• By the end of the second semester

    • Supervisory Committee submitted and approved. If the committee composition is changed, a revision form must be submitted. The committee composition should not be changed within 6 weeks of a defense.
    • Program of Study submitted and approved.
  • By the end of the third semester

    • Thesis/Project Approval submitted and approved. All regulatory approvals should be in place before this is submitted.
  • Before the end of the degree program

    • Residency Requirement: at least 50% of the credits used to satisfy degree requirements must be from Utah State University
    • Any coursework on the Program of Study (including transfer credits) taken more than 8 years prior to the defense must be revalidated. Revalidation of coursework requires that the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies approve a revalidation plan submitted by the Major Professor.
  • Preparing for Defense

    • The Appointment for Examination form must be submitted to the SGS at least 10 business days before the final examination.
    • The student must be registered for at least three credit hours the semester of defense.
      • If all credit requirements on an approved Program of Study are met, the student may qualify to register for 1 credit in the semester of defense. Registering for 1 credit will not qualify the student for full-time (i.e. they will not qualify for an assistantship).
      • International students should check in with the Office of Global Engagement when making decisions on the number of credits needed.
  • After the Defense

    • Let the student know the outcome of the defense as it concludes.
    • The major professor should let the GPC know the outcome of the defense, and the GPC will submit the Record of Exam through ServiceNow. Once it has been submitted, the committee will approve it (this is in the place of signing the previous paper form).
    • Students are not done at this point! They must meet all degree requirements, including final approval of their thesis.
  • Thesis Review Process

    • The student should submit the Format & Style form and the Authorship & Copyright form as soon as the information is available.
    • Once the student’s committee and departmental reviewer (if applicable) have approved all revisions to the thesis, the GPC should upload it to the student’s Thesis Review folder in Box and email the SGS thesis reviewer.
    • The SGS thesis reviewer will add the thesis to the queue, and it will be reviewed in the order in which it is received (please note: all required forms must be fully approved before the thesis is added to the queue).
    • Once the thesis has been reviewed and approved by the SGS thesis reviewer, it will be automatically submitted to the Merrill Cazier Library for electronic publication.

When a student is accepted to a master’s degree program, the department head typically appoints a temporary advisor. In most master’s degree programs, a supervisory committee will be established for each student. During the first semester following matriculation, the student should meet with the temporary advisor to discuss the appointment of a supervisory committee. Supervisory Committee members must be part of the graduate faculty or be approved by the vice provost of graduate studies. A completed Supervisory Committee Approval form should be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies by the end of the student’s second semester. Changes to a supervisory committee must be approved by submitting a Supervisory Committee Revision form, and are not to be made during the six weeks prior to the final defense.

A master’s degree supervisory committee must include at least three faculty members who are members of the Graduate Faculty. At least one member must represent the student’s area of specialization, and at least one must be from outside the specialization area. Upon recommendation of the department head, emeritus faculty may serve on supervisory committees, but may not chair new committees.

Within School of Graduate Studies and departmental requirements, the supervisory committee determines the courses for the student’s Program of Study; conducts departmental qualifying examinations (if required); supervises the student’s thesis research, Plan B paper, or project; and conducts the defense or final examination. The defense or final examination must be scheduled through the School of Graduate Studies. The major professor, who serves as the chairperson of the committee, usually directs the thesis, paper, or other degree project.

A Program of Study form should be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies before the end of the second semester in the program. Changes to the Program of Study may be made by submitting a Program of Study Revision form to the School of Graduate Studies.

All University research involving human subjects, animal subjects, radiation materials, recombinant DNA, biohazardous materials, or certain highly toxic chemicals must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate University committee(s) before the research is started. Graduate students are, with the assistance of their advisors, responsible for obtaining the necessary approval for their research. Verification of approval must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies before the student’s Master’s Thesis/Project Approval Form or doctoral Application for Candidacy will be approved. For further information, contact the School of Graduate Studies or the Office of Research.

  • Research Involving Human Participants

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is the campus organization responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of human participants recruited to participate in studies conducted by researchers affiliated with Utah State University. This office administers the review of human subjects research proposals to ensure compliance with federal regulations and ethical principles, so that scientific funding and activities can continue at Utah State University.

Whenever faculty members or students wish to conduct research involving human participants, they must submit their research proposal for review and approval by the IRB before the research is started. Some research is considered exempt from full-board IRB review and can be approved more quickly. Only the IRB can make this determination.

For more information about the IRB application and approval process, visit the IRB web site.

  • Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research, Teaching, or Training

All faculty, staff, students and cooperators conducting research, teaching, or training with vertebrate animals are required to adhere to all federal, state, and institution regulations and policies, including the federal Animal Welfare Act and the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is the campus organization responsible for ensuring compliance with these standards so that scientific funding and activities can continue at Utah State University.

Prior approval by the IACUC is required before faculty members or students begin research involving live vertebrate animals. All use of animals in research, teaching, or training must be overseen by a faculty member who may submit proposals for review by the IACUC. More information about the application and approval process is available from IACUC.

  • Research Involving Radioactive Materials, Recombinant DNA, or Biohazardous Materials

Research involving radioactive materials, recombinant DNA, biohazardous materials, or certain highly toxic chemicals is also subject to state and federal regulations. All faculty, staff, and students who wish to conduct research with radioactive materials, recombinant DNA, biohazardous materials, or highly toxic chemicals must submit their research proposal to the Institutional Biosafety Committee for review and approval before the research can be started. For more information about the application and approval processes for these types of research projects, contact the USU Environmental Health and Safety Office.

  • Responsible Conduct of Research

All doctoral (PhD, AUD, EdD) students are required to complete the Utah State University Responsible Conduct of Research course that is offered on the CITI website. This course is also required for students who are supported by funding for some federal agencies (NSF, USDA-NIFA). Students who are supported by funding from NIH are required to complete USU 6900.

All Utah State University graduate students are expected to adhere to the requirements of the Graduate Catalog.

All Utah State University students are required to adhere to the Student Code.

At least 24 semester credits for a master’s degree must be from a committee-approved and a School of Graduate Studies-approved Program of Study from Utah State University. Furthermore, any allowed transfer credits cannot replace required residency credit.

Transfer and Nonmatriculated Credits

Provided Utah State University residency requirements (see specific credit requirements under each degree) will be met, a student’s supervisory committee may recommend transfer of graduate credits earned at another accredited institution, including credits with earned P grades. The credits must not have been used for another degree.

Up to 12 semester credits may be transferred into a graduate program at Utah State University. Credits with P grades may be transferred only with committee approval. Transfer credits cannot replace required residency credits. Transfer credits are subject to approval of the supervisory committee and the vice provost of graduate studies. Credits more than eight years old may not be acceptable (see Time Limit section). Transfer credits will be shown on official Utah State University transcripts upon completion of the degree. These stipulations apply to nonmatriculated credits.

No more than 12 credits taken at Utah State University or another institution prior to matriculation at Utah State University may be used in a program of study.

Master's student graduating