Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

Degree Requirements

Completion of a graduate degree requires the following: unconditional admission to graduate studies, admission to degree candidacy, completion of the comprehensive examination and/or research requirement, completion of residency/practicum requirements if appropriate, and completion of the requisite semester hours and course work. Details of these requirements are discussed below and in the individual program sections. Requirements for some programs are different than the above. Students should check with the department or the Office of Graduate Admissions for specific requirements.

Admission to Degree Candidacy

To be admitted to degree candidacy, the applicant must maintain a minimum cumulative quality point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate courses completed at Slippery Rock University, be unconditionally admitted to graduate studies, and meet all specific program admission requirements.

After being unconditionally admitted to graduate studies and meeting program requirements, a student must file an Application for Degree Candidacy if required by the department. The application must be filed after the completion of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 or 18 graduate credits, depending upon departmental requirements. The Application for Degree Candidacy may be obtained from sru.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions under graduate forms, the Office of Graduate Admissions or a graduate coordinator. It includes a program sequence planned by the student with the assistance of an adviser.

Students who have not been approved for degree candidacy and have earned 12 graduate credits (18 graduate credits for students in Counseling and Development) will not be permitted further registration until this requirement has been met. Grades earned by graduate students in undergraduate courses are not included in the graduate grade point average calculation and may not be used to meet any graduate degree requirements.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination or evaluation may be required of candidates in accordance with policies determined by the student’s major department or school. The comprehensive examination or evaluation must be completed by the deadlines set by the department.

Research Requirements

Candidates for a graduate degree must demonstrate the scholar’s approach to the acquisition and analysis of information in a field of specialization. Advisers welcome imaginative research proposals.

Both thesis and non-thesis programs require research. Students should confer with an adviser or the graduate coordinator for detailed information concerning research requirements for specific degrees and majors. Students conducting research involving human subjects are required to follow the guidelines and obtain the required approvals of the SRU Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects.

Students pursuing a thesis or dissertation program should contact their academic adviser concerning research after completing about one-half of the degree coursework. The adviser will assist the student with the necessary steps (such as preliminary selection of a topic and arranging for the appointment of a committee) to proceed. Graduate students receive considerable guidance in the preparation of a thesis/dissertation.

Three bound copies of the thesis/dissertation will become the property of Slippery Rock University. Additional copies may be required by the program’s department.

Students pursuing a non-thesis program are required to do research in conjunction with specific courses and may be required to complete an internship.

Second Master’s Degree Requirements

In order to qualify for a second master’s degree, regardless of where the first master’s degree was earned, the graduate student must:

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit at Slippery Rock University beyond the first master’s degree.
  • Apply no more than 12 semester hours of credit from the first degree toward requirements for the second degree.
  • Meet departmental requirements for the degree with respect to the required semester hours of credit and courses for a major in that department.
  • Complete all requirements for the degree, with the exception of credits accepted from the program of the first degree, within the six-year statute of limitations.
  • Satisfy all incompletes prior to graduation.
  • Meet all other University requirements for graduation and be in good standing.

Semester Hours of Credit

A minimum quality point average of 3.000 and between 30 and 60 semester hours of approved graduate credit and other individual program requirements are required for a master’s degree. To assure a balanced and comprehensive program, additional hours may be required or desired by the student. Completion of the semester hour requirement does not in itself entitle one to receive a degree, and the university is not obligated to confer a degree upon completion of the required credit hours.

Additional degree program and university graduation requirements may apply. Requirements vary among programs; therefore, the student should check with graduate coordinators for specific degree or certificate requirements. Physical Therapy, for example, has requirements different from other programs as noted in the Graduate School of Physical Therapy Student Manual.  This also applies to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy and Ed.D. programs

Application for Graduation

A student is responsible for applying to graduate on MySRU, and for fulfilling all requirements for the degree in accordance with the regulations of that program and the university.

Students who meet all graduation requirements in a given term but fail to apply for graduation before the semester ends will be graduated at the end of the semester in which their application is recorded in the Office of Academic Records and Registration, not the term during which they completed their coursework.

Students must meet all graduation requirements by the official end of the semester in which they have applied to graduate. Failure to do so (e.g., incomplete grades in any course, “X” grades in required courses, no application) will result in extending the student’s graduation date to the end of the term the work or requirement is eventually completed.

Students must apply for graduation on MySRU for fall, spring, and summer. A paper application is required for winter. The completed application should reach the Office of Academic Records and Registration by October 1 for December graduation, December 1 for January graduation, March 1 for May graduation, and June 15 for summer graduation.

Application for Certification

Students who meet requirements for, and wish to obtain a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certificate in School Counseling, Reading Specialist, Secondary Education, Special Education, Special Education Supervision, Principal or a Pennsylvania Department of Education endorsement in Creative Movement, Instructional Coaching, Gifted, Autism, or Online Instruction will need to apply for the appropriate credential through the PDE's Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) and pay the application fee determined by PDE.  Candidates should contact their academic adviser for additional details about the process.