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.