Studentís Degree Program

Graduate Policies

Detailed information on graduate policies can be found in the policy memorandum ďPolicy on Procedures for Completing a Graduate Degree.Ē Faculty and students should be familiar with the policies contained in this memorandum. Copies are on file in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and in the academic department and program offices.

Program of Studies

Each student admitted to a graduate program will have a specific program of studies agreed upon in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee or graduate advisor for that program, except in those Schools with standard degree plans. A complete Program of Studies Form will be filed in and approved by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies prior to the studentís registration for his or her 19th semester credit hour to be counted toward a masterís degree, or 50th semester credit hour taken beyond the bachelorís degree to be counted toward a doctoral degree.

Change of Program

Students must be in good academic standing to change from their admitted graduate program to another one within their same graduate department.  Students wishing to change programs within their same UTD School must see their advisor prior to registration and no later than the first day of classes of a semester/term.  If the change of program is approved, the student will then be responsible for meeting all program requirements and course prerequisites of the catalog in effect at the time of the change.  The student and advisor will prepare a new degree plan.

Transfer of Credit

A degree seeking student may petition to have graduate coursework taken at another institution be counted towards satisfying the masterís or doctoral degree requirements. All petitions for transfer of credit are subject to the limitation that less than 50% of the total requirement of any graduate degree may be transfer credits. Some degree programs have more restrictive transfer of credit requirements.

An official transcript and an official explanation of the course numbering system at the school where the credit was earned should accompany the transfer request that must be prepared by the studentís Graduate Program and submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies for approval. To qualify for transfer of credit, the grade earned in the course must be a B or better from an accredited college or university, and the course must not be a correspondence or extension course. Transfer of masterís level credit into a doctoral program is limited to a maximum of 36 hours. Also, the University does not award transfer credit for experiential learning, performance, or experience that occurs prior to enrollment. Courses delivered in a distance learning format will be considered by the Graduate Dean on a case-by-case basis.

All petitions for transfer of credit for coursework taken prior to enrolling at U.T. Dallas should be submitted to the studentís Program Graduate Advisor by the student prior to filing a Program of Studies; however, acceptance of transfer of credit hours will not occur until after the student has completed 9 semester credit hours at U.T. Dallas with a grade point average of at least 3.0. All petitions must be processed and approved no later than the semester prior to anticipated graduation. Accordingly, requests to take courses at another institution during the semester a student plans to graduate cannot be approved because the grades may not be received in time to certify the student for graduation. No more than 15 semester credit hours taken as a non-degree student at U.T. Dallas can be subsequently applied to a degree program at U.T. Dallas.Exceptions to these transfer policies may be granted only on petition to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

General Degree Requirements

The student will be deemed to have completed the course work degree requirements when he or she completes the previously filed program of studies with acceptable grades.

Required Semester Credit Hours

The minimum semester credit hours required for the degree in a Program of Studies will be those shown in the catalog applicable to the student at the time of his or her admission or readmission to the program. In no case will a student be allowed to graduate with less than 30 approved graduate semester credit hours (including approved graduate transfer credit hours) for the masterís degree. Enrollment in doctoral study at U.T. Dallas for a minimum of three, consecutive long terms and for a minimum of 18 doctoral semester hours are required for graduation with a doctoral degree. Additional requirements for the doctoral degree may be specified by the faculty of each program as described in the individual degree program sections of this catalog.

Required Grade Point Average

In order to qualify for graduation, unless stated otherwise in the degree requirements, students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in their degree programís core courses.

The minimum acceptable University grade point average for graduation is 3.0 for all graduate courses taken in the studentís degree program at U.T. Dallas; however, individual programs may have more stringent grade point requirements in selected courses, which must be satisfied for graduation.

Registration Requirements

Examinations or Proposal Presentation

A student must be registered for at least three semester credit hours of graduate course work during the semester in which any major degree examination, such as the Qualifying Examination, Final Written Examination, or Final Oral Examination, is taken. A student must also be registered for at least three semester credit hours of graduate course work during the semester in which the Dissertation Proposal is submitted for approval.

Time Limits

All requirements for a graduate degree, including transfer credit, must be completed within the specified time period. Students exceeding the specified time limit will not be eligible for their degrees and will be dismissed from the graduate program. An approved leave of absence will not alter the time limits placed on graduate degrees.

All requirements for the masterís degree must be completed within one six-year period. All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within one ten-year period. Students whose masterís degrees are accepted for full credit toward a Ph.D. must complete all requirements for the doctoral degree within one eight-year period. Work exceeding these limits, whether done at this university or elsewhere, will not count towards the degree.

Individual programs may set shorter time limits. Exceptions to time limit specifications must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Additional Master's Degrees

Students are encouraged to pursue additional masterís degrees at The University of Texas at Dallas. To the extent that the requirements of some masterís degrees overlap, some of the credit hours taken in pursuit of previously earned masterís degrees at U.T. Dallas may be counted toward an additional masterís degree. The only limitation is that one-half of the credit hours for any masterís degree earned at U.T. Dallas must be satisfied by new course work. Students are required to develop an approved plan of studies through the department or program offering the masterís degree prior to enrolling in that degree. Similarly, students wishing to earn two masterís degrees concurrently must develop an approved plan of studies through both relevant departments or programs. All coursework for any degree must meet the academic standards of that degree.

Supervising Committee for Thesis and Dissertation

A supervising committee will be appointed to approve a research topic, provide advice, and periodically assess progress and accomplishments for students pursuing degree options requiring a written masterís thesis, a doctoral dissertation or a research practicum report. The composition of the Supervising Committee must follow the guidelines contained in the U.T. Dallas policy memorandum, Policy on Procedures for Completing a Graduate Degree (87-III.25-48), and must be submitted by the appropriate committee or administrator of the degree program to the Dean of Graduate Studies for approval. Students may obtain copies of this policy from their department or program office.

The Supervising Committee must meet at least once annually to assess the studentís progress, and send a written report to the Dean of Graduate Studies. This report should describe any problems which could delay the studentís research beyond its anticipated completion date. A copy of this report must also be sent to the student.

The student can request a meeting of the Supervising Committee through a written request to the appropriate committee or administrator of the degree program.

Admission to Doctoral Candidacy

The research potential and ability of each doctoral student to both understand and integrate previous coursework will be evaluated before a student can be formally admitted to doctoral candidacy. The format of this evaluation, hereafter referred to as a qualifying examination, varies amongst the degree programs and can be obtained from the studentís Graduate Program office. A student failing the Qualifying Examination is terminated as a doctoral student in that Graduate Program unless a two-thirds majority of the examining committee vote that a second examination be permitted. All committee members should have all evidence of the studentís academic record and Qualifying Examination performance prior to this vote. The second examination typically would be taken no sooner than six months after the first examination, and no later than one year. Students failing the second examination will not be allowed to pursue a doctoral degree in that program. Under no circumstances will a third examination be allowed. The student will have advanced to candidacy when she or he has:

  • Passed the Qualifying Examination;
  • Been assigned an approved Supervising Committee;
  • Satisfied any other program or school candidacy requirements.

Candidacy must be achieved before a student is eligible to enroll in dissertation or in the chemistry internship practicum courses.

Doctoral Dissertation or Research Practicum Report

Each doctoral candidate must prepare and submit for examination a written Dissertation meeting the guidelines specified in the ďGuide for the Preparation of Masterís Theses and  Doctoral Dissertations.Ē A copy of the guide can be obtained from the office of the Dean of Graduate Studies or visit

The dissertation manuscript for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must demonstrate an independent research competence on the part of the candidate that substantially adds to knowledge in the candidateís field with respect either to its intellectual substance or professional practice.

Final Oral Examination for Doctoral Candidates

The presentation and defense of the Dissertation will constitute the Final Oral Examination for the doctoral candidate. Specifics on the scheduling and conduct of the examination are contained in the ďGuide for the Preparation of Masterís Theses and Doctoral Dissertations .Ē The initial phase of the examination will be open to the public. Following the public presentation, the candidate will be examined by the members of the examining committee. This part of the examination is not open to the public. Depending upon the schoolís policy, other members of the faculty may also attend that part of the examination. This portion of the examination will be chaired by the representative of the Dean of Graduate Studies. The examination will focus primarily on the candidateís research contribution, although aspects of the general field in which the candidateís research was conducted may also be covered.

One of five possible results of the examination will be reported: (1) passed the oral examination and manuscript accepted, (2) passed the oral examination and manuscript accepted pending specified revisions, (3) second oral examination required, but manuscript accepted or accepted with specified revisions, (4) major revisions of the manuscript and a second oral examination required, or (5) oral examination failed, manuscript not accepted and the committee recommends dismissal from the program.

If a recommendation for re-examination is made, the second Final Oral Examination must be taken between six months and one year after the first examination. In no cases will a third Final Oral Examination be given. See also Policy on Procedures for Completing a Graduate Degree (87-III.25-48), in the Universityís Handbook of Operating Procedures and/or the ďGuide for the Preparation of Masterís Theses and Doctoral DissertationĒ or visit

Required Copies of Dissertation/Thesis

Required Thesis Copies

Three official copies of theses are required. After final approved copies have been bound, one hard copy shall be available to the public in the university library; one copy will be sent to the supervising professor (binding is optional); and one copy will be sent to the program office.

Required Doctoral Dissertation

Three final approved copies are to be bound; one hard copy shall be available to the public in the university library, one copy will be sent to the supervising professor, and one copy will be sent to UMI Dissertations Publishing. UMI will publish and make their copy available to the public for purchase and will forward a microfilm copy to UTD that will be kept in the library. They will also return their hard copy which will then be sent to the specific program office.

Intellectual Property Rights

In order to protect patent or other intellectual property rights, the Dean of Graduate Studies may, upon request, delay for a period of up to one year the binding, distribution, and/or publication in microform of the thesis, dissertation, or research practicum report. This request must be supported by a written recommendation of the Supervising Professor.