requirements listed below must be met with graduate credits.

Language Requirement MA only
Minimum GPA 3.00
Minimum thesis credits 9 credits
Time limit for program completion Seven years
Total credit minimum 45 credits
Registration minimum per term 3 credits
Minimum graded credits taken in residence 24 credits
Minimum 600 level credits in residence 9 credits
Minimum credits in major 30 credits
Minimum credits taken at UO 30 credits

The school or department specifies whether a thesis is mandatory or optional; however, a student writing a thesis must register for at least 9 credits in Thesis (503).

Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programs

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

The Interdisciplinary Studies Program (ISP) is the university’s most flexible interdisciplinary program leading to MA and MS degrees. The program is designed for students with specific, well-articulated goals that cannot be reached through established departmental programs. Although flexibility is allowed in program design, the program must be composed of existing graduate courses from two or three approved master’s degree programs. Detailed requirements are available on the Graduate School website. 

Guidelines in the ISP include the following:

  1. A maximum of 15 credits may be used from practicum, field studies, research, and reading and conference courses. Such credit must be distributed across the different areas of the program
  2. The terminal project or thesis consists of 9 credits in either Terminal Project (IST 609) or Thesis (IST 503)
  3. At least 30 of the 45 minimum credits for the degree must be taken after the candidate is admitted to the IS:IP program

Admission is selective. Acceptance into the program is based on background qualifications, the statement of purpose, and the appropriateness and availability of courses and advisors at the university. An applicant who has been denied admission to a departmental graduate program at the university must have departmental permission to use that department as a program area.

Consent must be obtained in writing from each of the two or three advisors, indicating their willingness to serve and their approval of the final listing of courses in each of the three areas. One of the advisors must be designated as chair. Prior to being offered admission, approval is also required from the department head or director of graduate studies from each department included in the applicant's program of study. Subsequent changes in the program must be approved by both the advisor in the area involved and the ISP director. More information about the ISP is available on the Graduate School website.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy

The degree of doctor of philosophy (PhD) requires distinguished achievement in both scholarship and original research. The degree is granted chiefly in recognition of the candidate’s high attainment and ability in a special field of an academic discipline, as shown by work on required examinations and by the preparation of a dissertation. Minimum university and school, college, or department requirements of residence and study must be satisfied. The requirements for PhD degrees established by the Graduate School are given below. Individual programs have additional specific requirements, which are presented in the departmental sections of this catalog. 

Residency and Credit Requirements

For the PhD degree, the student must complete the equivalent of at least 81 credits of graduate-level academic work beyond the bachelor’s degree over the course of at least three calendar years.

The doctoral residency requirement is as follows:

  • At least 27 credits of graduate course work toward the doctoral degree must be completed at the University of Oregon while classified as a doctoral student. Course work completed as a UO master’s student may count toward the doctoral residency requirement under these circumstances: (1) the master’s program is in the same major as the doctoral program; (2) no more than one calendar year has lapsed between the last term of enrollment as a master’s student and the start of the doctoral program  
  • Of these 27 credits, at least 14 credits must be in regular course work—i.e., not in individualized study credits such as Research (601), Reading and Conference (605), and Special Problems (606)
  • The 18 required credits in Dissertation (603) do not count toward the residency requirement

Language Requirement

Individual departments or programs may require knowledge of a second language or of other specialized disciplines, such as computer science or statistics, as part of a PhD program. Information about these requirements is available from the department or program offering the degree.

Candidates for the doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Oregon are expected to have proficiency in at least one language in addition to English if a substantial, relevant body of literature in one or more languages exists in the candidate’s specialized field of dissertation research. It is the responsibility of the candidate’s advisor or doctoral committee to determine which languages the candidate is expected to know before beginning dissertation research. Guidelines for language proficiency are established by the candidate’s home department or program. 

Advisory Committee

The advisory committee, appointed by the department, determines the work to be completed in light of the student’s academic background and objectives. This committee usually consists of three or four members, and the student’s advisor is chair.

Examinations and Advancement to Candidacy

Every PhD student must pass comprehensive examinations (oral, written, or both) or other similar requirements set by the department that cover the primary areas of the student’s program and, if applicable, any supporting area required by the department. The student is responsible for material directly covered in completed graduate courses and for additional independent study in his or her field. Students should consult their department's/program's website or graduate handbook for information about requirements for advancing to candidacy. 

Within two weeks of the student meeting these requirements, the home department and the student must submit a report via GradWeb to the dean of the Graduate School recommending advancement to candidacy.

Dissertation

All candidates must submit a dissertation based on independent and original research. The dissertation must contribute significantly to knowledge, show a mastery of the literature of the subject, be written in acceptable literary style, and conform to the standards outlined in the University of Oregon Thesis and Dissertation Style and Policy Manual. The manual is available from the Graduate School website. Doctoral dissertations must be submitted electronically to ProQuest. Copyright registration is optional. Theses and dissertations completed at the University of Oregon will be available in Scholars' Bank, the UO's open-access repository for the intellectual work of its faculty, students, and staff at the University of Oregon. 

Research Compliance

University policy requires that students who intend to engage in research involving human or animal subjects have their research procedures approved before they begin to collect data. Researchers who want to use human subjects may obtain protocol forms and procedures from the Research Compliance Services website. Researchers who want to use animal subjects may obtain protocol forms and procedures from the Animal Welfare Services website.

Dissertation Committee

Following advancement to candidacy, the candidate’s department proposes the membership of the dissertation committee to the dean of the Graduate School, who appoints the committee after approving it.

The dissertation committee consists of a minimum of four members, each with a particular role:

The chair and core members are typically from the department awarding the degree and the Institutional Representative is from outside the department. When appropriate, some of the home department committee members may be from another department, with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School and the home department. The committee must be proposed to the Graduate School no later than six months before the dissertation defense.

A detailed description of the policy on dissertation committees is available on the Graduate School website.

Dissertation Registration

Registration for Dissertation (603) is allowed only after the candidate has advanced to candidacy. Doctoral students must have a minimum of 18 credits of Dissertation (603) to graduate. Doctoral students are required to enroll for a minimum of 3 credits of Dissertation (603) in the term of degree completion and during any other term in which they are utilizing faculty time or university resources.

Defense of Dissertation

Formal, public defense must take place on campus at a date set by the committee chair and approved by the Graduate School. 

Tentative approval of the dissertation by the committee is recommended prior to formal defense. This evaluation is based on copies of the final manuscript, which the candidate provides for the dissertation committee at least three weeks before the formal defense.

The approved application for final oral defense must also be filed with the Graduate School three weeks before the formal defense. Visit the Graduate School website for specific instructions.

The time and place of the defense must be publicly noted. The dissertation committee must be present at the defense (with some exceptions—see the Graduate School website for details). Remote attendance policies are under review; refer to the Graduate School website for the most up-to-date policies. 

Completion of Dissertation

Within two weeks following the defense of the dissertation but before the dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School, committee members should sign the Certificate of Completion, signaling approval of the dissertation, only if they have seen and approved what is substantially a final draft and if they are willing to delegate the oversight of any remaining minor revisions to the chair. If this is not the case, they should not sign the Certificate of Completion. Approval requires a unanimous vote. In the event of a split vote, the dean of the Graduate School determines the review procedure after consultation with the student, the department chair (or the school or college dean), and the committee. Once the dissertation has been approved by the committee, the student must submit the dissertation electronically to the Graduate School. Visit the Graduate School website for deadlines and submission instructions.

Time Limit

The seven-year time limit for completing a doctoral degree begins with the first term of admission as a conditional or regular doctoral student at the University of Oregon. The residency requirement, the completion of advancement to candidacy requirements, and the completion of the doctoral dissertation must all be accomplished within this seven-year period. On-leave status does not extend the seven-year deadline except when the leave is for the student’s serious health or medical condition or for parenting needs during the 12 months immediately following a child’s birth or placement in the home.

A petition for an extension of the period can only be considered if the student has already advanced to candidacy and has an approved dissertation proposal by the end of the seventh year. Petitions for extension of the seven-year limit may include the requirements of recompleting the doctoral residency requirement, advancement to candidacy requirements, or both. Petitions are evaluated case by case and are not automatically granted. Students on seven-year extensions must submit quarterly renewals outlining their progress before they are allowed to register for the next quarter. 

Continuous Enrollment

Unless on-leave status has been approved, a student enrolled in a doctoral program must attend the university continuously until all the program and university requirements, including submission of the dissertation to the Graduate School, have been met. To be continuously enrolled, the student must register for 3 graduate credits each term excluding summer sessions. See On-Leave Status under General Requirements and Policies.

On-Leave Status

While on on-leave status, the doctoral candidate acknowledges that he or she is not using any university or faculty services (e.g., no examinations are being taken, no committee changes are being processed, and no dissertation chapters are being submitted for review). On-leave status maintains the student’s status as a degree candidate and reserves a place for dissertation supervision and other academic affairs upon the student’s return to active enrollment within the seven-year time limit.

Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education (DEd) degree is granted in recognition of the candidate’s mastery of theory, practice, and research in professional education. The general requirements for residence, dissertation, advancement to candidacy, time limit, and continuous enrollment are the same as for the PhD degree. See the College of Education section of this catalog for details.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Requirements for the doctor of musical arts (DMA) degree include formal admission, proficiency and comprehensive examinations, second languages, a program of study including area of emphasis, and a dissertation, lecture document, or digital portfolio. Requirements for residence, time limit, and continuous enrollment are the same as those listed for the PhD degree. See the School of Music and Dance section of this catalog for details.

Chronological Summary of Procedures Leading to Doctoral Degrees

  1. Admission
  2. Continuous enrollment. Students enrolled in advanced degree programs must attend the university continuously (except for summers) until all the program’s requirements are completed, unless on-leave status has been approved. Minimum enrollment is 3 graduate credits a term.
  3. Course work and residence. Student’s advisory committee, appointed by the department, school, or college, determines the program, which must include at least 81 credits of accredited graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree over the course of at least three years, of which at least 27 credits must be completed at the University of Oregon, and of which 18 credits are in Dissertation (603).
  4. Second languages or other specialized knowledge. Regulations are set by the department, school, or college.
  5. A comprehensive examination or other similar requirements covering the major discipline advances the student to candidacy for the degree. Advancement to candidacy is completed after the majority of required course work has been completed and after most of the requirements for the degree, except completion and defense of the dissertation, have been satisfied.
  6. Appointment of dissertation committee, registration for Dissertation (603), and completion of dissertation. The committee is appointed following advancement to candidacy and at least six months before completion of the dissertation. Typically, the committee consists of at least three members of the graduate faculty of the candidate’s home department as well as an Institutional Representative who is a graduate faculty member from outside the candidate’s department. A minimum of 18 credits in Dissertation (603) are required after advancement.
  7. Application for degree made to the Graduate School. Deadlines and instructions are available on the Graduate School website.
  8. Defense of dissertation. The approved application for final oral defense must be filed with the Graduate School no later than three weeks before the date of defense.
  9. Dissertation submission and publication. Dissertations are submitted electronically through ProQuest. Detailed instructions are available on the Graduate School website. 
  10. Conferral of degree. The degree is conferred at end of term in which all degree requirements are satisfied.
  11. Diploma issued. The diploma is issued by Office of the Registrar approximately 6-10 weeks after the end of the term of degree conferral. 

Interdisciplinary Studies Courses

Course usage information

IST 503. Thesis. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 601. Research: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 602. Supervised College Teaching. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 605. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 606. Special Problems: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 607. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 608. Workshop: [Topic] or Colloquium: [Topic] or Special Topics: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 609. Terminal Project. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

IST 610. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Joint Campus Courses

Course usage information

JC 610. Joint Campus Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-15 Credits.