Programs leading to a master's degree are very diverse and generally fall into three categories depending on overall emphasis and the nature of the study program.
- Thesis option:As part of a degree program, the student will complete a thesis for a minimum number of credit hours as determined by the program.
- Non-Thesis Option:The student's degree program will consist of courses and evidence of advanced work, such as term papers, objects of art, music or designs, as determined by the graduate faculty of the department or school.
- Internship option: Students in certain designated degree programs must complete a supervised internship.
Not all master's degree programs offer all these options and a student may not select a plan that has not been approved by the graduate faculty of the program in which he or she is enrolled.
Degree seeking students must demonstrate competency in their study area as determined by the academic program. Competency is demonstrated in one or more of the following ways:
- pass a final comprehensive and/or oral examination,
- present a satisfactory portfolio,
- thesis defense, and/or
- studio exhibition or recital.