The Master of Science degree will be conferred upon candidates who have met prescribed requirements, with major study in one of the following fields: agricultural and applied economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, archaeological resource management, artificial intelligence, biochemical engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology, bioinformatics, biological engineering, cellular biology, chemistry, computer science, conservation ecology and sustainable development, crop and soil sciences, dairy science, ecology, entomology, environmental economics, environmental engineering, environmental health, food science, foods and nutrition, foods and nutrition non-thesis, forest resources, genetics, geography, geology, horticulture, housing and consumer economics, housing and consumer economics non-thesis, human development and family science, human development and family science non-thesis, kinesiology, kinesiology non-thesis, marine sciences, microbiology, pharmacy, physics, physics non-thesis, plant biology, plant breeding, genetics and genomics, plant pathology, poultry science, psychology, statistics, textiles, merchandising, and interiors, toxicology, veterinary and biomedical sciences, and veterinary pathology.
Admission: An applicant may be admitted as a prospective candidate for the Master of Arts or Master of Science degree upon recommendation of the major department and approval of the dean of the Graduate School.
Residence: The minimum residence requirement is two semesters which do not have to be consecutive.
Time Limit: All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years beginning with the first registration for graduate courses on the program of study. An extension of time may be granted only for conditions beyond the control of the individual. A student may petition for an exception to this policy by writing a letter to the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. This request for an extension of time must include the specific reasons that the student did not complete the requirements in the time allotted. The student must include a specific timeline for the completion of degree requirements. The student’s major professor must review the student’s request and write a letter to the Vice Provost and Dean stating approval or disapproval of the petition. The graduate coordinator and department head must review the major professor’s recommendation and indicate their concurrence by writing an additional letter. If they do not concur with the recommendation, further information should be provided by them in the letter. An extension of time may be granted only on conditions beyond the control of the student.
Research Skills Requirements: Upon the option of the student’s major department, a reading knowledge of a modern foreign language or other research skills may be required of a candidate for the Master of Arts or the Master of Science degrees. A prospective student should request information concerning the research skills requirements from the departmental graduate coordinator if the requirements are not described under the departmental heading in this bulletin.
Advisory Committee: Before the end of the first semester of residence and upon the recommendation of the departmental graduate coordinator, the dean of the Graduate School shall appoint an advisory committee for the student. The master’s advisory committee must consist of a minimum of three members. The chair and at least one other member must be members of the graduate faculty of the University of Georgia. The third member may be a member of the graduate faculty or a person with a terminal degree holding one of the following ranks at the University of Georgia: professor, associate professor, assistant professor, public service assistant, public service associate, senior public service associate, assistant research scientist, associate research scientist, or senior research scientist. A UGA employee who holds one of these ranks or who holds a terminal degree in his/her field may be appointed as a third member upon approval by the departmental graduate faculty and the dean of the Graduate School. The third member can also be a non-UGA faculty member with a terminal degree in his/her field of study. No more than one non-UGA committee member may be appointed as a voting member. If there are more than three members on the committee, a majority of graduate faculty members must be maintained. The committee will be recommended to the dean of the Graduate School by the graduate coordinator after consultation with the student and faculty members involved.
When nominating a non-UGA committee member, the graduate coordinator must submit the nominee’s current resume with the appropriate forms and a letter addressed to the dean of the Graduate School explaining why the services of the non-UGA person are requested. The non-affiliated member must attend meetings associated with the appointment.
The advisory committee, in consultation with the student, is charged with planning the student’s program of study. It is also charged with approving the program of study, reading and approving the thesis, and administering the final examination.
Program of Study: A student must complete a program of study which constitutes a logical whole. Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees require a minimum of 30 semester hours consisting of at least 12 semester hours of course work open only to graduate students (exclusive of 7000 and 7300). Please use asterisk (*) to designate 6000- and 7000-level courses open only to graduate students. A maximum of 6 hours of 7000 and 3 hours of 7300 may be applied toward the 30 hours. A minimum of 3 hours of 7300 must be listed on the program of study. No grade below C will be accepted on the program of study. To be eligible for graduation, a student must maintain a 3.0 (B) average on the graduate transcript and a 3.0 (B) average on the program of study.
The typed program of study must be submitted on the proper form with approval by the student’s major professor, the departmental graduate coordinator, and the dean of the Graduate School. This step should be completed by Friday of the second full week of classes of the semester in which degree requirements are completed. Exception: If degree requirements will be completed during summer term, the program of study will be due by Friday of the first full week of classes in that semester.
Application for Graduation: An application for graduation must be filed with the Graduate School no later than Friday of the second full week (the first full week for summer) of classes in the semester of the anticipated graduation date. Application forms may be obtained online.
Acceptance of Credit by Transfer: If graduate credit earned at an accredited institution constitutes a logical part of the student’s program, transfer of credit may be allowed when recommended by the student’s major professor and graduate coordinator, and when approved by the dean of the Graduate School. Such transfer of credit cannot exceed six semester hours and must fall within the time limit of the degree. Transfer credit cannot be used to fulfill the requirement that 12 semester hours on the program of study be open only to graduate students. No grade below B may be transferred. The courses to be transferred may not have been used in a degree program at another institution. Transfer grades are not used in calculating cumulative averages. All requests for transfer credit, with accompanying official transcripts, must be in the Graduate School by the midpoint of the semester in which the student plans to graduate.
Grade Average: To be eligible for graduation, a student must maintain a 3.0 (B) average on the graduate transcript and a 3.0 (B) average on the program of study.
Thesis: A candidate must submit a thesis which shows independent judgment in developing a problem from primary sources. (Departments with a non-thesis option, will determine the appropriate courses and requirements to replace the thesis option.) The thesis shall be written under the direction of the student’s major professor. The thesis must be approved by the major professor, who will distribute copies to the remaining members of the advisory committee and schedule a final examination. The committee members must have three weeks to read and evaluate the completed thesis. Written assent of two of the three committee members will be required before a thesis will be approved as ready for a final defense.
One complete formatted copy of the thesis must be electronically submitted to the Graduate School no later than four weeks prior to graduation for a format check. All requirements for the thesis must be completed no later than two full weeks prior to graduation. Instructions for typing the thesis may be obtained in the Thesis and Dissertation section of our website.
A candidate must register for at least three semester hours of thesis under the course number 7300. Instructions for preparing the thesis may be obtained in the Thesis and Dissertation section of our website.
Master’s Thesis Approval and Defense: The defense of the thesis will be chaired by the student’s major professor and attended by all members of the advisory committee simultaneously for the entire defense period. The defense will consist of a public presentation followed by a private defense during which only the student and advisory committee will be in attendance. The public presentation is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The student and committee chair must appear in person for both components of the defense, but other committee members can participate via teleconference or video conference, provided that the comments of all participants can clearly and consistently be heard. If the major professor is not able to attend the defense in person, they can designate a substitute chair who is a current member of the committee. The defense can be held completely remotely if approved by the graduate coordinator and the unit/ department head. The advisory committee must approve the student’s thesis and defense with no more than one dissenting vote and must certify their approval in writing. An abstention is not allowable for the final defense. The results of the defense of the thesis must be reported to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to graduation for the current semester. If a University program would like to deviate from the above policy, the following steps must be taken: (1) request approval from the Graduate School for the revised policy that will be used for program level defenses, (2) documentation in the program’s handbook on the revised policy approved by the Graduate School for the program. Such deviations must be applied to all students in the program.
Submitting the Thesis: The Graduate School must receive the Final Defense Approval form and an electronic submission of the corrected thesis no later than two weeks prior to graduation. This official copy of the thesis will be electronically submitted by the Graduate School to the main library for archiving. A graduate student may not submit a thesis to the Graduate School for format checking or the dean’s approval between the last day of classes and late registration of the following term.
Final Clearance: All requirements for the degree must be completed and reported to the Graduate School no later than one week prior to graduation. A student must enroll for a minimum of three hours of credit the semester in which he/she completes degree requirements unless additional stipulations are required by other units of the university.