The page uses Browser Access Keys to help with keyboard navigation. Click to learn moreSkip to Navigation

Different browsers use different keystrokes to activate accesskey shortcuts. Please reference the following list to use access keys on your system.

Alt and the accesskey, for Internet Explorer on Windows
Shift and Alt and the accesskey, for Firefox on Windows
Shift and Esc and the accesskey, for Windows or Mac
Ctrl and the accesskey, for the following browsers on a Mac: Internet Explorer 5.2, Safari 1.2, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 6+.

We use the following access keys on our gateway

n Skip to Navigation
k Accesskeys description
h Help

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

    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Nov 23, 2017
 
 
    
2013-2014 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.


Learning Expectations

Graduate education is characterized by its diversity of purpose. Programs educate for reasons ranging from the purely academic to the purely applied. All hold in common overarching learning expectations. Building on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students possess, graduate programs seek to develop among students specialized knowledge in a discipline or across disciplines; and they train students to act as innovators, problem solvers, advanced practitioners, creators of knowledge, and keepers of their discipline.

At the master’s and professional doctorate levels, students evince knowledge in their discipline or across disciplines when they master at an advanced level the pertinent content and skills. They apply that knowledge in innovative ways to solve problems, to contribute to scholarly discourse, or to engage in mature performance of their craft. As innovators, scholars, and performers, students demonstrate a high level of competency in critical thinking when they demonstrate their knowledge and skills or when they independently apply appropriate research methods, concepts, and theories within their fields of study. They communicate effectively and professionally both orally and in writing.

At the doctorate level, students evince knowledge in their discipline or across disciplines when they become specialists in the content and skills necessary to be independent researchers and original contributors to knowledge within their fields. They understand and appreciate the philosophy and historical development of their discipline as a field of inquiry, and they know how that philosophy and history shape their own research. As independent researchers, they identify problems and develop solutions by employing appropriate research methods. They also effectively communicate in a scholarly fashion their knowledge and disseminate that knowledge orally and in writing.
 

Graduation

 

See the Graduation section on the General Regulations page.

Requirements for the Degrees
Master of Accounting Science
Master of Arts
Master of Arts in Teaching
Master of Music
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. 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 used to satisfy degree requirements 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. 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. Graduate-level courses for which there exists an undergraduate equivalent (typically courses that are offered as 400/500 classes) shall not constitute more than 50% of hours applied toward a master’s degree. Graduate-level student teaching credits are excluded from the 50% rule.

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. Typically, correspondence courses are noted as such on a transcript. They are defined as courses in which interaction between the instructor and the student is neither regular nor substantive and in which interaction is primarily initiated by the student. Most often, correspondence courses are self-paced.

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, 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 Accountancy, no more than 9 semester hours of transfer course work may be applied to a master’s degree. 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 Department of Electrical Engineering, 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.

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 Master of Science in Taxation, the Master of Science in Teaching (Specialization in Middle School Mathematics Education), the M.S.Ed. in counseling, M.S.Ed. in physical education, M.S. in sport management, and the M.S. programs in industrial and systems engineering, in industrial management, in management information systems, in nursing, and in sport management. 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 must be registered in the term of the oral defense of the thesis. A student must be in good academic standing, both overall and in the degree program, to be eligible to submit a thesis to the Graduate School or to have a thesis defense.

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.

A student writing a thesis must file an IRB Inquiry Form as soon as a research topic is identified but no later than the end of the first week of classes of the semester or term in which the student intends to defend the thesis. Forms are available on the Graduate School website. 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. In any semester or term a student may enroll in 699 for the maximum number of hours stated in the course description; during a master’s program students may register for an unlimited number of thesis hours. However, only the last 6 hours completed will count toward the degree. 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 the student’s admission to the degree program will be terminated.

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 chair or designee. A comprehensive examination committee needs no additional approval; however, a thesis committee must be nominated by the department and appointed by the dean of the graduate school. Committees must be appointed no later than the conclusion of the semester or term preceding that in which the student will defend the thesis or take the examination. A student intending to write a thesis should identify a prospective faculty director for the thesis and thesis committee members as soon as possible. The thesis director and thesis committee will judge the acceptability of the work. At any time, a faculty member may decline to serve as director or committee member of any particular thesis project. With the consent of the department and the approval of the graduate school dean, a student may propose to alter the composition of a thesis committee, provided that the faculty to be removed from and/or added to the committee expressly consent to the change. If a student wishes to remove a faculty member from a thesis committee, and the faculty member does not consent to be removed, the student may appeal to the dean of the Graduate School. The dean will make a decision with input from the student, the faculty members involved, the department chair, the committee chair, and the director of graduate studies; the decision of the dean will be final.

All members of the comprehensive examination and thesis committee must be members of the graduate faculty at Northern Illinois University. The majority of the voting members of the comprehensive examination and thesis committee must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members at Northern Illinois University; at least one-half of the voting members and the committee chair must be full or senior members of the graduate faculty; and at least one-half of the voting members, including the committee chair, must be full or senior members of the graduate faculty in the student’s program. A provisional member of the graduate faculty in the student’s program may, with a full or senior member of the graduate faculty, co-chair a comprehensive examination or thesis committee.

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 Degree
Doctor of Physical Therapy

See “Doctor of Physical Therapy” 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, and instructional technology through various departments in the College of Education. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees are offered in art education, biological sciences, chemistry, economics, educational psychology, English, geography, 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.”

Credit Requirements for the Doctor of Education

Graduate students working for a doctor of education degree must complete at least 90 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree. Departments may waive 30 semester hours for students holding a master’s or similar degree in the same field or a related one, allowing the doctoral degree to be completed with 60 semester hours. The hour requirement for a doctoral degree includes formal course work, independent study, research, and the dissertation. Some doctoral programs require more than 90 semester hours.

The minimum GPA requirement of 3.00 applies to all graduate courses taken at NIU and applicable to the degree. Some programs require a higher GPA. Consult the departmental sections of this catalog for other requirements.
 

Credit Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate students working for a doctoral degree must complete at least 72 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree. Departments may waive 30 semester hours for students holding a master’s degree in the same field or a related one, allowing the doctoral degree to be completed with 42 semester hours. The hour requirement for a doctoral student with a master’s degree includes a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation credit. Some doctoral programs require more than 72 semester hours. A description of program-level requirements for satisfying credit requirements can be found in the relevant departmental section of this catalog or in the graduate student handbook for each program.

The minimum GPA requirement of 3.00 applies to all graduate courses taken at NIU and applicable to the degree. Some programs require a higher GPA. Consult the departmental sections of this catalog 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 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 applicable to the doctoral degree, excluding deficiency courses and hours waived because a student holds a relevant master’s degree, 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 must demonstrate competency in the course material to the satisfaction of the department offering the course. Transfer courses falling outside the limitation of time cannot satisfy degree hour requirements.

Courses for Which Graduate Credit is Allowed

At NIU only courses which are numbered 500-799 carry credit toward the doctoral degree. Graduate-level courses for which there exists an undergraduate equivalent (typically courses that are offered as 400/500 classes) shall not constitute more than 50% of hours, exclusive of dissertation hours, applied toward a doctoral 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. Typically, correspondence courses are noted as such on a transcript. They are defined as courses in which interaction between the instructor and the student is neither regular nor substantive and in which interaction is primarily initiated by the student. Most often, correspondence courses are self-paced.

Transfer Credit (Doctoral)

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 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.

Ph.D. Research-Tool Requirements

The Graduate School requires that Ph.D. students demonstrate competency in at least one research tool prior to the candidacy examination. A research tool is defined as a relevant foreign language or languages or as a methodology for conducting research. The expectation of competency with a research tool ensures that a doctoral student possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities to conduct research appropriate to his/her field of study, not only during the process of completing the dissertation but as a professional researcher.

Options for satisfying the requirement for competency in a research tool(s) are determined by program faculty. Programs may establish in writing requirements for competency in more than one research tool and may set a higher threshold for determining competency in a research tool than does the Graduate School.

A description of program-level requirements for satisfying the research tool requirement can be found in the relevant departmental section of this catalog or in the graduate student handbook for each program.

Students must demonstrate competency by achieving grades of B or better in no fewer than six hours of related graduate-level course work focused on a method of conducting research. The course work may be taken in a student’s department or outside of it. Courses taken outside of a student’s department to demonstrate competency in a research tool may, with program approval, count toward the hours necessary to satisfy degree requirements.

Students may also demonstrate competency in a relevant foreign language. Competency in a foreign language or languages may be demonstrated by achieving a grade of S (satisfactory) in FLFR, FLGE, FLIT, FLSP 381 and 382, provided that both courses are taken in a single language; by achieving a passing score on a translation examination approved by faculty in the student’s program; by having achieved a grade of B or better in at least 12 hours of foreign language acquisition course work, or the equivalent, completed at an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning within five years of admission to, and enrollment in, the student’s doctoral program. Competency 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. With the approval of the Graduate Dean, programs may verify competency in a foreign language through alternative means.

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

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 must identify a prospective faculty director for the dissertation and dissertation committee members soon after the candidacy examination, if not before. The proposed director and committee members must be nominated by the department, approved by the college, and appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. The dissertation director and dissertation committee will judge the acceptability of the disssertation. At any time, a faculty member may decline to serve as director or as a committee member of any particular dissertation project. With the consent of the department, college, and Graduate School, a student may propose to alter the composition of a dissertation committee, provided that faculty proposed to be removed from and added to the committee expressly consent to the change. If a student wishes to remove a faculty member from a doctoral committee, and the faculty member does not consent to be removed, the student may appeal to the dean of the Graduate School. The dean will make a decision with input from the student, the faculty members involved, the department chair, the committee chair, and the director of graduate studies; the decision of the dean will be final.

A student whose committee changes after initial or subsequent approval may need to undertake additional work, or to change research projects, in accordance with the expectations and expertise of new committee members.

A student writing a dissertation must file an IRB Inquiry Form as soon as a research topic is approved but no later than the end of the first week of classes of the semester or term in which the student intends to defend the dissertation. Forms are available on the Graduate School website. 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). In any semester or term, a student may enroll in 799 for the maximum number of hours stated in the course description; during a doctoral program students may register for an unlimited number of dissertation hours. 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 12 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).

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 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 three 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 department, approved by the college, and appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. Candidacy examination committees must be appointed no later than the conclusion of the semester or term preceding the semester or term in which the student will take the examination; dissertation committees must be formed before or soon after the student passes the candidacy examination. 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. All members of the committee must be appointed to the graduate faculty of Northern Illinois University. The majority of the voting members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members at Northern Illinois University; at least one-half of the voting members must be senior members of the graduate faculty; and at least one-half of the voting members, including the committee chair, must be graduate faculty members in the student’s program. 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.”