2014-2015 Graduate Bulletin

Seaton Hall

The Graduate Studies Bulletin contains policy information regarding graduate study at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, plus links to Programs Offered and a Course Catalog.

General Information

Academic Integrity

Academic honesty is essential to the existence and integrity of an academic institution. The responsibility for maintaining that integrity is shared by all members of the academic community.  The University expects all graduate students to act at all times with unwavering integrity.  As a graduate student, you have a responsibility to understand and to uphold the standards of the academic community. At UNL, you will be held to the highest standards of academic integrity.

The Student Code of Conduct outlines the University’s expectations regarding academic integrity. In accordance with the established procedures as described in the Code, students who commit acts of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action, and are granted due process and the right to appeal any decision.

Questions regarding the procedures for handling incidents of academic dishonesty may be directed to the Dean of Students, 106 Canfield Administration Building (0418), 472-2021, who is primarily responsible for administering the Student Code of Conduct.

Nondiscrimination Policy

It is the policy of the University of Nebraska to administer all of its educational programs and related supporting services in a manner which does not discriminate based upon age, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, sex, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran's status, marital status, religion or political affiliation.  

Any unwanted communication of a sexual nature, whether verbal, physical, written, or pictorial, which has the purpose or effect of intimidating the person receiving the communication, or any solicitation of sexual conduct of any nature when submission to or rejection of such contact is used as the basis for either implicitly or explicitly imposing favorable or adverse terms and conditions of academic standing constitutes sexual harassment and will not be condoned or tolerated.  

Appropriate corrective action will be taken toward any student or employee who is found to have violated UNL's non-discrimination or sexual harassment policies. Further, UNL commits itself toward the assurance of non-retaliation toward the person suspecting or experiencing discrimination or sexual harassment.

If you suspect or experience discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation toward yourself or others, please keep records of specifics and report the conduct.

If you do not feel comfortable telling the person to stop the behavior, or if the behavior does not cease once you have made the request that it do so, you may tell an administrator, professor or counselor. These individuals are then required to pass the information on to the people who can take corrective action.

You may also contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, 106 Canfield Administration Building South, (402) 472-2021, the Office of Equity Access and Diversity Programs, 128 Canfield Administration Building North, (402) 472-3417, or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202.

More information regarding discrimination, harassment and avenues available is posted on most bulletin boards in buildings throughout the UNL campus.

Student Privacy Policy

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln defines the following student information as public directory information:

Student name, local address, permanent addresses, telephone numbers, year at the University (i.e. Freshman, Sophomore, etc.), dates of attendance, academic college and major field of study, enrollment status, (e.g. undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees, honors and awards received and most recent education agency or institution attended.

Directory information will be available to the public upon request and may be included in student directories published electronically and in hard copy. However, students have the right to have directory information withheld from the public, if they so desire. During the first two weeks of any semester, a student who wants all or any directory information to be withheld shall so indicate by completing a form obtained from the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building South, (402) 472-3635. The student's request will be processed within a reasonable amount of time. Directory information already included in hard copy publications will be removed at the next printing of the hard copy publication.

You can view the official notice about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Sexual Harrassment Policy

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln reaffirms that all women and men--administrators, faculty, staff and students--are to be treated fairly and equally with dignity and respect. Any form of sexual harassment is prohibited.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature when:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing;
  • submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual, or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working/academic environment.

Sexual harassment will not be condoned during the work or school day, nor will acts of sexual harassment be permitted outside the work or school environment if such acts affect the normal work environment or student/teacher relationship. UNL provides grievance procedures for violations of this policy. For further information, contact:

Equity, Access, and Diversity Programs
128 Canfield Administration Building
PO Box 880437
Lincoln, NE 68555-0437
(402) 472-3417

Appropriate corrective action will be taken in those instances where the foregoing policies have been violated. Any student or employee who is found to have violated any of the aforementioned policies will be subject to disciplinary action.

Further, UNL commits itself to a program of affirmative action to encourage the enrollment of minority and female students; to identify and eliminate the effects of any past discrimination in the provisions of educational and related services; and to establish organizational structures of procedures which assure equal treatment and equal access to the facilities and educational benefits of the institution for all students.

UNL complies with all applicable laws promoting equal educational and employment opportunity prohibiting unlawful discrimination, including those addressing the obligations of the institution under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Information concerning violations of the policy and inquiries regarding UNL compliance with equal opportunity mandates, affirmative action, and other inclusions should be directed to:

Equity, Access, and Diversity Programs
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
128 Canfield Administration Building
PO Box 880437
Lincoln, NE 68588-0437
(402) 472-3417 U.S. and Canada
(800) 742-8800 (toll-free)


A formal discrimination grievance procedure is available at UNL for those seeking redress. Copies of the EEO Grievances Procedures are available from the Equity, Access and Diversity Programs Office and in most departments. Those wishing to file formal complaints outside UNL may contact the Equity, Access and Diversity Programs Office for appropriate names and addresses of external agencies to which such communications may be directed. Students who believe that discrimination occurred within the educational setting may also contact:

Director, Office for Civil Rights
Department of Education
Washington, DC 20202



Admission

Admission Categories

Graduate students may be admitted into one of the following categories.

Degree Objective

Admission to the Graduate College as a degree-seeking student requires application to both Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee within an academic unit. Applicants to a degree program must send an application, application fee, one official transcript from all post-secondary schools attended, and fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies, such as statement of goals, test scores, portfolios, etc. Specific requirements for each department are listed in Programs Offered.

Non-Degree, Post-Baccalaureate

Non-degree, post-baccalaureate admission to the Graduate College is completed through the Graduate Studies office. Applicants are reviewed for minimum standards upon receipt of an application, application fee and one official baccalaureate or higher degree transcript.

Those seeking another undergraduate degree should contact Undergraduate Admissions for advising and assistance. Students seeking a non-degree admission for an initial teacher certification, renewal of a teacher certification, or additional teaching endorsements should contact the College of Education and Human Sciences Student Services Center.

Limitations to a non-degree, post-baccalaureate admission:

  • It is not a guarantee of future admission to a degree program. Students must apply formally through Graduate Studies for acceptance into a degree program.
  • Students will not qualify for assistantships or fellowships in this category. Financial aid in the form of student loans is limited to those taking only undergraduate hours as prerequisites for admission to a specific graduate or professional program. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid can supply further information about the availability of these loans.
  • This admission is not available to international students on F-1 student visas.

Express Non-degree Post-baccalaureate Admission

An Express Admission allows a student to register for classes without waiting for Graduate Studies to receive transcripts. The admission may be extended beyond one term only upon receipt of an official degree transcript. Applicants requesting an Express Admission must be eligible for non-degree post-baccalaureate admission and have earned a bachelors or higher degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 on a 4.00 scale.

Non-Degree, Visiting Graduate

Admission is available to applicants who are actively pursuing graduate studies at U.S. institutions other than the University of Nebraska campuses, and requires submission of an application, application fee, and letter of good standing from the home institution.

Enrollment is limited to two consecutive terms (semesters and/or full summer enrollment).

Intercampus Admission/Intercampus Registration UNO, UNMC and UNK graduate students will use an online application for intercampus registration to register for courses at UNL and will retain their admission at their degree-objective campus. To apply for this admission category, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at your home campus or complete the Online Request for Intercampus Enrollment.

Changing from Non-degree to Degree Status

Any non-degree student who seeks admission to a degree program must apply to the Office of Graduate Studies and be recommended for admission by the departmental or area Graduate Committee. There is no guarantee of ultimate admission to a degree program from non-degree status, nor is there any guarantee that credits earned as a non-degree student will be applied toward a graduate degree. Admission to a degree program must be gained prior to the accumulation of half of the hours required under each of the degree options. Some graduate-level hours completed by non-degree post-baccalaureate students prior to degree program enrollment may be included in a program of studies at the discretion of the major and/or minor department and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. It is imperative to check with your desired department to obtain information about the maximum number of hours that may be completed prior to admission to their program.

Admission Policies

  1. The Graduate College (UNL Graduate Studies) is open to graduates of all colleges of this University and to graduates of other universities and colleges of recognized standing whose requirements for graduation are substantially the same as those in the corresponding colleges of this University. The University of Nebraska is a public university committed to providing a quality education to a diverse student body. Students are selected on the basis of academic preparation, ability, and the availability of space in the desired academic program.

    It is the policy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln not to discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

    This policy is applicable to all University administered programs including educational programs, financial aid, admission policies and employment policies.

  2. All materials submitted become the permanent property of the Office of Graduate Studies and will not be photocopied for individual use, returned, or forwarded to other agencies.

  3. Information given falsely or withheld will affect the decision on an application and may make the applicant ineligible for admission and/or enrollment.

  4. Persons who have been dismissed from another institution for academic dishonesty or violations of student codes of conduct are not eligible for admission to UNL Graduate Studies.

  5. Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from an institution that is regionally accredited, an institution that is accredited by an organization recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or from an accredited foreign institution that is recognized by Graduate Studies.

  6. Acceptance for admission to a program leading to a masters degree, a doctoral degree, an educational specialist degree or a certificate is determined by the Graduate Committee within the academic unit and the Dean of Graduate Studies. This decision is based upon the applicant’s record, experience, personal qualifications, and proposed area of study. Departmental or area Graduate Committees make recommendations on all degree applications, but the final admission decision is the responsibility of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  7. Notification of acceptance by a department Graduate Committee or faculty member is advisory only. Admission is granted solely by the Office of Graduate Studies and is confirmed by the issuance of a Certificate of Admission. Academic departments will notify applicants concerning awards of financial assistance.

  8. Negative admission decisions are not appealable.

  9. Most applicants will apply formally and be admitted to only one graduate degree program at a time. It is possible, however, to apply to two degrees simultaneously. In order to do so, one must treat each application as a completely separate entity, supplying for each one an application, an application fee, and any departmental materials. If accepted by both programs, the applicant must select only one program to enter since admission is limited to one program at a time (unless admission is to a dual-degree program).

    There are dual degree programs available in cooperation with the College of Law and certain participating programs in UNL Graduate Studies.

    If an enrolled student plans to move on to a new degree program upon completion of another, it is advisable to apply for admission to the new program early in the semester in which one plans to graduate.

  10. Entry into UNL Graduate Studies is valid for the specific semester indicated on the Certificate of Admission. However, a student may defer enrollment for a maximum of two terms if he or she meets certain Graduate College requirements and if the department in which graduate study would be pursued consents to the delay. (There is no guarantee of an offer of an assistantship if there is a request for postponement of enrollment.)

  11. The Office of Graduate Studies retains the right to revoke the earlier admission on the basis of new information or limited resources. International students may be required to provide current financial information in order to receive a valid I-20 or DS-2019 immigration form if they wish to delay their initial enrollment. Students who are admitted but who neither defer nor subsequently enroll must reapply.

  12. A graduate student, formerly or currently enrolled, who wishes to pursue a degree objective other than the one originally sought, must initiate a formal application for the new program by filing a new graduate application form, supplementing existing records, and fulfilling any departmental requirements prior to review by the departmental Graduate Committee and the College.


See also:  Information for Prospective Students, Application for Admission.


Admission for International Students

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln welcomes students from all countries as part of the student body and the Office of Graduate Studies encourages applications from qualified students throughout the world.

Eligibility

It is recognized that educational systems in other countries differ from that of the United States. Comparability of international course work and degrees will be determined by departmental Graduate Committees and by the Office of Graduate Studies. Generally, a four-year first university degree from an academic institution outside the U.S. will be accepted as comparable to the U.S. bachelors degree if the degree grants eligibility for graduate study at institutions within the same country.

How and When to Apply

Application materials from international students must include uploaded copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations. These unofficial documents will be used for application review. Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records cannot be used. Students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.

It is recommended that applicants outside the U.S. begin applying approximately one year in advance of the desired first enrollment. The following dates are suggested to have all materials on file: March 1 for first semester (beginning in August); September 1 for second semester (beginning in January); and February 1 for summer (beginning in June).

All international applicants seeking F-1 student visas must apply for degree programs rather than non-degree, post-baccalaureate status.

Funding Requirements

Evidence of adequate financial resources for tuition and living expenses is required of all international students seeking F-1 or J-1 visas, including those who received their baccalaureate degrees at UNL. Students should not assume funds or work opportunities will be available at a later date, and should be prepared to have their living and educational expenses increase annually. University-wide fellowships may be sought after one year of graduate study in the U.S. More information is available to eligible candidates from the Office of Graduate Studies.

English Proficiency

When Applying:  TOEFL or IELTS

Applicants to the Graduate College whose native language is not English are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL; 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of at least 6.5. Some departments require higher scores for admission.

Upon Arrival:  English Language Test (ELT)

As a new international student, you may be required to take the English Language Test upon your arrival in Lincoln. Check your Certificate of Admission from the Office of Graduate Studies to confirm whether you are required to sit for this exam.  Typically all new students are required to take the ELT if the score is:

  • A TOEFL iBT writing score below 25 or a TOEFL below 100
  • An IELTS writing score OR total IELTS score below 7.0

Exemptions from the ELT requirement may be granted based on sufficiently high TOEFL or IELTS writing scores, or for non-native speakers who have received a bachelor's or more advanced degree from a U.S. university or a university outside the U.S. at which English is the official language of instruction.

International Teaching Assistant Institute

New holders of teaching assistantships who are non-native speakers of English must attend the International Teaching Assistant Institute. The summer Institute, a concentrated 90-hour program, is held the last week of July and the first week of August. For more information about the availability of assistantships and the Institute, contact your program’s Graduate Committee chair.

Intensive English Program

UNL’s Intensive English Program (IEP) welcomes graduate students who wish to study English intensively prior to enrolling in a graduate program.

For information and applications, contact:
Mr. Christy Dunsmore, Director
Program in English as a Second Language
Department of English
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
513 East Nebraska Hall
901 N 17th Street
PO Box 880507
Lincoln, NE 68588-0507
(402) 472-1884
(402) 472-4636 Fax
esl2@unl.edu


Admission of UNL Seniors

UNL seniors who are within 9 hours of graduation may apply and be granted admission to UNL Graduate Studies. This admission and continued enrollment would be contingent upon receipt of the baccalaureate within the calendar year and would make one ineligible to continue any undergraduate scholarship or financial aid, but would allow one to apply for any financial support, fellowships, or assistantships open to graduate students.

Admission to Double Majors

Definition of a double major

One degree is conferred. There is one diploma but two majors have been completed and both majors are listed on the transcript. Work must be completed at the same time.

For example, there are three double majors approved at the doctoral level:
Statistics & Agronomy
Statistics & Economics
Statistics & Natural Resource Sciences

Description and procedure

The professional/scholastic goals of some graduate students may be enhanced substantially by acquiring more knowledge than is currently provided by the option of earning a minor. They can do this by studying in a second field as a double major.  This is not the same as a dual degree (i.e., two Masters degrees in separate majors, typically 60+ credit hours).

Graduate students in pre-approved programs may have the option of attaining a double major within the same degree (e.g., Master of Arts or a Ph.D. in two different majors):

  1. Applicants choosing the double major will submit one application for each program and only one application fee and clearly specify that they are seeking a double major in the comments section of the application.  The applicant will need to complete the application requirements for each program. The graduate committee of each department/area will review the application and send the decision to Graduate Studies.

  2. If someone applies to a second program, Graduate Studies sends the application directly to that graduate committee, not to the original committee.

  3. The prospective student should be aware that a decision to recommend admission by one of the graduate committees does not affect the decision of the other committee. The criteria for acceptance may differ between programs; admission to one or both of the department’s programs does not guarantee acceptance for a double major master’s degree. Final approval of all applications rests with the Dean of Graduate Studies.

If a student is already pursuing a major in a degree program, then decides he or she would like to obtain a second major, a new application is required. The new application must be approved by the original graduate committee prior to review by the second graduate committee.

Once the degree is conferred, a second major cannot be attained. Students then would be required to apply for admission to a second degree program, and upon acceptance, complete all requirements of a full independent program.


Admission to Dual Degrees

Definition of dual degrees

  • Degrees from same institution: More than one degree is received from UNL at the same time.

  • Degrees from different institutions: One degree is received from one institution and a different degree is received from a second institution within the University of Nebraska system (e.g., UNMC/UNL, or UNO/UNL, etc.). These require the simultaneous matriculation form located at the Office of Graduate Studies.

Description and procedure

Students pursuing a dual degree must be accepted separately by each degree program, with the knowledge and approval of the Graduate Dean. For more information, refer to the dual program descriptions within the departmental graduate program summary under the appropriate departmental entry.

No graduate student may be a degree-seeking student in more than one graduate program at the University of Nebraska, unless enrolled in an approved dual-degree program (see Dual Degree Programs below). When a student has received admission for two masters programs, the same course credit will not be accepted for more than one degree without prior approval of the Graduate Program Committees through which the programs are administratively assigned and the Dean for Graduate Studies.

Examples of dual degree programs

  • Architecture (MArch) and business (MBA)
  • Architecture (MArch) and community and regional planning (MCRP)
  • Civil engineering (MS) and community and regional planning (MCRP)
  • Law and accountancy (MPA)
  • Law and business administration (MBA)
  • Law and community and regional planning (MCRP)
  • Law and journalism and mass communications (MA)
  • Law and political science (MA)
  • Law and psychology (MA)
  • Legal Studies (MLS) and Psychology (PhD)
  • MArch/MEng with construction emphasis



Faculty Seeking Additional Degree

A member of the faculty in an instructional department who holds the rank or equivalent rank of assistant professor or above, or who holds an appointment for a specific term, or a member of the administrative staff holding the rank of assistant professor or above, may pursue an advanced degree in the Graduate College only after receiving special permission from the cognizant academic dean or administrative supervisor and from the campus Graduate Council responsible for the program which the faculty member wishes to pursue.

  • The advanced degree cannot be in the faculty member’s own department or in a closely-related department or area. Whether a second department or area is too closely related to the person’s own department shall be determined by the Dean of Graduate Studies of the campus involved in consultation with the Graduate Committees of the two departments or areas. Permission may be granted to pursue an advanced degree in the equivalent department on another campus of the University of Nebraska.

  • Graduate Faculty will have their status suspended upon receiving permission to pursue an advanced degree in the Graduate College. However, such persons shall be eligible, with permission of the appropriate campus Dean of Graduate Studies and the appropriate Graduate Committee, to continue to teach graduate courses, supervise graduate students at a level commensurate with their former rank in the Graduate Faculty, and serve on graduate supervisory and examining committees.

  • Upon completing or withdrawing from an advanced degree program, the original Graduate Faculty status shall be reinstated upon recommendation by at least two-thirds of the Graduate Faculty of the department or area if the person returns to the same department in which they held an appointment originally. A change of appointment to another department requires that the person follow the established procedure for obtaining Graduate Faculty status.

  • Members of the university community employed on a permanent full-time basis and holding the rank of Assistant Professor or above may be admitted on a non-degree basis to take courses for personal and professional growth by supplying an Application for Graduate Admission and the application fee.

  • All other staff members are eligible for admission to all graduate admission categories and are subject to standard admission requirements.

Joint Degrees

Definition of a joint degree

One degree from two University of Nebraska system-wide institutions.  This is rarely practiced.

Examples

There is currently one approved joint degree program offered in Educational Administration between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Veterans

All men and women who plan to attend the University and will be affected by the educational assistance and vocational rehabilitation laws administered by the Veterans Administration should inquire at the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building, before registering for classes.

See also: Veterans Resources.

Funding

Assistantships

Approximately 1,900 teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified graduate students during the regular academic year in various departments within the university. The assistantships typically require 13 to 19.6 hours of service per week. During the fall and spring terms, graduate assistants may not work more than 19.6 hours per week, all jobs considered.

There are benefits eligible and non-benefits eligible assistantships.  Benefits eligible assistantships provide a tuition waiver and partial waiver of the student health insurance premium non-benefits eligible do not.

A graduate assistantship provides financial support for a graduate student for a set period of time during which the student is expected to pursue activities towards the advanced degree. To hold a graduate assistantship, a student must be admitted to a department or area with a specific graduate degree objective and must be enrolled during the period of the assistantship.

Types of Assistantships

A teaching assistantship in an academic department provides a stipend to a student who is typically assisting in the department’s teaching program.  A graduate teaching assistant is required to spend 13-19.6 hours per week (.33 to .49 FTE) during the academic year, engaged in teaching activity (grading, assisting a professor with a course, etc.).  The teaching assistant is expected to continue working towards the advanced degree while being a teaching assistant.

The Graduate Council recommends that all departments require graduate teaching assistants to participate in workshops for teaching assistants. Graduate assistants may be expected to provide their academic adviser with a written report of their academic progress at the conclusion of the period for which the teaching assistantship is awarded.

All international graduate students who wish to be employed as teaching assistants at UNL must attend the Institute for International Teaching Assistants. The Institute is an intensive training program held the last week of July and the first week of August. For more information on the availability of assistantships, contact the graduate committee of the appropriate department.

Because of the potential for the exploitation of graduate students, any assignment of responsibilities, such as teaching a course, must be associated with a fair and reasonable compensation. This principle precludes a graduate student from “volunteering” for any significant service to the department without an appropriate stipend.

A research assistantship provides a stipend to a student who is typically assisting a professor with a research project, enabling the graduate student to work towards an advanced degree. Work required by the graduate research assistantship that is not directly related to the student's own program shall not exceed 13-19.6 hours per week (.33 to .49 FTE). Students receiving research assistantships may be expected to provide their academic adviser with a written report of their academic progress at the conclusion of the period for which the research assistantship is awarded.

Other graduate research assistantships provide a stipend to a student who is assisting an academic or nonacademic department with a wide variety of functions. Work required by the graduate research assistantship that is not directly related to the student's own program shall not exceed 13-19.6 hours per week (.33 to .49 FTE). Students receiving such assistantships in non-academic departments may be expected to provide their academic adviser with a written report of their academic progress at the conclusion of the period for which the graduate assistantship is awarded.

Eligiblity

To hold a graduate assistantship a student must be admitted to a department or area with a specific graduate degree objective and must be enrolled for credit during the tenure of the assistantship.

Individual departments make assistantship appointments. Students interested in being considered for assistantships in their major should indicate that on the Application for Admission. Further inquiries should be directed to the graduate chair or the chair of the student's prospective department.

The responsibilities of the graduate assistant and the method by which the student will be evaluated should be provided in writing to the student by the immediate supervisor at the beginning of the assistantship.

Benefits

Tuition remission of up to 12 hours per semester is provided as a benefit of eligible assistantships.  Students holding eligible assistantships are provided basic individual student health insurance coverage with related benefits. The University subsidizes part of the student health insurance premium for eligible graduate assistants.

Eligibility for assistantship benefits must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. A continuous appointment for four full months within the semester dates.
  2. The stipend meets the minimum salary level set by the University.
  3. The assistantship or combination of assistantships in one or more departments totals at least 13.33 hours per week employment.

If a graduate assistant resigns or their assistantship is terminated during the semester before four full months of consecutive service (e.g., 120 consecutive days within the semester dates, August-December OR January-May) all benefits will be lost and the student will be responsible for the total tuition payment and health insurance premiums.

Departments may differentiate graduate teaching assistantship stipends by graduate student status (master's or doctoral-level, first year or experienced) or by number of hours of work required by the assistantship. Within departments and within each level of differentiation, stipends should generally be equivalent. Guidelines used to determine stipend levels should be available to students through the department or graduate committee chair.

Summer Assistantship Appointments

If a graduate assistant, while on an appointment during both semesters of the preceding academic year, was paid a stipend meeting the minimum qualification for summer tuition, the student is not charged tuition for the first 6 hours during the summer sessions. If such a stipend met the next level of qualification, the student is not charged tuition for the first 12 hours during the summer sessions. (Specific dollar amounts are available each year from the Office of Graduate Studies.)

A student on a non-benefits eligible graduate assistantship is charged tuition at resident rates if the stipend received is equal to, or greater than, the total of the amount set by the University for the relative summer session.

Hiring Graduate Assistants

General Responsibilities Associated with Graduate Assistantships

Each department or unit shall establish its own documented procedures for recruitment, selection, retention and dismissal of graduate assistants in accordance with UNL graduate policy and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity guidelines. These procedures shall be made available to each graduate student and posted in the department. Individual departments may establish a required minimum course load for funded students.

Departments must provide students with an official signed offer letter, informing them of assistantship expectations, responsibilities, and compensation. A graduate assistant’s duties are assigned by the departmental chair/head, graduate committee chair, administrative supervisor, or others. Graduate assistants are expected to be assigned relevant professional work that may include, among other tasks, teaching or assisting in a course (under the supervision of a director or mentor), grading for a course, working in a department-sponsored laboratory or instructional center, assisting a professor on a research project, professional conference development, tutoring, or development of administrative skills. All projects must be supervised by a member of the graduate faculty or administrative staff. No graduate assistant should be assigned to a project which is primarily clerical or housekeeping. A portion of any project may have clerical elements, but all projects should incorporate decision-making, judgment, analysis and evaluation skills.

Although students on graduate assistantships may not have employment exceeding 19.6 hours per week from all sources both on and off campus during the period of the assistantship, there is no limit to time spent on studies and research relating to the advanced degree. Recipients of graduate assistantships may qualify for additional funding through competitive fellowship awards. No additional service or work requirement is associated with fellowship awards.

The Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a signatory to the Council of Graduate Schools policy regarding the offering and acceptance of financial aid. Specifically, students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support for the coming academic year prior to April 15. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made.

Evaluating Graduate Assistants' Performance

Assistantships without a fixed term specified in the initial letter of offer may, at the discretion of the department, be renewed if the following criteria are met

  • funding is available;
  • the student is making satisfactory academic progress; and
  • the student's assistantship performance is judged to be satisfactory by his or her supervisor.

Where the number of years of funding is within those specified in the initial letter of offer, an assistantship must be renewed if these four criteria are met.

The faculty member or staff person who supervises the assistant's work should conduct a timely written evaluation of the student's performance and provide a copy of that evaluation to the student and to the chair/director for placement in the student's file. This evaluation should take the following criteria into account

  • prompt, efficient, and accurate completion of assigned tasks;
  • ability to work independently once tasks are explained;
  • ability to analyze problems and find solutions;
  • good student evaluations for instructional and tutoring assignments in courses, laboratory and clinical settings;
  • cooperation with mentor, director, and other assistants; and
  • professional and ethical behavior in all assigned tasks and duties including course studies and research.

Evaluations of performance shall not be influenced on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation, nor shall they be influenced by students' exercise of their First Amendment freedoms of expression and association.

Academic Freedom of Graduate Teaching Assistants

The academic freedom of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is not necessarily coextensive with that of faculty. All GTAs are engaged in supervised teaching or instruction. Supervisors are responsible for defining the nature, scope and manner of instruction to be used for each course. Supervisors should communicate the extent to which GTAs have discretion to introduce additional material. Graduate teaching assistants should follow the instructions of the supervisor. Graduate teaching assistants may not be penalized for expressing their own views on matters within the scope of the course, provided they adequately represent these views as their own.

In interpreting teaching evaluations, supervisors shall make every effort to distinguish legitimate critiques of the course from negative evaluations due to a) prejudice against the GTA on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or other protected status, or b) disagreement with viewpoints expressed by the GTA or by students in the class.

Fellowships

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis in recognition of a student's demonstrated scholarship, scholastic and creative promise, and/or financial need. There is no service or work requirement associated with fellowship awards. A student holding a fellowship or a traineeship must be a full-time student during the period of appointment.

To be eligible a student must be admitted to a department or area with a specific graduate degree objective and must be enrolled in graduate academic course work. Students enrolled in certificate-only programs with no degree objective are ineligible for fellowships. International students must have completed one year of study at a US institution of higher education to be eligible for any of the current graduate student fellowships. Employees of the University of Nebraska, other than graduate assistants, are not eligible to receive a fellowship.

See also: UNL fellowships for current UNL graduate students and externally-funded fellowships.

Types of fellowships

Tuition Fellowships remit tuition for the full or partial cost of graduate courses according to the specific fellowship guidelines for the term of the award. Recipients of tuition fellowships are responsible for university program and facilities fees unless specifically included in the award announcement. Recipients must be admitted to a graduate program with a specific graduate degree objective.

Full Support Fellowship Awards from Graduate Studies (Presidential and Fling Fellowships) provide stipend payments for recipients of these awards. Fellowship recipients are required to be full-time students (at least 9 credit hours or have an approved full-time graduate status form) during the period of appointment and may hold another major fellowship. They may not engage in remunerative employment, including a graduate assistantship or traineeship.

Partial Support Fellowship Awards. Some fellowships provide partial support; students with these fellowships may hold other fellowships and assistantships.

Other information

The fellowship award should not in any way affect the amount of a graduate assistantship salary unless there is an accompanying real decrease in the teaching or research assignment and the corresponding FTE. Because of the potential appearance of a possible conflict of interest, employees of the University of Nebraska (other than graduate assistants) are ineligible for fellowship stipend awards.

Continuation of graduate fellowships may be denied to recipients under the following conditions:

  • failure to satisfy Scholastic Grade Requirements as specified in the UNL Graduate Studies Bulletin;
  • violations of the Code of Conduct as specified in the UNL Graduate Studies Bulletin; or
  • failure in qualifying examinations, preliminary examinations, comprehensive examinations or failure to make satisfactory progress in a graduate program.

Financial Aid

Loans and need-based application process

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) does not participate in the granting of fellowships or assistantships but does maintain current information on other forms of financial support available to students.

To apply for Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the processing center as soon as possible after January 1. Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Work-Study are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to domestic students with a completed financial aid file as long as funds are available. (International students are ineligible to apply for federal loans.)

To have a completed file, a student must:

  1. Submit a FAFSA to the processing center.
  2. Be admitted to a degree program (contact OSFA for exceptions).
  3. If you are transferring to UNL or if you attended another postsecondary school as an undergraduate, submit a financial aid transcript to OSFA from all schools attended. A financial aid transcript is required even if you did not receive financial aid.
  4. Submit all documentation requested by OSFA as required for verification.
To receive financial aid you must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Maintaining satisfactory progress at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) requires you to successfully complete a minimum number of hours according to the Minimum UNL Attempted Credit Hours Completed Table.

In addition, you must complete your degree prior to reaching the maximum credit hour limit in the Maximum Total Credit Hours Attempted Schedule.



Registration

Graduate Student Registration

Procedures and dates pertaining to registration are provided by the Office of the University Registrar.  Additional questions concerning graduate registration procedures should be referred to the Office of Graduate Studies, 1100 Seaton Hall, 402-472-2875.

Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy status must be registered every fall and spring semester until they graduate. Failure to maintain registration may result in the termination of the student’s program.

Formerly enrolled graduate students who have not attended classes for three consecutive terms must request a reactivation of their eligibility to register for classes by emailing graduate@unl.edu.


Auditing a Course

Auditing gives a currently enrolled student (or currently admitted student) the privilege of attending class, but credit is not earned and a grade of AU is assigned when auditing a class.

All persons wishing to audit a course must be admitted and eligible to enroll in classes for the term in which they audit. The fee for auditing a course is the same as the regular resident or non-resident tuition for the term, and both UPFF and other course fees apply to the class.

To audit a course:

  1. Register for the class online.
  2. Pick up a Permit to Audit Card at the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building.
  3. Obtain the instructor’s permission to audit the course by having him or her sign the Permit to Audit Card.
  4. Turn in the signed Permit to Audit Card at the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building, no later than the last day to add a class for the term. 

Correction of Registration Errors

A graduate student who has registered in error (for example, enrollment in the undergraduate level of a 400/800 course) should correct the error through the normal drop and add process during the term in which the error occurred. In the event the error is not recognized until a grade is posted, the student may appeal for correction of registration within sixty days of the posting of the grade report in the Office of the University Registrar. Changes to a student registration record will not be made more than sixty days after grades are posted.

Drop and Add

Students may drop or add classes from the beginning of priority registration through the last day on which classes may be added for a term. Dates are published each semester in the Schedule of Classes. Students who do not initially register for classes until after the beginning of the term will be charged a late registration fee. No course may be added to a student’s record after the end of the add period (as published in the Schedule of Classes) without the permission of the instructor and the Office of Graduate Studies.

A course drop becomes effective for tuition and grade purposes on the date the transaction is processed by the student. Tuition liability for a course begins after the add period for a term.

A graduate student may drop a course without the instructor’s permission 3/4 of the way through the course. Any graduate student wishing to drop one or more classes after the 3/4 point of the term can do so only with the permission of the Office of Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies will consult with the course instructor prior to approval. All courses dropped after the second week of the term are noted on the student’s academic record (transcript) with a “W” (withdrawn) grade designation.

For complete procedures, dates and regulations, refer to the current semester’s Academic Calendar.

Employment and Registration

Graduate students holding any fellowship(s) are required to be enrolled as a full-time student as defined in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. Students with external or departmental fellowships must follow the specific granting agency requirements.

Graduate students holding a traineeship are required to be enrolled full-time or be full-time certified during the tenure of their traineeship. Other remunerative employment must follow the granting agency requirements.

A student who holds a graduate assistantship may not work more than half time, or 19.6 hours per week, all jobs considered, including assistantship(s) and paid internships. Internships are considered work in a training environment related to the student’s educational career for which they receive pay. Therefore, an assistantship and an internship may not be held by a student simultaneously if the total hours between the two equal more than 19.6 hours per week. This applies to fall and spring terms only.

Graduate students who are not employed, or graduate research assistants who are performing duties that are 100 percent thesis related, may register for a maximum of 15 credit hours during an academic year semester, 6 credit hours during one five-week summer session, 9 credit hours during one eight-week summer session, or 3 credit hours during the pre-session.

Graduate students who are employed are advised not to exceed the following registration guidelines established by the Graduate Council.

Hours Employed per weekMaximum Registration Guidelines (credit hours)
Academic Year Semester 8-week Summer Session 5-week Summer Session *3-week Summer Pre-session
0 15 9 6 3
8-16 12 8 5 2
17-20 10 6 4 2
Full-time 6 4 3 1
*One course permitted for a maximum of 3 credit hours.

These guidelines reflect the fact that graduate-level course work serves mainly as a guide for independent, scholarly study. Graduate students are expected to master subjects and to devote substantial time in independent library and laboratory investigation beyond minimum credit hour requirements.

For courses offered within a summer session, a general guideline is a maximum registration of 1 credit hour per week of instruction.

Financial Aid and Registration

Registration Requirements for Financial Aid
Academic Year Full-time (F) 9 or more cr hrs
3/4-time (T) 6-8 cr hrs
1/2-time (H) 4-5 cr hrs
Summer Full-time (F) 8 or more cr hrs
3/4-time (T) 6-7 cr hrs
1/2-time (H) 4-5 cr hrs

Minimum registration required for financial aid during the summer is 4 credit hours of enrollment. These credits can be taken in different summer sessions; however, financial aid is disbursed during the session the student reaches half-time enrollment.

Full/Part-time Status and Registration

Registration Requirements for Full/Part-time Status

DurationStatusCredit Hours
Academic Year Full-time (F) 9 cr hrs
3/4-time (T) 6-8 cr hrs
1/2-time (H) 4-5 cr hrs
Less than 1/2-time (L) 1-3 cr hrs
Summer Full-time (F) 6 cr hrs
3/4-time (T) 4-5 cr hrs
1/2-time (H) 3 cr hrs
Less than 1/2-time (L) 1-2 cr hrs

Full-Time Certification

Graduate students are considered full time when registered for 9 credit hours during an academic semester or at least 6 credit hours during the summer, whether or not the student holds a graduate assistantship.

Students in a thesis-option masters degree program (Option I) or doctoral student in candidacy, may request to be full-time certified each semester they are under enrolled for the time limit allowed for their degree.  

In order to be eligible to utilize the full-time certification, the student must be currently registered for at least one credit hour and have been registered at least half time (i.e., at least 4 credits) in the fall and spring terms prior to the initiation of the full-time certification status. Masters students may utilize the full-time certification not longer than 12 months; doctoral candidates may utilize the full-time certification not longer than 24 months.

Summer Registration

Graduate assistants are not required to register for courses during the summer term. Graduate assistants employed in the summer but who are not registered for 4 credits hours during the summer term are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes; fees for recreation center usage; limited access to libraries and health center fees.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee rates are subject to change at the direction of the Board of Regents. For the current tuition and fees charges in effect, visit the UNL Student Accounts homepage.

Tuition and Fees for Graduate Assistants

  • Students holding a benefits-eligible graduate assistantship may receive tuition remission of up to 12 hours per semester during the fall and/or spring semesters plus a portion of the student's health insurance premium. 

  • Payment of the student's portion of the health insurance premium, University program and facilities fees, library fees, technology fees, registration fees, special course fees, are the student's responsibility.
  • If a graduate assistant resigns or terminates the assistantship during the semester before four full months of service, all benefits will be lost. The student then is responsible for the total tuition payment and health insurance premiums.

Refunds

Students who elect to withdraw from the University within the first four weeks of a semester, or within the first two weeks of a summer session, may be entitled to a fractional refund of tuition. The conditions of eligibility for refunds are subject to change. The current conditions are described on the University Registrar’s web site on the academic calendar.

Residency Status for Tuition Purposes

Regulations pertaining to resident status for tuition purposes are established by the Board of Regents. Initial determination of resident status is made at the time of admission and is noted on the Certificate of Admission. If a non-resident student wishes to change status, it is necessary to file an application with the Office of Graduate Studies, 1100 Seaton Hall. Download the full information on the requirements for resident status and application form from our Website. 

University Staff Exemption

Members of the academic-administrative, managerial professional, and office-service staffs employed full time are eligible for the Employee and Dependent Scholarship ProgramThey can register for 15 credit hours each academic year (August through July). Participants are required to be fully admitted and to pay $1 per credit hour plus technology fees.  Part-time, temporary staff members and those employed only for the summer session must pay regular fees.

Withdrawal

If a student wishes to drop all courses being taken in the term, this is considered a withdrawal. Withdrawals may be accomplished through the MyRED system. Students may withdraw from classes, regardless of circumstance, from the first day of classes through the 3/4-point of the term. Withdrawals that occur after the second week (or 2/16th) of the term but before the 3/4-point will be noted by automatic entry of a “W” grade for all uncompleted courses.

Any withdraw from classes after the 3/4 point of the term must be for extraordinary circumstances and will be granted only by petition through the Office of Graduate Studies. The following documentation is needed:

  1. A written request from the student within 60 days of the end of the term.
  2. Written permission from the instructor.
  3. Documentation for illness, death in the family or abrupt change in work schedule.
The result of a successful petition will be posting of a grade of “W” on the transcript for the respective course(s). If the petition is denied the grade submitted by the instructor will be posted to the transcript.

If after the census date or the last day to add classes in each term the student decides to drop a course or courses and/or withdraw from the University, it is highly recommended that the student contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to discuss the implication the action may have on future eligibility to receive financial assistance.

If the student is on an assistantship, the student should contact the department Graduate Chair to discuss the ramifications of the withdrawal before actually withdrawing from the course work.

For complete procedures, dates and regulations refer to the current semester’s Academic Calendar.

Graduate Degrees Offered

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers 38 programs leading to doctoral degrees, 76 leading to masters degrees, and one leading to the educational specialist degree. Programs Offered lists current offerings.

Masters Degree Requirements

Options for the Masters Degree

The Graduate College, except in a few departments where such a choice is not feasible, offers the degrees of master of arts and master of science under three options. Limitations concerning options for the masters degree in the individual majors are shown in the beginning portion of each department’s requirements in the Courses of Instruction section of this bulletin. In choosing an option a student should be guided by the type of training desired.

A masters degree student may change his/her declared Option at any time during the program of study with written approval from the adviser, the Chair of the Graduate Committee in the student’s major and the Dean for Graduate Studies. The only exception to this policy is that students may not change from Option I to any other Option if certification of full time status has been utilized.

Major

The major for the masters degree under any option may be met with approved courses selected from those offered in any department which has been approved to offer a program leading to the masters degree, refer to graduate degrees offered.

Minor

A minor for the masters degree under any option must consist of at least 9 semester hours.  A minor may

  • be taken in any one department or interdepartmental area which has been approved to offer a major leading to a masters degree;
  • in certain departments, be completed in a subdivision of the administrative department.

Approved fields of study, which may be selected within each administrative department, must be approved by the Graduate Council for use as a minor and are indicated in this bulletin in the sections of the program for the respective departments. Approved fields of specialization are listed under those sections of this bulletin which pertain to the departments concerned.

A Masters Degree: Three Options

  Option I Option II Option III
Designed for

Students preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or in college or university teaching.

Students who don’t intend to pursue a graduate degree beyond the masters.

Students who plan to continue scholarly work in a chosen field past the masters level.

Credit Hour Requirement

A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit, consisting of 20 to 24 semester hours of regular course work

A minimum of 36 semester hours of credit in courses representing a major and either one or two minors

A minimum of 36 semester hours of credit

Thesis Required

Yes (equivalent to 6-10 semester hours). At least one-half of the required work, including thesis, must be taken in one major subject (at least 18 hours for the master of education degree).

No

No

Minor available?

Yes, at least 9 semester hours

Yes, at least 9 semester hours

No

Graduate-only Requirements

Eight hours credit, in addition to the thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).

At least 12 of the 36 hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts)

At least 18 of the 36 hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).

Students pursuing the master of professional accountancy degree must earn at least 20 semester hours of credit in courses open exclusively to graduate students; at least 15 semester hours of these graduate-only courses must be in Accounting.

Residency

Must complete 10-12 semester hours of the required credit in regularly scheduled campus courses, excluding credit in thesis research

Must complete at least 18 hours in regularly scheduled campus courses. At least one-half of the work for a masters degree must be in the department or area constituting the student’s major.

Must complete at least 18 hours in regularly scheduled campus courses. At least one-half of the work for a masters degree must be in the department or area constituting the student’s major.

Time Requirement

10 consecutive years.  Course work exceeding ten years will not apply toward the partial fulfillment of the degree requirements for masters degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

10 consecutive years Course work exceeding ten years will not apply toward the partial fulfillment of the degree requirements for masters degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

10 consecutive years.  Course work exceeding ten years will not apply toward the partial fulfillment of the degree requirements for masters degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Special Notes

Not open for the master of professional accountancy degree.

Not open for master of professional accountancy degree.

Master of education is only available as an Option II.

Not open to students seeking the masters of science degree in either agronomy or horticulture.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) & Institutional Animal Care (IACUC)

Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations and UNL assurance documents to the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The IRB New Protocol Submission form must be completed online via NUGrant; the Application to Use Animals is available from the Office of Research Responsibility.

The IRB and IACUC will not review projects already in progress. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research. Evidence of IRB/IACUC approval must be submitted at the time the final version of the thesis or dissertation is filed.

Memorandum of Courses

The Memorandum of Courses must be

  • filed before the student has received grades (letter grades, no reports or incompletes) in more than one-half of the prescribed program; and

  • approved by the student’s adviser, the departmental or area Graduate Committee, a faculty member of the Graduate Committee in the student’s minor, and by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
A student may NOT file a Memorandum of Courses and graduate in the same semester or summer session. See Master's Degree Forms and Deadlines for further information.

Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to Candidacy for the masters degree when admission deficiencies have been removed and when the ability to perform satisfactorily in graduate studies has been demonstrated, by filing a Memorandum of Courses in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Examinations for the Masters Degree

Students are all required to take either a written comprehensive examination or an oral examination.

Within 24 months prior to the date of graduation, a comprehensive (written and/or oral) examination is (are) required to cover the student’s approved program of study, as specified by the appropriate departments. The comprehensive examination in the minor field(s) (written and/or oral) may be waived subject to the approval of the minor department(s) provided all grades in the minor department are at least a B or pass.

If an oral examination is required, the examining committee, approved by the Office of Graduate Studies on recommendation of the major department, will consist of at least three members representing the major department and the minor department (if applicable).

Examining Committee

If the degree is being earned under Option I without a final oral examination, the thesis must be approved in writing by a Graduate Faculty member in addition to the major adviser. For an oral examination to be waived, the student must have completed a written examination within the 24 month time requirement. All professors on the examining committee must either be on the Graduate Faculty, or be non-Graduate Faculty approved to perform specified Graduate Faculty duties.

If a member of the examining committee other than the chair leaves the employ of the University, or retires, a replacement should be appointed. In certain circumstances where a special and needed continuing expertise is involved and the faculty member is willing to continue serving, the departing faculty member may continue as a member or co-chair of the committee, with approval of the department Graduate Committee and the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies.

In the event that members of an oral examining committee are not unanimous regarding passing a Candidate, the student is to be approved for the degree if only one examiner dissents. The dissenting member of the committee will be expected to file a letter of explanation in the Office of Graduate Studies.

If a student fails to pass the final oral or written examination for an advanced degree, the committee must file a report on the failure in the Office of Graduate Studies and indicate what the student must do before taking another examination. Another examination may not be held during the same semester or the same summer session in which the student failed.

Option I Thesis

The subject of the thesis should be chosen from the candidate’s field of major interest and must be approved by the departmental Graduate Committee. The thesis should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in her/his field of investigation.

Thesis Format

The thesis must conform in style and form to the guidelines set forth in the Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of an Electronic Thesis found in our Masters Degree Forms and Deadlines.

A Candidate is not eligible for the oral examination until the thesis is completed and approved by the major adviser

Preliminary Approval by Adviser

The masters thesis and abstract in preliminary form must be approved by the adviser prior to applying for the final oral examination or for its waiver and should be presented to the committee at least two weeks prior to the oral examination.

Preliminary Review by Masters Specialist

At least two weeks before the date of the oral examination, submit an electronic copy of the thesis and abstract for preliminary review to the Masters Degree Specialist in the Office of Graduate Studies (note: for summer sessions, submit an electronic copy of the thesis and the abstract at least one week before the date for the oral examination).

Final Review (After Defense)

Following the successful completion of the oral examination, the student should submit an electronic copy to the Masters Degree Specialist for final approval.

Once the student receives notification of final approval, the thesis should be uploaded to Digital Commons. Upon a successful upload, the student will receive an email notification.  Follow these steps:

  1. Print this email notification.
  2. Bring the printed notification, one copy of the title page, two copies of the abstract and their signed Final Examination Report Form to the Masters Degree Specialist in the Office of Graduate Studies, 1100 Seaton Hall.
  3. The title page and one of the abstracts will be stamped for approval and returned to the student for depositing in 318 Love Library.
  4. The Final Examination Report Form will be signed by the personnel in the Library.
  5. Proceed to the Cashier in Canfield Administration Building and pay the archiving fee. The cashier will sign off on the Final Examination Report Form.
  6. Return to the Office of Graduate Studies with the signed Final Examination Report Form from the Cashier’s office.
  7. Consult with your major adviser about the number of additional copies of the thesis which should be prepared, and also about the binding of these copies. One copy must be filed in the departmental office of the major and, typically, one copy is furnished to the major adviser who directed the study.

 

Procedure Summary for the Masters Degree

This outline of procedure should be studied carefully in connection with the deadlines published in the UNL Graduate Studies calendar. See Masters Degree Forms and Deadlines.

  1. Admission to UNL Graduate Studies.
  2. Register with consultation of the chair of the Graduate Committee and the major adviser and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  3. Remove admission deficiencies.
  4. File Memorandum of Courses, required for Candidacy, before grades (letter grades, no reports or incompletes) have been received in more than one half of the program and on recommendation of the major and minor departments and approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  5. Apply for advanced degree at the Graduation Services Office at the outset of the semester or session in which graduation is planned.
  6. Submit the Final Examination Report for the masters degree to the Office of Graduate Studies at least four weeks (three weeks in summer) before the final examination, if required, but in no case later than four weeks before the final date for oral examinations. The report will be accepted after all course work on the Memorandum of Courses has been completed, or is in progress, and any outstanding incompletes have been removed.
  7. Present a preliminary copy of the thesis and abstract to the Graduate Studies Office, two weeks (one week in summer) prior to the oral examination, if required. If the oral examination is waived, the preliminary copy of the thesis and abstract must be presented to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than two weeks before the final date for oral examinations for any given session.
  8. Pass written examinations, if required, in major and minor fields at least one week prior to the time the oral examination is to be taken.
  9. Pass oral examination, if required, administered by the examining committee.
  10. Confirm upload of thesis including the abstract to Digital Commons, one copy of the title page, two copies of the abstract and the signed Final Examination Report Form to Graduate Studies to be stamped. Title page and one abstract will be delivered to the Dean of University Libraries, and archiving fee is paid to the Cashier’s Office. Upon receiving the signatures of the Library and the cashier on the Final Examination Report Form, it is returned to the Office of Graduate Studies.


Masters Degree with Double Major

Students accepted into a double major must meet, at least, the minimum requirements for each of the majors. This includes graduate work of no less than 18 to 24 credit hours in each of the two disciplines, but never fewer than 18 credits, excluding cross-listed courses in the second major. The precise number of credits may vary depending on the total required hours for a particular major. For each of the two majors, students must take at least 8 credits in courses open only to graduate students (900 level or *800 level), excluding thesis hours.

The student is required to successfully satisfy the comprehensive examination schedule (written and/or oral examination(s)) administered for each major. The examination committee for students electing for the double major masters shall consist of two graduate faculty members from each of the major departments/areas. The committee shall be co-chaired by a faculty member from each of the major departments. All professors on the examining committee must either be on the graduate faculty or be non-graduate faculty approved to perform specified graduate faculty duties. At least one of the two members from each department must be on the graduate faculty.

For admission criteria, see Admission to a Double Major.

Second Masters Degree

Students who have earned a previous graduate degree such as a masters degree at any institution including the University of Nebraska may seek additional masters degrees. The subsequent masters degree(s) may be in the same discipline as the previously earned degree(s), or in a different discipline. However, no graduate credits will be accepted as transfer credit toward a subsequent masters program if the course work has been applied toward a previously completed graduate degree at any accredited institution, including UNL. Graduate course work not previously applied toward a degree may be considered for transfer to a subsequent masters if the graduate credits were earned within 10 years of completing the masters degree at UNL.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree emphasizes the application of theory to the improvement of educational practice. The test of knowledge is the ability to demonstrate applicability to a variety of educational situations. Emphasis is upon the development of decision-oriented inquiry skills in which the educator applies theory and knowledge to the solution of educational problems. The person holding the doctor of education degree is a practitioner of education, but one whose practice is drawn from a highly developed, scholarly study of educational theory coupled with skills of analysis which permit direct application of that theory.

To qualify for the Ed.D. degree, the student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete 96 semester credit hours including 6 hours of research tools and normally a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 55 hours of dissertation research.
  2. Pass a written comprehensive examination, in the major and minor fields of study.
  3. Prepare and submit an approved dissertation to the University.
  4. Pass a final examination, which typically involves the defense of the dissertation.
  5. Complete all work for the doctoral degree within eight years from the date of filing the student’s Program of Studies in the Office of Graduate Studies.

The residency and time requirements and the regulations pertaining to appointment of Supervisory Committees and submission of Programs of Studies for the Doctor of Education are the same as those for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. See Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Applicant Qualifications

An applicant for a doctoral degree in education must:

  1. Have earned a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution with the same general requirements as those indicated for masters degree candidates.
  2. Show evidence of the scholastic ability necessary for the successful pursuit of advanced work.
  3. Provide evidence of at least two years of successful professional experience or of a program of professional experience approved by the adviser.

Doctor of Musical Arts

To qualify for the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree, it is the student’s responsibility to meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete 90 semester credit hours, including a minimum of 3 hours doctoral document research.
  2. Pass a written comprehensive examination, in the major and minor fields of study.
  3. Prepare and submit an approved doctoral document to the University.
  4. Pass a final examination, which typically involves the defense of the doctoral document.
  5. Complete all work for the doctoral degree within eight years from the date of filing the student’s Program of Studies in the Office of Graduate Studies.

The residency and time requirements and the regulations pertaining to appointment of Supervisory Committees and submission of Programs of Studies for the Doctor of Musical Arts are the same as those for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with the exception of the dissertation hours required. Please refer to Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Establishing the Supervisory Committee will depend upon the student’s demonstrated ability in the fundamental subject matter of his or her field and on professional promise.

After admission requirements have been fulfilled, conferral of the DMA degree is contingent on a high level of attainment in the candidate’s major area. In composition, this will include performances of compositions composed after acceptance into the doctoral program. Work submitted for approval must include one work for chamber ensemble and one work for orchestra or its equivalent. In performance and jazz studies, this will include four full recitals and one lecture recital. The literature performed at these recitals must be representative of all major schools and styles within the performer’s chosen discipline. In conducting, three full recitals are required.

In addition, proficiency in music scholarship must be demonstrated by the completion of a doctoral document or, as determined by the composition faculty, other options for composition students, and completion of academic studies in music.

When a student has successfully completed the required coursework (excluding the final recital, applied music, ensemble and/or document), the student may petition for comprehensive examinations, which will be both written and oral. When these are successfully completed, the student is admitted to Candidacy for the degree. For further information, see “Comprehensive Examination and Admission to Candidacy” section. The presentation of the final recital or composition will take place after admission to Candidacy. The completion of the abstract and the doctoral document and its defense will complete requirements for the degree.

 

Doctor of Philosophy

To qualify for the doctoral degree, it is the student’s responsibility to meet the following requirements: 

  1. Complete a program of study and research that includes at least 90 semester credit hours. The Program of Studies should be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies with at least half of the program of courses remaining to be taken for the student’s doctoral program and must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee.
  2. Pass a written comprehensive examination, in the major and minor fields of study.
  3. Prepare and submit an approved dissertation to the University.
  4. Pass a Final Examination, which typically involves the defense of the dissertation.
  5. Complete all work for the doctoral degree within eight years from the date of filing the Program of Studies in the Office of Graduate Studies.


Refer to Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Academic Residency

All doctoral students need to establish academic residency to ensure their doctoral program is reasonably compact, continuous, and cohesive, and that a substantial portion is in fact done at and under close supervision by the University.

  • No additional hours over and above those for the required program of studies will be needed to fulfill academic residency.
  • For a student beginning a doctoral program in the University of Nebraska system with a bachelors degree, the academic residency requirement is 27 hours of graduate work within a consecutive 18-month period or less, with the further provision that 15 of these 27 hours must be taken after receiving the masters at UNL.
  • For a student beginning a doctoral program in the University of Nebraska system with a masters degree from another educational institution, the academic residency requirement is 27 hours of graduate course work within a consecutive 18-month period or less.
  • For a member of the University staff who is engaged at least half time in instruction or research in their major area, or a person employed in their major field, the residency requirement is 24 credit hours of graduate work within a consecutive two-year period with the further provision that they take at least 12 of these after receiving the masters degree at UNL. For important registration restrictions, refer to University Staff Exemption.
  • In exceptional circumstances, where it is clear that the purpose of residency will be fulfilled although the above formal conditions are not met, the student’s Supervisory Committee may, with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies, designate an alternative procedure for satisfying the residency requirements.

Supervisory Committee

In order to assure that students are under careful advisement and mentoring throughout their careers, a Supervisory Committee is established before a doctoral student has accumulated 45 credit hours including any transfer hours but excluding research or language tools.

The Supervisory Committee is appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies based upon a recommendation of the departmental or program Graduate Committee in the student’s major prior to the approval of the program of study. 

The Supervisory Committee consists of at least four resident Graduate Faculty members.

  • All professors on the Supervisory Committee must either be on the graduate faculty or be non-graduate faculty approved to perform specified Graduate Faculty duties.
  • The Supervisory Committee must include at least one Graduate Faculty member external to the academic department or program in which the doctorate is to be granted but within the University of Nebraska system. If the student is pursuing a minor, the Graduate Faculty member from the minor department may serve as the outside representative.

Once the committee has been formed, an Appointment of Supervisory Committee form, signed by the Graduate Committee Chair, should be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies.

Changes to the Supervisory Committee

Changes to the Supervisory Committee may be made if the Supervisory Committee chair leaves the employ of the University, or retires or is otherwise unable to serve on the Committee. The Office of Graduate Studies must be notified immediately and a change in the Supervisory Committee made as follows:

  • If the student has achieved Candidacy, the former chair who has left the employ of the University may continue to serve as co-chair of the Supervisory Committee, with the approval of the departmental Graduate Committee and the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies. A second co-chair must be appointed who is a resident Graduate Faculty member.
  • If the student has not yet achieved Candidacy, a new chair of the Supervisory Committee who is a resident Graduate Faculty member must be appointed immediately, with the agreement of the departmental/school Graduate Program Committee and the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • If a member of the Supervisory Committee other than the chair leaves the employ of the University, or retires, a replacement should be appointed who is a resident graduate faculty member. In certain circumstances where special and needed continuing expertise is involved and the faculty member is willing to continue serving, he/she may continue as a member of the Supervisory Committee, with the approval of the Supervisory Committee Chair and the concurrence of the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduate faculty who have retired and been appointed to emeritus status may co-chair the supervisory committees of doctoral students with a resident graduate faculty member. Emeritus faculty may continue to serve as members of committees.

Changes may be made to a Supervisory Committee any time prior to the submission of the Application for Final Oral Exam using the Change of Committee form.

Courtesy Members

The UNL Graduate Faculty welcomes associations with faculty members from other institutions who might contribute unique expertise to our doctoral programs. These external experts are given courtesy membership on a doctoral student’s committee. Courtesy members

  • must hold a doctoral degree appropriate to the discipline and have academic accomplishments comparable to the criteria for UNL Graduate Faculty;
  • are appointed as voting members of the Supervisory Committee;
  • must be willing to participate in the student’s doctoral program in a manner consistent with this role;
  • may serve as one of the two appointed readers; but may not serve as committee chair, co-chair, or outside representative;
  • are not granted blanket status and must be approved separately for each supervisory committee upon which the individual is nominated to serve;
  • only one courtesy member may serve on each supervisory committee, and the committee must also include a minimum of four members of the University of Nebraska Graduate Faculty.

Appointment of a courtesy member is accomplished by the submission of the Courtesy Committee Member form signed by the Supervisory Committee chair and Graduate Committee chair. A current CV from the courtesy member should be submitted with this form (the CV may be e-mailed to graduate@unl.edu-use "Courtesy Member CV" in the subject line).

Program of Studies

The Program of Studies should be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies with at least half of the program of courses remaining to be taken for the student’s doctoral program.

The Program of Studies should

  • be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies within the same semester as the appointment of the Supervisory Committee;
  • contain at least 90 semester credit hours including a minimum of 12 or a maximum of 55 hours of dissertation research;
  • include any departmental language or research tool requirements, and the general area of research for the dissertation;
  • reflect a major from the list of approved doctoral programs. At least half of the graduate work, including the dissertation, will be done in this field.

The Supervisory Committee will determine what course work taken prior to filing of a Program of Studies, including hours earned toward the masters degree(s), will be accepted as part of the 90-hour program.

  • The Supervisory Committee is not obligated to reduce the doctoral Program of Studies by applying course work completed prior to its appointment.
  • Prior course work should be assessed in relation to its contribution to framing a research foundation for the doctorate. Each course accepted must be determined to be current and relevant in relation to the desired degree.
  • No graduate credit will be accepted from a previously awarded doctoral degree at any institution, including UNL.
  • The time limit on granting the doctoral degree is eight years from the time of filing the student’s Program of Studies in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Any subsequent change in the program is approved by the Supervisory Committee and the action reported to the Office of Graduate Studies in writing.

Minor Within the Doctoral Program

A student may include a minor within their Program of Studies.  A minor

  • may be taken in any department that has been approved to offer a major leading to a UNL masters degree;
  • is included in the total hours for the doctoral program established by the committee;
  • must include at least 15 semester hours with 6 hours in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 level or lower counterparts); and
  • must include course work outside the major program but within the program in which the minor is being sought. In addition, the minor for the PhD may, in certain departments, be completed in a subdivision of the administrative department.

 A graduate faculty member from the minor program must be a member of the student’s Supervisory Committee. 

Language and Tools

There is no uniform language or research tool requirement for UNL Graduate Studies. However, certain departments have specific research tool and/or language requirements. Students should contact their Graduate Chair for specific requirements related to research and/or language tools.

All required language or research tools requirements for the student's program should be listed on the Program of Studies by the Supervisory Committee and be satisfied prior to filing the Application for Admission to Candidacy, which is due at least seven months before the scheduled final oral examination.

Interdisciplinary Program of Studies

A student may select a field of study that integrates material offered in two or more departments without meeting the specific major requirements of one program. To establish such a program of study the student must

  • choose an approved interdepartmental program or programs; and
  • establish a special Interdisciplinary Graduate Committee, appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, representing each of the departments concerned.  One graduate program must be designated as the student’s home department. The graduate committee must include a graduate faculty member from outside of the major programs to serve as the outside representative;

The remaining work, subject to the approval of the Supervisory Committee, may include either a) supporting courses in the same or in related departments; or b) a minor field of study outside of the major department(s).

Comprehensive Examination and Admission to Candidacy

When a student has substantially completed studies in the doctoral program (PhD, EdD, DMA), he/she must pass a written comprehensive examination, in the major and minor fields of study.

  1. The Supervisory Committee arranges for written or oral examinations at least seven months prior to the final oral examination (dissertation defense).
  2. The written comprehensive examination is not a repetition of course examinations but is an investigation of the student’s breadth of understanding of the field of knowledge of which his/her special subject is a part.
  3. At the discretion of the Supervisory Committee, an oral comprehensive examination may be required. The oral examination may include the minor or related fields in addition to the major field of study.  If an oral exam is required, this is considered a part of the comprehensive exam requirements to be met before candidacy can be achieved.

When the student has passed the comprehensive examination, satisfied language and research tool requirements of her/his approved program, and removed any provisional admission requirements, the committee will recommend to the Office of Graduate Studies the doctoral student’s admission to Candidacy by filing the Application for Admission to Candidacy for the doctoral degree, noting the dates of completing the comprehensive examination(s).

The Application for Candidacy must be filed at least seven months prior to the final oral examination (dissertation defense).

Following admission to Candidacy the student must register for at least one credit hour during each fall and spring semester until he/she receives the doctoral degree, even if the student has already met the total dissertation hours on their approved program of study. Failure to register during each academic-year semester will result in termination of the program of study.

Should the Supervisory Committee determine the student has failed the comprehensive examination, a letter must be submitted by the chair of the Supervisory Committee to the Dean of Graduate Studies stating the conditions under which the student may attempt another examination, or part thereof. Additional attempts may not be earlier than the following academic term or summer. Typically, but upon the discretion of the Supervisory Committee, only two attempts to pass the comprehensive examination will be permitted.

Dissertation

The dissertation is of no fixed length. It should treat a subject from the Candidate’s special field, approved by the Supervisory Committee. It should show the technical mastery of the field and advance or modify former knowledge, i.e., it should treat new material, or find new results, or draw new conclusions, or it should interpret old material in a new light. Each candidate for the degree shall submit with the dissertation an abstract of the same, not exceeding 350 words in length including the title.

For specific formatting guidelines required by the Office of Graduate Studies, the Guidelines for Preparation of an Electronic Dissertation should be consulted.  Style guidelines are determined by the student’s specific discipline.

Institutional Research Board

Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations and UNL assurance documents to the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The IRB New Protocol Submission form must be completed online via NUgrant; the Application to Use Animals is available from the Office of Research Responsibility.

The IRB and IACUC will not review projects already in progress. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research. Evidence of IRB/IACUC approval must be submitted at the time the final version of the thesis or dissertation is filed.

Reading Committee

Following approval by the major adviser, the dissertation and abstract should be presented to the Reading Committee in time for its review, and recommendation of its members at least five weeks prior to the oral examination. The Reading Committee consists of two members from the Supervisory Committee, excluding the Chair or Co-chair.

The Chair or Co-Chairs of the Supervisory Committee must file in the Office of Graduate at least three weeks prior to the oral examination either:

  1. A recommendation (the Application for Final Oral Examination) signed by each member of the Reading Committee indicating general approval to defend the dissertation and abstract with the names of those to be in attendance at defense listed; or
  2. A statement signed by a majority of the Supervisory Committee indicating that the Committee rejected an adverse report by one member of the Reading Committee and recommends that the candidate be permitted to proceed to an oral examination defense of the dissertation and abstract.

Final Oral Examination

Once the candidate’s studies have been completed and the dissertation accepted by the Reading Committee, a final oral examination may be scheduled and given by the Supervisory Committee

  • the supervisor of the dissertation must review and approve the completed dissertation before the examination will be scheduled;
  • the final oral examination for the PhD may not be scheduled unless a majority of the Supervisory Committee, including the Chair, are available for the examination. Exceptions may be made only by permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

An Application for Final Oral Exam should be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies no less than three weeks prior to the scheduled defense.  The submission of the application form indicates that the committee chair and the readers (see Reading Committee) have read the dissertation, find it suitable for a defense and grant permission for the defense to be held. 

The final examination for the doctoral degree is oral and open to members of both the University community and the public.

  • The Supervisory Committee determines the defense’s character and length. The examination may be devoted to the special field of the dissertation or to the Candidate’s general knowledge, or it may be designed to test judgment and critical powers.
  • During the dissertation presentation and general questioning all persons may be present.
  • At the end of the public hearing there will be a closed questioning portion of the examination where all persons except the Candidate, Supervisory Committee, and invited faculty must be excused.
  • The final oral examination over the dissertation may be waived only with the consent of the Graduate Dean.

The Supervisory Committee reports the results of the final oral examination to the Office of Graduate Studies.

  • If the student has passed the oral exam, a Report of Completion is signed by all committee members present for the defense. This is included in the documents submitted by the student for depositing the dissertation.
  • In the event that members of an oral examining committee are not unanimous regarding passing a Candidate, the student is to be approved for the degree if only one examiner dissents. However, in each case, the dissenting member of the committee will be expected to file a letter of explanation in the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • If a student fails to pass the final oral examination for an advanced degree, his/her committee must file a report on the failure in the Office of Graduate Studies and indicate what the student must do before taking another examination. Another examination may not be held during the same semester or the same summer session in which the student failed.

Depositing the Dissertation

Following the successful completion of the oral examination, the student should consult the instructions received at the time of filing the Application for Final Oral Exam before submitting the required items in the Office of Graduate Studies, 1100 Seaton Hall.

Only abstracts/dissertations that meet all published requirements can be approved and stamped for depositing.

Before the degree is granted, each Candidate pays a processing fee, and if desired, an additional fee to cover the cost of registering a copyright.

 

Educational Specialist

The Educational Specialist degree prepares educational practitioners for specialized positions in public and private schools. It is especially appropriate for those individuals who wish preparation beyond the masters degree level, but who are not interested in doctoral work with its emphasis on research. The Ed.S. degree is a terminal degree and should not be viewed as a substitute for the doctorate nor as work completed toward it. See Educational Specialist Degree Forms and Deadlines. 

Hours of Credit

A minimum of 66 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for the Ed.S.degree. While specific requirements are determined by departmental units, in general 40 to 50 hours will be in core courses within the unit or closely related units, 3 hours or more will be research, 6 hours or more will be practicum, and 6 or more hours will be electives.

Qualifying Procedure

Applicants for the Ed.S. program should

  • have earned a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution; and
  • take qualifying examinations as required by the field of specialization.

Applications will be reviewed by faculty in the field of specialization and admission decisions made by the departmental Graduate Committee on the basis of academic and professional promise.

Supervisory Committee

With approval by the Graduate Committee Chair of the department, a Supervisory Committee consisting of three graduate faculty is appointed.   An Appointment of Supervisory Committee form should be filed before half of the hours are completed on the Program of Studies for the Ed.S.

Program of Studies

The Program of Studies for the Ed.S. consists of core courses, research, practica, and electives. The student must complete at least 24 hours subsequent to approval of the program of studies.

The time limit on granting the Ed.S. degree is six years from the time of filing the student’s plan of studies in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Comprehensive Examinations

A written comprehensive examination, developed by the Supervisory Committee, will be administered when the program is substantially complete. The committee determines the nature and duration of the examinations.  The results will be reported to the Office of Graduate Studies on the Final Report Form.

Once the student has met all the requirements for the Ed.S. degree, a Final Report Form will be signed by all the committee members and submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.  This should be done prior to the deadline.

Certificate of Specialization in Educational Administration and Supervision

The Department of Educational Administration offers a graduate-level administrator preparation program leading to a Certificate of Specialization in Educational Administration and Supervision. The minimum requirement is 66 semester credit hours, in a Program of Studies specified by the Department.

All students seeking the Certificate of Specialization must:

  1. Apply to Graduate Studies and be admitted to the Educational Administration & Supervision (EDAS-SXCT) program in the Department of Educational Administration. Information concerning application procedures and admission requirements are located on the Educational Administration program summary
  2. The certificate must be completed within six consecutive calendar years from the time of the student’s acceptance into the program by the Department. At the time of completion, none of the semester credit hours approved may be more than ten years old, except for credit hours earned in a previous degree program.
  3. Once all requirements are complete, the department will notify Graduate Studies so the student may receive their certificate through Graduation Services. 
  4. The student must submit an Application for Graduation to receive the UNL certificate.

 

Certificate Program Requirements

Graduate certificates

Our Programs Offered page lists available Graduate Certificates with application instructions and course requirements.

A graduate certificate program is a sequence of courses providing participants with specialized knowledge and skills for personal enrichment, professional advancement, and/or career change, providing a basic introduction to an established field of study, an interdisciplinary approach linking several fields, and/or a concentrated focus on a sub-field. A graduate certificate program is designed to enhance the marketability of graduate students or to provide a service to a segment of the community through short-term graduate education.

Students earn a certificate after completing a prescribed amount of coursework.  Graduate certificate programs may function independently of degree programs, and lead to a certificate rather than a degree. (However, hours earned in certificate programs may be applied to a degree program.) Graduate certificate programs are typically designed for post-baccalaureate, graduate or post-graduate students. A completed graduate certificate will be noted on the official UNL graduate transcript.

Teacher certification

Teacher certifications are granted by the State of Nebraska's Department of Education rather than by UNL. The UNL transcript will indicate completion of certificate requirements and eligibility for the state certificate. The following are among the academic objective options on the Application for Admission to Graduate Study.

  • Certificate in Educational Administration and Supervision offered by the Department of Educational Administration
  • State certifications offered by the Nebraska Department of Education
    • Teaching Certificate - Initial
    • Teaching Certificate - Renewal
    • Administrative Certificate - Initial
    • Administrative Certificate - Renewal
    • Endorsements

UNL certification officer: Dr. Tom Wandzilak, College of Education and Human Sciences.

See also:  Academic Credit/Academic Progress Policies.

Graduate Areas of Specialization

Areas of specialization are available in some departments. An area of specialization is a subdivision of a major in which strong graduate-level curriculum is available. Once they are approved by the Graduate Council, these areas of specialization are indicated after the major on official records and transcripts.

Academic Credit/Academic Progress

Academic Leave for Graduate Students

Graduate students are expected to maintain active status through continuous registration from the time they matriculate until they graduate. However, the Office of Graduate Studies recognizes that sometimes life events may make it impossible to continue active participation in a degree program. An Academic Leave of Absence makes it possible for a student to temporarily suspend his or her graduate studies and the pursuit of a degree.  Providing a process for students to request—and take—an approved leave of absence from their studies for a specified period of time ensures that students have an opportunity to return to the University under the rules and policies in effect when they left and without affecting their time to degree.

Academic Leave of Absence Policy

An Academic Leave of Absence may be granted to students for illness or injury, to provide care or assistance for family and dependents, to meet military service obligations, or for other personal reasons.

Under this policy, active study can be suspended for one semester or more (up to a full academic year) during which the student would not be expected to make progress toward their degree. Students granted an approved Academic Leave of Absence are not required to register for any credit hours for the period covered by the approved Academic Leave of Absence. For Ph.D. students in candidacy, an Approved Academic Leave of Absence substitutes for the continuous enrollment requirement.

Students are expected to return from an Academic Leave of Absence. Students with an approved Academic Leave of Absence do not need to be readmitted.

Students considering an Academic Leave of Absence are strongly encouraged to discuss the impact of a leave on their plan of study with the graduate chair and their faculty advisor and develop a strategy for completing the degree program. When possible, students and faculty are encouraged to explore alternatives to an Academic Leave of Absence, so that students can remain registered and make progress toward the degree, even if at a slower pace.  In some cases, there may be better alternatives to taking an official Academic Leave of Absence, for example: modifying program expectations; reducing coursework, research, teaching or other educational responsibilities; working at a slower pace; delaying milestone deadlines; or taking incompletes in the current semester with a plan to address them at a later time. Such within-semester alternatives allow a student to maintain eligibility for student services.

Students on leave are entitled to:

  • Return as a graduate student to the graduate program without reapplying
  • Maintain access to their UNL email account

Students on leave are not entitled to:

  • Hold graduate student assistantships or other student work titles
  • Faculty and staff counsel/resources (very limited counsel/resources are permitted)
  • Examinations of any type (except for language competency)
  • Thesis/dissertation filing
  • Library services (only currently enrolled UNL students are allowed to use the Library; however, you may apply for a library card as a “community member”) 
  • UNL Healthy Option Plan
  • UNL Rec Center
  • UNL fellowship support
  • UNL graduate awards
  • Receive most forms of University financial support.

Students must remain registered if making extensive use of University resources or faculty time.

Eligibility

Requirements

  • Be a graduate student in good standing (3.0 or above).
  • Satisfy any graduate program policies pertaining to an approved Academic Leave of Absence.
  • Get approval from their graduate program.
  • Have sufficient prior enrollment:
    • US citizens and US permanent residents must have registered for at least one semester of graduate study at UNL.
    • International students must have registered full time (9 or more credits) for three consecutive semesters.
  • Have no course enrollments for the duration of the leave.
    • If already enrolled in courses during the leave term(s), students must officially withdraw from those courses via MyRED or the Office of the Registrar.
  • If international, get approval from the International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO).
    • US immigration regulations may restrict the eligibility of an international student for a leave of absence, so international students must consult with the ISSO. The ISSO can update the student’s SEVIS record if needed, or, if the proposed leave is not permitted by immigration regulations, assist the student and faculty advisor on other possible courses of action.

Caveats and limitations

  • An Academic Leave of Absence can be granted for current and/or future semesters only. An Academic Leave of Absence cannot be approved for prior semesters.
  • The time limit for reaching candidacy or for completing the Ph.D. degree would be extended only by the number of semesters the student is on leave.
  • With the exception of a leave for military service, a student may be on leave for no more than one full academic year (fall, spring, and summer) without approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • A student who has been suspended for academic or non-academic reasons would not be eligible to apply for a leave of absence. A student on an approved leave of absence who subsequently is suspended will have the leave rescinded.

Implications for Students

No tuition and fees would be charged for the period during which a student is on an Academic Leave of Absence. An Academic Leave of Absence may have implications for a student’s federal financial aid and loans. Students should consult with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to determine how a leave status might affect their aid and eligibility to defer loan repayment. It is the responsibility of the student to contact their loan agency to verify their loan status before applying for an Academic Leave of Absence.

Other impacts on students taking an approved Academic Leave of Absence may include:

  • Limited access to University services that allow them to remain current in their field of study and connected to their program;
  • Loss of benefits that accompany registered status (i.e., tuition remission, student insurance)
  • Significantly reduced access to University facilities or services normally available to registered students, including the use of laboratories, equipment, and other research facilities;
  • Significantly reduced access to faculty or administrative staff except for planning the transition back to registered status; and
  • Loss of eligibility for University fellowship support, University research grants, or other financial aid.

A student on an approved Academic Leave of Absence cannot take qualifying examinations for advancement to candidacy or final examinations for the degree, nor pursue their graduate studies on the campus in any other manner. A student may not receive academic credit for work done at another institution during the leave period unless an exception is approved in advance by the faculty advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

A student on leave may not hold a graduate assistantship appointment.

Doctoral students in candidacy who do not have an approved Academic Leave of Absence and who are not continuously enrolled for at least one credit hour during each fall and spring semester until receiving the doctoral degree (even if they have met the total dissertation hours on their approved Program of Study) will be dismissed from their graduate program.

Procedures

Requesting a Leave

Graduate students who wish to apply for an Academic Leave of Absence should consult with their graduate program chair and their faculty advisor to determine whether requesting an academic leave of absence is the most appropriate course of action. The student and the graduate program chair or director should discuss possible alternatives to a leave of absence.

Once a student decides that he or she needs to take a leave and has discussed the leave with his or her faculty advisor/supervisor, the student should complete an Academic Leave of Absence form and submit it to the Office of Graduate Studies with the required signatures. Requests for an Academic Leave of Absence must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Chair and the graduate program chair with concurrence of the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies. The student, the graduate chair, and the faculty supervisor will receive an email confirming that the request has been made, along with a copy of the signed Academic Leave of Absence form.

Extending a Leave

The Office of Graduate Studies recognizes there may be extenuating circumstances that could cause a student to request an extended Academic Leave of Absence. To extend an approved leave of absence, a student must notify the graduate program chair and his/her advisor at least four weeks prior to the end of the semester in which the leave terminates. An extension requires approval of the department. The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) must approve an Academic Leave of Absence for all international students.

Returning from Leave

Students on academic leave are required to notify the Office of Graduate Studies and their graduate program, in writing, of their intention to return.  To return from an approved Academic Leave of Absence, a student sends an email to graduate@unl.edu at least four weeks prior to the end of the Academic Leave of Absence (Subject: Returning from Academic Leave).  The Masters or Doctoral Specialist will notify the graduate chair and the faculty advisor of the student’s intent to return.

Courses with Graduate Credit

Courses numbered in the 800 and 900 series offer graduate credit. Courses in the 900 series and those in the 800 series without counterpart 400 or lower series numbers are open exclusively to graduate students except by permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. These 800-series courses are identified in this bulletin with an asterisk (*).

Courses numbered in the 500s, 600s and 700s are professional (law, dentistry, and architecture) level and carry graduate credit only if the letter “G” follows the course number.

Courses numbered 400 or lower are undergraduate level and cannot be applied towards a graduate degree.

The general prerequisite for courses in the 800 series is at least 12 hours of work in the same department or in approved courses in allied departments. The general prerequisite for courses in the 900 series is at least 18 hours in the same department which may include approved courses in allied departments.

A student who enrolls in a course must have completed the general prerequisite, including any specific prerequisite indicated for the course. According to policies governing graduate-level courses, there is a required differentiation of faculty expectation regarding student performance and therefore grading criteria.

Credit by Examination

Credit by examination cannot be earned in graduate level courses or applied to graduate degree programs.

Grading System

The University uses an A through F grading system. The letter grades with point value (in parentheses) are: A+ (4.0), A (4.0), A- (3.67), B+ (3.33), B (3.0), B- (2.67), C+ (2.33), C (2.0), C- (1.67), D+ (1.33), D (1.0), D- (0.67), and F (0). Grades of W (dropped/withdrew), I (incomplete), P (pass/C or better), and N (no pass) may also be given. W, I, P, and N are not assigned grade points.

Students taking undergraduate classes for deficiencies generally have a grade requirement set by the department. However, if no specific standard has been set, the graduate student is required to meet the same standard an undergraduate would be held to. That is, if the class is taken Pass/No pass, pass is the equivalent of a C or better.

Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Students

Seniors at UNL may be permitted up to 12 hours of credit for graduate courses taken in addition to the courses necessary for their undergraduate degree, provided that these credits are earned the calendar year prior to receipt of the baccalaureate.

  • Before registering for graduate courses, seniors must obtain approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies using the Grad Credit for Undergraduate Students form. Holding graduate credit keeps a senior registered as a member of an undergraduate college and allows one to continue any undergraduate scholarship or financial aid awarded.

  • Courses taken before one graduates do not always transfer as graduate credit to other institutions nor can there be a guarantee from the Office of Graduate Studies that these courses would apply toward a particular graduate program.

  • If someone on another University system campus wishes to take graduate level classes at UNL, an intercampus form should be used, and any arrangement to hold for graduate credit would have to be made at the student’s home campus. UNL will not be able to certify graduate credit except for those students graduating at UNL. Students from schools outside of the University of Nebraska system will have to wait to receive graduate credit until they can qualify as graduate students.

  • Seniors in the University Honors Program are encouraged to consider taking 400/800-level courses at the 800 level with the concurrence of their adviser and permission of the instructor and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Incompletes

Students taking graduate courses should check with their instructor on what their responsibilities are to remove an incomplete. Normally there is no time limit for graduate students to remove an incomplete. However, the instructor does have the option of determining the requirements for completing the course and requisite date for removal of incompletes. It is helpful to have these requirements in writing to ensure there is no miscommunication between the instructor and student. Typically, thesis and dissertation credit hours are graded following the defense of these projects.

Do not register for any course in which you currently have a grade of "I" (Incomplete). You should not re-register for an incomplete course during the time frame established by the instructor for the removal of an Incomplete. If you re-register for a course in which you are removing a grade of "I", you will be assessed tuition again.

Arrangements to remove an Incomplete (grade of "I") should be made with the instructor who taught the course. If an instructor leaves the University prior to the date set for the completion of a course, the chair of the academic department of the course will assume the role of the instructor.

  • Graduate Courses
    All incomplete graduate courses on the Memorandum of Courses or Program of Study must become graded prior to graduation. If the course is not going to be used to complete the degree and is not listed on the Memorandum or Program, the course may remain incomplete.  A grade of "I" for the incomplete course will be on the transcript but will not affect the GPA.
  • Undergraduate Courses
    Undergraduate courses receiving an "I" will lapse into the grade of "F" after one calendar year.

Scholastic Grade Requirements

Credit in graduate-level courses is attained as follows:

  • A minimum grade of B is required for graduate credit in 800-level courses with 400 or lower counterparts within the student’s major department or area. A grade of B- is not acceptable.
  • A minimum grade of C or P (pass) is required for graduate credit in 800-level courses in minor, collateral, or supporting areas of work. A grade of C- is not acceptable. A grade of B- or lower received in a minor course will result in a minor comprehensive being required.
  • A minimum grade of C or P (pass) is required for graduate credit in 900-level courses, or 800-level courses without 400 or lower counterparts.

When applied toward an advanced degree program, only courses at the 900 level, or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts, in the major department or interdepartmental area may be taken on a pass/no pass (P/N) basis. In minor, collateral, or supporting areas of work 800-level courses with 400 or lower counterparts can be taken on a P/N basis.

A student failing to receive a minimum acceptable grade for graduate-level credit may not continue his/her program of studies without permission of the supervisory group or the departmental graduate committee concerned, which may require a special examination to determine the student’s qualifications for further work.

Transfer of Credit

No graduate credits will be accepted as transfer credit toward a masters program at UNL if the course work is 10 years or older or if the course work has been applied toward a previous masters degree at UNL or any other accredited institution. Similarly, no graduate credits will be accepted as transfer credit toward a subsequent doctoral program if the course work has been applied toward a previously completed doctoral degree at any institution, including UNL.

All graduate credits to be counted toward the satisfaction of postbaccalaureate degree requirements, including all transfer credits, must be recommended by the cognizant graduate committee of the student’s major department or area. Not less than 50 percent of the course work (excluding thesis) of the minimum number of graduate credits required for any subdoctoral graduate degree must be completed at the University of Nebraska. No graduate credits will be accepted as transfer credits unless earned at an institution fully accredited to offer graduate work in the field of the student’s major; nor should the student expect any graduate credits to be transferred unless the graduate committee evaluates the quality and suitability and determines that they are equal to or superior to offerings available at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Approval of the Office of Graduate Studies is required for the transfer of graduate work taken elsewhere to a graduate degree program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It is the responsibility of the student to insure that official transcripts of graduate work taken elsewhere are sent by the institution where the work was completed and received by the Office of Graduate Studies well before the student plans to complete all other requirements for the graduate degree. Official transcripts should be sent to:

        Dean of Graduate Studies
        University of Nebraska-Lincoln
        1100 Seaton Hall
        PO Box 880619
        Lincoln, NE 68588-0619

Probation, Termination and Appeals

Grounds for Probation and Termination

Graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are expected to maintain a high level of achievement in their graduate studies. Accordingly, students who do not maintain satisfactory progress may be subject to being placed on probation, being terminated from a degree program, or being denied permission to continue graduate studies in the University. Except in cases of dismissal because of violations of the Student Code of Conduct, upon termination from a graduate degree program and/or dismissal from the Graduate College, students may apply for admission to another degree program or admission as a non-degree seeking student only with the approval of the Dean for Graduate Studies.

Probation or termination recommendations may be made by the student’s adviser (masters students), the Supervisory Committee (doctoral students), and must be approved by the Graduate Committee overseeing the student’s major. The Graduate Committee overseeing the student’s major must communicate the probation or termination recommendation in writing to the campus Dean for Graduate Studies. A copy of the recommendation must be sent to the student.

For all graduate students at UNL, probation or termination recommendations may be made under the following conditions: a) violations of the “Student Code of Conduct” listed in this bulletin, b) failure to satisfy “Scholastic Grade Requirements” also listed in this bulletin, c) failure in qualifying examinations, preliminary examinations, comprehensive examinations or final degree examinations, d) failure to master the methodology and content of one’s field in a manner that is sufficient to complete a successful thesis or dissertation, or e) in fields leading to licensure or certification, ethical misconduct or lack of professional promise in the professional field. Termination recommendations may also be made if a student fails to satisfy conditions required for removal of probationary status or provisional admission. Graduate Committees wishing to adopt additional conditions for probation or termination must specify these conditions in writing and inform all students affected by these conditions.

Graduate Grade Appeals

(Approved by UNL Graduate Council, March 9, 1993.)
Appeal of grades in graduate-level courses shall be made through the graduate student grade appeal procedures for the campus through which the grade was awarded.

Students who believe their evaluation in a course has been prejudiced or capricious must first attempt to resolve the matter with the course instructor.

If unsuccessful, the student may then file a written appeal to the Graduate Chair for consideration by the Graduate Committee responsible for the administration of the course. This appeal must be filed within sixty days of the posting of the grade report by the Office of the University Registrar. If the department does not have a graduate program, the standing grade appeal committee of the department would consider the appeal. A written determination of the appeal shall be presented to the student and instructor.

If the matter is unduly delayed or not resolved, the student may present the original appeal documentation to the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies who shall request a review by a subcommittee of the Graduate Council. A last appeal may be made to the full Graduate Council, if it agrees to hear the case.

Since awarding grades in courses occurs at the individual campus level, the decision of the UNL Graduate Council shall be final and is not subject to further appeal beyond the campus.

During the appeal process, if the instructor’s grade is overturned, the instructor of record has the right of appeal, in writing, at successive levels of review.

Graduate Student Program Appeals

A. Graduate students holding admission with unclassified status in the Graduate College, admission with a masters objective, or admission with a doctoral objective (but prior to the appointment of a doctoral supervisory committee) should appeal as follows:

  1. Initially, the appeal should be submitted to the student’s adviser.
  2. If denied, the appeal may be submitted to the departmental or interdepartmental area Graduate Committee administratively responsible for the student’s graduate program.
  3. If denied, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Council for the campus administratively responsible for the student’s graduate program. Normally, this will be the final appeals body (for exceptions, see paragraph E).

B. Graduate students holding admission with a doctoral objective in the Graduate College and for whom a doctoral supervisory committee has been appointed should appeal as follows: Initially, the appeal should be submitted to the student’s adviser:

  1. If denied, the appeal may be submitted to the student’s supervisory committee.
  2. If denied, the appeal may be submitted to the departmental or interdepartmental area Graduate Committee administratively responsible for the student’s graduate program.
  3. If denied, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Council for the campus administratively responsible for the student’s graduate program. Normally, this will be the final appeals body (for exceptions, see paragraph E).

C. When a student’s graduate program consists of registration essentially or entirely on one campus, the Graduate Council of the campus administratively responsible for the program will constitute the appeal board. When a student’s graduate program includes substantial registrations on a campus other than the one administratively responsible for the program, three members of the Graduate Council for the other campus will be designated by the Dean of Graduate Studies on that campus to augment the Graduate Council on the campus administratively responsible for the program. In this case, the augmented Council will constitute the appeal board. The decision concerning augmentation of a campus Graduate Council for a specific appeal involving registrations on a campus other than the one administratively responsible for the student’s program will be made by the Deans of Graduate Studies on the campuses involved.

D. In all cases, appeals should be made in writing to the appropriate adviser, committee, or council. In those cases where the appeal concerns graduate-level qualifying examinations, comprehensive examinations, or final examinations, the following deadlines must be observed. It is the responsibility of the student to make reasonable efforts to ascertain the results of the examination within 30 days after its completion. The initiation of the appeal, in writing, by the student must be filed within 30 days following the student’s receipt of notification of the evaluation.

In those cases involving an appeal of termination of program, initiation of the appeal, in writing, by the student must be filed within 30 days following the student’s receipt of the official written notification by the Office of Graduate Studies.

E. Appeal to the Executive Graduate Council:

  1. There is no absolute right of appeal to the Executive Graduate Council. The Executive Graduate Council will accept appeals only in those cases where in the exercise of its sole discretion it shall first find that one or more of the following grounds for accepting the appeal exist:
    1. That the campus Graduate Council has violated some element of fair procedure (i.e., has failed to allow the parties concerned to present their cases fully to their campus Graduate Council);
    2. That the campus Graduate Council has failed to examine or give adequate weight to important evidence relevant to one party’s position;
    3. That the campus Graduate Council has given undue weight to evidence not pertinent to the case; or
    4. That some gross miscarriage of justice would be perpetrated if the decision of the campus Graduate Council is allowed to stand.

    A decision by the Executive Graduate Council not to accept jurisdiction of an appeal shall be final and is not subject to further appeal.

  2. Appeals to the Executive Graduate Council must be made in writing and must specifically outline the grounds for the appeal. Such appeal must be made within 20 working days of the day the decision of the campus Graduate Council is received (working days shall not include those days the University is not in session).
  3. The Executive Graduate Council must make a decision to hear the appeal or not to hear the appeal within 30 working days after receipt of the appeal. Acceptance or denial of jurisdiction over the appeal will be made in writing.
  4. The decision of the Executive Graduate Council on the merits of the case will be made and transmitted to the concerned parties within 40 working days after the decision to hear the appeal.
  5. No person who was a member of the department or campus Graduate Council involved in the case will be eligible to participate in the decisions of the Executive Graduate Council either to decide whether the case should be heard or to decide the merits of the case. However, the Dean for Graduate Studies may replace members of the Executive Graduate Council not eligible for participation in the decision to hear the appeal or in the appeal itself.

Graduate Faculty Appointments

Graduate Faculty

Faculty hired into tenure-leading positions are automatically granted Graduate Faculty status.  Staff or faculty hired in non-tenure leading positions may be nominated for Graduate Faculty Status.

Graduate Faculty may vote on any matter presented to the graduate faculty, including the election of the Graduate Council for their specific campus. They may also hold any elected office in the Graduate College. Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses, serve on final examining committees, and serve on supervisory committees. Graduate Faculty have the additional responsibility of voting on certain nominations of graduate faculty in their department/school or interdepartmental program.

 Non-tenure line faculty members nominated for Graduate Faculty status must

  • hold the rank of Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor or equivalent or above;
  • hold the terminal degree normally accepted for academic employment in the discipline or its clear equivalent as determined by the Graduate Committee of the nominee’s department/school or interdepartmental area;
  • have demonstrated clear evidence of continuing scholarly activity at the national level and potential beyond teaching; and
  • be actively involved in scholarly/creative activity and/or graduate teaching as part of his or her regular duties.

After obtaining a majority vote of the entire graduate faculty, the nominating department completes the nomination and submits the form to Graduate Studies.  The form includes the following signatures:

  1. Nominee
  2. Nominator
  3. Graduate Committee Chair
  4. Department Chair
  5. Appropriate College Dean

The signed form is submitted by Graduate Studies to UNL’s Central Administration for consideration.

Graduate faculty appointments exist through the length of the faculty member’s appointment with the University.

Graduate Faculty Associates

Graduate Faculty Associates may teach graduate courses, direct masters theses, serve on or chair masters degree examining committees, and serve on, but not chair or co-chair, doctoral supervisory committees.

Nominations must be recommended with a majority approval of the appropriate departmental or interdepartmental area graduate committee and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. 

To be nominated by their program’s Graduate Committee, the staff member must meet the following requirements

  • have the terminal degree; and
  • the rank of Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor of Practice, Research Assistant Professor, or corresponding adjunct faculty rank or Adjunct Assistant Professor or above.

Graduate Faculty Associate status is effective only for the approved period (up to four years), but may be renewed upon request.

Graduate Faculty Associates do not have a vote on the Graduate Faculty, nor can they hold any elected office in the Graduate College.


Graduate Courtesy Members

The UNL graduate faculty welcomes associations with faculty members from other institutions who might contribute unique expertise to our doctoral programs. These external experts, who must hold a doctoral degree appropriate to the discipline and have academic accomplishments comparable to the criteria for UNL Graduate Faculty, are eligible for appointment as “courtesy” members of doctoral supervisory committees.

Courtesy faculty  

  • are appointed as voting members of the supervisory committee and must be willing to participate in the student’s doctoral program in a manner consistent with this role;
  • may serve as one of the two appointed readers;
  • may not serve as committee chair, co-chair, or outside representative; and
  • are not granted as a blanket status and must be approved separately for each supervisory committee upon which the individual is nominated to serve.

Only one courtesy member may serve on each supervisory committee, and the committee must include a minimum of four members of the University of Nebraska Graduate Faculty.

Appointment of a courtesy member is accomplished by the submission of the “Courtesy Committee Member” form signed by the supervisory committee chair and graduate committee chair. A current CV from the courtesy member should be submitted with this form (the CV may be emailed to graduate@unl.edu).

Graduate Lecturers

The departmental chair/head may recommend the approval of a lecturer for a graduate level course. Such approval is needed for a staff member who does not qualify as a graduate member or graduate associate, but

  • holds the terminal degree normally accepted for employment in the discipline; or
  • has achieved some extraordinary accomplishments as determined by the Graduate Committee of the nominating department.

The lecturer appointment is only valid for the semester for which it was approved.

The Request for Approval of Graduate Lecturer form should be submitted with the proposed lecturer’s vita to the Graduate Studies Office.

Emeriti

Graduate faculty who have been appointed to emeritus status may retain the rights and privileges associated with their membership on the Graduate Faculty. These rights and privileges include

  • permission to teach graduate courses;
  • to serve as members of graduate programs; and
  • to co-chair the supervisory committees of doctoral students with a resident member of the Graduate Faculty.

Emeritus status is granted by the faculty member’s program at the time of their retirement from the University. 

 

Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education

For Faculty and Graduate Students


Graduate programs help to advance human knowledge, educate professionals, and resolve problems to address societal needs. Graduate faculty and graduate students have a joint responsibility to accomplish these goals. Each graduate student should develop an understanding of and capacity for scholarship, independent judgment, academic rigor, and intellectual honesty. Faculty and students must work together to create an atmosphere that ensures freedom of inquiry, fosters mutual respect, and demonstrates professional integrity.

Good practice in graduate education centers on responsible interactions between graduate students and graduate faculty, supported by college and department staff. The following guidelines are based on the collective experience and wisdom of the major research universities. These guidelines are intended to be constructive and instructive to faculty and graduate students; as such, they do not constitute statements of institutional policy or requirements.

Each category below provides information for students and faculty members on their individual roles and responsibilities.


Professionalism and Ethics

High quality graduate education depends upon the professional and ethical conduct of the participants. Faculty members and graduate students have complementary responsibilities in the maintenance of academic standards and the creation of high quality graduate programs. Excellence in graduate education is achieved when both faculty and students are highly motivated, possess the academic and professional backgrounds necessary to perform at the highest level, and are sincere in their desire to see each other succeed.

Graduate student role

  • Take primary responsibility to inform themselves of the specific policies and procedures governing their graduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Interact with faculty, staff and other students in a mature, professional, and civil manner in accordance with University policies.
  • Conduct the whole of one’s academic career with unwavering integrity.
  • Talk with a trusted faculty member if there are concerns about integrity and ethics.
  • Work with diverse faculty and peers regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.
  • Exercise the highest integrity in taking examinations and in collecting, analyzing, and presenting research data.
  • Participate in university, departmental, or program governance as a component of professional development.
  • Participate in discipline-based activities, such as seminars and conferences, as a component of professional development.
  • Manage time effectively for maximum professional development as well as personal health and well being, balancing competing demands such as being a student, a graduate assistant, a parent, a spouse, a caregiver, etc.
  • Recognize that faculty and staff have many other professional responsibilities in addition to graduate education.

Faculty role

  • Inform themselves of the specific policies and procedures governing graduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Create an environment of the highest ethical standards and insist that students behave ethically in all their professional activities.
  • Interact with students in a professional and civil manner in accordance with the University policies and relevant laws.
  • Ensure a reasonable degree of confidentiality in communicating with students, taking care not to discuss a student's performance, research results, or behavior with other students.
  • Impartially evaluate student performance regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or other criteria that are not germane to academic evaluation.
  • Serve on graduate student committees without regard to the religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality of the graduate student candidate.
  • Prevent personal rivalries with colleagues from interfering with their duties as graduate advisers, committee members, or colleagues.
  • Excuse themselves from serving as advisers on graduate committees or supervising assistantship work when there is a familial or other relationship between the faculty member and the student that could result in a conflict of interest.
  • Not impede a graduate student’s progress and completion of his/her degree in order to benefit from the student’s proficiency as a teaching or research assistant.
  • Encourage students to learn creatively and independently respect the academic freedom of students to express opinions that may differ from those of faculty.
  • Provide oral or written comments and evaluation of students’ work in a timely manner.
  • Discuss laboratory and/or departmental authorship policy with graduate students before entering into collaborative projects.
  • Ensure an absence of coercion with regard to the participation of graduate students as human research subjects in the faculty adviser’s research.
  • Refrain from requesting students to do tasks unrelated to their academic or professional development for the personal advantage of a faculty member.
  • Familiarize themselves with policies that affect their graduate students.

Teaching

No matter what career a graduate student enters after degree completion, experience in teaching will be useful; presentations, evaluation and assessment, leading discussions, and the like, are activities that take place not only in the academy, but in a wide range of business, industrial, and government settings. Teaching includes interactions with students about instructional issues, such as holding office hours, reviewing tests or paper scores/evaluations with students, answering questions in special teaching centers in the discipline, tutoring, conducting labs, leading discussions, assisting students to solve problem sets, commenting on studio work, lecturing, or mentoring undergraduate researchers. Graduate students and faculty should work together to enhance student learning and promote the professional development of the graduate teaching assistant.

Graduate student role

  • Work cooperatively with supervising faculty and other teaching assistants to accomplish the tasks set out by the TA assignment.
  • Give adequate attention to the teaching role by conscientious efforts in planning, preparing, and implementing TA assignments.
  • Achieve an appropriate balance between teaching responsibilities and other essential activities
  • Take advantage of orientation and training opportunities offered as professional development; use the library and other services provided by the Office of Graduate Studies on teaching and learning.
  • Proactively seek varied teaching opportunities.
  • Engage in reflective evaluation of teaching activities.

Faculty role

  • Provide adequate training for teaching assistants appropriate for the responsibilities they will assume; in some cases training may be available through campus-wide or department training programs.
  • Provide appropriate communication with and mentorship for teaching assistants to enhance their professional development and to ensure the quality of student learning.
  • Develop a clear understanding with graduate students about their specific TA responsibilities, including division of authority and labor, expectations for performance, and the like.
  • Observe the student's teaching in order to provide feedback on, and assistance for, current activities and recommendations for the student's future employment.
  • Identify appropriate departmental and campus resources to assist graduate students in their professional development as teaching scholars.
  • Foster opportunities for students to attain teaching competence.

Research

A student’s academic performance and a faculty member’s scholarly interest may coincide during the course of instruction and research/creative activity/performance. As the faculty-graduate student relationship matures and intensifies, direct collaborations may involve the sharing of authorship or rights to intellectual property developed in research or other creative activity. Such collaborations are encouraged and are a desired outcome of the mentoring process.

Graduate student role

  • Learn the research methods, ethical dimensions, and historical knowledge bases of the discipline.
  • Abide by the University's policy on research misconduct. This policy applies to researchers in all disciplines.
  • Recognize that the faculty adviser, in nearly every case, will determine when a body of work is ready for publication and what is an acceptable venue, since the faculty adviser bears responsibility for overseeing students’ performance and ensuring the validity of the research.
  • Recognize that the faculty adviser provides the intellectual and instructional environment in which the student conducts research, and may, through access to teaching and research funds, also provide the student with financial support.
  • Maintain absolute integrity in collecting, analyzing, and presenting research data.
  • Preserve the data collected during experiments or noted during research (with precise identification of sources) to avoid future confusion or disputes about access or ownership.
  • Acknowledging the contributions of the faculty advisor and other members of the research team to the student's work in all publications and conference presentations. (It is also appropriate to acknowledge the sources of financial support).
  • Expect that their research results, with appropriate recognition, may be incorporated into progress reports, summary documents, applications for continuation of funding, and similar documents authored by the faculty adviser, to the extent that the student’s research is related to the faculty’s research program and the grants which support that research.
  • Recognize that the faculty adviser is responsible for monitoring the accuracy, validity, and integrity of the student’s research. Careful, well-conceived research reflects favorably on the student, the faculty adviser, and the University of Nebraska.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the faculty advisor's professional activities and research prior to presentation or publication, in accordance with existing practices and policies of the discipline.

Faculty role

  • Provide students with knowledge of the current frontiers and opportunities in disciplinary and inter- or cross-disciplinary research.
  • Clarify expectations for specific research responsibilities, including time lines for completion of research and the thesis or dissertation.
  • Provide appropriate guidelines, including expected timetables, for completion of research projects, and respect students' research interests/goals.
  • Acknowledge student contributions to research presented at conferences, in professional publications, or in applications for copyrights and patents
  • Openly discuss authorship and intellectual property policies with graduate students.

Advising and Mentoring

The relationship between the graduate student and their graduate faculty supervisor is central to excellent graduate education. Graduate students develop best in a closely monitored environment in which the faculty provide both high expectations and high support.

Graduate student progress toward educational goals at the University of Nebraska is directed and evaluated by a graduate faculty advisor, the relevant graduate committee, and the student’s supervisory committee. The advisor and the individuals on the committee provide intellectual guidance in support of the scholarly/creative activities of graduate students. The advisor, the supervisory committee, and the graduate committee also are charged with the responsibility of evaluating a graduate student’s performance in scholarly/creative activities. The graduate student, the advisor, the supervisory committee, and the graduate committee comprise the basic unit of graduate education at UNL. It is the quality, breadth, and depth of interaction within this unit that largely determines the outcome of the graduate experience.

Graduate student role

  • Devote an appropriate amount of time and energy toward achieving academic excellence and earning the advanced degree.
  • Recognize time constraints and other demands imposed on faculty members and program staff.
  • Initiate regular communications with faculty advisors, especially in matters related to research and progress within the graduate program.

Faculty role

  • Provide clear maps of the requirements each student must meet, including course work, languages, research tools, examinations, and thesis or dissertation, and delineate the amount of time expected to complete each step. A graduate student handbook, including written documentation of departmental policies, program requirements and expectations for satisfactory performance can serve this purpose.
  • Evaluate student progress and performance in regular and informative ways consistent with the practice of the field; offer fair opportunities for students to correct deficiencies in their work.
  • Set aside adequate time to meet with students.
  • Help students develop artistic, interpretive, writing, oral, and quantitative skills, in accordance with the expectations of the discipline.
  • Assist graduate students in the development of grant writing skills, where appropriate.
  • Take reasonable measures to ensure that each graduate student initiates a thesis or dissertation research in a timely manner.
  • When appropriate, encourage graduate students to participate in professional meetings or perform or display their work in public settings.
  • Create an ethos of collegiality so that learning takes place within a community of scholars.
  • Provide a realistic view of the field and the current job market and make use of professional contacts for the benefit of their students, as appropriate.

This is an updated version of the Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education approved for distribution by the UNL Graduate Council in 1997. We gratefully acknowledge the earlier work of the of the following institutions: the Graduate College and Graduate Council at the University of Arizona; the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of California at Davis; the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Southern California; the Graduate School at North Carolina State University and the Graduate Council at the University of Oregon. These guidelines are intended to be constructive and instructive to faculty and graduate students. They do not constitute a contract with current or prospective students.

Course Catalog

Graduate courses are numbered 800 through 999. Numbers below 800 indicate undergraduate and professional courses. Some courses are crosslisted at more than one level (like MATH 415/815) or in more than one subject area (like ENGL 830J / MUSC 830J).

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