|PPM 11-1, Graduate Programs||Responsible Office:|
I. Application Procedures
To apply to a graduate program all individuals must contact the graduate program for specific admissions requirements. The following items must be provided to the specific graduate program office:
- A completed online application accompanied by the nonrefundable application fee (as designated by the Graduate Council).
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission as a graduate student at Weber State University. An official transcript from each previously attended college and/or university (except WSU) must be sent directly from each institution to the graduate program. Transcripts must be submitted for all coursework above the high-school level and all prior degrees. For international students, transcripts must be accompanied by a professional degree and transcript evaluation, which must be sent directly to the graduate program by a WSU-approved foreign credentials evaluation service. See International Student & Scholar Center website for further details. Transcripts submitted as application credentials become the property of the Weber State University and will not be returned to the applicant.
- Admissions tests may be required by the specific graduate program (GRE, GMAT, Miller’s Analogies Test, etc.), as well as proof of English language competency for international applicants. Applicants should request that their test score reports be sent directly to the graduate program to which they are applying, or to WSU if a specific institutional code is not available for the graduate program.
II. Admission Requirements
Admission to a graduate program at Weber State University is based on the applicant’s academic ability, past performance and evidence of a reasonable chance of success within that program. All admission policies shall apply without regard to race, color, ethnic background, national origin, religion, creed, age, lack of United States citizenship, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or preference, or gender. (see PPM 6-2).
Admission is competitive and solely at the discretion of the graduate program to which the applicant has applied: meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission.
Minimum requirements for admission to a Weber State University graduate program are as follows:
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university that will be completed before matriculation into the graduate program (see the U.S. Department of Education website for a list of recognized regional accreditation agencies).
- A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. If the undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, consideration may be based on GPA calculated on the last 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate work.
- For applicants for whom English is not their first languge, a minimum English language proficiency score is required. (TOEFL = 75 overall, with a minimum of 17 in each category: OR IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in ech category). Students with a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally-accredited (or equivalent) university in which the language of instruction was English may be exempt from English-language proficiency testing.
- All exceptions to the minimum GPA requirement and TOEFL/IELTS scores in admissions decisions, along with a rationale for each, will be reported by all graduate programs annually to the Graduate Council.
- Appropriate admissions test scores if required. (Contact graduate program for specific admissions test requirements.)
- A completed application, along with the submission of all required supporting materials (contact graduate program office for specific requirements).
Note: Individual graduate programs may have additional requirements.
Undergraduate Preparation Requirements
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, students may be required to complete additional undergraduate work prior to acceptance into a graduate program to ensure proper preparation for study at the graduate level. Each degree program may designate specific undergraduate requirements and/or graduate-level leveling classes, and all prospective students should consult with the appropriate graduate program. Graduate departments may impose an age limit on undergraduate leveling credits completed prior to entry into a graduate program.
International Student Admission
International applicants must satisfy all program requirements that apply to U.S. citizens in addition to the following:
- Provide a professional transcript evaluation of course work completed outside the United States. See the International Student & Scholar webpage for a list of accepted foreign credential evaluation services.
- Provide evidence of English language proficiency. WSU graduate programs may require a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score, or successful completion of English as a Second Language courses at a level specified by the graduate program. Contact the graduate program for English language competency requirements.
- Complete the Graduate Financial Guarantee Form. Every international student must complete a confidential financial statement that shows he/she has sufficient funds to comply with the United States Department of State regulations. This form must be submitted before a student can receive the appropriate form that enables application for a student visa for entry into the U. S.
- Any additional documentation required by the International Student & Scholar Office.
III. Appeals Procedures
Appeals of decisions on all issues of an administrative nature, such as admission to the University, residency, tuition, course waivers, credit adjustment, graduation, program eligibility, participation in specific activities, financial aid, parking and traffic, and residence halls, will be resolved based on the procedures outlined in the Student Code of the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual, 6-22.
IV. Degree Requirements
1. Credit hour requirement
A minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for any Weber State University master degree. Additional course work or projects may be required due to graduate program accreditation standards, or for specialized professional master degrees. At least two-thirds of the credits in any master degree program (including thesis or project) must be received from Weber State University.
2. GPA Requirement
A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for successful completion of a graduate degree. Individual course grade requirements are determined by the sponsoring department.
3.Time Limit for Degree Completion
All degree requirements must be completed within six years from the semester of entry into a Weber State University graduate program. A graduate student's catalog will be the catalog in effect the Fall Semester of the academic year when he or she enrolls in the graduate program following formal admission into that program. Graduate programs may impose an age limit on graduate credits completed prior to entry into a program. Any exceptions to the above requirements must be approved by the graduate program.
4. Thesis / Non-Thesis Degree Options
Master's degree programs may include a "thesis option" and/or a "non-thesis option." The Master's thesis should be evidence of the graduate student's ability to carry out independent investigation and to present the results in clear and systemic form.
The overall level of achievement for the Master's degree should be the same, whether the option chosen requires completion of a thesis or not.
The thesis option should include at least 6 semester credits of thesis research. The semesters during which a student registers for thesis credit should correspond as closely as possible to the semesters in which the thesis work is done and faculty supervision is provided.
The non-thesis option will instead include a major project, paper, presentation, and/or a comprehensive examination.
5. Last Semester Requirements
Matriculated graduate students must be registered for at least 1 graduate credit during the semester of the final thesis/dissertation defense or, in a non-thesis degree program, the last semester of coursework required on the student’s program of study.
6. Second WSU Graduate Degree Requirements
More than one master degree may be earned at WSU. Students should contact the graduate program for details. Additional master degrees will require additional graduate credit hours beyond the previously-earned graduate degree, comprising a minimum of 20 credit hours required for the additional degree. Students may pursue two different graduate degrees simultaneously by applying to and being accepted to each program. Graduate program approval is required.
7. Dual WSU Graduate Degree Requirements
Some graduate programs at WSU may offer dual or concurrent degrees. Students may either work simultaneously in two areas of study and receive one graduate degree representing both fields, OR may earn two separate degrees concurrently, with a specified amount of overlapping course credits that are counted toward both degree requirements. Overlapping graduate course credits must be 6000-level courses, with a minimum of 20 credit hours in either unique degree. Graduation applications do not have to be filed in the same semester for both graduate degrees: overlapping graduate credit hours that have been applied toward one Weber State University graduate degree may later be applied to the second graduate degree requirements as specified by the graduate department. For further information, contact the specific graduate program.
V. Graduate Student Classification
Please note that the following graduate student classifications do NOT determine eligibility for financial aid. See the WSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for the enrollment levels relevant to financial aid.
1. Full-Time Matriculated Graduate Student (Degree Seeking)
To be classified as full-time matriculated or full-time degree seeking; a student must be registered for 9 or more graduate credit hours per semester (excluding summer) and be formally admitted to a Weber State University graduate program. Full-time matriculated graduate students must be registered for at least 1-3 graduate credit hours during the semester of the final thesis defense or, in a graduate program without a thesis requirement, the last semester of coursework required in the student’s program of study.
2. Part-Time Matriculated Graduate Student (Degree-Seeking)
To be classified as part-time matriculated or part-time degree seeking; a student must be registered for 5-8 graduate credit hours per semester (excluding summer) and be formally admitted to a Weber State University graduate program. Part-time matriculated graduate students must be registered for at least 1-3 graduate credit hours during the semester of the final thesis defense or, in a graduate program without a thesis requirement, the last semester of coursework required in the student’s program of study.
3. Matriculated-Probationary Student
A student is considered matriculated-probationary when he/she is placed on probation because of inadequate progress in his/her degree program. Probationary status is defined by the specific graduate program. The conditions to be met in order to restore good standing and the time limit for meeting them must be specified to the student in writing at the time he or she is placed on probation. If the conditions are not met as specified, the student’s participation in the program may be terminated.
4. Conditionally-Admitted Graduate Student (Degree-Seeking)
Conditional admission as a graduate student at Weber State University is granted solely at the discretion of the specific graduate program to which the student seeks admission. Contact the specific graduate program for more information regarding procedures and conditions for conditional admission. Advancement from conditionally-admitted to full- or part-time matriculated graduate student status will be determined by the graduate program, based on conditions which may include the following:
a. completion of outstanding requirements for the baccalaureate degree;
b. performance in 5000- and/or 6000-level classes specified by the graduate program;
c. performance on a standardized graduate admission and/or English language competency test.
Conditionally-admitted students may enroll no more than three full semesters (excluding summer), after which the conditionally-admitted student must be either changed to full-or part-time matriculated student status by the graduate program office, or denied admission.
5. Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Student
Students who are taking graduate courses at WSU but have not been formally admitted to a Weber State University graduate program are classified as non-degree seeking. (See regulations governing non-matriculated graduate credit hours on p.6). Not all graduate programs allow non-degree seeking students to enroll in their graduate courses.
6. International Students
Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and have not received immigrant status from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service are considered International Students. International Students who are present in the United States on visitor, student, or other visas which authorize only temporary presence in this country, do not have the capacity to intend to reside in Utah for an indefinite period and therefore must be classified as nonresident. [WSU Policies and Procedures Manual, R512-7.3] (See specific International Student Admission Requirements.)
VI. Transfer Credits and Graduate Program Residency Requirements
At least two-thirds of the total credit hours of a student’s master degree must be earned from an approved, Weber State University graduate program. Depending on individual program requirements, a maximum of one-third of the total semester graduate credits earned at another, regionally-accredited institution may be approved by a student’s department. Transfer credits cannot replace required residency credits. All transfer credits must be approved by the graduate program, which may impose minimum grade requirements and / or age limits on such credits. Transfer credits will be considered as taken in the semester of transfer for purposes of timely degree completion. At least two-thirds of a graduate degree must be earned from a Weber State University graduate program.
Graduate credit hours earned while a student is classified as a non-degree seeking graduate student at WSU may be applied toward a WSU graduate degree with the permission of the specific graduate program. Graduate programs may at their discretion stipulate age limits, appropriateness, and a maximum number of such credit hours which may be applied towards their degree. (See Non-Degree Seeking Student classification, p.5.)
VII. Course Level Numbering
5000-level courses are advanced, upper-division undergraduate courses, prerequisite or leveling graduate courses, or graduate courses. 5000-5999 level undergraduate courses may be applied toward a Weber State University graduate degree with program approval. 5000-level credit used to earn the undergraduate degree may not be counted toward a graduate degree, although students may petition a graduate program for retroactive graduate credit for courses taken as an undergraduate under certain circumstances: permission may be granted only if a grade of B or better was earned in the specified courses and if the courses were taken no more than three years prior to the petition. Such graduate credit is limited to six semester hours or two courses.
6000-level courses are considered graduate level courses. 6000-level courses are typically not available to undergraduates, and may only be cross-listed with undergraduate courses when there are substantially different course requirements for graduate students, reflecting a degree of academic rigor appropriate to graduate-level study. 6000-level graduate course credit for prior professional experience can not be granted. However, 6000-level graduate course credit for certifications may be granted with approval by the graduate program. Prerequisite or leveling requirements for 6000-level courses may be waived by the graduate program.
VIII. Faculty Qualifications
While respecting accreditation requirements in each program area, faculty teching graduate coursework will have at least one degree beyond the level at which they are teaching or a terminal degree in a related field, except in programs for terminal degrees or when equivalent experience is established. In terminal degree programs, faculty members will have the same level of degree. Department Chairs and Deans, in consultation with the Provost, may greant exceptions for extensive professional experience.
NOTE: Below are the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities policies that are related to this issue:
Credit for professional experience/experiential learning:
2.C.14 Graduate credit may be granted for internships, field experiences, and clinical practices that are in an integral part of the graduate degree program. Credit toward graduate degrees may not be granted for experiential learning that occurred prior to matriculation into the graduate degree program. Unless the institution structures the graduate learning experience, monitors that learning, and assesses learning achievements, graduate credit is not granted for learning experiences external to the students' formal graduate programs.
Policies related to transfer credit:
2.A.14 The institution develops, publishes widely, and follows an effective and clearly stated transfer-of-credit policy that maintains the integrity of its programs while facilitating efficient mobility of students between institutions in completing their educational programs.
2.C.8 The final judgment in accepting transfer credit is the responsibility of the receiving institution. Transfer credit is accepted according to procedures which provide adequate safeguards to ensure high academic quality, relevance to the students' programs, and integrity of the receiving institutions's degrees. In accepting transfer credit, the receiving institution ensures that the credit accepted is appropriate for its programs and comparable in nature, content, academic quality, and level to credit it offers. Where patterns of student enrollment between institutions are identified, the institution develops articulation agreements between the institutions.
2.C.13 Graduate admission and retention policies ensure that student qualifications and expectations are compatible with the institution's mission and the program's requirements. Transfer of credit is evaluated according to clearly defined policies by faculty with a major commitment to graduate education or by a representative body of faculty responsible for the degree program at the receiving institution.
IX. Graduate Certificates
A graduate certificate program is a related cluster of credit bearing graduate courses that constitutes a coherent body of study within a discipline or set of related disciplines. The purpose of graduate certificate programs is to serve the needs of both matriculated and non-degree students interested in developing specific skills and knowledge for personal and/or professional development. Graduate certificate programs are credit-based, taught by regular or associate members of the graduate program’s faculty, and normally aligned with existing graduate education curricula. While certificate programs may be chosen by students who do not wish to pursue a master’s degree (i.e. non-matriculated graduate students), courses completed during a certificate program may be applied toward graduate degree requirements upon the approval of the appropriate graduate program office as noted below.
The number of graduate certificate credits must consist of a minimum of 10 credit hours of 6000-level courses, although 5000-level courses may be applied toward certificate requirements per graduate program policy. Proposals for new Graduate Certificates should use the WSU New Program Proposal Form [see USHE R401-5.8].
Students must apply and be accepted into the graduate certificate area of study to be eligible to receive a certificate. The requirements and general criteria of eligibility for admission to any graduate certificate area of study include:
1. An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college or university, or enrollment in a WSU graduate academic degree program. The requirements for admission are set by each graduate area of study, which may include minimum grade point average, standardized test scores, and other similar criteria as part of the application.
2. Students who wish to pursue approved graduate certificates must be admitted to that certificate program. Students may pursue more than one certificate but must be admitted separately to each certificate program.
3. Certificate-seeking students not currently enrolled in a master degree program will be admitted as degree seeking graduate students, and their major code will reflect the graduate certificate program to which they have been admitted. Successful completion of a graduate certificate will be noted on the student's academic transcript.
4. Students pursuing a graduate certificate will be required to meet the same academic requirements as those defined for degree-seeking students to remain in "good standing".
5. All graduate certificate students must meet all prerequisites for courses in which they wish to enroll.
Should non-degree seeking student earn a graduate certificate and subsequently apply and be accepted to a degree-granting WSU graduate program, credit hours earned as part of the graduate certificate may be applied toward a WSU graduate degree with the permission of the specific graduate program. Graduate programs may stipulate at their discretion age limits, appropriateness, and a maximum number of such credit hours which may be applied towards their degree.
X. Financial Aid
The process for applying for financial aid is the same for graduate students as for undergraduate students. Graduate loans are available for those participating in a graduate program. Please visit the Financial Aid website for more information.
Scholarships may be available for both Utah residents and non-residents. To qualify, students should contact the individual graduate programs for more information.
XII. Non-Resident Tuition Waivers
A non-resident student may be eligible for a full or partial waiver of non-resident portion of tuition. This waiver is awarded on an individual basis to academically qualified students. For more information, contact the sponsoring graduate program.
XIII. Graduate Assistantship/Work Study/Internship/Practicum
When available, graduate assistantships, work study opportunities, internship or practicum programs are offered and administered by the graduate program/ department in which the student is pursuing a graduate degree or graduate certificate. Any academic credit for internships or practica must be granted through a designated, credit bearing 5000- or 6000-level course.
XIV. Office of Graduate Studies
The Office of Graduate Studies serves as the administrative body within Academic Affairs that promotes, supports, and reviews graduate education at Weber State University. The Office of Graduate Studies, in conjunction with the Graduate Council, works collaboratively with university administration, colleges, and academic departments to ensure consistency and excellence in all graduate degree programs.
The Office of Graduate Studies consists of a half-time Director, who receives release time and a stipend, and support staff, and is housed in an accessible campus location.
1. Director of Graduate Studies
The Director of Graduate Studies shall be a faculty or professional staff (minimum half-time release or equivalent), with a terminal degree, appointment made by the Provost for a renewable 3-year term. The Director reports to the Provost, and receives an annual stipend.
B. Procedure for selection.
The Graduate Council will provide the Provost with a list of eligible members (per Section 1.a.) who would be willing to serve as Director. The Provost will choose the candidate for Director form the list of candidates.
The Director of Graduate Studies may be either a full-time, tenured faculty member with teaching or administrative responsibilities within a WSU graduate program at the time of appointment.
i. Chair the Graduate Council - schedule meetings, set agenda, define charges for GC subcommittees.
ii. Curriculum - guide all curriculum-related activities of the Graduate Council (see Sec 2.c.ii below) through the chain of appropriate university approval processes.
iii. Program Review - the Director of Graduate Studies will serve as ex officio chair of the Graduate Program Review Subcommittee, and will guide all graduate program reviews through the chain of appropriate university approval processes.
iv. Budgetary responsibility for the Office of Graduate Studies.
v. Liaison with other university administrative units.
vi. Responsibility for efforts to promote graduate education at Weber State University.
vii. Disseminate information about best practices in graduate education.
2. Graduate Council
The mission of the Graduate Council is to work in conjunction with the Office of Graduate Studies to further graduate education at Weber State University, and collaborate with university administration, colleges, and academic departments to ensure consistency and excellence in all graduate degree programs. The Director of Graduate Studies serves as Chair of the Graduate Council and is responsible for scheduling meetings, setting the agenda, and defining charges for the Graduate Council subcommittees.
B. Members and Voting
i. Members of the Graduate Council include the Directors of all WSU graduate programs, designated graduate program support staff, representatives of critical administrative support services (including the Office of the Provost), and a graduate student representative. The full membership of the Graduate Council will meet during the academic year to facilitate information exchange, promote best practices, mentor faculty and departments in developing new graduate degrees, and consult with non-academic departments regarding the needs and purposes of graduate programs at Weber State University.
ii. For purposes of curriculum-related approvals and graduate program reviews, voting members will consist of members of the Graduate Council who are full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty with teaching or administrative responsibilities within a WSU graduate program.
i. Policy / PPM & catalog changes - The Graduate Council establishes policies and procedures for graduate programs, including the drafting or amending of sections of the WSU Policies & Procedures Manual and WSU catalog relevant to all graduate programs. Such policies and procedures are subject to review by the Faculty Senate as specified in the Weber State University Policies and Procedures Manual, Article C-II, Section 2.1.
a. Formal approval of all new graduate program proposals.
b. Formal approval of all substantive and non-substantive graduate program change proposals, including changes in program delivery format deemed substantive.
iii. Review of Graduate Program Reviews - Graduate Program Review, which for graduate program reviews shall consist of a subcommittee of the Graduate Council, comprised of faculty serving as graduate program directors, with the Graduate Council Chair and a representative of the office of the provost as ex officio members.
iv. Graduate Admissions
a. The Graduate Council sets / revises general graduate admissions standards and policies common to all graduate programs.
b. Individual graduate programs may admit new students as admissions exceptions who do not meet the criteria for admission as stated in PPM 11-1, II. Data of those admitted under this policy and the criteria used to justify admissibility by the individual program will be gathered and reported to the full Graduate Council annually. The Graduate Council reserves the right to respond to any individual programs who consistently (more than three (3) consecutive semesters) admit an excess (greater than five percent) of candidates who do not meet the common graduate admissions standards.
v. Marketing / Recruitment - The Graduate Council will work collaboratively with the Director of Graduate Studies and Marketing & Communications to develop and execute cooperative strategies for recruitment, promotion and marketing of graduate education at Weber State University.
Revision History: 06/09/2020
Creation Date: 10/11/2011