University of Hawaii at Hilo Catalog 2014–2015

Requirements for Candidates for Master’s Degrees

Home » Graduate Education » Graduate Education General Information » Requirements for Candidates for Master’s Degrees

Advising and Guidance from the Graduate Committee

At the beginning of a student’s work toward the master’s degree, the chair of the student’s graduate program, in consultation with the student, designates a primary academic advisor. The primary academic advisor may be the chair of the graduate program or another faculty member. This advisor also may serve as chair of the student’s graduate committee. The graduate committee, when required by the program, will consist of a minimum of three members who meet periodically with the student to discuss his or her progress.

Requirements for a Master’s Degree

The Catalog stipulates the specific requirements for a master’s degree in each program of the University. The minimum requirements include the following:

  1. Students must maintain continuous registration, including the semester in which the degree is awarded.
  2. Students must complete at least 24 credit hours of graduate coursework in residence. A minimum total of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework are required for all master’s degrees. A maximum of six hours of transfer credit is allowed for programs requiring 30 credit hours; additional credit hours may be accepted for transfer if more than 30 credit hours are earned, as long as the 24 credit minimum in residence is maintained.
  3. Graduate students must maintain at least a B average in courses approved by the program or graduate committee and presented for the degree.
  4. Students must fulfill all departmental or school course requirements. (No credit is granted for graduate courses in which a grade lower than a B- has been received).
  5. Students must complete all other requirements as listed by the specific graduate program.
  6. Students must complete all requirements, including thesis if required by the program, within five years after admission to the Graduate Division.

There are specific Graduate Level Forms (Form 1, Form 2, Form 3, Form 4) used to mark the student’s progress through the graduate program; they are available online through the Office of the Registrar's website.  They should be completed in collaboration with the primary academic advisor and submitted within the stated deadlines.  Other useful forms are also posted at this site.

Examination

If a general examination is required for the student’s master’s degree, the examination may be written, oral, or a combination of both. The decision for pass or fail shall be by majority vote of the graduate committee in programs that utilize a graduate committee. In programs that do not use graduate committees, the program faculty by majority vote shall determine whether the student has passed or failed.

Thesis

Evaluation

If a thesis is required for the student’s master’s degree, the graduate committee, or the program faculty in programs that do not use graduate committees, will supervise and approve the thesis. Programs may designate additional examiners for the master’s thesis beyond the student’s graduate committee. Students must receive approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for theses involving human subjects or from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for theses involving use of vertebrate animals. Approval from these institutional committees, where appropriate, must be sought at the time of approval of the thesis topic, and research on the thesis may not commence until after IRB and/or IACUC approval is granted. Where appropriate, permission from other entities, such as the Institutional Biosafety Committee, may be required.

Submission and Publication

It is the student’s responsibility to prepare a final manuscript that meets the style requirements of both the UH Hilo Graduate Division and his or her graduate program. Details on these requirements may be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Publication is required for the thesis. UH Hilo uses ProQuest/UMI’s ETD Administrator, a web-based service for the submission and publication of student theses and dissertations. If online submission is unfeasible, please contact the Mookini Library or call (808) 932-7296 for assistance.

Annual Review Form

The primary academic advisor will submit an annual review form for each graduate student under her or his charge to the chair of the graduate program, using the form provided by their graduate program. This form will include data concerning number of credits earned; progress toward meeting other requirements such as papers, projects or theses; GPA; and other specific requirements for the graduate degree.

Awarding of the Degree

When a student has satisfied the requirements for a master’s degree, the chair of the student’s graduate program submits Form 4: Certification of Degree Requirements to the Graduate Division by the required deadline. If submitting a thesis, this form should be submitted with the thesis when possible.

Deadlines

Degree completion dates will be posted on the academic calendar. Those who have not completed all degree requirements by the established deadlines will be required to register the following semester.

Degree Conferral and Commencement

Degrees are conferred three times each year: December, May, and July. Students who complete degree requirements late in the summer or in the fall semester are awarded degrees in December. Students who complete degree requirements in the spring semester are awarded degrees in May. Students who complete degree requirements in early summer are awarded degrees in July.

To participate in the commencement ceremony, the student’s graduate program must submit Form 4: Certification of Degree Requirements to the Graduate Division by the required deadline. Commencement exercises are held only in December and May.

Completion Letter

Students who complete all requirements for the degree well in advance of the award of the degree may, upon request, receive a statement from the VCAA or designee certifying that all requirements for the degree have been completed.

Checklist for Completion of Degree Requirements

Master’s Degree (non-thesis option)

  • Graduate program: Appoints primary academic advisor and, where appropriate, graduate committee, in consultation with the student.  If a graduate committee is used, submits Form 1: Graduate Committee Formation to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Student: Satisfies residence and course requirements.
  • Student: Maintains continuous enrollment in program.
  • Student: Completes any other program requirements.
  • Student: Registers for semester in which degree requirements will be completed.
  • Student: Submits Application for Graduation form to the Business Office by the required deadline.
  • Student: Passes final examination, and/or passes requirements for papers or projects as specified by the graduate program.
  • Student: Completes all other requirements specified by the graduate program.
  • Graduate program: Submits Form 4: Certification of Degree Requirements with appropriate signatures to the Graduate Division and to the Office of the Registrar by the required deadline.

Master’s Degree (thesis option)

  • Graduate program: Assigns primary advisor and committee.  Submits Form 1: Graduate Committee Formation to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Student: Submits Form 2: Thesis/Dissertation Proposal when ready to begin thesis.
  • Student: Satisfies residence and course requirements.
  • Student: Maintains continuous enrollment in program.
  • Student: Completes coursework required for the degree.
  • Student: Completes any other program requirements.
  • Student: Passes general examination if required.
  • Student: Registers for semester in which degree requirements will be completed.
  • Student: Submits Application for Graduation form to the Business Office by the required deadline.
  • Student: Defends and completes thesis.
  • Student: Obtains signatures of committee members, Graduate Program Chair, and the VCAA on Form 3: Thesis/Dissertation Completion.
  • Student: Submits dissertation on ETD Administrator.
  • Student: Obtains initials of the Collection Development Librarian (or designee) on Form 3, then submits form to the Graduate Division for signature, and finally to the Office of the Registrar by the required deadline in the University calendar.
  • Graduate program: Submits Form 4: Certification of Degree Requirements to the Graduate Division when student submits thesis by required deadline; the form is then submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

    Rev. 3/20/13