2022-23 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2022-23 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Requirements for Graduate Degrees

Basic requirements for the graduate program are outlined below. Some of the colleges and departments have special requirements above and beyond those stated here and students are advised to consult the appropriate section of this catalog for any further degree requirements.

The master’s degree may be conferred upon a student who has completed a minimum of 30-60 semester hours of approved graduate courses in one of the programs outlined in this catalog and has a 3.00 or higher graduate cumulative grade point average for coursework applied toward the degree. A student may be required by the dean of graduate studies or by the appropriate graduate coordinator/designee to take certain additional courses as prerequisites, to take additional undergraduate or graduate courses, or to engage in independent study in order to remedy deficiencies and ensure a sound academic program. No course which has been applied toward an undergraduate degree may be counted toward the master’s degree. If approved, a limited number of hours applied toward a prior graduate degree may be applied toward a subsequent graduate degree. Courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be repeated for graduate credit. No more than three hours of 500-level coursework (graduate credit cross-listed with 300 level) may be applied toward a degree and a minimum of 70 percent of the coursework required for graduation must be taken at the 700 level. Only six semester hours of workshop credit may be applied toward a degree.

A graduate student is allowed to satisfy requirements for a graduate degree under any catalog in effect during the time a student has been admitted to a degree program at UT Martin, provided that the catalog has been in effect within six years of graduation and provided the student has been enrolled as a graduate student in the catalog year.

The requirements for each graduate degree and the majors (with concentrations, if applicable) and other specialized curricula for the degrees are described in the sections of the catalog which follow. The student has the ultimate responsibility to fulfill the requirements for the degree, to check his or her own eligibility to take courses and to observe the academic rules governing his or her program.

Residence and Time Limits

The minimum-residence requirement for the master’s degree is the equivalent of two semesters of full-time graduate study (18 semester hours) or a majority of the coursework for the degree, whichever is greater. Most programs require a minimum of 30 hours for the thesis option and 36 hours for the non-thesis option. Refer to the individual program requirements for exceptions.

The time limit for the use of graduate credit toward a master’s degree is six years (18 consecutive semesters) beginning with the earliest course applied toward the degree. For example, fall through summer semester is one year, as is spring through fall semester, and summer through spring semester. Normally, this time limit may not be extended. In exceptional cases, courses taken beyond this period may be recognized by special written examination if given prior approval by the Graduate Council.

Thesis Option

Students in Family and Consumer Sciences (M.S.F.C.S.) and Agriculture and Natural Resources (M.S.A.N.R.) may choose to write a thesis. This option is not available for students in Business or Education.

M.S.A.N.R. students seeking to qualify for the Thesis Option must have a GRE writing score of 3.5 or greater, and must complete a Writing Qualification Exam (WQE) developed and administered by the M.S.A.N.R. Graduate Coordinator. The M.S.A.N.R. Graduate Coordinator, in consultation with the M.S.A.N.R. Graduate Supervisory Committee, will grade the WQE: Pass or Fail. Students receiving a “Fail” grade on the WQE may schedule a second attempt on the WQE without taking remedial writing course work. M.S.A.N.R. students receiving a Fail grade on their first and second WQE attempts must take remedial writing course work prior to taking the WQE a third and final time. M.S.A.N.R. students must receive a “Pass” grade on the WQE no later than the end of the second semester of M.S.A.N.R. course work to be considered for the M.S.A.N.R. Thesis Option. The WQE does not apply to Non-Thesis Option students in the M.S.A.N.R. program. M.S.A.N.R. students who do not qualify for the Thesis Option may continue in the M.S.A.N.R. program in the Non-Thesis Option.

The student’s major professor serves as chair of the thesis committee. The committee also includes two other graduate faculty members from the major department. A student should consult the appropriate graduate coordinator/designee regarding the formation of the thesis committee at the time the thesis option is elected. The thesis courses (FCS 701 -FCS 702 ; AGRI 701 -AGRI 702 ; NRM 701 -NRM 702 ) must be taken sequentially. Only one course may be selected each semester.

Family and Consumer Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources students schedule a regular conference with their thesis committee chair and periodic evaluation conferences with members of their thesis committee to assess strengths and weaknesses. A statement of progress is prepared to assist in planning the balance of the graduate program.

Theses are to follow the style of the current Thesis and Dissertation Manual of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools which is available online at http://web.utk.edu/~thesis. It is the responsibility of the student to secure and comply with these guidelines.

Two unbound final copies of the committee-approved thesis must be presented to the dean of graduate studies no later than two weeks before the end of the semester (including final exams) in which the student expects to graduate. The student must make any necessary corrections in the unbound copies of the thesis in the Graduate Studies Office no later than one week before the end of the semester. The student must be enrolled for thesis credit the term the thesis is accepted. Exception: A student submitting an approved and corrected thesis to the Graduate Studies Office on the last workday preceding the first day of class for the semester in which the student will graduate will not be required to re-enroll in thesis credit.

Use of Human Subjects in Research

Federal laws require that research projects (whether undertaken by students or faculty members) involving human subjects be designed to protect the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of these subjects. Current regulations state that formal protection approval must be obtained if human subjects are used other than in a normal educational setting or if those subjects are at risk because of physical intrusion or privacy violation. Approval of all research must be obtained before any data are collected. The Faculty, Staff and Student Guide to Research Involving Human Subjects and all approval forms are available in the respective departmental offices, in the Office of Research, Grants, and Contracts and on the RGC website (www.utm.edu/rgc).

Non-Thesis Option

A student who elects this option must meet the requirements as stated for his/her degree. Courses must be approved in advance by his/her adviser. A written comprehensive examination is required and will be scheduled during the final semester of coursework.

Master Research Project

Students in the Master of Science in Education with a Major in Teaching (Curriculum & Instruction and Interdisciplinary Concentrations) must complete a Master Research Project for their culminating experience.


All graduate students must pass a final comprehensive examination which consists of an oral and/or written examination on all work, resident and transferred, offered for the degree. These examinations shall be held during the semester in which the student expects to receive the degree, at least three weeks prior to the end of that semester. During the semester that a graduate student takes (repeats) his/her comprehensive exam, he/she must be enrolled in a graduate class at UT Martin or pay a fee equal to one credit hour (in-state rate). The final examination for students will be conducted by a committee chaired by the graduate student’s major professor. Any members of the university faculty and graduate students may attend an oral final examination.

All students in Agriculture and Natural Resources are required to take a final written examination which is comprehensive in nature. The student should consult his/her adviser at the beginning of the semester in which he/she expects to graduate in order to establish the final examination committee.

A Family and Consumer Sciences student who chooses the non-thesis option will write a narrative comprehensive exam covering major areas studied. Questions will be submitted by all members of the graduate committee. A final oral examination may be required by the graduate committee.

All students in Business are required to take a written comprehensive examination which is an integral part of MGT 790 . Students earning a grade of at least B in the course will have represented successful completion of a comprehensive exam. Students not earning at least a B will be required to take a comprehensive exam following the existing catalog guidelines regarding repeating the comprehensive examination. Students must take MGT 790  in their last semester and must contact the Business Graduate Coordinator relative to scheduling.

All students in Education are required to take a final written examination which is comprehensive in nature. Students majoring in Counseling are required to take a comprehensive exam administered online through Canvas. A minimum score of 70% is required for successful completion. The examination will test a student’s competencies and knowledge in the chosen area of specialization. A student is eligible to take the comprehensive examination upon completion of the following eight core courses: COUN 620 COUN 716 , COUN 721 COUN 722 , COUN 725 , COUN 730 , COUN 740 , and COUN 760  or equivalent transferred courses.

Students majoring in Instructional Leadership are required to pass the Praxis School Leadership Series “School Leaders Licensure Assessment” (SLLA) test as their comprehensive exam. An official copy of the score report must be sent directly to UT Martin by the testing agency for verification. (Score is determined by the Tennessee State Department of Education.) Obtaining a passing score on the SLLA exam is required in order to graduate and to be recommended for the Instructional Leadership License–Beginning (ILL-B). Information regarding the Praxis SLLA test (registration, test dates, fees, etc.) can be found at www.ets.org or by contacting the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences Graduate Office. The test must be taken during the semester in which the student plans to earn his/her degree or in the immediately preceding semester.

Students majoring in Teaching–concentrating in Curriculum and Instruction or Interdisciplinary (including former Subject Area)–are required to take a written comprehensive examination which is an integral part of TCED 791 . Students earning a grade of at least B in the course will have represented successful completion of a comprehensive exam. Students not earning at least a B will be required to take a written comprehensive exam following the existing catalog guidelines regarding repeating the comprehensive examination. Students must take TCED 791  in their last semester and must contact the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences Graduate Office prior to registration.

Students majoring in Teaching with the Initial Licensure (Elementary, Secondary, and Interventionist K-8) are required to pass the Praxis II in order to student teach. Successful submission and completion on the Praxis exams will serve as a pass on the comprehensive exam. 

All students in Music Education (pending SACSCOC approval of the program) are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination. This comprehensive examination will consist of written and oral questions posed by the master’s degree candidate’s committee. Additionally, the candidate will be required to present their research/teaching project. Must concurrently enroll in Research/Teaching Project in Music Education MUED 798.

All requests for a change in the examination committee must be approved by the student’s adviser, the appropriate graduate program coordinator/designee, the chair and/or dean and the dean of graduate studies.

In the event that a student fails his/her comprehensive examination, these guidelines apply:

  1. The examination may be repeated within a period not to exceed one full semester from the date of the original examination only when it is the consensus of the examination committee that the student has a reasonable chance of mastering the necessary material.
  2. The members of the original examination committee shall constitute the committee for the second examination (except for unusual circumstances and approved by the appropriate graduate coordinator/designee, the department chair, the dean of the college and the dean of graduate studies).
  3. The second examination cannot be given within one month of the first examination and will be scheduled by the chair of the committee.
  4. The committee shall require the student to do such additional work as it deems necessary.
  5. If a student fails the second examination, the committee chair will notify the student if he/she will be required to take additional courses and/or to complete additional examinations recommended by the committee before being permitted to have a third, and final, examination.

A copy of the required work in preparation for a third examination is to be sent to the graduate program coordinator/designee, the department chair and/or the dean of the college and the dean of graduate studies. In no case shall a third examination be given until a complete semester has passed since the semester that the second examination was failed. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of B in each course required by the examination committee will disqualify a student from a third examination. Failure to pass the third examination will disqualify a student from receiving a master’s degree for the coursework taken. This does not exclude a student from beginning a new degree program at this institution, but any coursework toward the first unsuccessful degree program may not be applied toward a new one.