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Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Nov 23, 2017
 
 
    
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Requirements for Graduate Degrees


The following are general university requirements for the various degree programs as established by the graduate faculty. Individual departments and programs may have established additional or more restrictive requirements, which are described in the corresponding departmental sections of this catalog. Students should consult those sections to determine such requirements and must meet all requirements specific to their own major/specialization in addition to the general requirements of the university.


Graduation

  

See the Graduation section on the General Regulations page.

Requirements for the Degrees
Master of Accouting Science
Master of Arts
Master of Music
Master of Physical Therapy
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Health
Master of Science
Master of Science in Education
Master of Science in Taxation
Master of Science in Teaching

  

The following regulations apply to students in programs leading to the degrees listed above. Detailed requirements for specific degrees appear in the departmental sections of this catalog. Regulations for the Master of Business Administration are in the College of Business section of this catalog, and regulations for Master of Fine Arts degrees are in the School of Art and School of Theatre and Dance sections of this catalog.

Admission

The Graduate School admission requirements for all of the abovelisted master’s degrees except for those in the College of Business are indicated in the section on “General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School.” The admission requirements for graduate programs in the College of Business are described in that college’s section of this catalog.

There are additional admission requirements and earlier application dates for several programs; the catalog sections for individual programs should be consulted.

Credit Requirements

Students in master’s degree programs must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit with a minimum GPA of 3.00. This average must be earned over all NIU graduate courses required in the student’s program of courses (excluding deficiency courses taken for graduate credit) as well as over all graduate work taken at NIU. The minimum number of required semester hours is greater than 30 in some programs, as indicated in the respective major department sections.

Limitation of Time

The student must fulfill all requirements for a degree within the six consecutive years immediately preceding the date of the student’s graduation from that degree program. This time limit applies to enrollment in all graduate course work in the student’s program including work for which transfer credit is allowed.

If an NIU course taken to complete the requirements for the master’s degree does not fall within the six-year period allowed for the degree program, the student’s major department may require the student to retake the course for credit or may allow the student to demonstrate current knowledge of the subject matter. In the latter case, currency must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department offering the course through successful completion of an appropriate examination or other assessment if available from the department. Otherwise, the outdated course work must be deleted from, and other course work must be substituted in, the program of courses. Transfer courses falling outside the limitation of time cannot be used in a graduate program.

In the College of Business, the six-year time limitation for course work applies only to Phase Two courses.

Courses for Which Graduate Credit is Allowed

At NIU only courses which are numbered 500-798 carry credit toward the master’s degree.

Northern Illinois University does not offer correspondence courses, which are courses other than independent-study courses that do not involve significant real-time interaction between students and faculty, when such interaction would normally be a part of the same course offering on campus.

Student-at-Large, Study-Abroad, and Transfer Credit

With the approval of the student’s major department and the office of the dean of the Graduate School, a maximum combined total of 15 semester hours of credit for courses taken for graduate credit that are accepted in transfer from other accredited or recognized institutions, plus NIU graduate courses taught outside the United States, may be counted toward meeting the requirements for an advanced degree. Some degree programs also have limitations on the amount of credit from courses taken at NIU as a student-at-large, and/or on the combined total of student-at-large, study-abroad, and transfer hours, that may be applied toward meeting degree requirements; such limitations are described below or in individual program descriptions in this catalog.

In the Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, no more than 9 semester hours of transfer course work plus credit earned as a student-at-large may be applied to the master’s degree. In the School of Nursing no more than 9 semester hours earned from courses taken as a student-at-large and no more than 6 semester hours of transfer credit may be applied to the master’s degree. In the School of Art no more than 9 semester hours of transfer credit may be counted toward meeting the requirements for a master’s degree. In the Department of English no more than 15 semester hours of transfer course work and/or credit earned as a student-at-large may be appplied toward a graduate degree.

The above semester-hour limits may be exceeded on a program of courses only by the use of transfer courses and only if the total number of semester hours required on the program of courses exceeds the minimum requirements for that major (and specialization, if any) by at least the same number of hours.

Language and Research-Tool Requirement

Certain departments require proficiency in a foreign language or a research tool for the master’s degree. The departmental sections of this catalog should be consulted for such requirements. Proficiency in these skills is determined in the same fashion as described under “Requirements for Doctoral Degrees,” unless specified otherwise in the program descriptions in this catalog.

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required in all master’s degree programs described in this section except the M.A.S., the M.S.T., the M.S.Ed. in counseling, M.S.Ed. in physical education, and the M.S. programs in industrial and systems engineering, in industrial management, in management information systems, and in nursing. The comprehensive examination may be either written or oral, or both, at the option of the department. These examinations are given by the major department. The number of semester hours of course work which a student must complete before taking this examination shall be determined by the department. A student planning to take a comprehensive examination may be required to file a letter of intent with his or her department, and should consult the department concerning applicable procedures and deadlines for such notification.

A student must be enrolled in the term in which a comprehensive examination is taken. A student must be in good academic standing, and must have departmental approval, to be eligible to take this comprehensive examination. The department may allow a student who fails this examination to repeat it after a period of time determined by the department. A student who fails this examination a second time, or is not permitted a second attempt, will not be permitted to continue work toward the master’s degree in that program, and admission to that program will be terminated.

If the comprehensive examination is to be given to a group of students rather than being scheduled individually for each student, the department should post notices of the date, time, and place for each examination at least two weeks before it is to be administered.

Thesis

The thesis will be a scholarly contribution to knowledge. Its subject must be in the area of the student’s major and be approved by the student’s thesis director and, ultimately, by the thesis committee. The thesis presents research that has been conducted under the supervision of a graduate faculty member from the student’s major department approved as the thesis director. The document may not have been published previously, and the research must be successfully defended in an oral examination.

In special situations, and only with the approval of the faculty director(s) and committee(s), students may collaborate on some aspects of the work contributing to their theses. However, each thesis submitted to the Graduate School for approval must be a unique product with the degree candidate as the sole author and with due acknowledgment of the contributions of collaborators; and the author must demonstrate to his or her committee satisfactory command of all aspects of the work presented.

A student intending to write a thesis should identify a prospective faculty director for the thesis, who must be willing to serve as thesis director, meet Graduate School qualifications, and be approved by the department (department chair or designee). The thesis director and thesis committee will judge the acceptability of the work. A faculty member may decline to serve as director of any particular thesis project, in which case the department will assist the student in seeking a thesis director. If a student, with department approval, changes thesis director, the student may need to undertake additional work, or to change research projects, in accordance with the expectations and expertise of the new thesis director.

When thesis research involves human subjects, experimental animals, recombinant DNA, or the use of radioactive substances, special approval is required before the research is undertaken, as explained under the heading “Protective Standards in Research.”

A student following a thesis program shall submit an electronic copy of the thesis in PDF format according to the Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting Theses and Dissertations, found on the Thesis and Dissertation page of the Graduate School website.

After the thesis has been reviewed and approved by the Graduate School, the approved version will be deposited electronically with UMI Dissertation Publishing to be made available through their digital library of dissertations and theses. The student is required to pay the applicable fees.

Course Number 699

A student who has formally begun the thesis or its equivalent must register in course number 699 in each subsequent term until the thesis or equivalent is submitted to and formally approved by the Graduate School. Registration for this purpose may be in absentia. If circumstances prohibit continuing progress on the work, a graduate student may request a leave of absence from the office of the dean of the Graduate School. If a student interrupts registration in a course numbered 699 without obtaining a leave of absence, then, upon recommendation of the major department, the student’s admission to the degree program will be terminated. After a student has registered for the maximum number of hours of credit that can be earned in a course numbered 699, he or she should register as an auditor in 699 each term until the thesis receives final Graduate School approval.

A student must be in good academic standing, both overall and in the degree program, to be eligible to submit a thesis for review and acceptance by the Graduate School.

Composition of Examination and Thesis Committees

The thesis committee and the final comprehensive examination committee shall each consist of at least three voting members approved by the department (department chair or designee). The majority of the voting members of the committee must be regular faculty members at Northern Illinois University; a majority of the voting members must be members of the graduate faculty; and ordinarily at least one-half of the voting members, including the committee chair, must be graduate faculty members in the student’s major.

Application for Graduation

When nearing completion of requirements for a graduate degree, a student must submit an application for graduation to the Graduate School. See “Graduation.”

Requirements for the Degree
Master of Business Administration

See “Master of Business Administration” in the College of Business.

Requirements for the Educational
Specialist Degree

See “Educational Specialist in Educational Administration” in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations.

Requirements for the Performer’s Certificate

See “Performer’s Certificate” in the School of Music.

Requirements for the Degree
Master of Fine Arts

See “Master of Fine Arts in Art” in the School of Art and “Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts” in the School of Theatre and Dance.

Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Audiology

See “Doctor of Audiology” in the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders.

Requirements for the Degrees
Doctor of Education
Doctor of Philosophy

  

The research doctorate is the highest degree granted by the university and is conferred only for work of distinction in which the student displays powers of original scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees are offered in adult and higher education, counseling, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, educational psychology, and instructional technology through various departments in the College of Education. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees are offered in biological sciences, chemistry, economics, English, geology, history, mathematical sciences, physics, political science, and psychology, through the corresponding departments.

Admission

Normally a student applying for admission to a doctoral program will be expected to have completed both baccalaureate and master’s degrees. A student with a baccalaureate degree may, with the approval of the department, be admitted directly into a doctoral program unless otherwise specified in the appropriate departmental section of this catalog. No student will be admitted to doctoral work unless the undergraduate and graduate records indicate ability to do work of high quality in the field chosen. See also “General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School.”

Admission to doctoral work in a specific department may also require passing whatever entrance tests, screening devices, or interviews are required by the individual department. Some programs have earlier application dates than those of the Graduate School; consult the sections of this catalog describing the individual programs.

Credit Requirements

Graduate students working for a doctoral degree must complete at least 90 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00. This will include formal course work, independent study, research, and the dissertation, as specified on the student’s program of courses. Some doctoral programs require more than 90 semester hours.

The minimum GPA requirement applies to all graduate courses required on the student’s program of courses (excluding deficiency courses taken for graduate credit) as well as to all graduate course work taken at NIU. Transfer credit will be allowed at the discretion of the department concerned and the office of the dean of the Graduate School, subject to the limitations described below. For a student applying graduate work from another institution toward the semester-hour requirements of a doctoral degree, the sum of the transfer credit may not exceed 24 semester hours. Although most of the work will be in the student’s major field, at the discretion of the major department some course work may be taken in related fields. The departmental sections of this catalog should be consulted for other requirements.

Limitation of Time

Except as indicated below, the student must fulfill all requirements for a doctoral degree within nine consecutive years immediately preceding the date of the student’s graduation from that degree program.

At the discretion of the student’s major department, the nine-year limit need not apply to some or all of the earliest 30 postbaccalaureate semester hours of credit included in the student’s doctoral program of courses.

At the discretion of the department, Ph.D. language/tool requirements may be satisfied with course work and/or examinations falling outside the limitation of time for the doctoral degree.

The time limit applies to enrollment in all graduate course work on the student’s program of courses for the doctoral degree, excluding deficiency courses, but including work for which transfer credit is allowed. If any such NIU course does not fall within the time limit defined above, the student’s major department may require the student to retake the course for credit or may allow the student to demonstrate current knowledge of the subject matter. In the latter case, currency must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department offering the course through successful completion of an appropriate examination or other assessment if available from the department. Otherwise, the outdated course work must be deleted from, and other course work must be substituted in, the program of courses. Transfer courses falling outside the limitation of time cannot be used in a graduate program unless exempted by the department as part of the earliest 30 semester hours under the provision above.

Study-Abroad and Transfer Credit

Up to a total of 30 semester hours of transfer credit from master’s degree programs completed at other accredited institutions may be applied to meeting the credit-hour requirements of the doctoral degree. A grade of B- or better must have been earned in each such graduate course accepted in transfer from a master’s-degree program, and the overall GPA for all such master’s work accepted must be at least 3.00. In addition, with the approval of the student’s committee chair, major department, and the office of the dean of the Graduate School, up to 15 semester hours of credit for NIU graduate study-abroad courses, plus courses taken subsequent to the master’s degree and completed with grades of B or better from departments offering graduate programs above the master’s level at other accredited institutions, may be accepted as credit toward a doctoral degree at NIU.

For any other student, the total credit transferred from accredited institutions, plus credit for NIU graduate study-abroad courses, may not exceed 30 semester hours.

The above semester-hour limits may be exceeded on a program of courses only by the use of transfer courses and only if the total number of semester hours required on the program of courses exceeds the minimum requirements for that major by at least the same number of hours.

Ph.D. Language and/or Research-Tool Requirements

Specific language and/or research-tool requirements for the Ph.D. degree vary by department. These requirements may be found in the description of the doctoral program under each departmental heading.

The general Graduate School requirement for proficiency in foreign language(s) and/or research tool(s) for the Ph.D. degree may be met by one of the following.

Two foreign languages with average reading proficiency.
One foreign language with a high level of proficiency.
One foreign language with average reading proficiency and one research tool with average proficiency.
Two research tools with average proficiency.
One research tool with a high level of proficiency.

Students wishing to demonstrate average proficiency in French, German, Italian, or Spanish may do so by achieving a grade of S (satisfactory) in FLFR 382, Reading Expository French II; FLGE 382, Reading Expository German II; FLIT 382, Reading Expository Italian II; or FLSP 382, Reading Expository Spanish II, respectively. These courses and their prerequisite courses are described at the end of this section.

Translation examinations in these and other languages are arranged through the Office of Testing Services. Such examinations are available for languages taught by the faculty of the NIU Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Details on the nature of the foreign language examination and how it is administered are available from the Office of Testing Services.

Average proficiency in a foreign language may also be demonstrated by the possession of a degree from a college or university at which that language was the language of instruction.

Course work to be used to satisfy research-tool requirements must be approved by the student’s major department and the office of the dean of the Graduate School. Unless the major department specifies a higher grade, an undergraduate grade of C or better, or a graduate grade of B or better, must be received in each such course. If course work from another university is to be applied toward meeting research-tool requirements, an official transcript showing satisfactory completion of the course(s) must be provided to the Graduate School.

Students should work closely with their advisers in coordinating efforts to satisfy the Graduate School and departmental language and research-tool requirements with their doctoral research objectives.

FLFR 381. READING EXPOSITORY FRENCH I (3). Development of reading skills through the study of grammar and vocabulary. Translation and discussion of representative texts in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences as appropriate. Open only to graduate students with no prior knowledge of French. S/U grading.

FLFR 382. READING EXPOSITORY FRENCH II (3). Continuation of FLFR 381. Open only to graduate students with credit for FLFR 381. S/U grading.

FLGE 381. READING EXPOSITORY GERMAN I (3). Development of reading skills through the study of grammar and vocabulary. Translation and discussion of representative texts in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences as appropriate. Open only to graduate students with no prior knowledge of German. S/U grading.

FLGE 382. READING EXPOSITORY GERMAN II (3). Continuation of FLGE 381. Open only to graduate students with credit for FLGE 381. S/U grading.

FLIT 381.  READING EXPOSITORY ITALIAN I (3).  Development of reading skills through the study of grammar and vocabulary.  Translation and discussion of representative texts in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences as appropriate.  Open only to graduate students with no prior knowledge of Italian.  S/U grading.

FLIT 382.  READING EXPOSITORY ITALIAN II (3).  Continuation of FLIT 381. Open only to graduate students with credit for FLIT 381. S/U grading.

FLSP 381. READING EXPOSITORY SPANISH I (3). Development of reading skills through the study of grammar and vocabulary. Translation and discussion of representative texts in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences as appropriate. Open only to graduate students with no prior knowledge of Spanish. S/U grading.

FLSP 382. READING EXPOSITORY SPANISH II (3). Continuation of FLSP 381. Open only to graduate students with credit for FLSP 381. S/U grading.

Qualifying Examination

The student may be required, at the discretion of the major department, to take a qualifying examination. This may be written or oral, or both, testing the competence of the student in the major and related fields. The department may allow a student who fails this examination to repeat it after a period of time determined by the department. A student who fails this examination a second time, or is not granted permission for a second attempt, will not be permitted to continue work toward the doctorate, and admission to that doctoral program will be terminated. A student must be registered in the term in which the qualifying examination is taken.

Candidacy Examination

When students have completed most or all of the doctoral course work (except dissertation research), they will take written candidacy examinations. Departments may also require an oral examination. These examinations will cover work in the student’s major department and related fields. The examining committee may allow a student who fails a candidacy examination to repeat it after a period of time determined by the committee. A student who fails a candidacy examination a second time, or is not granted permission for a second attempt, will not be permitted to continue work toward the doctorate, and admission to that doctoral program will be terminated.

A student must be admitted to the doctoral program and must be enrolled in the term in which the candidacy examination is taken. A student must be in good academic standing, both overall and in the degree program, to be eligible to take the candidacy examination. Some departments have alternative formats for the candidacy examination; see the departmental sections in this catalog.

Admission to Doctoral Degree Candidacy

A student must be admitted to doctoral degree candidacy before the doctoral degree can be awarded. The student is admitted to candidacy by the Graduate School following successful completion of the candidacy examination in the student’s major department and upon the recommendation of that department, which may have established additional requirements that must be satisfied before admission to candidacy is recommended.

Dissertation Requirements

The dissertation will be a substantial contribution to knowledge in which the student exhibits original scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research. Its subject must be in the area of the student’s major and be approved by the student’s dissertation director and, ultimately, by the dissertation committee. The dissertation presents research that has been conducted by the student under the supervision of a senior member of the graduate faculty from, and nominated by, the major department and approved as the dissertation director by the dean of the Graduate School. The document may not have been published previously, and the research must be successfully defended in an oral examination. The author must demonstrate to his or her committee satisfactory command of all aspects of the work presented.

Credit-hour requirements for the dissertation and research are determined by the major department. The dissertation is to be submitted in accordance with the Graduate School regulations found in the Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting Theses and Dissertations, available on the Thesis and Dissertations page of the Graduate School website.

A student intending to write a dissertation should identify a prospective faculty director for the dissertation, who must be willing to serve as dissertation director and must be approved by the department, college, and Graduate School. The dissertation director and dissertation committee will judge the acceptability of the work. A faculty member may decline to serve as director of any particular dissertation project, in which case the department will assist the student in seeking a dissertation director. If a student, with department approval, changes dissertation director, the student may need to undertake additional work, or to change research projects, in accordance with the expectations and expertise of the new dissertation director.

When dissertation research involves human subjects, experimental animals, recombinant DNA, or the use of radioactive substances, special approval is required, as explained under the heading “Protective Standards in Research.”

A student who has formally begun the dissertation or its equivalent must register in course number 799 (doctoral dissertation). Once a student has begun registration in course number 799, the student must continue to register in course number 799 in each subsequent term until the dissertation is submitted to and formally approved by the Graduate School. Students must complete a minimum total of 6 semester hours of course number 799 for the doctoral degree. Registration for this purpose may be in absentia. The designation of a dissertation adviser should be approved by the conclusion of the term in which a student first registers for 799. A student who fails to complete this procedure will, upon recommendation of the department, have all accumulated hours in the dissertation course converted to audit (no credit). After the student has registered for the maximum number of hours of credit that can be earned in dissertation research (course number 799), he or she should register as an auditor in 799 each term until the dissertation receives final Graduate School approval.

If circumstances prohibit continuing progress on the dissertation, a graduate student must request a leave of absence from the office of the dean of the Graduate School. If a student interrupts registration in course number 799 without obtaining a leave of absence then, upon recommendation of the major department, the student’s admission to the degree program will be terminated.

After the dissertation has received final Graduate School approval, the approved version will be deposited electronically with UMI Dissertation Publishing to be made available through their digital library of dissertations and theses. The abstract is also published in ProQuest Digital Dissertations, formerly Dissertation Abstracts International. This facilitates wide dissemination of the scholarship to interested parties. The student is required to pay the applicable fees.

Oral Defense of Dissertation

After the student has completed all other requirements for the doctorate, including the writing of a dissertation, an oral defense of the dissertation will be scheduled. The defense will consist of two parts, in either order in accordance with department policy: a public presentation with opportunity for questions from any interested parties, and a restricted examination session with the dissertation defense committee. At the discretion of the department, members of the university’s graduate faculty and/or graduate students from the candidate’s department may be permitted to be present at the restricted session. The examining committee will inform the dean of the Graduate School, at least two weeks in advance, of the date, time, place, and dissertation title for the public presentation, and the dean will publicize this on campus, inviting attendance of interested persons.

The presentation and defense of the dissertation are culminating scholarly activities of the doctoral program. They provide the candidate with the opportunity to present, and other interested parties the opportunity to examine and respond to, the results of the finished dissertation research. Therefore, the dissertation presentation and defense should be scheduled only when both the student and the dissertation committee are satisfied that the scholarly work and its analysis are substantially complete, and believe that they reflect a level of rigor appropriate to a doctoral degree. Further research, analysis, or rewriting may be required by the committee as a result of discussions arising during the defense.

A student must be registered in the term of the oral defense of the dissertation. A student must be in good academic standing, both overall and in the degree program, to be eligible to submit a dissertation to the Graduate School or to have a dissertation defense.

Composition of Committees

Committees to conduct the candidacy examination and the oral defense of the dissertation will be nominated by the chair of the student’s major department and appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. Membership of candidacy and dissertation examining committees will include representatives of major and minor fields. The number of voting members on such committees normally will be three to five, and at least three are required. The majority of the voting members of the committee must be regular faculty members at Northern Illinois University; a majority of the voting members must be members of the graduate faculty; ordinarily at least one-half of the voting members, including the committee chair, must be graduate faculty members in the student’s major; and at least one-half of the voting members, including the committee chair, must be senior members of the graduate faculty. A person who is not a member of the Northern Illinois University faculty may be a member, but no more than one voting member may be without NIU graduate faculty status. In addition, the dean of the Graduate School will serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of all committees to conduct the oral defense of the dissertation. The dean or a dean’s designee is to participate in both parts of the defense.

Application for Graduation

When nearing completion of requirements for a degree, a student must submit an application for graduation to the Graduate School. See “Graduation.”